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Drugs without side effects

Janelle Leuthaeuser (left) and Jacque Fetrow, Reynolds Professor of Computational Biophysics and Dean of the College

Janelle Leuthaeuser is on the cutting edge of biophysics. A molecular genetics and genomics Ph.D. student, she is part of a nationwide effort to create a more efficient generation of protein-based drugs.

She is working with Jacquelyn Fetrow, Reynolds Professor of Computational Biophysics and Dean of the College, and a national team of researchers to develop an automated program that classifies different proteins by their active site, the location where chemical reactions occur. Contemporary technologies predict protein function based on the full sequence or structure of protein molecules. The Wake Forest led team found this method often vaguely or incorrectly classifies proteins. Leuthaeuser said that proteins can be grouped together by function more accurately when using the sequence and structure directly surrounding the active site rather than the overall structure of a protein molecule.

Read the full story in the Wake Forest News Center.