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UFII Covid Seed Awardees Virtual Seminar Series – Dr. Alberto Perez
October 16, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
UFII Covid Seed Awardees Virtual Seminar Series
“Peptide inhibitors against the SARS-CoV2 spike protein” by Dr. Alberto Perez
Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry
Friday, October 16, 2020
The spike protein covering the surface of the SARS-CoV2 virus has become iconic to recognize the Covid19 virus since the start of the pandemic. It is this spike protein that the virus uses to get a foothold into our cells. In this talk I will present our computational understanding of how the virus uses glycans to disguise itself from our immune system and how it is able to bind to our ACE2 proteins, facilitating entry into our cells. Our computational effort has been directed to the design of peptide inhibitors that are able to bind the Spike proteins and block them from interacting with ACE2. Time permitting, we will also overview our contribution to a world-wide effort (CASP-Commons) in predicting the structures of unknown SARS-CoV2 proteins, to provide new targets for drug repurposing.
Dr. Alberto Perez joined the Chemistry Department at UF in 2018. His lab uses computational models to simulate the time evolution of biomolecules, identifying important states of those molecules through statistical mechanics. The groups interests range from protein folding and peptide self-assembly to problems of binding and inhibition in protein-DNA and peptide-protein systems.