The principles guiding self-assembly at or near thermodynamic equilibrium are now relatively well understood. However, assembly and organization in many chemical and biological systems is driven by dissipative processes and the usual thermodynamic descriptions no longer apply. In order to understand far from equilibrium self assembly, our lab studies organization in model systems inspired by biology.
Biological systems process information with very high fidelity. This is surprising given that information processing occurs in regimes where the influence of thermal fluctuations is high. Our lab uses techniques drawn from non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and the framework of large deviation theory to understand the principles governing information processing in biology.
Our group pursues a number of projects related to solvation thermodynamics and the statistical mechanics of water. We have recently shown that soft interfacial modes which are often ignored in many theoretical treatments, do in fact play a central role in governing the adsorption of ions to liquid vapor interfaces. We have also constructed a minimal theoretical framework that captures hydrophobic and interfacial forces with surprising accuracy. We are now intersted in extending the work to include dielectric fluctuations and constructing a simulation methodology that is apt for multi-scale modelling.
We are interested in identifying the fundamental physical forces governing the organization of proteins in lipid membranes. Updates and publications coming soon.