Ph.D., University of Munich, 1965
Lothar Schäfer and his coworkers are interested in applying Computational Chemistry to the structural and dynamical properties of proteins. Recently we developed an algorithm that allows predicting backbone bond lengths and angles in proteins from first principles (i.e. ab initio calculations of peptides) with accuracy similar to that afforded by high resolution protein crystallography. In cooperation with Prof. Kris van Alsenoy of the University of Antwerp in Belgium, an investigation is under way to study the normal modes of vibration of proteins as a basis of modeling protein folding mechanisms.
In a second project the general quantum nature of molecules is explored as a basis to support the pre-Darwinian view of evolution by natural law. Pre-Darwinian biologists believed that life forms are necessary and not contingent, and they wanted to explain the diversity of life forms by natural law, not by natural selection. As described in a series of recent papers (Lothar Schäfer, Zygon, 41(3), (2006) 505-532; ibid. 573-582; ibid. ; ibid. 593-598.) these views have found new support in the quantum nature of molecules.