In March 18, 2015 The 7th session of Wang T.C Lecture was held in Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics. Gary J. Pielak, a Glen H. Elder, Jr. Distinguished Term Professor from University of North Carolina, was invited to give a lecture entitled “Unexpected strength of protein quinary interactions”. Maili Liu, the Director of Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics, represented teachers and students to welcome Professor Gary J. Pielak and Awarded the letter and nameplate of “Wang T.C lecture professor" to Professor Gary J. Pielak.
Professor Gary J. Pielak engaged in studying macromolecular crowding environment and chemistry protein chemistry and biophysics, especially in living cells. He makes a great contribution in the study of protein in-cell nuclear magnetic resonance, and he is one of the pioneers to study the proteins in cell. He was Invited speaker in many protein related international conferences. He has Published more than 120 papers and reviews in Nature，PNAS，JACS, and more than 4000 papers were cited by SCI.
In the traditional crowding theory: The macromolecules in the cell are in crowding environment which full of other macromolecules, and the excluded volume effect of macromolecular makes influences on the biophysical properties of proteins. Although this theory is important to understand the protein function in cells, Professor Gary J. Pielak points out that the excluded volume effect cannot explain many experimental data, he thinks quinary interactions between protein and macromolecular crowding environment should be taken into account. The quinary interaction is important to the function of proteins.
Professor Gary J. Pielak used noodles to represent unstructured protein and used dough to represent structured protein. Using these models, he explained that crowding environment in cell affects the stability of proteins. They measured Gibbs free energy change of proteins in different crowding environment by NMR spectra, and concluded that crowding environment in cell has effect on the protein Gibbs free energy change. The results show that the stability of proteins in the crowding environment in cell is different from in the crowding agent such as PVP and ficoll.
At the end of the lecture, Professor Gary J. Pielak interacted with people warmly, answered the questions, and discussed with teachers and students on the academic problems associated in detail.