Michael Thorpe

Emeritus Professor
Faculty
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Biography

In 2003, Michael Thorpe joined  Arizona State University as Foundation Professor, and later became the founding director of the Center for Biological Physics. He previously held faculty appointments at Yale University and Michigan State University where he retired as University Distinguished Professor. His research interests are in the theory of disordered systems, with a special emphasis on properties that are determined by geometry and topology. He has a research background in condensed matter theory, and in recent years has developed the mathematical theory of flexibility and mobility for use in glassy networks, and also in crystalline materials with disorder. His has alsom worked  in biological physics. The flexible regions in proteins and protein complexes are determined from the x-ray crystallographic structure. These are used to determine dynamical pathways between different protein conformations using geometric simulation techniques. Proteins are stable enough to maintain a three-dimensional structure, but flexible enough for biological function. 

The aim of all his research work is to find underlying topological and structural principles and unifying concepts. He is currently visiting Professor of Physics at Oxford University (2012-2018) in England for part of each year.

Education

D.Phil. University of Oxford, U.K. 1968

 

Research Interests

Materials Physics and Biophysics

Presentations

  • M.F. Thorpe. Flexibility in Networks. Workshop on Computational Geometry, Troy, NY (Oct 2008).
  • Michael Thorpe. New Flexible Materials. Design and Synthesis of New Materials, Santa Barbara, CA (Aug 2008).
  • Michale Thorpe. Flexibility and Motion. Ridity and Flexibility in Biomolecules, Banff, Canada (Jul 2008).
  • Micahel Thorpe. Recent Progress in Rigidity Theoy. BIRS Workshop on Rigidity Thoery, Banff, Canada (Jul 2008).
  • Mike Thorpe. Beyond Crystallography: Structure of nanostructured materials. Workshop in Tempe, AZ (May 2008).
  • Mike Thorpe. Geometrical Simulation Techniques. Workshop in Tempe, AZ (May 2008).
  • Mike Thorpe. Flexibility in Materials. Colloquium at Harvard Physics Department (Mar 2008).
  • Mike Thorpe. Flexibility in Networks. Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (Feb 2008).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Proteins - the First Clusters?. Clusters - A Bridge Across Disciplines (Dec 2006).
  • Thorpe, Michael. New computational Approaches in Simulating the Motion of Flexible Frameworks. Seventh World Congress on Computational Mechanics (Jul 2006).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility and Mobility in Biomolecules. Forth Stig Lundqvist Conference (Jun 2006).
  • Thorpe, Michael. From Solid State to Biophysics. International Conference (Jun 2006).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility and Coarse Graing in Biomolecules. 32nd Steenbock Symposium (May 2006).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecular Complexes. American Physical Society meeting (Mar 2006).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Coarse-graining Methods for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics. Biophysical Society Meeting (Feb 2006).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Geometric Simulation methods. Barbados Workshop on "Topics in Computational Geometry" (Jan 2006).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Application of Cheminformatics & Chemical Modelling to Drug Discovery (Oct 2005).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Biomolecular Flexibility. Bridging Time and Length Scales in Materials Science and Biophysics (Sep 2005).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexible Docking and Virtual Screening in Drug Design. International Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society (MGMS) Meeting Biomolecular Simulations (Sep 2005).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Nanoscience at the intersection of Physics and Biology (Aug 2005).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. 5th International Discussion Meeting on Relaxations in Complex Systems: Systems (Jul 2005).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. (Apr 2005).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Symposium: 25th Anniversary of Condensed-Matter Theory at ISIS and the Rutherford Appleton Laborato (Apr 2005).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. New Approaches to Drug Design and Discovery, Schloss Rauischholzhausen (Mar 2005).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Structure of Nanocystals (Dec 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Prager Symposium (Oct 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael, Hespenheide, Brandon. Virus capsids. Viruses & Protein Cages as Materials Meeting (Aug 2004).
  • Hespenheide, Brandon, Thorpe, Michael. Virus Capsids. Flexibility in complex materials (Thorpe Feschrift) (Aug 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Computational and Experimental Challenges in Hybrid Physical, Chemical and Biological Systems (Aug 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Banff workshop on Mathematics and Biology (Jul 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Calgary workshop on Rigidity (Jul 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Workshop on Networks in Physics and Biology (Jul 2004).
  • Hespenheide, Brandon, Thorpe, Michael. Protein Unfolding Pathways. From Solid State To BioPhysics II (Jun 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. From Solid State To BioPhysics II (Jun 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael, Hespenheide, Brandon. Virus Capsids. Workshop on Mathematical Virology (Jun 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Workshop on Nano-Scale Materials : From Science to Technology (Apr 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biomolecules. Dynamic Energy Landscapes and Functional Systems (Mar 2004).
  • Thorpe, Michael. Biomolecules: Flexibility and Function. Physics Graduate Students
  • Thorpe, Michael. Biophysics: Is it interesting?. SPS
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility and Function in Proteins. Workshop on Mathematics and Biology
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Biological Macromolecules. Workshop on Nanoscale Materials: From Science to Technology
  • Thorpe, Michael. Biomolecules: Flexibility and Function. Biochemsitry Graduate Students
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility and Biological Function. SPS
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Glaases and Proteins. NSF workshop on Reticular Chemistry
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Glasses and Proteins. Current Topics in Physics Symposium
  • Thorpe, Michael. History of Network Models. Conference on Fluctuation Electron Microscopy & Nanoscale Ordering in Amorphous Materials
  • Thorpe, Michael. Macromolecular Flexibility. Ninth International Workshop on Disordered Systems
  • Thorpe, Michael. Network Flexibility. Brass Ring
  • Thorpe, Michael. Protein Flexibility. ACS meeting
  • Thorpe, Michael. Protein Flexibility and Folding. APS regional meeting
  • Thorpe, Michael. Protein Flexibility and Folding. International Meeting on Clusters and Nanoassemblies: Physical and Biological Systems
  • Thorpe, Michael. Protein Unfolding: Rigidity Lost. APS March meeting
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Proteins and Protein Complexes. From Solid State to Biophysics II; The Role of Inhomogenities in sold, Soft and Bio-matter
  • Thorpe, Michael. Flexibility in Virus Capsids. Viruses & Protein Cages as Materials
  • Thorpe, Michael. Network Flexibility. Workshop on Networks in Physics and Biology
  • Thorpe, Michael. Protein Flexibility and Function. Dynamic Energy Landscapes and Functional Systems
  • Laubichler, Manfred, Thorpe, Michael. Reductionism and Emergence in Science. Science Cafe