DNA is a fascinating biopolymer that controls many cellular functions.  The structure of this exceedingly long-chain molecule, including its shape and state of stress, strongly influences major biological functions including gene transcription, replication and repair. Our lab develops theoretical models to explore how DNA bends and twists in response to bound protein and in forming DNA supercoils and loops. In addition, we study how DNA is packed into viruses and then dynamically ejected during host infection. Through collaborations with the Andricioaei Lab (Chemistry, UC Irvine), we have also developed novel, multi-scale models that combine atomistic and continuum representations to predict large and dynamic conformational changes of DNA structures due to protein/enzyme activities.

Model of the injection machinery of bacteriophage T4. Collaborator: Andricioaei Lab, U. C. Irvine Image by Neda Maghsoodi

Computational rod model predicts DNA supercoiling Image by Todd Lillian

Continuum rod model approximates DNA Image by Sachin Goyal

Model of the injection machinery of bacteriophage T4. Collaborator: Andricioaei Lab, U. C. Irvine Image by Neda Maghsoodi

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