Theoretical and computational research projects studied in our group focus on structure formation processes experienced by macromolecules such as polymers and proteins. Our primary objective is a better understanding of general physical principles and mechanisms behind folding transitions of proteins, the aggregation of peptides, the crystallization of polymers, and the interaction of polymers and proteins with solid and soft substrates. The models that we employ range from minimalistic formulations at mesoscopic scales - this is particularly useful for systematic qualitative studies - to complex microscopic semi-classical models for specific quantitative analyses.
Computer simulation methodologies applied to these models are based on, e.g., sophisticated enumeration techiques, chain-growth methods, Monte Carlo algorithms in the canonical and in generalized ensembles, thermal molecular dynamics, and minimization tools. In analytic approaches, we use systematic approximation methods to solve statistical functional integrals for fluctuating systems like, for example, fluid membranes. [Read more...]

We are currently collaborating with research groups from Brazil, Germany, Israel, Sweden, Turkey, and the USA.

Support by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil (CNPq), and the State of Georgia is gratefully acknowledged.