Advances in structural biology have accelerated greatly as a result of access to the synchrotron facilities that have been developed around the world in the past 25 years.Researchers in the UK are at the forefront of this work and Diamond Light Source provides cutting edge facilities for protein structure determination.The team, comprising leading experts from the USA (The Scripps Research Institute in California), Japan (Kyoto University), and the UK (Imperial College London and Diamond), worked across three continents for 16 months on the project.

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Funding also came from the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Grant-in-Aid for challenging Exploratory Research, the Mochida Memorial Foundation for Medical and Pharmaceutical Research, the Takeda Scientific Foundation and the Sumitomo Foundation.,/p ² Prof So Iwata is also BBSRC Diamond Professorial Fellow, a Diamond Fellow and the Research Director of ERATO IWATA Human Receptor Crystallography project, funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency.

3 Source: Allergy UK Light Source produces the extremely intense X-ray beams required for looking at the molecular interactions involved in a variety of biological processes.

In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre.

This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

Anti-histamine drugs work because they prevent histamine attaching to H1 receptors.

Dr Simone Weyand, post-doctoral scientist at Imperial College London, who conducted much of the experimental work at Diamond, said: “First generation anti-histamines such as Doxepin are effective, but not very selective, and because of penetration across the blood-brain barrier, they can cause side effects including sedation, dry mouth and arrhythmia.

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics .

This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of a all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.

This detailed structural information is a great starting point for exploring exactly how histamine triggers allergic reactions and how drugs act to prevent this reaction.” H1 receptor protein is found in the cell membranes of various human tissues including airways, vascular and intestinal muscles, and the brain.