The focus of our research is on the phenomenon of the structural disorder of proteins. It has been recognized that regions of proteins or even full-length proteins exist and function without well-defined 3D structures, which challenged the classical structure-function paradigm and called for studies aiming at understanding this phenomenon in detail. These studies have shown that structural disorder is prevalent in eukaryotic proteomes, disordered proteins carry out unique functions and they play important roles in serious diseases, such as cancer and neurodegeneration. Recently, the focus of the lab turned to understanding the role of structural disorder in liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of proteins in cell physiology and disease, with a primary focus on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Peter Tompa

Group Leader
VIB group leader since 2011
VIB scientific director 2011-2015
Deputy Director Inst. Enzymology, Hungary, 2007-2009
PI, Inst. Enzymology, Budapest, Hungary, 2006-2011
Postdoc in ECUST Univ. China - Weizmann Inst. Israel - St. Jude Children's Hosp., US - Tokyo Univ., Japan
D.Sc. Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, 2006

Research areas

Structural biology Systems biology Human diseases Computational biology

Research Focus

The study of structural disorder has already progressed way beyond simply establishing the disordered status of a protein. The current idea is that detailed experimental and theoretical characterization of the structural ensemble of disordered proteins in isolation, their structure in complex with their physiological partner(s), and the thermodynamics and kinetics of their interactions with their partners, whether stable (like in complexes) or fuzzy and transient (like in phase-separated bodies), hold the key to understanding these proteins and extending the structure –function paradigm to the disordered state. In this spirit, we undertake three different lines of research to push the frontiers of the field of structural disorder.

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The Peter Tompa Lab can only thrive thanks to the dedication and commitment of its people, no matter what their function or seniority.


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