Broad Area Colloquium For AI-Geometry-Graphics-Robotics-Vision

Protein Folding: Mathematical, Algorithmic, and Computational Challenges

Michael Levitt
Department of Structural Biology
Stanford Medical School

Monday, Nov 10, 2000, 4:15PM
TCseq200, Lecture Hall A


Protein Folding is one of the most fundamental processes in all living matter and concerns the transition of a disordered chemical chain of amino acid residues into a precisely ordered three-dimensional folded structure that is then able to carry out all the key biological functions. The process is a closed problem in that the particular amino acid sequence to lead to a particular folded shape. It is complicated by the large number of degrees of freedom that characterize a protein chain as well as our inexact knowledge of all the physical forces responsible for the stability of the folded state.

By looking at the problem from different viewpoints including experimental, physical, biological, mathematical, algorithmic and computational we gain insight that has led to some success in blind predictions of structure from sequence.

About the Speaker

Michael Levitt obtained his Ph.D. in 1971 from the University of Cambridge. He currently chairs the department of structural biology at Stanford University. He has held academic positions at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego and Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. His recent work focuses on sequence/structure analysis and bioinformatics, attempting to learn about protein structure and function from the massive body of genomic sequence data. Specifically he has classified folds in genomic sequences and compared results of sequence alignment with those of structure alignment.
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Last modified: Fri Nov 10 14:57:51 PST 2000