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Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Computing and Information Science

Vice-Principal (Research)

 SUZANNE FORTIER

B.Sc., 1972, Ph.D., 1976, McGill University;

Postdoctoral Associate, 1976-1978, Medical Foundation of Buffalo, Inc.;

Research Associate, 1978-1979, National Research Council of Canada;

Research Scientist, 1980-1982, Medical Foundation of Buffalo, Inc.

(613) 533-2654

e-mail: fortiers@post.queensu.ca 

Crystallographic studies are at the forefront of efforts to characterize and understand biological processes at the molecular level. Our own research focuses on the theory and application of X-ray crystallography. In particular, we are developing and integrating mathematical and artificial intelligence strategies to facilitate the determination of protein crystal structures. Specific projects include:

Molecular Scene Analysis:

The focus and long-term objective of the Molecular Scene Analysis project is to design and implement a knowledge-based system for determining protein crystal structures. The approach we are following is based on the combination of direct-methods and artificial-intelligence strategies. It rephrases the process of protein crystal structure determination as an iterative and hierarchical molecular scene analysis, which is initiated through the direct methods and is guided by pattern-recognition techniques and rules and heuristics derived from chemistry and crystallography. Short-term objectives in this project include the construction of a protein knowledge base, the implementation of routines for the automated interpretation of protein electron density maps and the development of machine learning techniques for applications to crystallographic data.

Direct Methods for Protein Structure Determination:

Fundamental research in the theory and applications of direct methods is carried out so as to extend the power of these probabilistic tools to the determination of protein structures.

Crystal Structure Determination Projects:Several crystal structure analyses are conducted in the laboratory, principally on organic and organometallic compounds. We have, for example, been engaged in a systematic study of crown ether complexes exhibiting unusual host:guest ratios so as to relate structural and stoichiometric features to host, guest, anion and solvent effects.