What Determines the Stability of Proteins?

26. March 2013

With mathematical methods and computer simulations, Humboldt Fellow Richard Henchman (University of Manchester) is exploring the factors of protein stability – Research stay at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS), supported by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation

Since January 2013, Dr. Richard Henchman (University of Manchester) has been working at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) as a visiting scientist. The Alexander von Humboldt foundation awarded Dr. Henchman a Humboldt Research Fellowship for experienced researchers. This allows carrying out a long-term research project with an academic host in Germany. Richard Henchman will stay at HITS for eight months, working on the factors that determine protein stability.

Proteins are one of the main types of molecule responsible for making life happen. However, there is still a lot mystery about how they work and how they can be designed to perform useful functions. Dr. Richard Henchman’s research is directed at understanding the factors that make proteins stable. An important contribution to stability is the total number of ways that all the molecules, both protein and solvent, can arrange themselves. Dr. Henchman will develop a new theory to answer this question for proteins, drawing on both the expertise of his collaborator Dr. Frauke Graeter about protein stability under force, and on his own advances concerning the structure and dynamics of aqueous systems.

Press contact:
Dr. Peter Saueressig
Public Relations
Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS)
Tel: +49-6221-533-245
Fax: +49-6221-533-298

Scientific Contact:
Dr. Frauke Gräter
Molecular Biomechanics group
Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS)
Tel: +49-6221-533-267
Fax: +49-6221-533-298

About HITS

HITS, the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, was established in 2010 by physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural, mathematical, and computer sciences. Major research directions include complex simulations across scales, making sense of data, and enabling science via computational research. Application areas range from molecular biology to astrophysics. An essential characteristic of the Institute is interdisciplinarity, implemented in numerous cross-group and cross-disciplinary projects. The base funding of HITS is provided by the Klaus Tschira Foundation.

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