The Rubenstein Group is involved in two multidisciplinary, collaborative research projects. Both projects are in need of ambitious students and postdocs skilled in a variety of areas. Please email Prof. Rubenstein if you are interested!
NSF EPSCOR Genotype to PhenoType Project
Biologists have long questioned how genotypes translate into an organism's reproductive fitness. This project seeks to answer that question for select viruses and bacteria, including beta-lactamase, RSV, HIV, and E.coli, by studying how mutations made to proteins designed to bind to specific substrates affect the binding free energies of those proteins, and consequently, the fitness of the organism in which they occur. This project involves scientists ranging from evolutionary biologists to biochemists at Brown, the University of Vermont, and the University of Idaho. The Rubenstein Group is charged with understanding the biophysics of the various proteins' binding processes.
DARPA Molecular Informatics Project
Over the past couple of decades, a variety of new computing architectures, including quantum and DNA-based computers, have been explored. This projects is aimed at developing computers that exploit small molecules in solution. A team from Brown consisting of electrical engineers, communication theorists, physical chemists, and synthetic chemists will attempt to synthesize and detect enough molecules to read and store over a GB of information. Students and postdocs are needed who have skills in synthetic organic chemistry, spectroscopy, and machine learning. The ability to think across disciplinary boundaries is a plus!