Research And Faculty

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Helim Aranda-Espinoza

Associate Professor, Bioengineering

Office: 3138 Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building
Phone: +1-301-405-8250
Email: helim@umd.edu

Research Interests: Mechanobiology, the response of cells to external stresses during healthy and pathological conditions.
Soft matter, biophysics of membranes and the cytoskeleton.

Jayanth R. Banavar

Dean and Professor, College of Mathematical & Natural Sciences

Office: 2300 Symons Hall
Phone: +1-301-405-2316
Email: banavar@umd.edu

Research Interests: Understanding complex systems including proteins, networks of rivers and genes, and ecological communities. Use of ideas and techniques from statistical physics to unravel the simplicity contained within the complexity of systems with many interacting variables which show emergent behavior. The work ranges from molecular machines to ecosystems spanning hundreds of kilometers.

Dorothy Beckett

Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Office: 4506, Wing 5, Chemistry Bldg.
Phone: +1-301-405-1812, 301-314-9121(FAX)
Email: dbeckett@umd.edu

Research Interests: Biophysical Chemistry, coupled equilibria in biological regulation, quantitative analysis of regulatory system behavior, allostery, thermodynamics and kinetics, protein: protein interactions.

Robert Briber

Professor and Associate Dean for Research in Engineering

Office: 2135 Chemical & Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Phone: +1-301-405-7313, 301-314-2029(FAX)
Email: rbriber@umd.edu

Research Interests: RNA and protein folding, X-ray and neutron scattering, bio- and synthetic ploymer complexes.

Daniel Butts

Professor, Biology

Office: 1118 Biosciences Research Building
Phone: +1-301-405-9890
Email: dab@umd.edu

Research Interests: Computational and systems neuroscience; understanding how visual and auditory perception is constructed through computation implemented by neurons and neural circuits.

Marco Colombini

Professor, Biology

Office: 3276 Biology-Psych Bldg.
Phone: +1-301-405-6925, 301-314-9358(FAX)
Email: colombini@umd.edu

Research Interests: Molecular structure and physiological function of membrane channels, especially mitrocondrial channels. These are involved in mitrochondria-mediated protosis: 1) VDAC, a channel that controls the flow of metabolites; 2) ceramide channels formed by self-assembly of a lipid, ceramide.

Theodore Kwaku Dayie

Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Office: 2117 Biomolecular Sciences Building
Phone: +1-301-405-3165
Email: dayie@umd.edu

Research Interests: RNAs as dynamic signaling molecules and as new drug targets. Structural and dynamic basis of molecular recognition in RNA macromolecular complexes. Methodology: Non-radioactive isotope (13C/15N/2H) labeling technologies, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, relaxation, and mathematical modeling.

José A. Feijó

Professor, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

Office: 0118 Bioscience Research Building.
Phone: +1-301-405-9746, 301-314-9489(FAX)
Email: jfeijo@umd.edu

Research Interests: MResearch in our group is focused on the development of integrated models of apical cell growth and morphogenesis, using the pollen tube as a biological model, ion dynamics as an experimental paradigm and theoretical modeling as an integrative tool. Pollen is the male gametophyte of plants, and therefore all the biological mechanisms we unravel can be integrated in terms of function and evolution and adds to our understanding of Plant Reproduction. We use Arabidopsis, lily, tobacco and tomato as model species for higher plants, and the moss Physcomitrella as an evolutionary correlate of apical growth evolution. To characterize ion choreographies we use a combination of methods, including imaging, electrophysiology, and molecular genetics.

David Fushman

Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies

Office: 1121 Biomolecular Sciences Bldg
Phone: +1-301-405-3461, 301-324-0386(FAX)
Email: fushman@umd.edu

Research Interests: Proteins as dynamic molecular machines at the atomic resolution. Structure, dynamics, and recognition in multi-domain proteins and protein complexes. Intracellular signaling, especially in ubiquitin-mediated pathways. Methodology: Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and relaxation, small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS), molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and physical and mathematical modeling.

Michelle Girvan

Associate Professor, CMNS-Physics

Office: 3327 A.V. Williams Building.
Phone: +1-301-405-1610
Email: girvan@umd.edu

Research Interests: Structure and dynamics of gene regulatory networks, genome assembly, gene annotation networks.

Patrick Kanold

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Office: 1116 Biosciences Building
Phone: +1 (301) 405-5741
Email: pkanold@umd.edu

Research Interests: Early brain development, especially how transient and other early circuits shape the functional organization of the brain and how these circuits control the critical period.

Jeffery B. Klauda

Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office: 2113 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building
Phone: +1-301-405-1320
Email: jbklauda@umd.edu

Research Interests: My lab uses molecular simulations to understand the structure and function of biological membranes, membrane proteins, and sugar-binding proteins. Quantum mechanical methods are used to develop accurate force fields used in molecular dynamic simulations to describe molecule interactions of the complex and diverse lipidome. Our main interest in transmembrane proteins is the study of efflux proteins that lead to multi-drug resistant bacteria. Other research areas in my lab are lipid transport proteins that peripherally bind to membranes and facilitate membrane contact sites, developing organism and organelle membrane models, and polysaccharide lyases.

Doron Levy

Professor and Associate Chair, Mathematics

Office: 1105 Math Building
Phone: +1-301-405-5140, 301-314-6674(FAX)
Email: dlevy@umd.edu

Research Interests: Mathematical modeling of biological systems, immunology, cancer dynamics, drug resistance, cell motility.

George H. Lorimer

Distinguished University Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Institute for Physical Science and Technology

Office: 2113 Biomolecular Sciences Bldg.
Phone: +1-301-405-1828, 301-324-0386(FAX)
Email: glorimer@umd.edu

Research Interests: Protein Folding, Allostery, Molecular Chaperones, Mechanistic Enzymology.

Wolfgang Losert

Assocate Professor, Physics, Institute for Physical Science and Technology

Office: 3359 AV Williams Bldg.
Phone: +1-301-405-0629
Email: wlosert@umd.edu

Research Interests: Cell dynamics; soft materials that are driven far from equilibrium; how mechanical forces and surface topography contribute to the operation of signaling pathways in cell motility; cancer dynamics.

Silvina Matysiak

Assistant Professor, Fischell Department of Bioengineering

Office: 2230 Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building
Phone: +1 (301) 405-0313
Email: matysiak@umd.edu

Research Interests: My group aims to explore how molecular behavior dictates macroscopic-scale properties of biological systems. We utilize statistical thermodynamics to estimate thermophysical properties from computer simulations on a molecular level. We model self-assembly of soft materials such as surfactants, proteins, lipids and polysaccharides. We particular focus on characterizing molecular mechanisms that are relevant in many neurodegenerative diseases and certain types of cancer.

Garegin (Garyk) Papoian

Monroe Martin Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Institute for Physical Science and Technology

Office: Room 2216, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: +1-301-405-8667, 301-314-9121(FAX)
Email: gpapoian@umd.edu

Research Interests: Biophysics of cell motility and actin polymerization; Chromatin folding and dynamics; Protein physics, functional landscapes, allostery.
Group Web Page

Giuliano Scarcelli

Assistant Professor, Bioengineering

Office: 2218 Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building
Phone: +1-301-314-1689
Email: scarc@umd.edu

Research Interests: Our lab focuses on developing imaging modalities to map properties (e.g. stiffness, force, mass) that are difficult or impossible to measure with traditional techniques but with important biomedical applications. In doing this, we cover all stages of the translational spectrum: we study what light is; we try to understand its interaction with tissue, cells and biomaterials; we develop advanced optical instrumentation; and, we use our instruments for biological research and in clinical trials.

Kimberly Stroka

Assistant Professor, Bioengineering

Office: 1223 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building
Phone: +1 (301)314-18136
Email: kstroka@umd.edu

Research Interests: Quantitative cell mechanobiology; biomechanics; microfluidic devices for modeling physiological systems; nano/microtechnology; live cell imaging

Sergei Sukharev

Professor, Biology, Institute for Physical Science and Technology

Office: 3216 Biology-Psych Bldg.
Phone: +1-301-405-6923, 301-314-9358(FAX)
Email: sukharev@umd.edu

Research Interests: Biophysics of mechano-sensation and osmoregulation, structure-function relationships and conformational transitions in mechano-sensitive channels, lipid-protein interactions and surface modifications of membranes that affect mechano-transduction and signaling.

Devarajan (Dave) Thirumalai

Distinguished University Professor, Institute for Physical Science and Technology

Office: 2116 Inst. for Phys. Sci. & Tech. Bldg.
Phone: +1-301-405-4803, 301-314-9404(FAX)
Email: thirum@umd.edu

Research Interests: Theoretical and computational approaches to biomolecular folding and dynamics; folding mechanisms of proteins and RNA; molecular machines; protein misfolding and aggretion.

Arpita Upadhyaya

Institute for Physical Science and Technology Physics

Office: 0110 Inst. for Phys. Sci. & Tech. Bldg.
Phone: +1-301-405-9939, 301-314-9404(FAX)
Email: arpitau@umd.edu

Research Interests: Physics of cross linked biopolymer networks; force generation in cells of the immune system and cancer; mechanics of cellular cytoskeleton and cell membrane; how biochemistry and signaling networks determine physical responses of the cell and cytoskeleton. Techniques include high resolution fluorescence imaging, magnetic manipulation, traction force microscopy.

John Weeks

Distinguished University Professor, Institute for Physical Science and Technology

Office: 1108 Inst. for Phys. Sci & Tech. Bldg.
Phone: +1-301-405-4802
Email: jdw@umd.edu

Research Interests: Theoretical Studies of inhomogeneous and confined fluids. Have developed a new Local Molecular Field (LMF) theory of nonuniform liquids.