Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2023
Home Department: Electrical Engineering
Faculty Advisors: Steven Boxer (Chemistry), Possu Huang (Bioengineering), and Thomas Markland (Chemistry)

Research Title: Electric Field Contribution to the Enzyme Activity of Trypsin

Research Description: To investigate how enzymes can accelerate reactions, Nahal with the Boxer lab plans to study the role of electric fields generated by the enzyme during catalysis using techniques such as infrared vibrational spectroscopy, simulations (including molecular dynamics - MD), and artificial intelligence. Firstly, they will perform mutations on the enzyme's active site to create a library of mutants. Subsequently, they will measure the electric field generated by these mutants in the active site of the enzyme. The next step involves utilizing machine learning models to predict the electric field generated in the enzyme's active site based on the sequences of enzyme mutants and vice versa. By understanding and predicting how mutations in the enzyme's structure impact electric fields during catalysis, they aim to gain valuable insights for protein design and drug discovery.