Highlights of our Work

Highlight: Chromatophore Wins as The Best Scientific Visualization of 2019

chromatophore 'Birth of Planet Earth'

image size: 621.3KB
made with VMD

Sunlight powers life on Earth. This basic fact has been known since ancient times and retold many times in many cultures. Today, scientists understand the means through which light powers life at atomistic detail, as a chain of processes climbing scales from electronic interactions to cooperation between proteins to cell-scale integration of energy conversion. These processes have been illustrated in a recent video that was awarded the BEST SCIENTIFIC VISUALIZATION OF 2019 at the SC19 conference, Scientific Visualization & Data Analytics Showcase. The video is a joint production with the team of Donna Cox at NCSA and is based on a decade long collaborative effort with the experimental group of Neil Hunter and a lifetime research interest for Klaus Schulten. The underlying scientific investigation illustrated in the video was presented in 18 manuscripts over the past decade, from atomic scale structural modeling to organelle-scale and cell-scale integration of function. These modeling efforts also led to a molecular dynamics simulation of the chromatophore using NAMD, recently published in Cell. The video segment, produced with VMD, that won as the Best Scientific Visualization is an excerpt from the fulldome movie 'Birth of Planet Earth' released to planetariums worldwide by Spitz Creative Media. The oldest story of humanity — light powering life — coming soon to a theater near you.

The Future of Biomolecular Modeling

A 2015 TCBG Symposium brought together scientists from across the Midwest to brainstorm about what's on the horizon for computational modeling. See a summary of what these experts foresee. Read more

The Annals of MDFF

MDFF is a computational method that yields structures of massive biomolecular assemblies at atomic detail, using hybrid experimental data. Now Illinois scientists are applying MDFF to fascinating systems like the ribosome and HIV. By Lisa Pollack. Read more

Remembering Klaus Schulten


Simulation reveals how bacterial organelle converts sunlight to chemical energyNAMD used to predict behavior of Protein ComplexesGiuseppe Licari, honorable mention recipient of the Beckman Image ContestTajkhorshid awarded the 2020 Thomas E. Thompson award



  • 23 Mar 2020 - Jin Yu
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