Research Interests

The Theoretical Molecular Biophysics Section aims to help elucidate the structural mechanisms of biomedically important molecular systems associated with cellular membranes. Dr. Faraldo-Gómez and his co-workers are particularly interested in systems involved in transmembrane signaling and transport, as well as bioenergeticsenergy conversion. Either individually or in complex with others, membrane proteins mediate numerous essential processes in living cells, such as the communication between and within cells and the import and metabolism of nutrients. Consequently, a wide range of health disorders in humans, from heart disease to neurodegeneration, are associated with the malfunction of membrane-associated systems. Membrane transport proteins are also crucial for the survival of multi-drug resistant pathogenic bacteria and cancer cells, and are therefore promising pharmaceutical targets. The premise of this the research program of the Theoretical Molecular Biophysics Section is thus that a more profound detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms of these important systems will eventually facilitate the development of effective pharmacological approaches.

The investigations carried out in theby Dr. Faraldo-Gómez group and his group rely primarily on computationally-intensive, physics-based molecular simulations as well as other theoretical methods. This work is often carried out in synergy with experimental collaborators, particularly in the areas of structural biology, biochemistry, and molecular biophysics. The goal of this multi-disciplinary approach is to characterize the structural dynamics and energetics of the molecular systems studied at atomic resolution. These insights enable the group to formulate novel mechanistic hypotheses that may be tested experimentally, or to provide realistic interpretations of existing experimental data.

On the methodological front, the group is actively involved in the development and implementation of novel approaches to extract reliable thermodynamic and mechanistic information from molecular simulations.

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