Title:``Statistical Issues in Protein Structure Determination by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy''
Speakers: Olga Vitek^1, Chris Bailey-Kellogg^2, and Carol Post^3 ^1 Department of Statistics ^2 Department of Computer Science ^3 Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Place: KRAN G016; Tuesday, September 17, 2002; 4:30pm

X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy are currently the only experimental techniques capable of determining protein structure in atomic detail. The NMR-based approach is particularly valuable for studies of 3D structure, dynamics, and intermolecular interactions of proteins in solution. However, the data it provides are noisy and incomplete, and accuracy of an NMR-derived structure depends on the extent and quality of data that can be obtained.

Since uncertainty is a part of the NMR-based structure determination, the process can benefit from a statistical characterization. This opens issues such as confidence in a structure, design of experiments and incorporation of prior information, that have so far been only partially addressed.

In this talk we will describe the basics of protein structure and of NMR. We will then discuss opportunities and challenges existing for statisticians in this field.