Jianhan Chen Research Group
Computational Biophysics and Biomaterials

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June 6, 2022
Congratulations to Jian for receiving a competitive UMass CBI Traineeship. Chemistry Biology Interface (CBI) is an NIH-funded training program "to train students with diverse scientific backgrounds for productive research at the interface between chemistry and biology" at UMass.

May 26, 2022
Our warmest congratulations to Zhiguang and his wife for welcoming their second son to the world!

May 18, 2022
Congratulations to Ryan on wrapping up his highly accomplished career at UMass. He will start graduate school in the Chemistry Department at Boston University in the fall. We wish him the best luck!

Sam graduated with honor and a BS in Biochemistry ahead of schedule (in Fall 2021). She will return as a fifth year Master student in MCB after a summer intern in the industry.

We also welcome two new undergraduate interns this summer. Anik Dey is a rising sophomore majoring in Biochemistry from Amherst College and he will learn how to use computer to model and simulate protein structure, dynamics and interaction. Jack Madden is a rising sophomore majoring in computer science and pure math. He will work on modernizing the Molecular Playground in collaboration with Prof. Craig Martin.

May 1, 2022
Congratulations to Debabani, a former postdoc from the lab, on her recent promotion to Associate Professor! We are so proud of you!

April 15, 2022
Congratulations to Erik for being selected as a 2022 CNS Teaching Fellow. As a CNS Teaching Fellow, Erik will design a new seminar course for the incoming first-year undergraduate students on a topic of his choice. We all look forward to what amazing things Erik will be able to do with this opportunity!

April 8, 2022
Congratulations to Jianhan for winning the 2022 CNS Outstanding Researh Award in the Senior Faculty category! This award is really a recognition of the outstanding dedication and collective achievements of our whole group!

Feburary 24, 2022
After 2 years of hiatus, the whole group (except Zhiguang) attended our first in-person conference (BPS) in the beautiful San Francisco. We recruited perspective graduate students, presented our works, learned about the latest progresses in the fields, and enjoyed a bit of the city. Thanks to the snow storm, Erik, Xiping, Sam and Jian had to take a rental car and drove back from Charlotte over two days. The consolation prize was that they got to visit DC and NYC on their 800-mile way home!


January 29, 2022
Happy Chinese New Year! The lab and friends came together and celebrated another challenging but rewarding year. We look forward to a prosperous New Year of Tiger!

January 11, 2022
We are thrilled to receive a 5-year MIRA grant from NIH/NIGMS to support continual work on developing multi-scale methods for accurate simulation of disordered proteins and dynamic interactions as well as the application of these methods to understand a set of systems of significant biological and biomedical interests! (UMass News Release)

December 13, 2021
Our warmest congratulations to Yumeng for passing her ORP and officially becoming a PhD candidate!

November 26, 2021
We were thrilled to have Mahdieh and Xiaorong back visiting us during the Thanksgiving break. Mahdieh and Xiaorong were able to make up (a bit) for their loss opportunities to attend the graduation ceremony due to the pandemics, by having our own mini hooding ceremony! Congratulations on their achievements at UMass and we are so proud of both of them! Mahdieh and Xiaorong were also able to share some precious experience and wisdom on how to better prepare for academic and industry careers.


November 10, 2021
A random beautiful day in New England. The group enjoyed the sunshine, ice cream, and some great conversation together in front of LSL.

September 23, 2021
Congratulations to Erik for his first first-authored paper on DnaK modeling accepted in principle by PLoS Comp Biol! Also congratulations to Xiping and Yumeng for having their invited review article on multi-scale sampling/simulation of IDPs accepted by Biomolecules!

September 18, 2021
The group celebrated the Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival at Jianhan's house. We finally got to welcome Jian and Samantha to the group in person, and had some great muisc, food and games together.

August 3, 2021
After a whole year's delay, Jian Huang finally arrived from China. A big shout-out to Erik and Xiping for taking the university van and picking up Jian and three other fellow chemistry graduate students from Boston. Welcome to Amherst, Jian! We are all thrilled to finally have you here in person with us!

June 12, 2021
We had a joint group party with Min Chen's lab to celebrate summer as well as our new NIAID award to develop the ClyA nanopore tweezers technology and study flaviprotease dynamics and inhibition.

June 2, 2021
The group came together to celebrate all our blessings, including summer, Zoe's new position at UMass, the international Children's Day, conclusion of a long academic year, the official ending of COVID restrictions, and many more! We also did a nice hike in Mount Toby and explored the hidden wonder of Sunderland Cave!

May 6, 2021
Congratulations to Xiaorong for getting her work on p53 cancer mutations accepted for publication in JMB. This is a very heavy paper that reflects a HUGE amount of work from both simulation and experiment (with Drs. Zolkiewsi and Prakash from Kansas State University) over the last 4 years. It is a very hard project and we are very pleased that we now have something to show for it.

April 6, 2021
Congratulations to Yumeng on passing the prospectus exam, the first milestone towards PhD!

Feburary 26, 2021
Our warmest congratulations to Mahdieh for landing a job of her dream! She is joining Merck as a Senior Scientist as a member of their Computational and Structural Chemistry group. We also offer our congratulations to former member Kuohao Lee, for his promotion to a permanent Staff Scientist at NIH/NIDA. What a great way to kick start the Year of Ox!

Feburary 18, 2021
We warmly welcome Jian Huang as a new Ph.D. student to the lab! Jian came from Hengyang, the "Wild Geese City" of China. He graduated first in his class with a B.S. in Applied Chemistry from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 2016. He then attended the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and obtained a M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2019, doing research in RNA biology under the direction of Jiangyun Wang at the Institute of Biphysics of Chinese Academy of Sciences. We all look forward to meeting Jian in person once he is able to get his visa and some exciting years working together in computational biophysics!

Feburary 11, 2021
Happy Chinese New Year of Ox! We celebrated the new year together online and enjoyed a few videos about the Chinese New Year traditions and from the past CCTV Spring Festival Galas. We wish everyone a great bull new year of great health, prosperity and happiness!

January 18, 2021
Happy New Year! The group had a modest celebration of the new year in the lab, while trying our best to exercise good COVID-19 prevention practice. We also welcome two new undergraduate researchers, Thomas and Samantha, to the lab! Both Tom and Samantha major in biochemistry and molecular biology. We look forward to exploring some exciting new sciences in the new year!

December 12, 2020
Congratulations to Zhiguang for getting his simulation on PIP2 activation of TMEM16A channels accepted for publication in (Nature) Communication Biology! In this work, we built on our collaborative work with Huanghe Yang's lab at Duke on the TMEM16 family protein activation and showed for the first time a likely activated state of the TMEM16A channel.

December 11, 2020
Congratulations to Xiping and Erik for passing their Original Research Proposal (ORP) exams! This is a major milestone. They are now both officially Ph.D. candidates!

December 08, 2020
Congratulations to Xiaorong for having her work on the interactions of anti-cancer drug EGCG with p53 acccepted for publication in Nature Communications! This is a collaborative work with Chunyu Wang at RPI and Stewart Loh at SUNY Upstate.

October 15, 2020
Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in New England, besides Spring, Summer and Winter. The group got together (after we all tested negative for COVID-19) and did a couple short hikes along the famous Mohawk Trail. The foliage was near peak and the weather was perfect! Thanks to an enthusiastic local, we were very fortunate visit two of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area, as well as allegedly the most haunted tunnel in New England (Hoosac Tunnel, East Portal). Check out some of the pictures we took by clicking on the collage below. (Note: the tail to Twin Cascades, pictur 18 below, starts next to Hoosac Tunnel, East Portal, picture 22 below)

August 29, 2020
After a small delay, the lab overcame COVID-19 and had a modest celebration of the newlyh minted Dr. Yazdani in the lab! Congratulations!

August 25, 2020
Our warmest congratulations to Mahdieh for successfully defending her PhD dissertation! Mahdieh gave an outstanding talk on her exciting discoveries on the regulation and gating of BK channels. What a great ending to her celebrated tenure in our lab! It really speaks to Mahdieh's outstanding dedication, perserverance and talent. COVID-19 was preventing us from have a proper celebration, but not for too long ... Spring always comes!

August 18, 2020
Congratulations to Erik and Yumeng for winning the 2nd and 1st place prizes for their poster presentations during the annual ResearchFest of UMass Chemistry!

August 13, 2020
Jianhan is joining the Editorial Board of Biophysical Journal. The journal is published by Cell Press on behalf of the Biophysical Society and a leading one on the physical studies of a broad range of biological problems ranging from molecules to whole organisms.

August 13, 2020
We said good-bye to Xiaorong, mostly remotely. It was a very difficult, and bittersweet, moment. Xiaorong has been a key member of our lab for the last several years, a true role model and mentor to several younger graudate and undergraduate students She is an outstanding young scientist and has made numerous contributions in multiple research areas. Well, all good things must come to an end, for now. We wish Xiaorong and her family the best in Ann Arbor!

July 1, 2020
Congratulations to Erik for being selected for one of new CBI NIH Traineeships! Chemistry Biology Interface (CBI) is an NIH-funded training program "to train students with diverse scientific backgrounds for productive research at the interface between chemistry and biology" at UMass.

June 28, 2020
Congratulations to Mahdieh and Zhiguang for getting their work on the role of so-called C-linker in regulation and gating of BK channels accepted for publication in eLife! This is a collaborative work with Jianmin Cui's lab at WUSTL. It is one of the first direct examples of how nonspecific membrane interactions can modulate the channel function. It also suggests that covalent linkages in membrane proteins should be considered an intergral component of the sensing apparatus.

June 1, 2020
Congratulations to Mahdieh for passing her PhD data defense! There is no real hurdle between Mahdieh and Dr ... Also congatulations to Xiping and Erik for reaching their first milestone towards PhD, by passing the prospectus exam!

May 10, 2020
Congratulations to Xiaorong and her husband for their new baby son, born on the Mother's day! Welcome to Earth, Zexi! We all look forward to meeeting you in person!

April 30, 2020
Our warm congratulations to Callie for being recognized with an ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry!

April 27, 2020
After 6 weeks delay thanks to COVID-19, the group finally got together for our spring outing. As a reward, we all got to visit our dream destinations! and yes, we do have some extreme hardworkers who bring papers everywhere they go (including vacations) ...

March 16, 2020
Warmest congratulations to Zhiguang for getting his work on multi-scale modeling of amyloid formation accepted for publication in PNAS! This is a result of two years' hard work from Zhiguang. He has developed a multi-scale approach that provides a complete description of fibril growth at atomistic level for the first time and can recaptitulate the sequence dependence of fibril growth mechanism and kinetics without any free parameter!

Jan 19, 2020
The group celebrated the Chinese New Year together in Jianhan's house and looked forward to a great Year of Rat!

Jan 1, 2020
Another new decade, another exciting chapter in the journey?!
路漫漫其修远兮,吾将上下而求索(屈原)


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