Understanding the mechanical properties of protein filaments using de novo protein design
Protein fibers like silk are stronger than steel and more flexible than nylon. Traditional biological approaches have yielded little understanding to why they have these remarkable properties. One issue is that protein fibers found in nature tend to be complex and have features not directly responsible for their mechanical properties. My project aims to design simplified protein fibers from scratch, and I will rigorously test series of these proteins to tease out the microscopic interactions responsible for their macroscopic properties.
Arnold O. Beckman exemplifies the meaning of the word humanitarian. Combined with his unwavering enthusiasm for life, his keen sense of humor and his strong moral and ethical principles, he is a national icon.