Seminar Series

IDP Conversations

Date and Time

03 November 2021
11AM (EDT) / 5PM (CEST)

Session Link

The seminar series may be recorded and shared for later viewing.

Past Sessions

New Equilibrium presents IDP Conversations, a monthly seminar series focused on intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). Our goal is to foster a multi-perspective discussion on modeling and targeting IDPs. Each seminar, featuring speakers across academia and industry, includes a 40-minute presentation followed by a conversation.

Intrinsically Disordered Proteins in Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Computational Biophysicist’s Perspective

Intrinsically disordered proteins amyloid-β and α-synuclein are at the center of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The main challenge in biophysics and biochemistry is the understanding of the fundamental principles governing intrinsically disordered protein misfolding and aggregation, which represent complex conditions and sensitive processes and these processes operate at various length and time-scales. Amyloid-β and α-synuclein misfolding andaggregation processes produce products ranging from dimers to fibrils. Aggregations of amyloid-β and/or α-synuclein have been studied mostly in the test tube where the conditions were far from physiological. Therefore, there is an urgent need to extend these studies to in vivo conditions where the formation of amyloid-β and α-synuclein is affected by numerous biochemical reactions. Such interactions need to be understood in detail to develop therapeutics because millions of people worldwide suffer from neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we describe recent advances in research on amyloid-β and α-synuclein formation from a physiochemical perspective, focusing on the physiological factors that influence amyloid-β and α-synuclein aggregation processes in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, respectively. A detailed emphasis is provided for computational biophysics studies that help us to understand the in vivo effects on amyloid-β and α-synuclein. 

Speaker: Orkid Coskuner-Weber, Ph.D.

Orkid Coskuner-Weber grew up in Remscheid, Germany. Dr. Coskuner-Weber studied and received her Dr. rer-nat. degree in Chemistry from the Universität zu Köln in Köln, Germany. When Dr. Coskuner-Weber was a student at the Universität zu Köln, she visited University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and University of Amsterdam for further training in chemical engineering and physics. After her graduation, Dr. Coskuner-Weber worked as a postdoctoral scientist at Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department and EMSI/SSRL) in the United States.

Dr. Coskuner-Weber’s research attracted the interest of the government and consequently she worked for a national government laboratory (NIST) and linked her work to academia at the same time. Dr. Coskuner-Weber became a research assistant professor and then an assistant professor at George Mason University and University of Texas at San Antonio in the United States. In 2017, Dr. Coskuner-Weber took a faculty position at the Turkish-German University in Istanbul, Turkey for building up the Molecular Biotechnology Department. Dr. Coskuner-Weber became an associate professor and the department chair of Molecular Biotechnology. She has about 40 publications and worked on various national level projects in the United States and Turkey. Dr. Coskuner-Weber has designed and taught 10 different courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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