Lauren Winkler – Skaggs Fellowship Recipient
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Cheatham Lab
My research is focused on the development of Molecular Dynamics simulation methods for complex and non-canonical nucleic acids structures. These delicate structures, such as single stranded siRNA therapies or pseudoknots targeted by small molecules, are currently inaccessible by Molecular Dynamics simulation, greatly limiting the reach of Molecular Dynamics simulation as a drug development tool. Through benchmarking and developing force fields for simulation, my work will improve these methods with the goal of accurately simulating any nucleic acid therapy or drug. Once this is realized, Molecular Dynamics simulation will help to shorten drug development timelines and decrease synthesis costs, ultimately lead to greater patient accessibility and better health outcomes.