Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis campus only


Computer Science

First Advisor

Matthew Hibbs

Second Advisor

Britton Horn

Third Advisor

Seth Fogarty


Protein visualization is a valuable tool that aids in both scientific research and education. A protein’s structure determines its function, so a model of the physical structure of a protein is useful to fully understand its purpose. Many fields rely on understanding protein function, from drug discovery to generating electricity out of ambient humidity. Most protein modeling software such as Jmol, UCSF Chimera, and Foldit are used on two-dimensional monitors. Two-dimensional displays of three-dimensional objects have several limitations, the major of which is that they lack information on model depth. To get accurate insight into the shape of proteins, and therefore to their function, a three-dimensional display is necessary. Virtual reality (VR) provides an interface where this is possible. VR can provide a three-dimensional view of models, offering researchers and students something they could not achieve before: a holistic view of protein models. With VR technologies becoming more prevalent in research and education, VR viewing and manipulating of protein models is a natural next step in understanding proteins. This project offers a VR protein viewer which allows its users to hold and move any protein accessible in the RCSB Protein Data Bank (PDB).