Penn Researchers Help Nanoscale Engineers Choose Self-Assembling Proteins

Marija Drndic, James M. Kikkawa, and William F. DeGrado
Media contact: Evan Lerner, elerner@upenn.edu

May 27, 2011

Sequences of designed peptides, native DSD, and control peptides.

Sequences of designed peptides, native DSD, and control peptides.

PHILADELPHIA — Engineering structures on the smallest possible scales — using molecules and individual atoms as building blocks — is both physically and conceptually challenging. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has now developed a method of computationally selecting the best of these blocks, drawing inspiration from the similar behavior of proteins in making biological structures.

The team was led by postdoctoral fellow Gevorg Grigoryan and professor William DeGrado of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, as well as graduate student Yong Ho Kim of the Department of Chemistry in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences. Their colleagues included members of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in SAS.

Their research was published in the journal Science.

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