The Reppert Research Group
Welcome to the Reppert research group! We work at the interface between chemistry, biology, and physics, focusing on the related challenges of
- Using physical principles to understand biological processes
- Using (micro)biological tools to interrogate and control physical phenomena.
To achieve these goals we use a variety of experimental, theoretical, and computational tools, emphasizing the development of quantitative connections between experiment and theory. Browse specific research areas below or click on the links for relevent publications.
Photosynthetic Light Harvesting
Photosynthesis is the energetic bedrock for virtually all life on earth. Yet a detailed molecular understanding of the process remains elusive. Our interests are both in understanding structure-function relationships in native photosynthetic proteins and using that knowledge to design artificial and bioengineered systems.
Optical and IR Spectroscopy
Modern optical and IR methods offer profound insight into the structure and function of biological systems. Yet raw data from even state-of-the-art methods can be extremely difficult to translate into meaningful physical and biological insight. Our group uses both ambient and low-temperature frequency-domain methods to probe biomolecular systems, focusing on the development of quantitative models for connecting theory and experiment.
In principle, quantum theory offers an exact description of biomolecular dynamics. Unfortunately, full quantum simulations are computationally prohibitive for even the smallest biological systems. Our group develops and applies mixed quantum/classical molecular dynamics methods to study the structural and energy-transport properties of peptides and pigment-protein complexes.