Wednesday 27 September 2017, 6:30pm
Dr Thomas Shafee - The Megadimensional space of all possible proteins and how real proteins are distributed
Protein sequence space is a conceptual arrangement all possible protein sequences in a highly multidimensional space. At its simplest, the space has one dimension per amino acid in the sequence, to represent all possible combinations of amino acids. Proteins can then be arranged in this space based on their residues, with functional proteins occupying a vanishingly small fraction of the total space.
I work on a class of small and diverse proteins called defensins whose sequences are too diverse to be analysed by traditional methods. However, quantitative maps of their sequence space has proved useful to classify function, predict function and perhaps soon engineer function.
About the speaker:
Thomas Shafee is an evolutionary biochemist and bioinformatician at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science looking at how evolutionary insight can be applied to protein engineering. He's also a keen Wikipedian and works on improving integration between the encyclopedia and academia.
The Melbourne Maths and Science Meetup is sponsored by ACEMS, Silverpond, and Biarri.