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Marion Sauer

Vanderbilt University

James Crowe and Jens Meiler labs

Viral glycoproteins are the primary antigenic target of neutralizing antibodies, yet due to experimental limitations of determining intermediate conformations and identifying complete representation of quasispecies sequence variability prevents the identification of all possibly available conserved epitopes for neutralizing antibodies during the process of fusion. I am currently working on two computational algorithms that independently predict backbone and sequence dynamics of glycoproteins, which include iterative Normal Mode Analysis-guided conformational hashing and restrained convergence multistate design, respectively, to simulate epitope accessibility during fusion. The iterative NMA-guide approach seeks to identify low-energy intermediates of glycoproteins during fusion, which can be used in future antibody docking and design experiments. The second multistate design approach seeks to identify all possible allowable mutations that do not interfere with glycoprotein function. Together, these two algorithms can be used to aid in the identification of broadly-neutralizing antibody-antigen interactions.