Participant Testimonials

Aug 09 - Aug 11, 2019

The workshop enabled me to extend my knowledge on mathematical modeling of the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules. I learned new approaches that combine the use of force fields with low-resolution experimental data, such as electron cryomicroscopy (CryoEM) and small-angle X-ray/neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS). In this regard, of particular interest were the talks by Greg Chirikjian who demonstrated that the use of both CryoEM and SAXS/SANS data can result in satisfactory structure modeling even when a large section of data is lost, while use of only one kind of data does not enable us to achieve this goal, and by Daisuke Kihara who demonstrated new approaches to SAXS-based structure determination. A very interesting lecture of the importance of correlations in biology was delivered by Robert Jernigan. Overall, the workshop enabled to bring together mathematicians and the scientists involved in modeling the structure and function of biological macromolecules with regard to biological function. During the workshop I made new scientific contacts that can develop into collaborations (e.g., with Robert Jerigan, Greg Chirikjian, Nina Pastor, Gabriel del Rio). I also learned about the postdoc position openings in good labs, which are of interest to my former graduate students who have just completed their Ph.D. Overall, the workshop was an excellent experience.

Jozef Adam Liwo Professor
Chemistry, University of Gdansk

Thank you for having me at BIRS. It is a beautiful place, and the workshop was very useful to me. In general, the meeting allowed me to brush up on subjects I don't work on, but find interesting, such as protein and RNA structure prediction. In particular, I am currently looking for coarse-grained potentials to model proteins, and at the meeting I had the chance to learn about three options for these. Now I not only have specific literature to study, but the personal contacts to ask for help if we get stuck. Another useful thing I learned at the meeting had to do with benchmarks of docking programs geared to the study of protein-small molecule interactions, and about strategies to get rid of false positive results. This is another area of research at my lab, so the references and specific people to talk to are very welcome.

Nina Pastor Profesor-Investigador
Centro de Investigación en Dinámica Celular, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos