BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS
L. Mario Amzel, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Amzel’s research interests include structural enzymology of redox and phosphoryl-transfer enzymes, particularly the enzymes MICAL, VP14, PI3K, and Nudix hydrolases, and selected areas of structural thermodynamics. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in 1968 from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina and completed his postdoctoral research in the structure of proteins from 1969-1970 at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Ioan Andricioaei, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Chemistry in the School of Physical Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on exploring theoretical and computational topics at the interface between molecular biophysics and physical chemistry, with the central themes of (1) developing novel theoretical techniques, and (2) applying computer and modeling methods to describe, in terms of dynamics and thermodynamics, biologically important molecular processes, with the aim to complement, enhance, or predict experimental findings. Research directions include enhanced sampling in trajectory space, computer simulations of DNA-binding machines, and dynamics-function relationships. Dr. Andricioaei received his Ph.D. from Boston University in 1999.
Nilesh Banavali, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Public Health and an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the State University of New York, Albany. The primary goal of his research is to use computational calculations and refined analysis techniques to optimally extract free energy landscapes describing biologically relevant macromolecular conformational change. Dr. Banavali also develops techniques to facilitate validation of computational predictions with structural and biochemical data. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 2001 for studies on nucleic acid force fields and base flipping with Alexander MacKerell Jr. He pursued postdoctoral training at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the University of Chicago with Benoît Roux on implicit and implicit/explicit solvent models and free energy characterization of conformational change and allostery in macromolecules.
Riccardo Baron, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Utah. His research develops chemical theory and computational approaches to address problems of relevance for public health. Following his education at the Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy) and University of Cambridge (U.K.), he carried out his doctoral research at the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich (Switzerland). During his Ph.D. with Prof. Wilfred F. van Gunsteren, he designed a wide range of methods for biomolecular simulation, including entropy and free energy calculation, force field and software development. His postdoctoral research with J. Andrew McCammon, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California, San Diego, led to a paradigm shift on the understanding of the physicochemical forces driving molecular recognition, approaches to efficiently introduce protein dynamics ensemble models in drug discovery and design, and models to understand the reactants transport in biocatalysts. He has published more than forty publications in the field of biomolecular simulation and actively serves as a member of the American Chemical Society and as a reviewer for numerous international journals, scientific societies, and computational centers