Roberto Chica is the 2019 Melanie O'Neill Young Investigator Award in Biological Chemistry recipient

Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Canadian Society for Chemistry Melanie O'Neill Young Investigator Award in Biological Chemistry is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to biological chemistry while working in Canada.

Since establishing his independent research program 8 years ago, Roberto Chica has been pushing the boundaries of protein engineering through his pioneering work in the incorporation of multistate approaches into computational protein design (CPD). These methods allow proteins to be modeled, not as a single structure as is traditionally done, but as structural ensembles that more realistically represent the range of conformations that can be accessed on their energy landscapes.

Overall, Dr. Chica has contributed to major conceptual and methodological advances in protein design, paving the way to the engineering of proteins with more complex functions than previously possible, in particular those that must adopt multiple conformational states.

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