Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

Theo Sunny Yang

Prions are infectious proteins typified by their extraordinary resistance to chemical degradation. Proteins containing prion-like domains exhibit a spectrum of material states within the cell, ranging from solid fibers to liquid and gel-like droplets. Currently, little is known about how protein sequence determines the formation of these material states. To address these questions, I propose to develop an experimental and computational platform for studying the mechanics of human prions. Experimentally, I will develop a technique for quantifying the forces required to hold together prion assemblies. Additionally, I will use simulations to investigate how prion sequences influence their overall mechanical stability. This project will provide novel insights into the link between a prion’s sequence characteristic and its resistance to degradation.