Our group carries out molecular dynamics simulations of proteins and nucleic acids, and helps to develop the Amber suite of computer codes that facilitates such investigations. One feature of computer work is that it is relatively easy to start projects in various areas, and we have group members looking at collagen (a connective tissue protein, in a collaboration with Prof. Jean Baum), at small peptide crystals, at RNA enzymes (in a collaboration with Prof. Darrin York), and at computational drug design, targeted at the SARS virus and other pathogens.
The actual work involves sitting in front of a computer (so you have to like to do that!), and often involves programming. We tend to focus on biochemical problems, but also some work on ionic liquids and on self-assembling micelles. Projects involving quantum chemistry are also available to students who have comlete physical chemistry.
There are two general types of projects. One is for people who have good computer skills and interest (with experience in programming and familiarity with Linux). These people should have completed a year of general chemistry, and a year of organic chemistry is preferred. The second type of project is for people whose background is more from the chemistry side than from computers. They should have completed organic chemistry, and have completed or be enrolled in physical chemistry.
Course Experience: See "qualifications", above.
Current Undergraduate Researchers
- Richard Kim (Chemistry/Computer Science)