The Group


Principal Investigator

Christina M. Payne

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Vanderbilt University – 2007
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University – 2002

Molecular modeling of protein systems, structure-function relationships in glycoside hydrolases, free energy methods, lignocellulosic biomass conversion, origins of biomass recalcitrance, and protein-ligand interactions and binding free energies


Curriculum vitae

Postdoctoral Researchers


Inacrist Geronimo

Ph.D., Chemistry, Lodz University of Technology – 2014
M.S., Materials Science; B.S., Physics – École normale superiéure de Lyon – 2009
M.S., Chemistry, University of the Philippines – 2008
B.S., Chemistry, University of the Philippines – 2003

Molecular mechanisms of beta-glucosidase hydrolysis, transglycosylation, and product inhibition 

(currently located in Dr. Mats Sandgren's lab at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)


Graduate Researchers

Japheth Gado

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria – 2014

Molecular simulation of glycoside hydrolase processivity



Abhishek Kognole

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology (Formerly UDCT), India – 2012

Molecular simulation of carbohydrate binding modules, protein-carbohydrate interactions


Landon Mills

B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Kentucky – 2014 

Research (co-advisor – Derek Englert):
Experimental characterization of desulfinase structure and activity




Yue Yu

B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Kentucky – 2014
B.S., Process Equipment and Control Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology – 2011

Examining the mechanisms of a desulfinase enzyme using molecular dynamics and multiscale methods


Graduate Students

Suvamay Jana - Ph.D. Chemical Engineering 2017 (beginning postdoctoral research Feb. 2017 at City of Hope)


Undergraduate Researchers

Nolan Anderson - B. S. Chemical Engineering 2017 (Currently a PhD student at UC Santa Barbara)

Robert Brooks - B.S. Chemical Engineering 2017

Codell Gibson - B.S. Chemical Engineering 2016

Dylan Gilley - B. S. Chemical Engineering 2017

Tyler Karnes - B.S. Chemical Engineering 2015 (Recipient of the John Walker Biology and Engineering Undergraduate Research Award)

Shawn Nigam - B.S. Chemistry and Biology 2017

Damarcus Smiley - B.S. Chemical Engineering 2018

Devin Wren - B.S. Chemical Engineering 2017


Visiting Scholars

Ingvild Isaksen - Continuing PhD research with Åsmund Røhr at Norwegian University of Life Sciences

István Tamás - Continuing PhD research with Beáta Lontay at University of Debrecen, Hungary