Joshua Pajak

My research focuses on uncovering the mechanisms by which bacteriophages package their genome during replication. I use physics-based computational methods rooted in statistical mechanics and stochastic processes to simulate the viral DNA packaging proteins under a variety of conditions. As my research continues, I draw inspiration from related ATPases such as helicases, translocases, and proteases to find conserved mechanisms involved in ATP hydrolysis and motor function.

Current Research Interests

My current research interests focus on two aspects of viral DNA packaging ATPase enzymes:
  1. What mechanisms do these enzymes use to regulate ATP hydrolysis?
  2. How do these enzymes grip - and just as importantly, ungrip - DNA during translocation?
I am broadly interested in developing a unified model of these enzymes' activities to resolve conflicts in currently proposed models.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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