Laufer Junior Fellows

photo of Adam de Graff Adam de Graff. I am interested in the fundamental causes of biological aging. By combining experimental data with mathematical modeling, I study how and why organisms progressively deviate from their youthful phenotypes. By estimating the metabolic costs of cellular processes, insight can be gained as to the evolutionary trade-offs between species longevity and fitness, with interesting applications to biotechnology. Building on my past work on protein folding and stability, I am also passionate about developing electrostatic models to determine the mechanisms by which oxidative damage destabilizes our proteins and elicits aging.
photo of Joseph Morrone Joseph Morrone is engaged in the application and development of molecular simulation techniques in the fields of chemistry and biophysics.  In particular, he is interested in the development of novel techniques that exploit the separation of time scales in complex processes, and furthering our understanding of the mechanistic role of macromolecular motion in biological activity.  Highlights of his prior work include the elucidation of how nuclear quantum effects impact hydrogen bonds and uncovering how molecular scale hydrodynamics and slow fluctuations associated with hydrophobic interactions influence the kinetics of self-assembly.
alberto4web Alberto Perez's current research involves the use of physics to understand protein folding. Knowledge-based algorithms are quite successful at predicting the 3D protein structures that a sequence of amino acids will adopt. However, we would like to understand the physics governing this process at an atomic level. That understanding might lead to insights into kinetic routes, and the effects of solvent, temperature, etc. on protein folding, and give us the opportunity to compare atomistic ensembles with the overall processes seen experimentally. We use a variety of computational modeling techniques, ranging from geometric packing to Molecular Dynamics atomistic simulations to describe and better understand this process. In the past I've also worked on DNA flexibility, and it is a subject that I'm still very interested in.
Jason Jason Wagoner is interested in the study of chemical/biological problems using the perspective and tools drawn from chemical physics and statistical mechanics. This includes the study of aqueous solvation and molecular assembly, as well as the development of new simulation techniques for the multiscale modeling of biomolecular systems.