Fatemeh Khalili Araghi

    Email Address: akhalili@uic.edu
    College: Liberal Arts and Sciences Department: Physics
    Title: Assistant Professor
    Office: SES 2146 Phone: (312) 355-33
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    Computer modeling of paracellular transport pathways

    We are using molecular dynamics simulations to study ion conduction across paracellular transport pathways. Using all-atom simulations, we will study the dynamics of membrane proteins that form tight junction strands between two neighboring cells, and will study permeation of ions and small molecules across these proteins. The simulations allow us to quantify the paracellular current and will identify ion binding sites across the pathways, which in turn might lead to the design of new therapeutic compounds for blocking the pathway. Modulation of the paracellular current is significantly important in treatment of diarrhea and neurological diseases.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 10

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of Linux operating system

    Bioengineering, Physics, Chemistry students are encouraged to apply.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    The student will carry out molecular dynamics simulations of tight junctions strands. The student will work closely with experimentalist to identify structural components of tight junctions that can result in identification of new therapeutic compounds that can module permeation of ions across tight junctions in intestines, kidney and the blood-brain barrier. The results will contribute to a joint paper with our experimental collaborators.

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