Members of the Lab

Postdoctoral


Michael Kio

Ph.D. Cranfield University, United Kingdom (2015)
Aerospace Research (Computational Fluid Dynamics)

Research Topics

Mike's research focuses on nanoparticle interaction with lipid bilayers for studies of drug delivery


Min-Kang Hsieh

Ph.D. Columbia University (2018)
Chemical Engineering M.S. National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan (Chemical Engineering, 2008)

Research Topics

Min-Kang's research focuses on two areas of interest. He is doing research on some COVID-19 associated proteins that form oligomers that are important for the virus infection and he is probing the mechanism and structure in collaboration with Dr. Berger's lab at UVA. Min-Kang is also doing work on lipid membrane asymmetry with a focus on the inner membrane of Gram Negative bacteria.


Sharmistha Karmakar

Ph.D. Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata, Inida (2019)
Computational Chemistry (Organic/Surface Reactions: Theoretical)
M.S. IIT Kanpur, India (Chemistry, 2012)

Research Topics

Sharmistha's research focuses on studies of Osh4 binding to anionic membrane models to probe the formation of membrane contact sites and how lipid composition influences protein binding.

Graduate Students


Mahdi Ghorbani

Ph.D. Student at University of Maryland-College Park (Chemical Engineering 2017-)
B.S. University of Tehran (Chemical Engineering)

Research Topics

Mahdi is started his research on studies to improve yeast membrane chemical tolerance in collaboration with Laura Jarboe at Iowa State University. He has taken this research to test methods to estimate cell membrane permeability. Mahdi is involved in many projects such as antifugal peptides (in collaboration with Dr. Karlsson's lab), protein aggregration (in collaboration with Dr. Woehl's lab), and QM/MM methods with Dr. Bernard Brooks at NIH. He is also doing research on COVID-19 focusing on RBD/ACE2 interaction.


Yalun Yu

Ph.D. Student at University of Maryland-College Park (Biophysics 2017-)
B.S. Fudan University, China (Physics)

Research Topics

Yalun was a biophysics rotation student with past experience with molecular simulation. In my lab, he worked on modeling the Pseudomonas aeruginosa inner membrane with general interest in membrane properties in comparison with E. coli and applications to later look at mechanosensitive transporters. He is now doing research on lipid force field development in collaboration with Dr. Rich Pastor (NIH) on the next generation lipid force field and continuing his work on modeling complex membranes such as that of plants.


Ruixing Wang

Ph.D. Student at University of Maryland-College Park (Chemistry 2017-, co-advisor: Prof. Tiwary)
M.S. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (Chemistry)
B.S. Shandong University, China (Chemistry)

Research Topics

Ruixing has been focusing research on metal-ion force field development and PS-lipids. This will invovle developing models with pair-wise additive and polarizable force fields and comparing QM with FTIR experiments. He will also use enchanced sampling techniques on these strong binding ions. Ruixing is also involved in several side projects on force field optimization with Dr. Wonpil Im (Lehigh U) and Dr. Sukharev (UMD) on diazirine.


Tejaswi Tammareddy

Ph.D. Student at University of Maryland-College Park (2019-)
M.S. Student at University of Maryland-College Park (2016-2019)
B.S. Andhra University, India

Research Topics

Tejaswi is interested in using simulations to probe biotech applications. Her current research is on CDK5 with its importance to neurological diseases. She is working with Dr. Cardone (NIST) on investigating inhibotors of the toxic p25 cleaved product of CDK5.


Robert Allsopp

Ph.D. Student at University of Maryland-College Park (2019-)
B.S. University of Maryland-College Park (Chemical Enginereing)

Research Topics

Rob is currently studying membrane active peptides from the Osh4 protein that are involved in how this protein binds to yeast cell organelles. He is aiming to discover new binding motifs of this protein to further our understanding of intracellular lipid transport via membrane contact sites. He is also working on continuing Tyler Cline's work on an antimicrobial peptide in collaboration with Dr. S-T. Nagle at CMU.


Jiyeon Min

Ph.D. Student at University of Maryland-College Park (Biophysics; 2019-)
B.Eng. Kwangwoon University, Seoul, South Korea (Electronics & Communication Engineering, 2017)

Research Topics

Jiyeon is working as a co-advised student in Dr. Brooks' Lab at NIH. She is currently a biophysics student in my lab focused on measuring the free energy of binding of inositol molecules to model Arg peptides. Our goal is to compare with ITC experiments and adjust the force field if necessary.


Omid Davoudi

Ph.D. student at University of Maryland, College Park ( Chemical Engineering, 2019-)
M.S. Sharif University of Technology, (Chemical Engineering, 2017-2019)
B.S. Sharif University of Technology, (Chemical Engineering, 2010-2015)

Research Topics

Currently, Omid is studying mechanosensitive ion channels in bacteria, and working on E. coli mechanosensitive ion channels MscL and MscS specifically. One of the most exciting adaptation processes in nature is the osmoregulation of bacteria in a hyperosmotic environment. We hope to address some of the fundamental questions in this area using cell biology experimental techniques and computational biology simultaneously. This project is co-advised by Prof. Sukharev from Biophysics program at University of Maryland.


Jessica Bodosa

Ph.D. student at University of Maryland, College Park (Biophysics, 2020-)
B.S./M.S. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (Biology, 2015-2020)

Research Topics

Jessica has been a Biophysics rotation student in the lab focusing on the dimerization of the EmrE protein. She will also be starting research on metal ion binding to cell membranes.

Undergraduate Students


Unger

Leonard Unger

Mathematics and Music Performance (UMD)
Mathematics at Brown U.
Class of 2022

Research Topics

Leonard is studying the plasma membrane of the Lyme Bacteria. His initial focus is modeling the unique glycolipids in this bacteria and then will focus on accurate membrane models.


Yuan

Yiding Yuan

Bioengineering
Class of 2022

Research Topics

Yiding is studying cellular membranes with a focus on neurological membrane modeling.


Niu

Edward (Yueqi) Niu

Biology
Class of 2022

Research Topics

Yiding is studying cellular membranes and deciding on his area of focus in research.


Jackson

Erin Jackson

Bioengineering
Class of 2022

Research Topics

Erin is studying how antibiotics bind to cellular membranes in collaboration with Niayesh.


Bhat

Pavan Bhat

Bioengineering
Class of 2023

Research Topics

Pavan is starting his research in the lab looking at polyunsaturated lipids.


Lin

Crystal Lin

Chemical Engineering
Class of 2022

Research Topics

Crystal is co-adivised with Dr. Dongxia Liu and is dong QM studies of reactions at surfaces with density functional theory (DFT).


Van

Dai-Bao Van

Chemistry
Class of 2021

Research Topics

Dai-Bao is working on modeling archeal membranes with ether-branched lipids.


Tripu

Deepika Tripu

Biochemistry
Class of 2022

Research Topics

Deepika is working on learning about how metal ions bind to cellular membranes.


Sasha

Sasha Coates-Park

Biochemistry
Class of 2022

Research Topics

Sasha is starting  er project on a plant hormone interacting with model membranes.


Sriya

Sriya Pothapragada

Bioengineering
Class of 2023

Research Topics

Sriya is working on modeling stereocilia membranes that is of the cilia of the inner ear.


Dylan

Dylan Mendes

Chemistry
Class of 2023

Research Topics

Dylan is training on learning molecular simulations of membranes and will be joining a project soon.


Jai

Jai Dadarwala

Bioengineering
Class of 2022

Research Topics

Jai is investigating the influence of lipid composition asymmetry on transmembrane proteins.


Joseph

Joseph Kutza

Materials Science and Engineering
Class of 2023

Research Topics

Joseph is investigating TLR receptors and sugar binding.


Abdul

Abdul Butt

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Class of 2023

Research Topics

Abdul is investigating gas hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico.


Taran

Taran Mahta

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Class of 2023

Research Topics

Taran is finishing up his training on modeling membranes and will start working on a project soon.


Shyam

Shyam Patel

Neuroscience and Computer Science
Class of 2024

Research Topics

Shyam is investigating TLR receptors and sugar binding..

High School Students


Afsa

Afsa Khawar

North County High School (STEM Program)

Research Topics

Afsa is learning how to run to run simulations of simple membrane models. She will then be working on studying the action of antimicrobial peptides produced by frogs.