Science at the Edge Seminar

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Speaker: Amit Singer, Princeton University

Title: Mathematics for Cryo-Electron Microscopy

Refreshments at 11:15 am.

Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2018, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Type: Seminar
Location: 1400 BPS Bldg.

Single particle cryo-EM recently joined X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a high-resolution structural method for biological macromolecules (the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry). Furthermore, cryo-EM has the potential to analyze compositionally and conformationally heterogeneous mixtures and, consequently, can be used to determine the structures of complexes in different functional states. The 3D-structure and the possible structural variability need to be determined from many noisy two-dimensional tomographic projections, whose viewing directions and in-plane rotations are unknown. In this lecture, the speaker will give an overview of the computational challenges in cryo-EM analysis and how he and others are trying to face them, focusing on 3D ab initio modelling and the heterogeneity problem of determining structural variability.