Computational Molecular Systems Engineering Approaches to Discover Novel Materials
Computational methods are increasingly becoming powerful tools to study and engineer novel materials and study biomolecular interactions. My group focuses on the development of novel computational molecular systems engineering approaches and tools, combining molecular dynamics simulations, free energy calculations and additional primarily in-house structural analysis tools to address key challenging problems of significant importance to biology, health, and the environment. My presentation will present an overview of tools developed by my lab and emphasize on particular ones addressing challenging questions in the design of functional peptide-based materials and clay-based materials. I will present our progress on using rational and optimization-based approaches toward the development of the first computational protocol to design functional peptide materials with several applications including tissue-engineering, drug delivery and gene transfer. The talk will also highlight our latest efforts to design a novel generation of cancer drug nanocarriers with enhanced fluorescence properties, and with the ability to self-encapsulate Epirubicin, a cancer drug, with in situ monitoring properties. Finally, I will present how computational methods can be used as a means to investigate, predict and design novel clay-based materials as sorbents of toxic compounds, including glyphosate, paraquat, bisphenols and PFAs.
Speakers Short CV
Phanourios Tamamis received his B.S. degree in 2006 and Ph.D. degree in 2010 from the Physics Department of the University of Cyprus, and was recognized as the top Cypriot undergraduate researcher in 2006. During his undergraduate, graduate and early-postdoctoral studies, he was supervised by Professor Georgios Archontis. After finishing his Ph.D. studies, from 2010 until 2012, Phanourios Tamamis served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cyprus, and as a Short-term Fulbright scholar at the University of California at Riverside and Princeton University, under the co-supervision of Professors Dimitrios Morikis and Christodoulos A. Floudas. He was recognized as an “Outstanding Young Researcher” in the 2012 by the Computational Biophysics to Systems Biology conference. In 2013, he joined the lab of Professor Christodoulos A. Floudas at the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department of Princeton University as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. In 2015, he joined the Chemical Engineering Department of Texas A&M University as an Assistant Professor. Tamamis’ lab addresses key problems at the intersection of computational biophysics, physical chemistry and biomolecular engineering. Among other, Tamamis’ lab has been developing pioneering tools enabling the study of modified RNAs and DNAs with proteins, facilitating the use of computers to functionalize-peptide materials as tissue engineering agents or drug nanocarriers, investigation amyloid inhibition, and enlightening how clays can be used and be improved to be applied sorbents mitigating toxic compounds’ exposure. He received awards for both his research and teaching. Tamamis’ lab research is currently supported by the NSF and the NIH.