Protein Structure & Function

Because proteins are fundamental components of all living cells, and are the product of genetic instructions, there are few areas of biotechnology that don’t depend on understanding their structure and function. Deciphering their role and behavior has become critical in drug discovery and in unlocking the mysteries of catastrophic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease and mad cow disease – all of which appear to be the result of irregular or improper folding when proteins are being made.

Dr. Abraham Lenhoff leads a multi-investigator research project funded by the National Institutes of Health to determine the structure and function of key proteins of biomedical interest.

A highly cross-disciplinary team is developing that includes Brian Bahnson (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Guang Gao (Computer and Electrical Engineering), Adam Marsh (Marine Studies), and Anne Skaja Robinson (Chemical Engineering) to study proteins from organisms that thrive under extreme conditions.