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Exploring Protein Folding Landscapes – How Do Proteins Fold And Why Do They Need To?
21 March @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Professor Jane Clarke FRS FRSC FMedSci
President Wolfson College University of Cambridge and Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biophysics
Proteins are, perhaps, the most important of all biological molecules. Our genes, essentially, simply carry the instructions for cells to make proteins. But newly formed proteins are just linear disordered chains: for them to function properly they have to fold into complex 3-dimensional shapes, and it is this shape that determines their function.
During my research career I have been fascinated with fundamental questions on protein folding:
- WHY: does a given protein always fold to the same shape
- HOW: do proteins fold to the correct shape every time, and so rapidly?
- WHAT happens when things go wrong?
Many diseases, particularly those of ageing, are associated with failures in protein folding – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, many cancers, cystic fibrosis. By understanding the principles of protein folding, we hope to get some insights into disease.
During my talk I will also discuss my somewhat unusual career, and why I have spent a lifetime supporting and encouraging more women and girls to pursue STEM.
Sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry