Current Postdocs

Zeke Piskulich

Postdoctoral Fellow (06/2021-present)

Zeke received his B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 2017. Zeke received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Kansas in 2021 where he worked with Profs. Ward H. Thompson and Brian B. Laird developing a fluctuation theory approach for calculating activation energies using simulations at a single temperature. Zeke started in the Cui group in June 2021. He is now investigating the interactions between nanoplastic particles and lipid vesicles as a part of the NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. He is also currently interested in improving analysis of enhanced sampling techniques used to estimate phase transition temperatures in lipid membranes.

Sanjoy Paul

Postdoctoral Fellow (06/2021-present)

Sanjoy completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. Then he joined the Department of Chemical Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, India and received M.Sc. and Ph.D. with Prof. Ravindra Venkatramani in 2021. During his Ph. D., he developed energy landscape sensitive metrics (CVCF) to extract quantitative information about protein dynamics from MD simulation. Then he joined the Cui group at Boston University in June, 2021 to pursue postdoctoral research. His current research interest lies in the field of membrane biophysics and protein induced membrane remodeling. He employs atomistic and coarse grained MD simulation to understand how SAR1 becomes activated in presence of GTP and starts sculpting on the membrane which ultimately regulates COPII mediated vesicular trafficking from ER to the Golgi Apparatus in the cell.

Sayantan Mondal

Postdoctoral Fellow (06/2021-present)

Sayantan received his B.Sc. from St. Xavier’s College (Kolkata, India) followed by an M.Sc. from Calcutta University (India). He earned his Ph.D. in Feb 2021 from the Indian Institute of Science (Bengaluru, India). During his Ph.D., with Prof. Biman Bagchi, he studied several aspects of confined water, biomolecular hydration, microdroplet chemistry, and protein association with the help of statistical mechanics and molecular simulations. Starting from June 2021, he joined the Cui-group at Boston University as a postdoctoral research associate. His present research focuses on the interaction of disordered proteins with cell membranes by employing coarse-grained simulations.

Van-Quan Vuong

Postdoctoral Fellow (10/2021-present)

Van-Quan Vuong received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Science in Vietnam and an M.S. in chemistry from Nagoya University in Japan. He received his Ph.D. in Energy Science and Engineering from the University of Tennessee under the supervision of Dr. Stephan Irle, working on the “Development of Density-Functional Tight-Binding Methods for Chemical Energy Science”. His current research interest is developing and applying DFTB methods for simulations of biomolecules.

Monja Sokolov

Postdoctoral Fellow (02/2023-present)

Monja received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Freiburg, Germany. Afterwards, she went to Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, where she received her M.Sc. and Dr. rer. nat. in Chemistry in the Theoretical Chemical Biology group of Prof. Marcus Elstner. She studied optical properties of chromophores in proteins and focused on the application of TD-LC-DFTB for excited states. She stayed in the same group for a year as a postdoc and continued to investigate the energy transfer through a light-harvesting complex with non-adiabatic MD simulations and neural networks. In February 2023, she joined the Cui group at Boston University. Her current research interest is in polaritons and how they alter the energetics in a light-harvesting complex.

Interested in joining the Cui group? Write to QC!