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Piotr E. Marszalek

Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
3387 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708-0300
3387 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708

Overview


My research focuses on investigating relationships between structural and mechanical properties of biopolymers (polysaccharides, DNA, proteins), which I study at a single molecule level. My main approaches are experimental scanning probe microscopy techniques and computational methods involving Molecular Dynamics simulations and ab initio quantum mechanical calculations. The ultimate goal of this research is to understand the above-mentioned relationships at an atomic level and to apply the knowledge gained towards elucidating basic phenomena such as: molecular recognition that mediates interactions between proteins and sugars, mechanotransduction that underlies mechanical sensing and hearing in all organisms, and protein folding that is fundamental to all biology. Our DNA research is aimed at exploiting atomic force microscopy techniques to develop new ultra-sensitive assays for detecting and examining DNA damage, the process underlying carcinogenesis, and to increase our mechanistic understanding of DNA damage and repair processes. This research, in addition to its basic science aspects will lay a foundation for the future use of AFM technologies in the nanoscale DNA diagnostics with a potential to directly benefit human health.

Current Appointments & Affiliations


Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science · 2009 - Present Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Pratt School of Engineering

Education, Training & Certifications


Electrotechnical Institute (Poland) · 1991 Ph.D.
University of Warsaw (Poland) · 1985 M.S.