Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems
The activities of the Molecular and Statistical Biophysics Group (SBP) are focused on the development and application of theoretical and computational approaches to characterize the properties of biomolecular systems. Specifically, most of the research activity is devoted to characterize the kinetics, thermodynamics and mechanics of proteins and nucleic acids and to seek quantitative comparison with experimental data. Our main goals are: (i) addressing relevant problems in biological physics posed by the unprecedented wealth of detailed experimental data that is nowadays available and (ii) allowing for the most stringent validation of the methods and models that we develop to extend the current reach of computational studies of biomolecules. For both these aspects, the expertise gathered within the SBP group is broad and ranges from detailed quantum-mechanical calculations and hybrid quantum-classical (QM/MM) simulations applied to enzymatic reactions and metal containing drugs, to classical atomistic molecular dynamics simulations and advanced sampling techniques of proteins, to coarse-grained modelling of protein assemblies and large macromolecular systems such as long DNA filaments. The activity in these areas is very tightly integrated and hence offers a comprehensive multiscale expertise that is uncommon in a single department in Europe, and is probably unique in Italy.


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