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Dr. Ann McDermott (from Columbia University), "The Secret Lives of Molecules: Probing the Motions of Enzymes"

Date: 10/19/09
Time: 3:30-6 p.m.
Audience: Public
Sponsored By: School of Science and Engineering
Location: Coykendall Science Building Lounge and Auditorium
Contact: Dr. Julio Gonzalez, x3724,

Proteins have highly specific roles in both normal function of the cell and in disease states, and remain the most important targets for medicines. Proteins function in a dynamical fashion, with shapes that are malleable. This malleable, dynamic quality is not only necessary for function, but also important to appreciate in the context of drug discovery. One of the major breakthroughs for modern biology and biochemistry is the growing collection of three-dimensional structures of proteins. However, these detailed structures are limited in that they are “still life” images, not “movies”, and thereby do not convey much information about flexibility and mobility. Dr. Ann McDermott's students and postdoctoral researchers have developed new approaches that make possible documenting protein motion, including the motion of enzymes, the protein catalysts for chemical reactions. Dr. McDermott is the Esther Breslow Professor of Biological Chemistry and Associate Vice President for Science Initiatives at Columbia University. Reception and Merck/AAAS USRP Student Poster Session at the CSB Lobby: 3:30 PM Lecture: 4:30 PM