Publication from ACB and McGill Undergraduates

Published: 15 May 2024

A useful tool in protein research comes from the collaborative efforts of two bright McGill undergraduates, Jerry Gao and Maxwell Tong. Under the supervision of postdoctoral fellow Thibault Legal and Associate Professor Khanh Huy Bui, Jerry and Max developed the DomainFit program for the identification of protein domains in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) maps at intermediate resolutions.

DomainFit is an easy-to-use program designed to automatically fit AlphaFold predicted models into cryo-EM maps with remarkable accuracy and efficiency. Through this software, researchers can now effortlessly identify and analyze protein structures, providing invaluable insights into cellular functions and mechanisms. DomainFit has led to the discovery of new ciliary proteins CCDC81B and BMIP1 at the proximal end of the cilia.

Jerry Gao, currently a U2 student in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, carried out the research during the summer of 2023 and the fall of 2024 during the course of the ANAT396 Undergraduate Research Project. Maxwell graduated in 2023 from the Computer Science and Biology program.

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