Highlights of our Work

Highlight: Microscopic View into a Bioenergetic Supercomplex

Structure of Alternative Complex III

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made with VMD

Bacteria are remarkable at tailoring their bioenergetic machineries to adapt to and thrive in diverse and ever-changing environments. A critical metabolic task is the efficient extraction of energy from food. Similar to us, many bacteria pass electrons to oxygen or other acceptors with the help of membrane-bound enzymes, and in doing so, they move protons across their membrane, thus generating a transmembrane voltage (much like a battery) that can be used for ATP synthesis. Typically, one enzyme passes an electron to its downstream enzyme via random collisions. However, sometimes these enzymes can form a supercomplex that positions the enzymes very close to each other and with the right pose for faster electron transfer and therefore more efficient energy conversion. In a recent paper reporting a three-way collaboration between biochemists, experimental structural biologists, and the Center researchers, the structure of one such supercomplex (termed Alternative complex III) was determined at an atomic resolution through a combination of cryoEM and advanced molecular modeling and simulation tools performed with NAMD and VMD. Read more about this study in Nature.


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Since 2001 Illinois scientists have innovatively used molecular dynamics to simulate biological molecules combined with nanodevices. It turns out that the computational microscope is the quintessential imaging tool for these bionano systems. By Lisa Pollack. Read more

Remembering Klaus Schulten


NAMD used to predict behavior of Protein ComplexesGiuseppe Licari, honorable mention recipient of the Beckman Image ContestTajkhorshid awarded the 2020 Thomas E. Thompson awardShashank Pant awarded prestigious 2019 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowship



  • 28 Oct 2019 - Jeff Wereszczynski
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    Kohonen's self-organizing maps: Exploring their computational capabilities. In IEEE International Conference on Neural Networks, San Diego, California, July 24-27, 1988, volume 1, pp. 109-116, New York, 1988. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.   
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