Jane S. Richardson

Duke University


Primary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Membership Type: Member (elected 1991)
Photo Credit: Jared Lazarus, Duke University

Biosketch

Jane Richardson and her husband David have worked together for over 50 years on research to understand the 3D structure of protein and RNA molecules.  They were early pioneers in protein crystallography, protein de novo design, and molecular graphics.  They developed a method that calculates hydrogen-atom contacts to quantify the details of modeled packing interactions, widely used on their MolProbity website and elsewhere to improve the accuracy of macromolecular structures by crystallography and cryoEM. Richardson developed the ribbon representation of protein structures, described many common features of overall protein folds and local motifs (Greek key beta barrels, helix caps, etc.), and works to spread molecular 3D literacy at Duke and around the world.  From a Swarthmore B.A. in philosophy she has become a biophysicist, a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the National Academies of Sciences & of Medicine, Hollaender Award in Biophysics, and has three honorary degrees.  For details, see Ann. Rev. Biophysics 4:1-28. 

Research Interests

Updating structure validation to work effectively for cryoEM and crystallography at 2.5-4Å resolution.    RNA backbone conformation and ligand-ion-water interactions.  Maximum likelihood in macromolecular model building.  Representations of macromolecules in computer graphics.

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