Professor of Biophysical Chemistry
Biophysical chemistry; statistical thermodynamics; force field development; solid state NMR.
Current major academic interests:
1. Force field development for efficient simulations of chemical reactions. Emphasis on the roles of water in various settings.
2. Spectroscopic studies of the structure and function of membrane proteins in natural and reconstituted systems. Emphasis on solid-state NMR studies of light-driven ion transport and spectral tuning in bacteriorhodopsin, and the assembly of extreme dewetting surfaces in gas vesicles and biofilms.
3. Innovations in chemical education: Development of “ConcepTests” for active learning in general chemistry; Development of a material evolution narrative for general chemistry, with supporting textbook, to link topics and convey the scope of the field.
4. Implications of advances in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying human behavior for concepts of responsibility and theories of justice and punishment.
Additional Former Major Academic Interests:
1. Spectroscopic studies of polymers implicated in pre-biotic chemistry. Emphasis on solid-state NMR of HCN polymers and sugar polymers.
2. Statistical mechanical studies of self-assembly and long-range order in crowded solutions of polymerizing proteins and micellar surfactants. Emphasis on the osmotic and rheologic consequences of hemoglobin aggregation in sickle-cell disease, and the control of cytoskeletal organization and motility in active cells.
3. Cooperativity in proteins. Emphasis on homo- and hetero-tropic cooperativity in hemoglobin and negative cooperativity in multimeric enzymes.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D.
Harvard University, M.P.P.
Columbia University, B.A.
Awards and Honors
Fellow, Massachusetts Academy of Sciences (2013)
Class of 2012 Faculty/Staff Appreciation (2012)
Class of 2007 Faculty/Staff Appreciation (2005)
Distinguished Lecturer, Sigma Xi (2003 - 2005)
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999)
Fellow, American Physical Society (1993)
National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers for "significant achievements as a researcher and teacher and potential future contributions to American science" (1992)
|CHEM||15a||Honors General Chemistry I: Principles of Material Evolution I|
|CHEM||15b||Honors General Chemistry II: Principles of Material Evolution II|
|CHEM||141a||Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics|
|CHEM||142a||Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy|
|CHEM||240b||Physical Chemistry Seminar|
|CHEM||250b||Biophysical Chemistry Seminar|
|CHEM||260b||Materials Chemistry Seminar|