Dr. Ivet Bahar and her colleagues were recently named recipients of awards by the 2020 Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP). HFSP supports innovative research in biology under the umbrella theme “Complex mechanisms of living organisms”, with emphasis on interdisciplinary research. The program funds cutting-edge, risky projects and it is the only program that supports international teams of scientists with laboratories in different continents. Dr. Bahar and coworkers will work on the design and applications of “Biological Protein Springs as Allosteric Modulators’. They proposed to (i) mutationally create and characterize in silico and in vitro, repeat proteins with altered repeat-packing internal and interfacial geometry and energetics, and (ii) determine how these features translate into dynamic characteristics and could be used to rationally engineering allosteric functions.
Other Principal Investigators are Dr. Laura Itzhaki, Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, UK; Dr. Reuven Gordon, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Victoria, Canada; and Dr. Shang-Hua Yang, Department of Electrical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. The project embodies an interdisciplinarity that emerges naturally through the cooperation of these groups with complementary expertise: computational and theoretical modeling (IB), protein engineering and design (LI), and single molecule methods including extraordinary acoustic Raman (EAR) (RG) and terahertz (S-HY) nanospectroscopy.
8 Young Investigator Grants and 20 Program Grants were awarded from a total of 702 letters of intent, 85 of which were selected to submit a full application. https://www.hfsp.org/awardees/newly-awarded