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Dissecting folding pathways of highly homologous, ultra-fast folding proteins


The protein-folding problem, that is the question of how an unfolded polypeptide chain folds spontaneously into its unique three-dimensional structure, continues to be one of the central issues in molecular biology.

With the discovery that many pathologica l conditions result from protein unfolding, misfolding and aggregation the protein folding problem has become relevant at a global level.

Although nowadays mechanisms of protein folding can be elucidated at great detail using an array of experimental and theoretical approaches, a central question still remains elusive: how does the protein sequence dictate a particular folding scenario, modulating energetic and dynamic properties of the protein for functional purpose?

The proposed project aims at providing an answer to this question by dissecting the folding pathways of two small and ultra-fast folding proteins, having high sequence and structural homology, by using a broad array of modern experimental techniques.

The applicant stepped into the research area of protein folding only recently by developing a world-wide unique single-molecule fluorescence related method for monitoring ultra-fast folding dynamics of mini-proteins.

Research training in the host institution, within the scope of the proposed project , will provide the applicant with a broad methodological and theoretical competency diversification in protein folding with emphasis on ultra-fast folding studies. The action will allow the applicant to integrate his own developments into cutting-edge protein folding research and to resume his career within the European Research Area.

The fellowship will initiate an Intra-European collaboration between the applicant and the host institution, pushing forward synergies between the disciplines single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and protein folding, and enhancing European scientific excellence with impact on biomedical and biotechnological applications.

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20 Park Crescent
United Kingdom