September 29, 2022
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers Chunyu Wang, professor of biological sciences and chemistry and chemical biology, and Rongjie Lai, associate professor of mathematical sciences, have received a $223,395 grant from the National Institutes of Health to make the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) of proteins more efficient.
Proteins carries out most biological functions at the molecular level in all living things. NMR is an important experimental tool to characterize protein structure, dynamics, and interactions. However, the process is long and laborious.
With this grant, Wang and Lai will leverage recent advances in Euclidean distance geometry to develop a novel method for simultaneous determination of resonance assignment and protein structure using only the NOESY spectra. NOESY, which stands for Nuclear Overhauser Effect Spectroscopy, reveals distances between atoms in protein.
Wang and Lai’s success at this project would have far-reaching implications because of the amount of time and money it would save researchers in protein science and drug discovery.
“Our vision is that in the future, scientists can upload just a few NMR data sets and the server can give them the protein structure!” Wang said.
In addition to this year’s funding, Wang and Lai have also secured $192,814 from the National Institutes of Health beginning in 2023 for year two of the project.