Functional Protein Dynamics

Course content

This summer school focuses on functional dynamics in proteins occurring on timescales ranging from picoseconds to hours as well as their relation to protein function. Recent innovations in experimental biophysics, including NMR, single molecule studies, X-ray and neutron scattering, and mass spectrometry have pushed the limits for biological studies and it is now possible to investigate dynamic processes on timescales and at a resolution that were previously inaccessible. Together with these developments, computational tools have now matured to a level where they can be used both to predict protein properties and help interpret experiments at the atomic level. Importantly, this synergy between experiments and simulations creates novel, exciting avenues to study the fundamental dynamics that drive protein folding, protein-ligand interactions and allosteric regulation of proteins.


The school brings together frontline scientists in the field of functional dynamics and introduces the students to the cutting edge in biophysical experimentation, in data interpretation and modelling, and the application in the study of functional protein dynamics.


Molecular Biomedicine

Learning outcome

The PhD students will obtain an overview of the methods that can be used to study protein dynamics including NMR spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and computational methods (molecular dynamics, quantum chemistry methods and probabilistic modelling of protein structures). The students will learn the advantages and limitations of the method through discussion of contemporary original literature.

The format of the course is plenary morning sessions with scientific lectures by the invited teachers. In the afternoon there will be group preparations for round table discussions organized on the basis of material provided by the morning’s teachers, followed by three parallel round table discussions chaired, respectively, by the teachers. One day is devoted to student talks. Each of the student participants have to present their work in plenum, and to upload a short summary file of their work prior to the start of the school.

The school will offer 12 lectures and 12 round table discussions chaired by the invited lecturers. The students are required to be active participants in the round table discussions. The teachers will provide the students with literature for their preparation for the round table discussions.

The course material, i.e. papers for the round-table discussions will be made available on the course homepage (will be made available during the summer 2016): summer-school-2016/

MSc degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Physics or related relevant field.

Type of assessment
Course participation under invigilation
Oral examination, 15 min under invigilation
The student participants will present an obligatory oral presentation of their Ph. D. projects and a brief written abstract. In addition the students are expected to participate actively in the teaching and roundtable paper discussions.
Marking scale
completed/not completed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

The students must demonstrate an understanding of the problems being discussed in the round table paper discussions and be able to present their projects in a comprehensible and coherent manner.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 18
  • Class Seminar
  • 8
  • Study Groups
  • 6
  • Colloquia
  • 8
  • Preparation
  • 85
  • English
  • 125