HPC Seminar Series
Homology Modeling of G Protein-Coupled Receptors
Professor Stefano Costanzi, Department of Chemistry (CAS)
Thursday, March 9th, 2017 | 12:00 p.m. | Hurst Hall, Room 203
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a family of about 1,000 membrane proteins, which are targeted by a large share of the marketed drugs. In light of their pharmaceutical relevance, there is substantial interest in shedding light onto their three-dimensional structure through X-ray crystallography to assist the drug discovery process. However, to date, experimental structures have been solved only for about 30 members of the GPCR family. In our work, we employ a technique known as homology modeling to build three-dimensional models of GPCRs with unknown structures using receptors with solved structure as templates. With this seminar, I will illustrate the result of a quantitative study through which we proved the modellability of GPCRs. Moreover, I will discuss how the HPC system can be exploited for their construction of homology models.
The Subterranean Genome of the Devil Worm
Professor John R. Bracht, Department of Biology (CAS)
Friday, October 7th, 2016 | 12:00 p.m. | Hurst Hall, Room 203
The subterranean worm H. mephisto was first discovered in a gold mine in South Africa, living nearly a mile underground in water-filled cracks in the earth’s crust. Completely isolated from the terrestrial biosphere, this organism has managed to survive, and thrive, under conditions that had been considered lethal to complex life. In this talk I will present recent data from whole-genome sequencing and analysis, and discuss how this finding sheds light on adaptive change in evolution, the limits of complex life on earth, and even on the search for life on other planets. I will discuss the role of Zorro in this project as well as my use of high-performance computing in genomics instruction.
This talk will be geared towards a non-specialist audience.