What Determines the Stability of Proteins?

26 03 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
peter.saueressig@h-its.org
https://www.h-its.org

Scientific Contact:
Dr. Frauke Gräter
Molecular Biomechanics group
Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS)
Tel: +49-6221-533-267
Fax: +49-6221-533-298
frauke.graeter@h-its.org
https://www.h-its.org

About HITS

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the 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 sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.

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