I have studied Biochemistry at Universität Leipzig. In my Diploma thesis I started to use computer simulations (quantum chemistry) to study structure formation in non-natural peptides. I continued along these lines in my PhD studies, also in Leipzig. During a PostDoc stay at BIOTEC of TU Dresden, I started using empirical models (a.k.a. force fields) and dedicated myself to the development of structure search techniques with a focus on molecular docking. My next stop then was in Shanghai. With a Lynen Postdoc fellowship by Humboldt Foundation, I had the chance to investigate regulatory mechanisms and function of the blood protein von Willebrand factor, a key molecule in primary hemostasis. Since 2010, I am a scientist at Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) of the Max Planck Society, since 2013 I serve as a group leader in Matthias Scheffler's Theory department at FHI. Our work here deals with biomolecules in thin air (i.e. theoretical gas-phase spectroscopy of peptides and carbohydrates), large-scale overview studies on amino acid-cation structures, and organic reactions. Recently we started to also investigate biomolecules on metal surfaces. I am involved in the organization of meetings and summer schools, most importantly the Hands-On-DFT-and-Beyond series. I am also teaching at Freie Universität Berlin, where I was granted habilitation and venia legendi in 2016/17. Currently, I am a visiting professor at Universität Leipzig, acting as Chair for Theoretical Chemistry.
Associate Professor at University of Nottingham, specialising in biological chemistry, reaction mechanisms, and ionic liquids.
Senior Lecturer in Bio-Organic Chemistry at Bangor University until 2013.
I obtained my PhD from the University of Valencia (Spain) focused on Supramolecular & Bioinorganic Chemistry, in which I worked in metalloenzymes mimetics and anion receptors. Upon completing my PhD in 2013, I performed several postdoctoral research positions in the University of Kansas (USA) and Institute Curie (France), in which I specialized in the development of drugs for non-canonical nucleic acids such as G-quadruplexes, triplexes or i-motifs. Then, I joined the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London as Newton Fellow to develop new tools to target and visualize G-quadruplexes in cells. I continued my projects as IdEx Fellow in the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology in Bordeaux (France). Actually, I’ve started my team in the Institute of Molecular Science in the University of Valencia, where I’ve developed novel systems and methodologies to target non-canonical DNA structures and unravel their biological roles.
Following my undergraduate studies of Molecular Science I received my PhD in Computational Chemistry from the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany in 2010. I then worked as a Postdoc for the Cluster of Excellence Engineering Advanced Materials (EAM) until 2014, when I joined the Sustainable Process Technology (SPT)Research Group in in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Nottingham.
My research activities all share the motivation to bring the power of computational chemistry to new chemical problems, to fundamentally understand properties and functions of organic (macro)molecules, to reveal hidden chemical questions and to promote solutions for chemical challenges.
My research experience includes Molecular Dynamics simulations, semi-empirical Molecular Orbital Theory, DFT and ab initio methods and force field development. Past projects involved multi-disciplinary research in the areas of bio-organic, colloid, and radical chemistry, molecular self-assembly, ion effects, and molecular electronics in organic electronic devices.
In Nottingham my research focuses on the development and application of efficient computational approaches for their use in enzyme driven biotechnology in order to discover sustainable routes for manufacturing fine chemicals and novel antibiotic drugs.
After graduating top of his year in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, Rob obtained his PhD in 2008 with Jonathan Goodman in Cambridge working on the automated parameterization of molecular mechanics methods to study stereoselective C-C bond formation. In 2008 he took up an independent Junior Research Fellowship at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and courtesy of an HPC-Europa award in 2009 spent time in the group of Feliu Maseras at ICIQ, Spain.
As recipient of the UK’s’ Fulbright-AstraZeneca Fellowship and a Science Fellowship from the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851, Rob conducted postdoctoral research with K. N. Houk at the University of California, Los Angeles from 2009-2010. In 2010 Rob was appointed to a University Lectureship and Tutorial Fellowship at Oxford, progressing to Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry in 2014. In 2018 he moved to Colorado State University as an Associate Professor. Rob has received the MGMS Silver Jubilee Prize, the RSC Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize and an ACS OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award.
I was originally raised as en experimental Biochemist. My PhD research centered on the biochemical characterization of the soluble hydrogenase of the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus furiosus. Eventually, the research focus broadened to include other metalloproteins from P. furiosus, which were characterized by biochemical, electrochemical and spectroscopic methods (electron paramagnetic resonance, UV-Vis spectroscopy, cofactor analysis, bioinformatics, enzymology, etc.).
After completing my PhD, I became an Assistant Professor at Universidade Fernando Pessoa (Porto, Portugal), where I am now an Associate Professor. My research focus then moved to the computational study of enzymatic and organic reaction mechanisms using quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics methods.
I have been an Academic Editor for PeerJ since September 2015, and Section Editor for its "Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology" section since its creation in February 2018.
Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, Ph.D., Chemistry, 1991
Suzhou University, Suzhou, PRC, M.S., Chemistry, 1985
University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, PRC B.S., Chemistry, 1982
Professor, California State University, Fullerton, CA, 2005-present
Associate Professor, California State University, Fullerton, CA, 2000-2005
Assistant Professor, California State University, Fullerton, CA, 1995-2000
Research Associate, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 1992-1995
Research Associate, Brown University, Providence, RI, 1991-1992
Teaching Assistant, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, 1986-1991
Lecturer, Suzhou University, Suzhou, China, 1985-1986
Professor of Microstructure Engineering, University of Cambridge; Fellow and Kenneth Denbigh Lectureship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge; elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).
PhD (Otago), MA (Cantab), Staatsexamen (Würzburg).