2008-present: Polymers Division, NIST
Ph.D., Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2008
M.S., Polymer Science, University of Connecticut, 2001
B.A., Biochemistry, Oberlin College, 1998
My research focuses on the dynamics of macromolecules and how chain dynamics (i.e. configurational entropy) affects molecular association. Macromolecular behavior is unquestionably dependent upon configurational entropy, a consequence of the large number of rotatable bonds and internal degrees of freedom. However, the inherent dynamism of macromolecules is often neglected in computer-aided studies of biomolecular association, e.g. in protein-ligand "docking". I use molecular dynamics simulations as a tool to introduce the notion of dynamics into the study of molecular association.
The goal of my work is to address the fundamental questions: will two molecules bind with each other? If so, how strongly? What role does dynamics play in the association? Having a better conceptual grasp of these issues will impact a wide range of disciplines, from the design of novel therapeutics to the understanding of supramolecular assembly.
I am actively investigating the following topics: the role of chain flexibility on the association strength of simple model molecules; the effect of chain flexibility on the interaction of surface-grafted nanoparticles with biomolecules; the self-assembly of RNA viruses nucleated by flexible RNA molecule; the dynamics of trehalose glasses and the mechanism of protein preservation; and the morphology of polymer films of block-copolymers as a function of substrate surface topology.
- Forrey, C.; Muthukumar, M. "Simulation of the Equilibrium Genome Structure of Pariacoto Virus", manuscript in preparation.
- Forrey, C.; Muthukumar, M. "Langevin Dynamics Studies of ds-DNA Translocation Through Synthetic Nanopores", Journal of Chemical Physics, 2007, 127, 1, 015102.
- Forrey, C.; Muthukumar, M. "Langevin Dynamics Simulations of Genome Packing in Bacteriophage", Biophysical Journal, 2006, 91, 25-41.
- Forrey C.; Koberstein J.T.; Pan D.H. "Surface Segregation in Miscible Blends of Polystyrene and Poly(vinylmethyl ether): Comparison of Theory and Experiment", Interface Science, 2003, 13, 211-223.
- Forrey, C.; Muthukumar, M. "Simulation of RNA-Protein Interactions and the Kinetics of RNA Virus Assembly", Manuscript in preparation.