Thomas D. Schneider
Small photograph of Thomas D. Schneider, November 1995

Thomas D. Schneider
Research Biologist

National Institutes of Health

human donor splice site sequence logo tiny gumball machine
sequence walker for human donor splice junctions
Molecular computer circuit diagram for a NOR gate made
  from one repressor protein blocking two different activator
  proteins.
right handed DNA molecule with striped atoms that
  looks like delicious candy
nanotechnology: Medusa(TM) Sequencer
An arrow bent in a full circle.
Geometry for optimal bistate molecular machines.  Two
  concentric circles are connected by a horizontal line
  segment running from the outer circle on the left, tangent
  to the inner circle in the middle and to the outer circle
  on the right.  Behind the circles are concentric colors in
  a spectrum running red at the center to purple on the edge
  representing lower to higher energy.



National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute (NCI at Frederick)
Gene Regulation and Chromosome Biology Laboratory
Molecular Information Theory Group
Building 539, Room 129A
Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201
Phone: 301-846-5581
Fax: 301-846-6911
Email: schneidt@mail.nih.gov
permanent email: toms@alum.mit.edu (use only if first address fails)
permanent URL: http://alum.mit.edu/www/toms

Biography: Dr. Schneider is a Research Biologist in the Gene Regulation and Chromosome Biology Laboratory, National Cancer Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Schneider received a B.S. in biology at MIT in 1978 and received his Ph.D. in 1984 from the University of Colorado, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. His thesis was on applying Shannon's information theory to DNA and RNA binding sites (Schneider1986). He is continuing this work at NIH as a tenured research biologist. Using information theory, the commonly used consensus sequences can now be replaced with two kinds of graphic: sequence logos and sequence walkers. The walkers can be used to predict whether or not splice junction sequence changes are polymorphisms or mutations and in the latter case the severity of the resulting disease. By introducing the relationship between energy and information, Dr. Schneider is also applying the theory to many other molecular systems. Shannon's theory has two basic equations, one for the uncertainty and the other for the channel capacity. Dr. Schneier has shown how to apply the channel capacity to molecular machines and he used this to compute the isothermal efficiency of a DNA binding protein and light sensing molecules. Suprisingly these efficiencies are near 70%, a result that can be understood by proposing that the molecules function in a high dimensional coding space and that they have evolved to function at channel capacity.

color bar Small icon for Theory of Molecular Machines: physics,
chemistry, biology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory,
genetic engineering, sequence logos, information theory,
electrical engineering, thermodynamics, statistical
mechanics, hypersphere packing, gumball machines, Maxwell's
Daemon, limits of computers


Schneider Lab

origin: 1997 February 6
updated: 2014 Mar 06
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