Research Interests

I developed the 'HP lattice model' of proteins. With it, we have explored the hypothesis that the protein folding code is mainly a binary solvation code. I have been interested in the puzzle of how small proteins fold so quickly. Using simplified models, I found that fast folding can be explained by a mechanism of zipping and assembly; i.e., local structures form first, and nonlocal structures form later. My former students and I and others are developing foldamers, such as peptoids, as antimicrobials and for other applications. Seeking a simple model that could explain many of the properties of water, we have developed the Mercedez-Benz model, and studied how water interacts with hydrophobic solutes and ions. And, in recent work with Rob Phillips, I am exploring a principle called `Maximum Caliber', for explaining the dynamical noise properties of very small systems in biology and nanotechnology.

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Primary Section

Section 29: Biophysics and Computational Biology

Secondary Section

Section 14: Chemistry