Theoretical Biological Physics, Soft Condensed Matter, and Clean Energy
One of the goals of the Cheung group is to discover interesting macromolecular dynamics under cell-like conditions by applying molecular simulation methods. Cellular milieu is a crowded and concentrated environment that impacts the behavior of macromolecules. It can affect the rate of protein folding, protein association, and even the overall conformational changes that can not be probed in dilute solutions. It is an important problem but a quantitative understanding is still elusive.
We use a combined approach of coarse-grained molecular simulation, all-atomistic molecular simulation, and bioinformatic data-mining to investigate the structural behavior and statistical properties of large biomolecules in cellular milieu. To tackle macromolecular dynamics across multiple orders of magnitude in both space and time, we develop a state-of-the-art multi-scale molecular simulation approach that integrates varying grains of models as well as utilize high-performance computing resources to simulate very large systems efficiently. Our group has been working closely with experimentalists who are interested in extending their study of proteins under in vivo conditions. Our joint effort to investigate the relationship of sequence-structure-function-environment of a large biomolecule has resulted in a dramatically improved understanding of the statistical properties of a protein in a cell that may be important to biological functions.
We are interested in the statistical properties and the electronic structure of soft materials in a nano-sized tight space or at the interfaces of liquid and solid phases to address their behavior under harsh conditions in which bulk analysis will not be applicable. Characterization of these structural conformations and self-assembled behavior at a nano-scale level is important to the nanotechnology industry and the petroleum science communities in the greater Houston area, a nationally recognized hub of medical centers, petroleum industries, and material sciences.
Dr. Cheung collaborated with UH on "You are the Pride". Please click here
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