Mining unexpected interactions in proteins

We have investigated unexpectedly short non-covalent distances (< 85% of the sum of van der Waals radii) in X-ray crystal structures of proteins. We curated over 11,000 high quality protein crystal structures and an ultra-high resolution (1.2 Å or better) subset containing > 900 structures. Although our non-covalent distance criterion excludes standard hydrogen bonds known to be essential in protein stability, we observed over 75,000 close contacts in the curated protein structures.

Predicting simulation outcomes with ML

High-throughput computational screening for chemical discovery mandates the automated and unsupervised simulation of thousands of new molecules and materials. In challenging materials spaces, such as open shell transition metal chemistry, characterization requires time-consuming first-principles simulation that often necessitates human intervention. These calculations can frequently lead to a null result, e.g., the calculation does not converge or the molecule does not stay intact during a geometry optimization.

Mandates for accelerated inorganic discovery

Recent transformative advances in computing power and algorithms have made computational chemistry central to the discovery and design of new molecules and materials. First-principles simulations are increasingly accurate and applicable to large systems with the speed needed for high-throughput computational screening. Despite these strides, the combinatorial challenges associated with the vastness of chemical space mean that more than just fast and accurate computational tools are needed for accelerated chemical discovery.

Large scale QM in enzyme catalysis

Enzymes have evolved to facilitate challenging reactions at ambient conditions with specificity seldom matched by other catalysts. Computational modeling provides valuable insight into catalytic mechanism, and the large size of enzymes mandates multi-scale, quantum mechanical-molecular mechanical (QM/MM) simulations.


About Us

The Kulik group focuses on the development and application of new electronic structure methods and atomistic simulations tools in the broad area of catalysis.

Our Interests

We are interested in transition metal chemistry, with applications from biological systems (i.e. enzymes) to nonbiological applications in surface science and molecular catalysis.

Our Focus

A key focus of our group is to understand mechanistic features of complex catalysts and to facilitate and develop tools for computationally driven design.

Contact Us

Questions or comments? Let us know! Contact Dr. Kulik: