The O’Brien Lab is a theoretical and computational group that brings together scientists from the fields of chemistry, physics, and bioinformatics to address fundamental questions regarding molecular and cellular processes in chemistry and biology. For these reasons, the research program in the lab is highly multi-disciplinary.
Method development is a key component of many of the research projects in the O’Brien Lab, with the methods aimed at addressing specific questions. The methods we develop and apply include coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of the cellular environment; statistical mechanics and chemical kinetics to describe the interplay of processes that govern biomolecular behavior; and bioinformatic methods to integrate large biological data sets into predictive models. Thus, there are numerous opportunities for researchers with theoretical or computational interests to both develop and apply these techniques to cutting-edge scientific questions.
The O’Brien Lab has ties with experimental groups in Germany and the USA, with whom we work closely to test the insights and predictions from our research. Therefore, researchers in the O’Brien Lab often have the opportunity to work with experimentalists in both designing and interpreting experiments based on their own research projects, and in some cases may have a chance to travel internationally to help advance these collaborations.