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FoSheng Hsu, a graduate student in the field of biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, won for best dance in the chemistry category in Science's fourth annual "Dance Your Ph.D." contest, a competition that recognizes the best dance interpretations of scientific doctoral work.
Using x-ray crystallography to solve protein structure is the focus in our lab. The dance interprets the difficult and time consuming process of obtaining a 3-dimensional protein structure, which is crucial for not just understanding the cellular function but also provides a fundamental step to drug design.
As a structural biologist, I hope to take the viewers on a journey into the world of x-ray crystallography through several key stages. Different outfits and music divide each stage. Rather than employing multiple dancers, I intentionally limited the performance down to one actor to show more clearly the continuity from one stage to the next: 1. Production of protein; 2. Affinity purification; 3. Crystallization setup; 4. X-ray diffraction; and 5. Building a 3-dimensional protein structure.