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IMA Annual Program Year Tutorial
Mathematics of Proteins
January 10-11, 2008

Michael Levitt Computational Structural Biology, Stanford University Medical School
Patrice Koehl Computer Science and Genome Center, University of California, Davis

The molecular basis of life rests on the activity of biological macro-molecules, mostly nucleic acids and proteins. A perhaps surprising finding that crystallized over the last handful of decades is that geometric reasoning plays a major role in our attempt to understand these activities. In this workshop, we will explore the connection between the biological activities of proteins and mathematics. We will focus on geometry and topology. More specifically we will cover the importance of shape, how to generate measures or features that describe protein structures, and how these measures can be used to classify protein structures and to model their energetics of proteins. In addition, we will describe recent input from Mathematics into fundamental problems in the structural biology of proteins, focusing on protein folding and protein-protein interactions.