Luay Almassalha luay-almassalha (at) northwestern (dot) edu My main area of research is the study of the role of the intracellular nano-environment on chemical reactions. In particular, I am interested in establishing a better understanding the role of macromolecular crowding in the regulation of gene transcription.


bethany_website_picBethany Powell bethanypowell2018 (at) u (dot) northwestern (dot) edu My research focuses on the effect of hormones on athletic injury in women. Women are several times more likely to tear an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) than men during athletic activities. Many factors contribute to this discrepancy, including hormonal differences. The hormones estrogen, relaxin, and progesterone are present at much higher concentrations in women than in men. These hormones modulate the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which degrade collagen, the major constituent of ligament. Estrogen and relaxin induce MMPs, while progesterone suppresses the action of MMPs. The interplay between estrogen, relaxin, and progesterone leads to monthly fluctuations in MMPs in women, and these fluctuations may lead to varied collagen degradation throughout each month. My goal is to understand how the fluctuating, hormone-regulated MMPs affect collagen at multiple length and time scales, starting at the nanoscale and moving to the microscale. From this multiscale model, we will be able to better understand how hormones contribute to collagen degradation and athletic injury risk in women.

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Coarse-grained fibril model

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All-atom MMP-collagen dynamical system


Wenli Wu wenliwu2018 (at) u (dot) northwestern (dot) edu Please check back soon for updated biographies and research interests.

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