How to Build a Hemoglobin Protein

Students in Professor Rebecca Roberts Structural Biology class had fun with a hands-on experiment on how to assemble a hemoglobin protein.

Structural Biology Students

Biology students build a hemoglobin protein.

Students Samantha Squires, Jared Bohrer, Matthew Hope, Alex van Ooy, Emma Danz and Lauren MacDonough split into three groups.  Each group was responsible for accurately folding a portion of a hemoglobin protein and had to join together to assemble the final structure. The students then mutated the protein by switching out a single amino acid. The mutation they carried out is the same one that causes sickle cell anemia. The activity brought together many ideas about protein structure and folding that the students have been discussing this semester.