Byron Delabarre’s favorite structure is:

Carbonic Anhydrase




Maybe not so sexy compared to DNA, ribosome & GPCR structures we see touted as the major achievements of structural biology, but carbonic anhydrase was the first protein structure I ever studied in detail.  I had just started a
graduate course in bioinorganic chemistry where I had decided to cover proteins using Zinc at the active site.  I had never taken a biology or biochemistry course prior to this, thinking myself strictly a synthetic organic chemist. I was hooked immediately by the language, the images and of course the amazing science.  That particular protein structure started me on a path of structural biology understanding that has served me for nearly 20 years now. Even cooler that it came from the lab of T. Alwyn Jones, whose program ‘O’ was a source of frustration (seriously, who names a command after a hobbit? ‘sam_atom_in’!), but mostly delight as a companion when I started solving my own structures.—Byron Delabarre

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