NSF PostDoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology

Project: Research project

Project Details


This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2008. The fellowship supports a research and training plan entitled 'Dissecting the solution forces governing protein aggregation and amyloid formation' for Edward P. O'Brien. The host institution for this research is the University of Cambridge and the sponsoring scientist is Dr. Christopher Dobson.

Protein aggregation and amyloid formation (a type of ordered protein aggregate) occur in animals, bacteria, and fungi and can be either detrimental or beneficial to survival depending on when and where they occur. The intracellular and extracellular environments within these organisms represent a wide range of conditions (in terms of temperature, pH and osmolytes) that can either promote or suppress the formation of these aggregates. There is a fundamental gap in the understanding of the mechanisms by which these solution conditions govern protein aggregation. This research is modeling and predicting the impact this wide range of biologically relevant solution conditions have on the thermodynamics and kinetics of aggregation and, in the process, dissecting and understanding the roles these various solution factors play.

Training objectives include techniques in computational and theoretical modeling, fluorescence and electron microscopy, and enhanced sampling. This research will advance knowledge in general biology, biophysical chemistry, computation biophysics, bioinformatics, and impact areas of biotechnology wherein protein aggregation is undesirable.

Effective start/end date11/1/081/31/12


  • National Science Foundation: $189,000.00


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