The Gorfe research group uses computer simulations to study the organization of cell signaling components, interfacial interactions and allostery to aid in the development of treatments for unsolved health challenges. Its special focus is on the Ras family of lipid-modified enzymes that regulate a variety of cell signaling pathway and whose malfunction leads to many forms of cancer. There is an urgent need for an ongoing effort to find drugs that abrogate signaling through defective Ras. Aiming at contributing to this effort, the group study Ras at the atomic, molecular and supramolecular levels of detail using multi-scale simulations and collaborative cell-biological and biophysical experiments. The Gorfe research group is particularly interested in understanding how dynamics and lateral distribution of Ras and related G-proteins on membrane surfaces may affect their ability to functionally interact with other proteins. Other interests of the group include modeling transient signaling complexes and interaction between specific drugs and phospholipids.
A tutorial in the Gorfe research group’s laboratory would provide experience with modern techniques in biomolecular simulations for investigating the thermodynamic principles underlying the assembly and function of molecular complexes.