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We strive to go beyond the view of proteins as static structures and appreciate the continual fluctuations they undergo. The Thielges group will apply modern methods of nonlinear spectroscopy to quantify the dynamics of proteins to understand how they contribute to biological function. Proteins function in complex environments and display a range of specificity in molecular recognition. An initial goal of the group will be to elucidate the role of dynamics in the binding mechanisms of proteins. Furthermore, unlike general chemicals, biological molecules are special and interesting because they have evolved. A general interest of the group will be to explore dynamics as a selective pressure in the evolution of proteins within the particular environments where they function.