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Symposium: AI at the Frontiers of Protein Science for Agriculture

Wednesday, Dec. 1 and Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021

Symposium goals

  1. Provide an overview of recent computational advances in protein research and potential applications of these new methods.
  2. Learn about protein-related research currently happening at ARS.
  3. Identify new opportunities for AI-powered, protein-related research at ARS.
  4. Identify potential working groups and next steps to advance protein science at ARS.

Symposium agenda

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 (all times are EST)

Time Activity
10:45 AM Symposium introduction
11:00 AM Keynote presentation: John Moult (Fellow, Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research and Professor, University of Maryland): An AI Solution to the Computational Grand Challenge Problem of Protein Folding
12:00 PM Lightning talks: Protein science at ARS
  • Carson Andorf (Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit): Gaining structural and functional insights in biological networks through machine learning
  • Man-yeon Choi (Horticultural Crops Research Unit): GPCR Modeling and Interference for Insecticide Discovery
  • Douglas Luster (Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit): Proteomics-based discovery of targets for plant pathogen diagnostics
  • Walter Schmidt (Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory): Dipeptide conformation and dynamics: ALA-PRO versus PRO-ALA.
  • Brenda Oppert (Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research Unit): Adaptation of Cysteine Peptidases in Tenebrionid Insects for Efficient Digestion of Cereal Proteins
  • Jianchi Chen (Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research Unit): Characterization of fastidious prokaryotes from gene sequences to 3-D protein structures
1:00 PM Break
1:30 PM Keynote presentation: Darrell Hurt (Branch Chief, Bionformatics Branch at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases): AI for Protein Science: Evolution and Revolution
2:30 PM Lightning talks: Protein science at ARS
  • Ming-shun Chen (Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research Unit): Insect Effector Proteins in Plant - Insect Interactions
  • Chris Mattison (Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit): In silico Docking of Monoclonal Antibodies to the Immunodominant Cashew Nut Allergen Ana o 3
  • Adalberto Perez de Leon (San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center): Untangling functional secrets in the structure of proteins from pest disease vectors
  • Adam Rivers (Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Unit): Improving food allergy diagnostics with de novo protein structure prediction, peptide arrays and 3D convolutional neural networks
  • David Schneider (Animal Disease Research Unit): Prions: self-replicating aggregates of misfolded cellular protein
  • Soheila Maleki (Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit): Microarray-based identification of antibody binding sites on allergic proteins from peanuts and tree nuts
  • Clifton Fagerquist (Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unit): Top-down proteomic identification of proteins of foodborne pathogens
3:30 PM Break
3:45 PM Group discussion: What have we learned from today's presentations?
4:00 PM Breakout groups: What topics or questions should we address in part 2 of the conference?
4:30 PM Breakout group reporting, setting the agenda for part 2 of the conference
5:30 PM Adjourn

Thursday, December 2 (tentative; all times are EST)

Please note that the schedule for day 2 is tentative. The final schedule will depend on the outcomes of day 1 and any adjustments required during day 2.

Time Activity
10:45 AM Introduction and logistics, brief introduction to SCINet resources
11:00 AM Group discussion: What new science do these tools make possible?
11:45 PM Break
12:00 PM Breakout groups: Science-focused discussions
12:30 PM Breakout group reporting, group discussion
1:15 PM Conference concludes; groups are welcome to continue discussions if they wish