Home Department: Biophysics

Office Address: Beckman Institute, Room 3015, 405 N Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

Office Phone: 217-244-3160

Email Address:


Research Interests

  • Antibody Design Targeting Viral Glycoproteins

  • Due to the limited sensitivity of current diagnostic tools, early detection of Ebola virus directly from saliva has been a challenge since the Ebola outbreak. Targeting viral antigens with antibodies is a strategy used extensively in diagnostic and therapeutic development. Therefore, achieving high-affinity binding plays a crucial role in antibody-based methods for Ebola virus detection. We have developed a design procedure named OptMAVEn-MD that focuses on antibody generation and affinity maturation in silico to identify antibody-like binders that target Ebola virus glycoproteins with high binding affinity.

  • Highly Mobile Membrane Mimetic (HMMM) Model

    The highly mobile membrane-mimetic (HMMM) model has been developed to enhance lipid diffusion and used to facilitate the investigation of lipid interactions with membrane proteins. In the HMMM model, in silico solvents are customized and used to replace phospholipid tails. In our most recent HMMM-CHL model, the solvent parameters have been carefully tuned such that cholesterol (CHL) behavior and dynamics are well maintained compared to conventional membranes. The following video describes how this model can be applied to search for cholesterol binding sites on membrane proteins.

  • Protein-Lipid Interactions