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UT Biophysicist Recognized as 2019 American Physical Society Fellow

UT Biophysicist Recognized as 2019 American Physical Society Fellow

The American Physical Society recognized Claus Wilke, University of Texas at Austin professor and chair of the Department of Integrative Biology, as a 2019 Fellow in September. Fellowships are awarded based on outstanding contributions to the field of physics, and are received by no more than one half of one percent of the society's members each year.

Claus Wilke was recognized as a 2019 American Physical Society Fellow.

Wilke was nominated by the APS Division of Biological Physics for discovering that biophysical constraints are a primary driver of protein sequence evolution. Wilke's work is bringing together two disparate fields, the biophysics of protein folding and the evolution of genetic sequences. He has found that many of the mutational patterns that can be observed in the genomes of organisms can be explained using concepts and insights from protein biophysics. The reason for this observation is that many areas in a typical protein are not directly involved in a particular biological function, such as catalysis, but may have to adopt specific physical conformations that enable other areas in the protein to perform such functions. And the factors that govern what physical conformations a protein adopts are primarily determined by the physics of protein folding.

Wilke came to UT Austin as an assistant professor in 2006. He received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Bochum in Germany in 1999, and completed postdoctoral research on biological physics, evolutionary biology and artificial life at Caltech from 2000 to 2005.

To view a complete list of the 2019 recipients of APS Fellowships, visit the APS Fellow Archive.
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Monday, 21 October 2019

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