Cyrus Chothia

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Cyrus Chothia
Born Cyrus Homi Chothia
(1942-02-19) February 19, 1942 (age 73)[1]
Alma mater
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)[27][28] and emeritus fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge.[23][29][30][31][32][33][34]


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[24] under the supervision of Peter Pauling,[35] 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[36] at the Weizmann Institute of Science [37][38] followed by two years with Joel Janin at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.[39]

In 1976 Chothia returned to England to work at University College London and the LMB. With Arthur Lesk[40][41] 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.[42] He collaborated with Alexey Murzin, Steven Brenner and Tim Hubbard to create the Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP) database,[43][44] a periodic table for all known protein structures. With Julian Gough[17] he created the SUPERFAMILY database[45] 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.[47][25]

Alongside David Haussler and Michael Waterman, Chothia was awarded the 2015 Dan David Prize for his contributions to the field of bioinformatics.[26]


  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. ^ Al-Lazikani, Bissan (1999). Canonical structures of immunoglobulins and T cell receptors (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  4. ^ "Dr Bissan Al-Lazikani Team leader". The Institute of Cancer Research. Archived from the original on 2015-03-05. 
  5. ^ Al-Lazikani, B; Lesk, A. M.; Chothia, C (2000). "Canonical structures for the hypervariable regions of T cell alphabeta receptors". Journal of Molecular Biology 295 (4): 979–95. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1999.3358. PMID 10656805. 
  6. ^ Bashton, Matthew (2004). Functional analysis of domain combinations (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  7. ^ "Dr Matthew Bashton: Research Associate: INSTINCT project". Archived from the original on 2015-03-05. 
  8. ^ Bashton, M; Chothia, C (2002). "The geometry of domain combination in proteins". Journal of Molecular Biology 315 (4): 927–39. doi:10.1006/jmbi.2001.5288. PMID 11812158. 
  9. ^ Bateman, Alexander George (1997). Evolution of the structure and function of the immunoglobulin superfamily (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  10. ^ "Dr Alex Bateman - Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. 
  11. ^ Bateman, A; Eddy, S. R.; Chothia, C (1996). "Members of the immunoglobulin superfamily in bacteria". Protein Science 5 (9): 1939–41. doi:10.1002/pro.5560050923. PMC 2143528. PMID 8880921. 
  12. ^ Bateman, A; Chothia, C (1995). "Outline structures for the extracellular domains of the fibroblast growth factor receptors". Nature structural biology 2 (12): 1068–74. PMID 8846218. 
  13. ^ Brenner, Steven Elliot (1996). Molecular propinquity : evolutionary and structural relationships of proteins (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  14. ^ Gerstein, Mark Bender (1992). Protein recognition : surfaces and conformational change (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 2015-03-11. 
  17. ^ a b "Dr. Julian Gough's home page at the University of Bristol". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. 
  18. ^ Hill, Emma Elizabeth (2002). Evolution of protein families: genome sequences and three dimensional structures (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  19. ^ "Emma Hill's Homepage". University of California, Berkeley. Archived from the original on 2006-07-13. 
  20. ^ Teichmann, Sarah Amalia (1999). Genome evolution : analysing proteomes with new methods (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. 
  21. ^ Park, J; Teichmann, S. A.; Hubbard, T; Chothia, C (1997). "Intermediate sequences increase the detection of homology between sequences". Journal of Molecular Biology 273 (1): 349–54. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1997.1288. PMID 9367767. 
  22. ^ Teichmann, S. A.; Park, J; Chothia, C (1998). "Structural assignments to the Mycoplasma genitalium proteins show extensive gene duplications and domain rearrangements". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 95 (25): 14658–63. PMC 24505. PMID 9843945. 
  23. ^ a b "Wolfson College: Emeritus Fellow Dr Cyrus Chothia MA MSc FRS". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. 
  24. ^ a b Chothia, Cyrus (1973). The crystal structures of some molecules active at cholinergic nerve receptors (PhD thesis). University College London. 
  25. ^ a b "ISCB Cyrus Chothia, Curtis Huttenhower, and Larry Hunter Named 2015 ISCB Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2015-02-11. 
  26. ^ a b "Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales among 2015 Dan David Prize winners". Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  27. ^ "Cyrus Chothia: The protein origins of biological complexity, LMB Emeritus". Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. 
  28. ^ "Structural genomics and protein structure". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  29. ^ "Cyrus Chothia profile on BiomedExperts". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  30. ^ List of publications from the DBLP Bibliography Server
  31. ^ "cyrus chothia - Google Scholar". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  32. ^ 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. 
  33. ^ Lewis, T. E.; Sillitoe, I; Andreeva, A; Blundell, T. L.; Buchan, D. W.; Chothia, C; Cozzetto, D; Dana, J. M.; Filippis, I; Gough, J; Jones, D. T.; Kelley, L. A.; Kleywegt, G. J.; Minneci, F; Mistry, J; Murzin, A. G.; Ochoa-Montaño, B; Oates, M. E.; Punta, M; Rackham, O. J.; Stahlhacke, J; Sternberg, M. J.; Velankar, S; Orengo, C (2015). "Genome3D: Exploiting structure to help users understand their sequences". Nucleic Acids Research 43 (Database issue): D382–6. doi:10.1093/nar/gku973. PMID 25348407. 
  34. ^ Chothia, C; Gough, J; Vogel, C; Teichmann, S. A. (2003). "Evolution of the protein repertoire". Science 300 (5626): 1701–3. doi:10.1126/science.1085371. PMID 12805536. 
  35. ^ 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. 
  36. ^ "Cyrus H. Chothia, Chemistry Tree". Archived from the original on 2015-02-27. 
  37. ^ 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. 
  38. ^ 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. 
  39. ^ 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. 
  40. ^ 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. 
  41. ^ 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. 
  42. ^ Chothia, C. (1992). "One thousand families for the molecular biologist". Nature 357 (6379): 543–4. doi:10.1038/357543a0. PMID 1608464. 
  43. ^ 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. 
  44. ^ UK government grants awarded to Cyrus Chothia, Research Councils UK
  45. ^ 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. 
  46. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". London: The Royal Society. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  47. ^ "Meet the ISCB Fellows Class of 2015". Retrieved 20 February 2015.