Faculty Profile: Luo, Ray

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Faculty Information Lab Information (Packet Type, Course Title, & Department) Location
Luo, Ray
Lab Contact:
Ray Luo
(949) 824-9528
Department: Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Research Description

We rely on computational approaches to study structures and functions of biomolecules. Our final goal is to interpret the structural and functional information encoded in genomes and to understand life at the most fundamental level based on physical and chemical principles. Our current research focuses on developing reliable and efficient methods to study biomolecular structures, functions, and intermolecular interactions at atomic detail, and applying our new methods to understand and predict the relations between the sequences, structures and functions of these molecules. Students may choose to focus on the following two general areas of research in the lab. Protein Folding Mechanism and Structure Prediction The ability of proteins to perform various biological functions is attributed to their unique three-dimensional structures which are predetermined by their amino acid sequences. The amazing feat that these molecules have to accomplish to assemble themselves quickly and reliably has puzzled scientists in many different fields for decades. The so-called protein folding problem involves the fundamental issue to understand the folding mechanism and the challenging final goal to predict three-dimensional structures from amino acid sequences. It is often regarded as the second half of genomics. Protein-Protein and Protein-Ligand Interactions Structure determination is only the first half of biochemistry. Function annotation is the other more important half. This requires that we study how biomolecules interact with each other and how such interactions assist functioning. The knowledge is often helpful, sometimes critical, in developing new medicines. Computational studies on intermolecular interactions can provide many insights to the understanding. Computational findings are also much easier to be converted into new virtual compounds which may eventually lead to new drugs

Requirements to Participate


Time Commitment per Week


Faculty Means of Evaluation

Effort, i.e. research time in the lab, is evaluated for grade in the first quarter. Quarterly presentations will be evaluated for grades in the later quarters.