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SDSC Researcher Awarded Science Foundation of Ireland's Walton Visitor Award

Published 06/05/2006

SDSC researcher Lynn Ten Eyck was recently awarded the Science Foundation of Ireland's Walton Visitor Award from University College in Dublin (UCD). Under the sponsorship of Jens Erik Nielsen from UCD's School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Ten Eyck will establish a collaborative research project 'Modeling Protein Structural Variability'.

Proteins are large, complicated molecules whose interaction with other molecules causes the protein structures to change -- which impacts the human metabolism. Because proteins are active in many different forms, researchers often find that they do not have the protein structural data for all the significant states taken on by a particular protein.

The goal of Ten Eyck's research project is to be able to better predict additional structural states for cases in which data are only available for one state. This is a common situation for families of protein structures involved in the control of cell metabolism and growth. The predictions may be useful for the development of drugs that lock the protein into one particular form, thereby controlling its activity.

The Award was established to honor and perpetuate the legacy of Ireland's 1951 Nobel laureate in physics by bringing international researchers from academia and industry to Ireland for periods normally ranging from 3 to12 months. Ten Eyck will travel to Ireland for three months this summer and then again in 2007 for six months. For more information, see