Speaker: Silvia Cavagnero, UW-Madison, Dept. of Chemistry
Abstract: Proteins are key components of all living cells and their correct in vivo function is intimately connected to the well-being of every living organism. The large conformational freedom of a protein chain and its structural complexity suggests that understanding folding mechanisms and predicting protein structure from amino acid sequence may be dauntingly difficult. What have we learned from the studies carried out on protein folding mechanisms over the last three decades; are there any leading trends; and how do these trends change (or are predicted to change) for proteins folding in the cellular environment, where a lot of the relevant parameters are dramatically tuned by various cellular components? This talk will attempt to address some key aspects of the above topics and highlight research directions in crucial need of further exploration.