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Gellman, Sam

Sam Gellman

University of Wisconsin at Madison

Talk Title

Merrifield’s Legacy: Transcending the Tyranny of the Ribosome

Presentation Time

Sunday, June 25, 2023, at 04:15 pm - 05:25 pm

The ribosome, aided by supporting actors such as tRNA synthetases, is the star of an extraordinary molecular spectacle. However, the chemist can imagine many constituents to be introduced into a polypeptide that the ribosome has not evolved to accommodate. Solid-phase synthesis circumvents this limitation. The creativity evident in contemporary peptide science reflects this capability.

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Our group has participated in the extrapolation from conventional polypeptides by designing and evaluating examples containing β-, γ- and/or D-α-amino acid residues in addition to L-α-amino acid residues. Specific examples will be presented.

We are broadly interested in the design, synthesis and evaluation of new types of molecules intended to display interesting structures and useful functions. In addition, we seek to understand how proteins, the most diverse class of biomolecules, perform their natural functions. Our efforts require a wide range of experimental tools, including asymmetric organic synthesis, polymer synthesis, solid-phase peptide synthesis, high-resolution NMR and crystallographic analysis of molecular structure, protein expression biochemical assays, and cell-based assays. Our research program is highly collaborative.

Sam Gellman