Laboratory of Protein Physics

Alexei V. Finkelstein

Ph.D. 1976, D.Sc. (1991).

Professor of the Moscow State University.

Head of the Laboratory of Protein Physics (1999).

Awarded by the State Prize of Russia in Science & Technology (1999).

Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2008).

Awarded by medal of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland", Class 2 (2024).


Oleg B. Ptitsyn (1929-1999)

Organizer of the Laboratory of Protein Physics at the Institute of Protein Research and its Head from 1967 till 1999.

The founder of the Russian School of Protein Physics.

Ph.D., D.Sc., Professor, Member of Academia Europaea.


Main achievements:

The molten globule state, a new physical state of the protein molecule, has been theoretically predicted, experimentally discovered and characterized in detail. This discovery allowed understanding of physical nature of protein denaturation. The folding-intermediate state other than the molten globule (“pre-molten globe”) has been found and investigated.

It has been proposed and experimentally demonstrated that the molten globule state is involved in some physiological processes and may be involved in some genetic diseases. It has been shown that the molten globule state can be formed at mild denaturing conditions in the cell.

A molecular theory of polypeptide and protein secondary structure has been developed, and a theory of its packing into a protein globule has been suggested.

A general theory of protein architecture has been developed. This theory forms a basis of modern rational classification of protein structures.

The first artificial protein with  a new architecture and topology, ”albebetin”, has been constructed and expressed in a cell-free system; later on, some biological functions have been grafted to this artificial protein.

The famous “Levinthal” paradox of protein folding (which seemed to preclude finding of the most stable protein structure among zillions of alternatives in any reasonable time) has been solved. As a result, a general theory of protein folding has been developed, which paved a way to theories and algorithms searching the protein folding nuclei and calculating protein folding rates.