Dynamics of Molecular Transformers in Silico

Event information
Venue:OE 134

Dr. Prem Chapagain

Department of Physics,FIU
Refreshments will be served at 1:15 PM


Proteins are the molecular machines responsible for maintaining the biological self-organization in living cells. However, in order to perform their molecular functions, protein molecules themselves must fold into highly specific 3-dimensional shapes known as the native states. The information to fold to a functional native state of a protein is encoded in its one-dimensional string of amino acids, the primary sequence. However, structural conversion from the native state is a frequently observed process such as in the aggregation and fibrilization of amyloidogenic proteins, which is thought to be a critical process in the development of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, Huntington, and prion diseases. A new class of proteins known as transformer proteins has recently emerged. The transformer proteins can undergo structural transformations that allow them to perform multiple functions, and they are re-defining the general perspective of sequence-structure-function relationship. In this talk, I will discuss the computer simulations of some model protein systems that shed light on the protein folding dynamics, including structural transitions in amyloidogenic proteins as well as the alpha helix to beta barrel structural transformation of the C-terminal domain of the transcription factor RfaH.


Dr. Chapagain is an Associate Professor of Physics at Florida International University. Dr. Prem Chapagain received his Master’s degree from Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 1998 and his PhD in Physics from Florida International University in 2005. He worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at Cornell University before joining the department of physics at Florida International University as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Chapagain’s research interests lie in the area of biological physics. His research focus is on the protein dynamics and protein aggregation which involve applying computational and statistical mechanical techniques to understand the molecular level details of protein structural transitions. His research interests also include topics in broadly related fields such as mathematical modeling of the dynamics of infectious diseases, self-organization and complexity The event is free and open to the public.