What is the relationship between the structure, dynamics and function of proteins? Can we computationally predict and tailor new functions into proteins? These are some of the fundamental questions that we investigate at the Institute Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine of the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Proteins are remarkable biomolecular nano-machines that perform most essential processes needed for the survival of living organisms. Being able to harness this powerful framework in order to engineer new functions into proteins will greatly benefit biotechnology and healthcare on a broad scale. Although computational approaches have permitted designing a wide range of new protein structures, they still fail at changing the function of proteins.
We aim to narrow the gaps in our theoretical understanding of the functional relationships between sequence, structure and dynamics in proteins, by combining techniques from deep learning and computational molecular modeling. In particular, we are presently developing a deep learning approach that tackles the design process of functional proteins as a language-modeling problem.