Dr. Peter G. Wolynes, Bullard-Welch Foundation Professor of Science; Professor of Chemistry, MSNE, and Physics and Astronomy at Rice University,
George P. Williams, Jr. Lecture Hall, (Olin 101)
Wednesday, October 31, 2018, at 4:00 PM
(Colloquium sponsored jointly with WFU Dept. of Chemistry)
There will be a reception with refreshments at 3:30 PM in the lounge. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.
DR. WOLYNES WILL ALSO HOLD A CLASS WITH DR. SAM CHO ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, FROM 4-5PM IN OLIN PHYSICAL LABORATORY, ROOM 101, THAT WILL GIVE A CLIFF NOTES VERSION OF THIS TOPIC.
Protein folding can be understood as a biased search on a funneled but rugged energy landscape. This picture of the folding mechanism can be made quantitative using the statistical mechanics of glasses and first order transitions in mesoscopic systems. The funneled nature of the protein energy landscape is a consequence of natural selection, a connection that can also be made quantitative.
I will discuss recent advances using energy landscape ideas to create algorithms capable of predicting protein tertiary structure from sequence. I will discuss how energy landscape theory also can be used to study the mechanisms of protein aggregation that underlie neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.