Pappu Lab

Pappu Lab

Welcome to the lab of Rohit Pappu in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis

Laboratory of Computational Biophysics and Molecular Engineering


Laboratory of Computational Biophysics and Molecular Engineering

Biophysics and engineering of intrinsically disordered and multivalent proteins

We are interested in understanding the biophysical basis of molecular recognition, intracellular phase transitions, self-assembly, and the mechanisms of neurodegeneration that are influenced by intrinsically disordered and multivalent proteins. We are also working on novel approaches to design responsive protein- and peptide-based biomaterials. Our work is driven by the development and deployment of state-of-the-art computational methods that we combine with polymer theory, informatics, machine-learning, and experiments.

Biophysics and engineering of intrinsically disordered and multivalent protein: We are interested in understanding the biophysical basis of molecular recognition, intracellular phase transitions, self-assembly, and the mechanisms of neurodegeneration that are influenced by intrinsically disordered and multivalent proteins. We are also working on novel approaches to design responsive protein- and peptide-based biomaterials. Our work is driven by the development and deployment of state-of-the-art computational methods that we combine with polymer theory, informatics, machine-learning, and experiments.


Relevant diseases: Huntington's disease; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson’s disease; Prion diseases; Cancers; Developmental Disorders

Proteins or protein classes of interest: Huntingtin; Polyglutamine containing proteins; Tau; Amyloid Beta; Transcription Factors; Scaffolding Proteins; Nuclear Proteomes; Low complexity sequences; and all categories of signaling and multivalent proteins;

Processes of Interest: Self-Assembly via homotypic interactions; Phase Transitions of multi-macromolecular systems; Functions via conformational heterogeneity ; Proteostasis; Nuclear Transport; Prion-like propagation of aggregates;

Techniques used: Atomistic and mesoscopic computer simulations; Polymer physics theories; Modeling hierarchical networks; Bioinformatics; In vitro and in cell biophysical experiments


Funding: We currently receive funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute for Neuronal Disorders and Stroke (NIH-NINDS), the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH-NIGMS), Washington University's Center for Biological Systems Engineering, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Human Frontiers Science Foundation


Last updated July 3rdx 2017