The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is delighted to announce that Pratyush Tiwary will join the faculty in June, 2017 as an Assistant Professor with joint appointments in the Department and the Institute of Physical Science & Technology. Pratyush is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Chemistry at Columbia University with Prof. Bruce Berne, where he utilizes advanced simulation methods to study complex biological processes, including pharmaceutical ligand unbinding and protein plasticity. Since these processes occur on longer timescales than even the fastest computers can handle, he enables this research through the development of statistical mechanics based sampling tools for rare events. Prior to Columbia, Pratyush performed post-doctoral research with Prof. Michele Parrinello, ETH Zurich and USI Lugano, Switzerland. He earned both an MS (2008) and Ph.D. (2012) from the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology under Prof. Axel van de Walle, and a B.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi. His graduate research focused on the development and application of atomistic simulation algorithms to explore defect kinetics in nanomaterials. Pratyush has 28 research publications and has been actively engaged in outreach, including the organization of international workshops on reaction dynamics, and interactions with organizations that develop scientific software.
At the University of Maryland, Pratyush will develop a research group that develops and utilizes computational methods to probe the thermodynamics and kinetics of condensed matter and biophysical systems. The key research thrust in his group will be (1) theory and algorithm development for modeling dynamics of rare events, with atomistic resolution and laboratory-relevant timescales, (2) design of mutation-resistant cancer drugs through prediction of their thermodynamic and kinetic properties; and (3) design of energy storage materials, optimized especially from the perspective of interfacial dynamics. The group will employ a mix of multidisciplinary approaches drawing on chemistry, statistical physics, applied math and computer science.
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