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Sources feature Ma’s breakthrough research in understanding protein function

HIV Protease

Breakthrough research into how proteins function by Associate Professor Ao Ma and his graduate students Shanshan Wu and Huiyu Li of the Richard and Loan Hill Department of Biomedical Engineering has recently received recognition from multiple sources.

The research was originally published December of 2022, in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences journal.

Some of the sources who have published coverage of Ma’s paper include Argonne National Laboratory,, EurekAlert by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, AZO Life Sciences, News Beezer, Swift Telecast, News Wise, and Science News Net.

Each article details the discovery Ma and his team made in understanding how proteins function. For the first time, they identified the exact reaction coordinates (RCs) of the conformational change vital for the function of the HIV protease, a complex protein and important drug target.

Ma’s work revealed that RCs hold the key to understanding how proteins function, which is crucial for designing drugs, fighting drug resistance, and developing artificial enzymes that can complete desired functions. The method developed by the Ma group marks a significant step in creating new drugs and novel enzymes.