Michael Thorpe


Background In 2003, Michael Thorpe joined Arizona State University as Foundation Professor, and later became the Founding Director of the Center for Biological Physics. He previously had faculty appointments at Yale University and Michigan State University where he was University Distinguished Professor. His research interests are in the theory of disordered systems, with a special emphasis on properties that are determined by geometry and topology. He has a research background in condensed matter theory, and in recent years has developed the mathematical theory of flexibility and mobility for use in glassy networks, and also in crystalline materials with disorder, such as zeolites and manganites. His most recent work has been in biological physics. The flexible regions in proteins and protein complexes are determined from the x-ray crystallographic structure. These are used to determine dynamical pathways between different protein conformations using geometric simulation techniques. Proteins are stable enough to maintain a three-dimensional structure, but flexible enough for biological function. The aim of this research work is to find underlying principles and unifying concepts, to better understand the evolution and function of proteins and protein complexes.

Home Department : 
Personal Information
Foundation Professor
Degree Information: 
D. Phil, Oxford, 1968
Area Of Study: 
Biological Physics and Condensed Matter Theory


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