Graduate advisor: Prof. Gustavo Caetano-Anolles, Crop Sciences
My research focuses on the relationship between protein dynamics and the structure-function paradigm from an evolutionary point of view.
The flexible regions of proteins, the loop structures, have been found to play a critical role in protein function. Therefore, I use protein loop structures in Molecular Dynamics Simulations that I perform on a high performance computing platform, the NCSA Blue Waters. This dynamics data is then annotated using protein function and structure data as well as sophisticated evolutionary timelines developed in our lab, for studying the history of how dynamics impacts function.
My ultimate aim is to uncover evolutionary drivers operating at a scale of billions of years by looking at biophysical changes at the nanosecond to microsecond scale.