Dr. James C. Gumbart is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physics as well as the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the School of Biosciences (both courtesy appointments) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. (2009) in Physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign under the direction of Dr. Klaus Schulten. His lab’s research is focused on molecular dynamics simulations of biomolecular systems, including but not limited to those in the bacterial outer membrane. One major interest is in how beta-sheet-containing proteins fold. These proteins are found in a wide range of contexts, such as beta-barrels in the bacterial outer membrane, beta-helices implicated in virulence of bacteria, and beta-amyloids involved in disease. His lab uses MD simulations to quantify the energetics and kinetics of the folding processes, thereby determining final folded state. Another major interest is the structure and mechanics of peptidoglycan, a protein/sugar polymer that forms a two-dimensional network known as the bacterial cell wall. By resolving the connection between structure, organization, and function, Dr. Gumbart hopes to translate lessons from the biological world to develop novel materials.
See more about his lab’s research at his group website http://simbac.gatech.edu/ .