Investigative Reporting on Proteins: Getting the Scoop on Nature’s Tiniest Machines

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Proteins are the most amazing molecules and carry out a stunning array of tasks associated with life. Each one’s function depends on the details of its structure. Dr. Karplus will take a big picture look at proteins. What are they? Why are they important? How has the history of investigations into protein structure played a crucial role in advancing biomedical sciences and our understanding of life. Examples from his research include the “floodgate” hypothesis for how certain enzymes control cell signaling and influence health and disease.

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Andy Karplus is Distinguished Professor & Department Head of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State University. He loves teaching and working with students. Guided by the view that we can better understand what we can see, his research focuses on determining the three-dimensional structures of proteins and puzzling out their functions. Karplus has a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, and was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow in Freiburg, Germany. He started his faculty career at Cornell before moving to Oregon State.