ChemE Colloquia- Manolis Doxastakis, University of Houston
Simulations at the interface: protein association in lipid membranes, adsorption on surfaces and reaction-diffusion in polymer films.
Computer simulations are increasingly applied to study interfacial phenomena with new efficient techniques aiming to overcome the challenges associated with modeling such heterogeneous systems. In this talk we focus on the association of peptides in lipid membranes, a process of immense biological and technological significance. New efficient algorithms examine helix-helix dimerization and assert the role of the membrane environment. Recent data suggest that cell membranes are a critical factor controlling both thermodynamics and kinetics of association with implications for biochemical signal transduction mechanisms. Finally, we discuss extensions of these techniques to study interfacial interactions in diverse processes such as the adsorption of polymers on surfaces and the interactions of growth modifiers with zeolites.
Bio: Manolis Doxastakis received a diploma in Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens. He continued his studies towards a Master degree in Materials Science and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Patras working in a newly formed research team by Prof. Doros Theodorou. He studied polymer melts and blends using a diverse range of experimental methods and designed molecular simulation algorithms. Moving to Wisconsin, he joined the group of Prof. Juan de Pablo at the Chemical and Biological engineering, University of Wisconsin Madison as a postdoctoral research associate studying polymer-particle mixtures and lipid membranes. Since 2007, he is an assistant professor at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular engineering, University of Houston, developing simulation methods to study interfacial phenomena.