Longstanding math problem solved by bioinformatics lead

October 22, 2014

Dr. Ted Perkins was featured in an article in the Ottawa Citizen concerning his success in resolving a math problem that had gone unsolved for more than 50 years. As Dr. Perkins explained in the Ottawa Citizen, “The problem has to do with describing how many different ways you can go from Point A to Point B. The specific mathematical question is: How likely is the most likely way, compared to the second-most likely way, compared to the third-most likely, and so on? So how does the likelihood fall off as you go down that list of less and less likely ways?” Dr. Perkins and his collaborators have used their new result to analyze, among other things, the probabilities of a protein folding in a certain way. In the longer term, this may help to understand why proteins fold incorrectly (and take on abnormal shapes) and help us devise therapeutic strategies for treating diseases that involve protein mis-folding. Read the paper published in Nature Communications, or the article published in the Ottawa Citizen.

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The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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