Physical, Theoretical & Computational

Interplay between Chemistry and Dynamics in Biomolecular Machines (#441)

Biomolecular machines, e.g., molecular motors, membrane transporters, and surface receptors are key players for fundamental biological processes vital to the cell, including energy production, biosynthesis and biodegradation, and signal transduction. They have also been recently utilized as biotechnological nano-tools for cellular imaging and even regulating various cellular activities. Understanding their mechanisms, therefore, is key to rational development of new drugs and biotechnological tools with augmented or novel functionalities. However, the machinery behind the function of biomolecular machines is still largely unknown, because of the diverse nature of the involved molecular processes, ranging from localized, highly selective chemical reactions at ligand binding sites, to large global conformational changes of entire molecular complexes. As the tight coupling between these processes underlies the function, understanding the machinery will require an integrated view of chemistry and dynamics of biomolecules using a multi-scale, multi-physics description.
The symposium will bring together theoretical, computational, and experimental researchers from diverse areas of chemistry, biochemistry, physics, biophysics, and engineering, to present their latest results on these complex molecular systems. It will provide a unique opportunity for scientists with complementary perspectives to interact and to seed new research directions toward developing a more comprehensive and integrated understanding of biomolecular machines. Topics will range from studies of fast triggering chemical events such as substrate binding, enzymatic reactions, and photoreception and bioluminescence of protein tools for cellular imaging and optogenetics, to slow global conformational changes of biomolecular complexes for mechanical force generation, substrate transport, and molecular recognition. The symposium is expected to be particularly rich in terms of recent methodological advances in experimental, theoretical, and computational areas, e.g., single molecule and optical spectroscopy and microscopy, advanced quantum and classical simulations, and novel statistical methods.
Last update: Dec 28, 2015