Theme for 2018-2019: CRISPR and anti-CRISPR Proteins

This year's event focuses on understanding CRISPR, a technology that has revolutionized molecular biosciences. Students will learn about identification of this adaptive immune system in nature, how it has been modified for gene editing, and identification of anti-CRISPR proteins

The Protein Modeling event is a formal collaboration between MSOE and RCSB PDB. The regional, state, and national events are sponsored by 3D Molecular Designs and Vertex.

For information on the 2019 Protein Modeling Competition please visit the MSOE site.

A model of the CRISPR Cas9 complex

There are three parts in the Protein Modeling competition:

Part 1: Pre-Build Model

Every team must submit a pre-build model, usually impounded in the morning on the day of the competition. The pre-build model is worth 40% of a team's final score for the event.

Before the event:
  • Build a model of the assigned part(s) of your molecule found in PDB entry, adding details that represent functionally important parts of the structure.
  • Additions to the model should highlight the significance of structure to function of the protein. (For example, do not highlight all amino acids in the protein).
  • The pre-build model will be created using a purchased "pre-build" Mini-Toober kit from 3D Molecular Designs, or with found materials of the participant's choosing such as KwikTwist tie-down ropes.
  • The same pre-build model will be used at each level of the competition (invitational, regional, state and national). Participants will take their pre-build model home after each event. Participants are allowed to make improvements or enhancements to your model as the team progresses through the various levels of competition.
  • The pre-build model must be impounded prior to the beginning of the event, usually the morning of the event.
  • The pre-build model should be submitted with written description (500 words or less, single spaced, 10-point font) of the model's colors and creative additions. Note that the format of this description has changed from prior years. Please check your copy of the rules to make sure you are using the most up-to-date version.
Part 2: On-Site Model

Every team will create and on-site model of the specific assigned region of the protein structure on the day of the event. The on-site model is worth 30% of a team's final score for the event.

  • Each level of the competition (invitational, regional, state and national) will have its own specific protein structure for the on-site model.
  • Participants will be assigned the specific regions of the protein that they need to model at the event.
  • Participants will not be allowed to take their on-site models home after each event
  • The Mini-Toober and any additional materials for the on-site model will be provided to each team at the time of the competition in the regional, state, and national competitions.
  • Participants will only have the competition time period to complete the model.
Part 3: On-Site Exam

Each team will complete an on-site exam during the competition. The on-site written exam is worth 30% of a team's final score for the event.

  • Exams may cover topics related to the structure, function, importance and history of the protein(s) being discussed. Questions may also be asked from the relevant rcsb.org Molecule of the Month articles, or basic concepts of protein structure and biochemistry.
  • Carefully reviewing all sections of the "Participant Resources" on the MSOE CBM website is the best way to prepare for the on-site exam.
  • Participants will only have the competition time period to complete their on-site exam.
  • Participant Resources:
    Carefully review all three sections at MSOE.
    • Overview of the Event: This section describes the main parts of the competition, levels of competition (regional, state, and national), and some background information about the Science Olympiad, RCSB Protein Data Bank, and the Molecule of the Month articles at PDB-101
    • This Year's Theme: This section provides
    • Building your physical protein models: This section provides instructions for building the protein models, and for using the visualization environment that used for the competition. In this section, you can find quick pointers on how to decide which residues of the model are important for its function and/or structural stability. The Pre-build Visualization Environment and a practice visualization environment can also be found here, while additional model building resources from the RCSB PDB can be found here
  • Supervisor Resources:
    In this section, you will find information that you will need as a Science Olympiad Protein Modeling Event Supervisor. For example: