Dan Ensign joined the group two years ago and has quickly become a key member of the Folding@home team. Dan’s work centers around one of the core scientific areas in the group: understanding how proteins fold. Dan is using all possible tools at his disposal, including regular FAH clients, SMP clients, GPU clients, and PS3 clients. Dan’s first paper using SMP clients just got accepted for publication and I’ll highlight it in a little more detail below (but it really deserves its own post, which I’ll leave for another date). He is now turning a lot of attention to the analysis of all the piles and piles of data for the PS3 client and especially to work to continue to improve the calculations that are done on the PS3. Indeed, his results were key in our scneitific improvements from v1.1 to v1.2 (current version).
Dan’s work with SMP clients has lead to a phenomenal data sets for protein folding, including trajectories that are both large in number and very long. This data set (which most people may have thought would be impossible to simulate) will play a key role in both understanding how small proteins fold, as well as in developing methods to further push FAH to study more and more complex proteins (as well as related questions such as misfolding and lipid vesicle fusion) by making more enhanced MSM methods.
Dan’s work is pretty wide spread so I will likely make some more posts about it in the future. For now, I’ll leave you with a link to a youtube video where Dan’s discussing some of the science behind FAH.