Serdal Kirmizialtin, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, NYUAD

Serdal Kirmizialtin

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Science

Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi



B.Sc. Chemistry, Koc University, Turkey
Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of Texas Austin

Molecular thermal motions play an essential role in many functionally important biochemical processes such as allosteric transitions, ion permeation through channels, or folding of proteins and nucleic acids. Knowledge of functionally important molecular motions has important implications in medicine and nanotechnology, in addition to providing insights into understanding life. Dr. Kirmizialtin’s research is at the interface between the sciences of physical chemistry, computational science, soft matter, enzyme actions, and biological machinery of information processing. He is interested in how physical and chemical principles can be applied using theory and computer simulations to understand, predict, and manipulate the behaviour of biological macromolecules moving under thermal motion.

Conformational change of HIVRT
Conformational change of HIVRT, an enzyme responsible for DNA synthesis in HIV virus, when an incoming nucleotide binds to the growing DNA strand.

To achieve this goal Kirmizialtin’s lab is mainly using Molecular Dynamics (MD) Simulations. MD is one of the most powerful theoretical approaches to study molecular interactions and resulted dynamics. However the timescale of the biological processes are orders of magnitude longer than timescales accessible by straightforward MD Simulations. To overcome the time scale gap between simulations and experiments, our research also focuses on developing novel computational methods.

During his doctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin Serdal investigated protein translocation and mechanical unfolding of proteins under external forces by computational modeling and theory. In 2007 he joined to Ron Elber’s lab in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at the University of Texas Austin where he worked in computational modeling of poly-nucleotides and extending timescale of Molecular Dynamic Simulations using trajectory fragments. He moved to Los Alamos National Laboratories as an Associate Research Scientist to study the structure and dynamics of Ribosome during translation. In 2015 he joined to NYU Abu Dhabi as an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Program.