Monday, October 28, 2013
"Protein structure determination using low-resolution experimental and evolutionary data"
David Baker, Head of the Institute for Protein Design, and Professor of Biochemistry, University of Washington
Protein structure prediction and protein design are inverse problems. While ab initio protein structure prediction remains a formidable challenge, the global energy optimization approaches developed for structure prediction are proving very useful for protein structure determination from sparse experimental data. I will describe in particular recent progress in structure determination from low resolution X-ray crystallographic data, 4-6Å cryoEM data, and evolutionary covariation data. Global energy optimization is also proving very useful for protein design, and I will describe how this is allowing robust design of new structures. Finally, I will describe unexpected scientific contributions of players of the on-line protein folding and design game FoldIt.