Research in the laboratory consists of the development and application of computational methods in collaboration with experimental research laboratories. Our research interests fall into the areas of computational biophysics and computational material sciences.
Some our current research projects involve, studying the transport mechanism of neurotransmitter sodium symporter proteins, where we are simulating in vivo conditions using molecular dynamics simulations to observe changes in conformation of proteins upon substrate transport. We are researching computer-aided drug design by applying free energy calculations to elucidate intermolecular interactions of various substrates and inhibitors with monoamine transporters. We are investigating conformational properties of polyglutamine peptide systems by applying molecular dynamics, using the metadynmics sampling algorithm, to explore the conformational free energy landscape of polyglutamine peptides in solvent. We are involved in the electronic structure calculations of extended solids, where we are applying computational methods to investigate and predict physicochemical properties of materials. We are also studying smart materials such as hydrogels of PNIPAM.
In the past, we have studied antifreeze proteins at ice/water interfaces and interaction of N-acetylglucosamine with chitnase. The folding of small peptides in salt solution, and structure, function, and dynamics of monoamine transporters have been studied as well.
Dr. Madura is also one of the primary authors to the Brownian dynamics program UHBD, which is used to calculate the diffusion-controlled rate-constants for biomolecular encounters.