Where I am now : Department of Chemistry, UMass Amherst

Currently I am a graduate student in Department of Chemistry, UMass Amherst, majoring in Computational Chemistry. I joined Prof. Jianhan Chen’s lab in 2021. While learning the basic knowledge of biophysics and thermodynamics, I have been learning to use molecular simulations to study dynamics of proteins. Through atomistic MD simulations, the goal is to understand protein functionalities on a atomistic structure basis. Recently I am trying to reveal the dynamic transition between the closed state and the open state (the activation mechanism) of two ion channels: TMEM16F and TRPV4.

Jian at the peak of Holyoke Mountain &rarr

where I have been to

I began studying chemistry in Huazhong University of Science and technology in 2012, after which I decided to dive deeper into the biochemistry world. Thus, I earned a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2019.

My interest shifted to computational biophysics after my graduation though. I got a job in Beijing Jingtai corporation as a biomolecular drug designer during which I finished my training in computational biophysics and ROSETTA-based calculations (such as ligand docking, homology modelling and ddg calculations). At that time, our biomolecule design team created a Chinese version ROSETTA learning platform. Besides, I designed programs to predict biophysical properties of antibodies only based on their sequences, which could provide a early-stage computational screening for antibody development and optimization. Another project worthy of mentioning is that our team used ROSETTA to predict possible mutations in the spike protein of COVID19 virus that could enhance its ability to infect human cells.

Where I intend to go to

I am now an about-to-be third year graduate student. I am still swing between academia and industry for my future career. I think computational world is so fascinating and I want to focus on improving my professional understanding of computational chemistry for the following three years. And hopefully, I could continue my study as a post-doc somewhere.