Understanding the structural and dynamic information encoded in the primary sequence of a protein is one of the most fundamental challenges in modern biology. The amino acid sequence of a protein encodes more than the native three-dimensional structure; it encodes the entire energy landscape – an ensemble of conformations whose energetics and dynamics are finely tuned for folding, binding and activity. Dr. Marqusee will present her laboratory's recent results probing these sequence and environmental effects using a combination of single-molecule and ensemble-based studies.
The Raj lab is interested in building a quantitative understanding of cellular function. They like to develop new tools for quantifying biological processes based on imaging and sequencing and then use those techniques to help us answer questions in molecular and cellular biology.
The Rust lab wants to understand how the behavior of living cells is produced by the biochemical interactions of many non-living molecules. They believe that a quantitative theory of how cells work will lead us to better treatments for disease and ultimately the ability to reprogram cells.
Fitness landscape (FL) is a common metaphoric description of genotype-phenotype relationship. However its precise nature is not known. Dr. Shakhnovich will present his lab's theoretical and experimental efforts to outline FL of viruses and bacteria in terms of biophysical properties of their proteins such as thermodynamic stability, catalytic activity and intracellular abundances as well as functional and non-functional interactions with other proteins.