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 Complex Biological and Bio-inspired Systems (2008-2010)

Biological systems are canonical examples of complex nonlinear systems. Models of these systems are as diverse as the systems themselves, incorporating varying levels of detail, with the relevant resolution ranging from atomic and molecular to whole organisms and populations of interacting species. One main focus of our research is on cellular processes, and much of the subject area of our investigations will lie within the emerging field of systems biology, with emphasis on modeling, computation, and theory. We are developing scientific capabilities for accurately modeling complex biological systems, with an aim toward rational manipulation of these systems, particularly at the molecular and cellular levels. Another significant focus is bio-inspired materials at the interface between biology, materials science, and physics. These materials, which include carbon nano-tubes, artificial antenna complexes, thin-film nano-structured self-assembling materials, and membrane-derivatized colloidal particles, are more amenable to high-resolution experimental and computational study. This work builds on the Laboratory's current strengths in theoretical biosciences and biophysics, soft matter, complex systems, computation and information sciences, and interdisciplinary teaming, and addresses fundamental science related to bio-threat reduction and the development of sustainable and economical carbon-neutral bio-fuels.
  • Simulations of biochemical reaction kinetics including details of molecular interactions, spatial heterogeneity, transport, and stochasticity.
  • Nano-tubes, self-assembled thin films, bio-polymers.
  • Quantum chemistry for excited state structure related to bio-marker technology.
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