Nozomi Ando, an assistant professor of chemistry at Princeton University, has received a five-year Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institutes of Health Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The award aims to support investigators’ overall research programs through a single, unified grant rather than individual project grants. The goal of MIRA is to increase the efficiency of NIGMS funding
by providing investigators with greater stability and flexibility, thereby enhancing scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs. The intention is that this program will also help distribute funding more widely among the nation’s highly talented and promising investigators.
Abstract. Protein Allostery and Catalysis Beyond Bragg Diffraction
What are the structural dynamics involved in protein allostery and catalysis? How do flexible enzymes perform challenging chemistry? Can we animate crystal structures of proteins? These are outstanding questions in biology, which motivate studies of proteins in motion. Capturing proteins in action is the next frontier of structural enzymology. By working at the interface of biochemistry and physical chemistry, we aim to go beyond the static picture of enzymes that is obtained by traditional Bragg diffraction and instead recover dynamic information with non-conventional X-ray scattering and diffraction approaches. We are particularly interested in enzymes of biomedical importance that have been challenging to study by traditional methods, such as drug targets that are allosterically regulated and enzymes that complex mechanisms to synthesize natural products with pharmaceutical potential.