Protein engineering; yeast surface display; bioinformatics; molecular dynamics simulations
905 Furnas Hall
Buffalo NY, 14260
Phone: (716) 645-1199
Fax: (716) 645-3822
Protein engineering is a discipline inspired by evolution at a molecular level. As life has evolved, the molecular basis of living organisms—including the protein molecules that make up living organisms—has also undergone huge diversification. As a result, there are virtually a limitless number of different protein molecules in nature, many of which have fascinating structural and functional properties. It is an important goal in biological sciences to study how these molecules work in their natural milieu to understand how living organisms operate. Additionally, once we have studied the way these molecules function in nature, some of them can be further developed to serve useful roles in research, medicine and biotechnology. Our understanding of the physical basis of protein function has significantly advanced in the past. There have also been important progresses in molecular biology to allow the construction and experimental testing of various mutants. As a result, we can now construct new protein molecules and systems in vitro with interesting molecular properties that can be useful in a variety of applications.
In our lab, we use both computational and experimental tools to design protein molecules with novel physical and biological properties. We use biochemical and biophysical techniques to characterize the designed molecules. Finally, the designed molecules are tested in various applications to confirm they have expected molecular properties and to demonstrate their utility. We currently have several projects that use computational modeling, directed evolution, biochemistry, and structural biology that exemplify this protein engineering practice. The ongoing projects include: