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We apply and develop multi-scale simulations of chemical reactions and biological signaling pathways, particularly those regulated by calcium. Our tools include molecular and Brownian dynamics, ordinary and partial differential equations, as well as multi-scale approaches for integrating molecular-scale information into macroscopic chemical phenomena. Among our interests, we are addressing questions including how protein function can be predicted and manipulated, how chemical processes including signal transduction are controlled by their environment and how biological systems can inform material design.  To answer these questions, we focus on the interplay between molecular-scale events, such as protein-ligand (or drug) binding, and cellular-scale signaling pathways arising from interactions between proteins, that shape human health. Our long term goal is thus to understand how biological signaling pathways are controlled at the cellular level, how they are perturbed in disease and identify molecular strategies to restore normal function.  Additional information on specific research themes may be found on our Research page. 

Our research is currently supported through the National Institutes of Health. 


Peter M. Kekenes-Huskey, Ph.D.

From the Blog

Bin Sun received the 'Outstanding Oral Qualifier Award' from graduate school for his good performance in his fifth semester's oral qualifying exam. Congrats!
The article "Characterization of amylin-induced calcium dysregulation in rat ventricular cardiomyocytes" from Stewart et al has recently been accepted to Cell Calcium. This article details the use of a electrophysiology systems biology model to probe the effects of amylin, a peptide associated with pre-diabetes, on calcium dysregulation. Arxiv (https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.03353)
The PKH lab is a recipient of the Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator grant from the American Chemical Society that supports fundamental research directly related to petroleum or fossil fuels.  The $110,000 award will seed the development of computational models for predicting methane transport in zeolitic materials, which could help improve our ability to extract valuable chemicals from an abundant catalyst. Methane is a primary content of raw natural gas that is released as a...
Dylan made his first trip to Minnesota this past weekend to present his poster on the automated classification of transverse tubule remodeling observed in heart failure. He had a great time at the AIChE conference and loved the city atmosphere. He also took home second place in the Computation and Process Control division of the poster competition!   This conference presentation is supported by the Office of Undergraduate Research and the PKH Lab.