2004-2005 Distinguished Lecturers Jeff Thorne Statistical Genetics

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2004-2005
DISTINGUISHED LECTURERS
Computer Science and Engineering
JEFF THORNE
Statistical Genetics and Bioinformatics
North Carolina State University
November 12, 2004
KIM BOYER
Department of Electrical Engineering
The Ohio State University
November 19, 2004
DAN REED
Institute for Renaissance Computing
UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke & NC State
December 3, 2004
JACK DONGARRA
Department of Computer Science
The University of Tennessee - Knoxville
February 4, 2005
KANG G. SHIN
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
The University of Michigan
February 18, 2005
For details see
http://www.cse.sc.edu/~mgv/colloquia/index.html
Distinguished
Lecture
Series
November 12, 2004
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
ABSTRACT
“Combining Protein
Evolution and Protein
Structure”
PROFESSOR JEFFREY L. THORNE
Jeff Thorne was raised in Kohler, Wisconsin. In
1986, he earned B.S. degrees in mathematics and
molecular biology from the University of
Wisconsin – Madison. In 1991, he received a
Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of
Washington. His thesis advisor was Dr. Joseph
Felsenstein and his dissertation topic was statistical
aspects of DNA and protein sequence alignment.
Jeff was a postdoctoral associate with Dr. Gary
Churchill in the Biometrics Unit at Cornell
University. He joined the North Carolina State
University faculty in 1993. He holds a joint
appointment in the Genetics and Statistics
Departments and is actively involved in the
Bioinformatics Graduate Program.
Thorne’s research focus is the development of
statistical techniques for studying molecular
evolution. He currently has two main lines of
research. One concerns the relationship between
protein structure and protein evolution. The other
involves estimating chronological rates of
molecular evolution as well as speciation times by
combining fossil information with DNA or
protein sequence data.
by
Jeff Thorne
North Carolina State University
Friday, November 12
2004
Amoco Hall
Swearingen Engineering
Complex (SWGN 1C01)
2:30 pm
Jeff and his wife Leigh are the proud parents of a
baby girl named Evelyn and an Australian
Shepherd named Sterling.
Refreshments immediately following
in the lobby area outside Amoco Hall.
The relationship between phenotype and survival
of the genotype is central to both genetics and
evolution. Protein-coding DNA sequences are
genotype whereas protein tertiary structures are a
fundamental unit of phenotype.
We are studying the impact of protein structure
on the evolution of protein-coding DNA
sequences. In contrast to widely used procedures
that largely model change of genotype as being
independent of phenotype, our approach
incorporates phenotype via adoption of
sequence-structure compatibility measures that
computational biologists originally designed for
the purpose of protein fold recognition. A
consequence of our genotype-phenotype models
is the necessity to abandon computational
strategies that are conventionally employed to
study molecular evolution. In addition to protein
structure, there are diverse other aspects of
phenotype that are being predicted in silico by
computational biologists. We emphasize that
these other in silico systems can also be exploited
to better characterize the evolutionary
relationship between genotype and phenotype.
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