Peter G. Wolynes, Center for Advanced Study professor of chemistry, physics and biophysics, will deliver the annual Center for Advanced Study Lecture today. He will speak on "An Adventure in Biomolecular Codebreaking" at 8 p.m. at the Tryon Festival Theater, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. "For more than 40 years, we have understood that biological information is encoded in DNA. Genetic biotechnology has been based on the first part of the genetic code that tells how a protein molecule is made, given the information from the DNA. The second part of the genetic code is the topic of my lecture," Wolynes said. "When first formed, proteins are chain molecules that resemble spaghetti, but they can only function when they have folded into an organized crystal-like structure. The problem of understanding function starts with the effort to understand how the three-dimensional structure of a protein molecule is formed, given only the information in the sequence of that molecule. This part of the decoding problem is known as the protein-folding problem. Protein-folding is a spontaneous act of self-organization that can be studied by the methods of theoretical physics and chemistry." Wolynes will discuss the work of his research group toward the solution of the protein-folding problem and how this "new view of protein folding" is supported by recent computer simulations. He will illustrate the group's progress on the practical part of decoding by discussing their predictions of the structure of the protein receptor of the steroid hormones. This protein receptor is involved in many medical problems such as breast cancer and thyroid disease. That particular problem illustrates the interplay between experimental and theoretical work and the way in which basic and applied research are intertwined. The Center for Advanced Study is a special unit of the Graduate College, charged with encouraging creative achievement and scholarship. Appointment to a professorship in the center is the highest recognition that the campus can bestow upon a member of its faculty.