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Professor Clote Awarded Funding from Digiteo Foundation

he will continue his bioinformatics study on rna structure and properties in the international project

Prof. Peter Clote has received funding from the Digiteo Foundation as a "Research Chair of Excellence" for the next four summers in the period June 1, 2008 – May 31, 2012. In addition to summer support for Professor Clote, the Digiteo grant funds annual salaries for 2 postdoctoral associates and 2 research PhD students, for bioinformatics work in collaboration with the Computer Science Departments of both École Polytechnique (Laboratoire d’Informatique) and University Paris-Sud (Orsay) concerning RNA structure, gene-finders and molecular evolution.


RNAHe is going to present a talk on "How RNA regulates genes" at the Digiteo Conference in October 2008. In his talk, he will describe the properties of the ribonucleic acid (RNA). Similar to DNA, ribonucleic acid (RNA) can play a role in transmitting genetic information. This is clearly illustrated in RNA viruses, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV), whose genome consists entirely of RNA. However, unlike DNA, single-stranded RNA can form complicated 3-dimensional structures that catalyze essential molecular reactions, such as formation of a peptide bond, necessary in the formation of proteins.


Did life begin with RNA? How does RNA regulate genes; i.e. turn genes "off" and "on"? In his conference talk, Prof. Clote will describe his work on dynamic programming to answer fundamental questions about the folding landscape of RNA molecules, and how it will be used to find riboswitches, portions of messenger RNA having two distinct structures or "conformations", corresponding to "gene on" and "gene off" states.


Peter Clote works at both the Biology and Computer Science Departments at Boston College as Full Professor (full-time affiliation in computer science before 2002, while after 2002 full-time affiliation is in biology with a courtesy appointment in computer science). He studied mathematics at MIT (B.Sc. in 1973), Duke University (PhD in 1979) and at Université Paris VII (Doctorat d’Etat in 1985). He has worked as a professor in departments of mathematics (Maitre de Conference, Université Paris VII). From 1995-2000, he held the Gerhard Gentzen Chair of Theoretical Computer Science at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in München, where he led the establishment of a PhD program in bioinformatics that began accepting students in 1999. Fluent in French and German, he has authored 75 articles appearing in journals, conference proceedings and books. Dr. Clote has co-edited 3 books, and co-written 2 books: Computational Molecular Biology: An Introduction (2000), and Boolean Functions and Computation Models (2002). He plays alto and soprano sax semi-professionally in the trio Sharp Eleventh and is preparing a CD of jazz originals, including the tune "Marie," dedicated to his wife.