Friday, November 8, 2019

STIP Student Elias Khayat used Biophysical Methods to Conduct Molecular Simulations that Emulate Real Life Reactions.

Hello! My name is the Elias Khayat and I am a rising senior majoring in Biology.Since I was young and even up to this day, I’ve been learning about chemical and biological reactions in a very broad way, as I never really got to understand the minuscule details that drive these reactions. I’ve always been drawn to the small details and always wanted to understand things on the small scale first. This pushed me to join a lab that studies biochemical reactions on an all-atom level. The lab I am in is 100% computational and we use biophysical methods to conduct molecular simulations that emulate real life reactions.

I hope to become a physician one day, and research is something I envision doing. As a big part of medicine relies on drugs to cure people, it’s important to find the best drug to treat patients, and it’s also very important to understand the biochemical process that causes diseases. Understanding the reactions that occur with high precision and detail can tremendously help with drug design and synthesis. Therefore, the skills I am learning in the lab are of high importance and I plan on using them in my career.

On a weekly basis, I write codes and analyze the data from our simulations to make sense of our systems in terms of physics and chemistry. I use Fortran, IDL, MATLAB, and other programs to carry out the analysis. This work has taught me a lot and helped me grow, not only as a science student, bu as a person as well. The project taught me diligence, resiliency, and patience.

Most importantly, I am very thankful for the research team I've been working with for almost two years. They have guided me a lot and have helped me tremendously grow during my time at GMU. I am very grateful for all that they’ve done for me and I am looking forward to continue working with them during the upcoming academic year.