"At Keck Science I did molecular biology research, which gives me a unique experimental background compared with most of the people who I work with."
I graduated from CMC in 2007, majoring in Biology-Chemistry and History. For the next few months I'm a Biophysics graduate student at the University of California, San Francisco. Later this year I will be a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington. My long term interests are an academic research or teaching career, focusing on computational biophysics. It was actually Prof. Black's class which first introduced me to computational chemistry and really focused my general interest in science and research into a specific research trajectory. I did molecular biology research with Prof. Wiley which was very interesting, and gives me a unique experimental background compared with most of the people who I work with, who are usually physics and theory oriented. My current research focuses on using computer simulations to predict how strongly small molecules like drugs will stick to proteins, which are the very large molecules that act as machines inside biological cells. Whether they stick or not depends on the shape of the small molecule and the protein, as well as certain properties of the molecular surfaces which can cause attractive or repulsive forces between the small molecule and the protein. A common step in drug discovery is to experimentally test millions of small molecules one after another to find which ones stick to a particular protein of interest, but we think this process could be faster and cheaper if a computer model could be used instead of an experiment. I've worked with other theorists to try to improve the models used in these simulations, and also used these models to make blind predictions of binding affinity, which we compare with experiments that are conducted in our lab. You can see a short YouTube video describing my work here: Creating the Future': Molecular Simulations ...
Gabe Rocklin '07
Major: Biology-Chemistry & History