Using molecular dynamics simulations to understand organization in living systems

Seminar | November 27 | 4-5 p.m. | 120 Latimer Hall

 Aaron Dinner, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago

 College of Chemistry

The basic units of living systems are cells. A fundamental strategy that cells use to control processes is to organize molecular interactions in space and time. While this can appear to involve daunting numbers of molecules, certain cell-like dynamics can now be reconstituted in vitro from small numbers of purified molecular components. These self-organizing systems present opportunities for understanding the complex behavior of living systems in terms of physical chemical principles. To this end, my group and I have been using molecular dynamics simulations to study molecular assemblies that exhibit cytoskeletal properties and circadian oscillations. I will describe our recent work on these systems and use them to motivate the need for advances in general methods for treating dynamics. I will conclude by presenting an approach that we developed recently to combine information from many short molecular dynamics trajectories to estimate kinetic quantities.

 Light refreshments will be served at 3:50 at The Coffee Lab, 510-643-0572