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Justin Lemkul

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

jalemkul[at]vt.edu

Postdoc, University of Maryland, Baltimore (2013-2017)

Ph.D. Biochemistry, Virginia Tech (2012)

B.S. Biochemistry In Honors, Virginia Tech (2007)

My research interests are in understanding the forces governing conformational change in proteins and nucleic acids and employing computer-aided drug design strategies against highly dynamic systems. I developed the Drude-2017 nucleic acid polarizable force field during my postdoc.

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Marcelo Polêto

Postdoctoral Associate

mdpoleto[at]vt.edu

Postdoc, Universidade Federal de Viçosa (2019-2020)
D.Sc. Cell and Molecular Biology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (2019)
M.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (2016)
B.S. Biochemistry, Federal University of Viçosa (2015)

My research interests are focused in understanding the driving forces of conformational dynamics in different biomolecular systems and investigating possible druggable targets through computational techniques.

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Darcy Davidson

Ph.D. Candidate

ddav13[at]vt.edu

B.S. Biochemistry, Christopher Newport University (2017)

My research applies CHARMM and Drude force fields to better understand the folding of amyloid proteins.  In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends/family and spending time outside hiking or skiing.

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Laura Gil Pineda

Ph.D. Student

lgilpineda[at]vt.edu

B.S. Chemistry with Honors, focus on Biochemistry, Universidad Icesi (2019)

B.S. Pharmaceutical Chemistry with Honors, Universidad Icesi (2019)

My research interests lie in using molecular mechanics to study systems of interest in the field of medicine such as IDPs and amyloid proteins. In my free time, I like to listen to music, watch movies, read and, more recently, crochet. 

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Haley Michel

Ph.D. Student

hmichel[at]vt.edu

B.S. Biochemistry, The University of Akron (2020)

 

My research aims to better understand G-quadruplex folding and its impact on biological processes and disease towards the development of novel therapeutics. Outside of the lab, I enjoy cooking, crafting, weightlifting, and spending time outside exploring the NRV.

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Julia Montgomery

Ph.D. Student

juliamontgomery[at]vt.edu

B.S. Chemistry, St. Joseph's College (2019)

My research project aims to better understand the energetics of small molecules partitioning membranes using the CHARMM and Drude force fields for potential implications in drug design. Outside of the lab, I spend my time exploring local trails, playing guitar, and cooking up new recipes. 

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Alexa Salsbury

Ph.D. Candidate

asalsbur[at]vt.edu

B.S. Biochemistry with Honors, Eastern Michigan University (2016)

My research project applies the CHARMM and Drude force fields to model G-quadruplexes and better understand folding pathways, conformational ensembles, and targeting GQs for drug design. When I'm away from the computer, I am probably cuddling my dogs or pretending to be athletic by hiking, biking, playing volleyball or basketball. I also love following college and professional sports. GO HOKIES!

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Alex Corrigan

M.S. Student

alex7[at]vt.edu

B.S. Biochemistry, Virginia Tech (2019)

My research project applies the CHARMM and Drude force fields to model a p53 fragment and its binding partner MDM2, and explores the specific changes that allow for folding and binding of the fragment. In my free time I enjoy caving and hiking, reading, and working on various crochet or chainmaille projects.

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Brian Ratnasinghe

M.S. Student

brianrat[at]vt.edu

B.S. Biochemistry, Virginia Tech (2019)

My research project involves using different force fields to simulate protein:G-quadruplex complexes. When I'm not doing science, I am either eating Cheez-Its, sleeping, or playing Super Smash Bros.

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Tanner Dean

Undergraduate Researcher

tanner99[at]vt.edu

Biochemistry major, Class of 2021

I study the effects of polarization on the c-myc G-quadruplex with the Drude force field and am interested in computer-aided drug design. When I'm not in lab or class, I am still on the computer, coding, playing video games, or studying!

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    Josh Kraus

    Undergraduate Researcher

    kjosh16[at]vt.edu

    Biochemistry major, Class of 2020

    My research involves the amyloid β-peptide, specifically the "Iowa" mutation, using different force fields. After hours, I'm usually watching Netflix or scoring dingerz in Rocket League.

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      Karlie Wysong

      Undergraduate Researcher

      karliew[at]vt.edu

      Biochemistry major, Class of 2020

      I am studying the post-translational modifications, specifically phosphorylation, of the amyloidogenic protein tau. In my free time, I'm either studying or spending time with my family and friends!

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