Cyrus Chothia

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Cyrus Chothia
Born Cyrus Homi Chothia
(1942-02-19) February 19, 1942 (age 73)[1]
Alma mater University College London
Thesis The crystal structures of some molecules active at cholinergic nerve receptors (1973)
Doctoral advisor Peter J. Pauling[2]
Doctoral students
Other notable students Arthur Lesk (postdoc)
Notable awards

Cyrus Homi Chothia (b. 19 Feb. 1942)[1] FRS is an emeritus scientist at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB)[12][13] and emeritus fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge.[8][14][15][16][17]


Chothia was educated at Alleyn's School, then went to study at the Durham University graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1965.[1] Chothia then completed a Master of Science degree at Birkbeck College in 1967 and a PhD in from University College London[9] under the supervision of Peter Pauling,[18] the son of Linus Pauling.


After his Ph.D. Chothia worked in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) for three years. He then worked with Michael Levitt at the Weizmann Institute of Science [19][20] followed by two years with Joel Janin at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.[21]

In 1976 Chothia returned to England to work at University College London and the LMB. With Arthur Lesk[22][23] he showed that proteins adapt to mutations by changes in structure.

In 1992 he proposed that most proteins are built of domains that come from a small number of families.[24] He collaborated with Alexey Murzin, Steven Brenner and Tim Hubbard to create the Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP) database,[25][26] a periodic table for all known protein structures. With Julian Gough[5] to create the SUPERFAMILY database[27] which uses Hidden Markov models to identify protein sequences that are related to those of known structures.


Chothia was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2000.[1] His candidacy reads:

In 2015, Chothia was elected a Fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) and was selected to receive the ISCB Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award in honour of his work in using computational methods to understand protein structure.[29][10]

Alongside David Haussler and Michael Waterman, Chothia was awarded the 2015 Dan David Prize for his contributions to the field of bioinformatics.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d CHOTHIA, Cyrus Homi. Who's Who 2014 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Cyrus Chothia at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ Gerstein, M.; Chothia, C. (1991). "Analysis of protein loop closure. Two types of hinges produce one motion in lactate dehydrogenase". Journal of Molecular Biology 220 (1): 133–149. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(91)90387-L. PMID 2067013.  edit
  4. ^ Gough, Julian John Thurstan (2002). Hidden Markov models and their application to genome analysis in the context of protein structure (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  5. ^ a b "Dr. Julian Gough's home page at the University of Bristol". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. 
  6. ^ Bateman, Alexander George (1997). Evolution of the structure and function of the immunoglobulin superfamily (DPhil thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  7. ^ "Dr Alex Bateman - Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. 
  8. ^ a b "Wolfson College: Emeritus Fellow Dr Cyrus Chothia MA MSc FRS". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. 
  9. ^ a b Chothia, Cyrus (1973). The crystal structures of some molecules active at cholinergic nerve receptors (PhD thesis). University College London. 
  10. ^ a b "ISCB Cyrus Chothia, Curtis Huttenhower, and Larry Hunter Named 2015 ISCB Award Winners". Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales among 2015 Dan David Prize winners". Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "Cyrus Chothia: The protein origins of biological complexity, LMB Emeritus". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. 
  13. ^ "Structural genomics and protein structure". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  14. ^ "Cyrus Chothia profile on BiomedExperts". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  15. ^ List of publications from the DBLP Bibliography Server
  16. ^ "cyrus chothia - Google Scholar". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  17. ^ Chothia, C.; Lesk, A. M.; Tramontano, A.; Levitt, M.; Smith-Gill, S. J.; Air, G.; Sheriff, S.; Padlan, E. A.; Davies, D.; Tulip, W. R.; Colman, P. M.; Spinelli, S.; Alzari, P. M.; Poljak, R. J. (1989). "Conformations of immunoglobulin hypervariable regions". Nature 342 (6252): 877–883. Bibcode:1989Natur.342..877C. doi:10.1038/342877a0. PMID 2687698. 
  18. ^ Chothia, C.; Pauling, P. (1969). "On the conformations of hallucinogenic molecules and their correlation". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 63 (4): 1063–1070. doi:10.1073/pnas.63.4.1063. PMC 223427. PMID 4311249. 
  19. ^ Chothia, C.; Levitt, M.; Richardson, D. (1977). "Structure of proteins: Packing of alpha-helices and pleated sheets". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 74 (10): 4130–4134. doi:10.1073/pnas.74.10.4130. PMC 431889. PMID 270659.  edit
  20. ^ Levitt, M.; Chothia, C. (1976). "Structural patterns in globular proteins". Nature 261 (5561): 552–558. Bibcode:1976Natur.261..552L. doi:10.1038/261552a0. PMID 934293.  edit
  21. ^ Sweet, R.; Wright, H.; Janin, J.; Chothia, C.; Blow, D. (1974). "Crystal structure of the complex of porcine trypsin with soybean trypsin inhibitor (Kunitz) at 2.6-A resolution". Biochemistry 13 (20): 4212–4228. doi:10.1021/bi00717a024. PMID 4472048. 
  22. ^ Lesk, A.; Chothia, C. (1980). "How different amino acid sequences determine similar protein structures: The structure and evolutionary dynamics of the globins". Journal of Molecular Biology 136 (3): 225–270. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(80)90373-3. PMID 7373651. 
  23. ^ Lesk, A.; Chothia, C. (1980). "Solvent accessibility, protein surfaces, and protein folding". Biophysical Journal 32 (1): 35–47. Bibcode:1980BpJ....32...35L. doi:10.1016/S0006-3495(80)84914-9. PMC 1327253. PMID 7248454. 
  24. ^ Chothia, C. (1992). "One thousand families for the molecular biologist". Nature 357 (6379): 543–4. doi:10.1038/357543a0. PMID 1608464. 
  25. ^ Hubbard, T.; Murzin, A.; Brenner, S.; Chothia, C. (1997). "SCOP: A structural classification of proteins database". Nucleic Acids Research 25 (1): 236–239. doi:10.1093/nar/25.1.236. PMC 146380. PMID 9016544.  edit
  26. ^ UK government grants awarded to Cyrus Chothia, Research Councils UK
  27. ^ Gough, J.; Chothia, C. (2002). "SUPERFAMILY: HMMs representing all proteins of known structure. SCOP sequence searches, alignments and genome assignments". Nucleic Acids Research 30 (1): 268–272. doi:10.1093/nar/30.1.268. PMC 99153. PMID 11752312. 
  28. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". London: The Royal Society. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  29. ^ "Meet the ISCB Fellows Class of 2015". Retrieved 20 February 2015.