Group for Research in Decision Analysis

A Statistician's View on Protein Folding

Ingo Ruczinski

The prediction of protein structure from its amino acid sequence and understanding the actual folding process are among the great unsolved challenges in molecular biology. Finding a solution to these problems and thereby understanding diseases such as Alzheimer would have a tremendous impact on public health. Many experiments carried out to understand the folding pathway from the unfolded state to the folded functional state generate data that have non-trivial statistical aspects, and in this seminar we will tell the tale mostly from a statistician's vantage point. We will also discuss some of the statistical and computational issues encountered in protein structure prediction, and present some applications of these methods such as the functional annotation of genes.