Protein Structural Analysis & Design Laboratory
Michigan State University
502C Biochemistry Building
E. Lansing, MI 48824-1319
Ph: (517) 353-8745 Fax: (517) 353-9334
About Our Work
By modeling and analyzing the structures of proteins and the small organic molecules they bind, our goal is to understand how 3-dimensional molecular structures encode the preference to bind a specific partner molecule necessary for their cellular function. Contributions of molecular flexibility and water molecules during binding make the process more complex and fascinating - like a molecular dance choreographed by chemistry. A related problem we tackle is to discover the natural binding partner(s) for proteins by modeling their 3-dimensional structures and using pattern recognition to uncover binding site features that are shared with proteins of known function. In collaboration with physiologists, behavioral scientists, chemists, and physicians, we put our knowledge to the test through molecular screening, protein mutagenesis, and small molecule design, to address pressing environmental and medical challenges.
Leslie Kuhn, Lab Director