Group Members


Marion Sauer

Former Post-Doctoral Fellow

PhD in Chemical and Physical Biology, Vanderbilt University, USA
marion.f.sauer [ at ]

Research Interests:

  • Protein multi-state design
  • Structural bioinformatics
  • Viral evolution
  • Epitope prediction of viral glycoproteins


Collaboration with Crowe Lab:

Project Description:

My current research focus is to establish a novel structural bioinformatic strategy to aid in the rapid identification of cross-reactive epitopes by efficiently evaluating the structural viability of potential escape mutations of viral surface glycoproteins and defining the biophysical properties that give rise to conserved sites of vulnerability. I use the RECON multi-state design of viral glycoprotein ensembles to determine which amino acids are tolerated, i.e. energetically favorable, to assume the conformations necessary for proper host-cell attachment and fusion. I previously demonstrated that this method can be used to closely approximate the mutation preferences selected in evolution, and I am currently using this approach as a means to more robustly predict sites of protein sequence conservation and possible escape mutations within the surface spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related viruses. Additionally, I am developing a novel discontinuous B-cell epitope prediction method using machine learning techniques that incorporates biophysical properties of flexible proteins to accurately discern whether or not a protein residue will or will not form a broadly-neutralizing epitope.

Publication Link: