Molecular dynamics simulation; computational biophysics; statistical thermodynamics; lipid membrane modeling; protein-lipid interactions
Viviana Monje-Galvan is active in the areas of computational biophysics and molecular biology. Her expertise is on realistic membrane modeling and the study of biological processes at the cellular membrane interface. She is specially interested on the role of lipids as active modulators of cellular processes.
Prior to joining UB CBE, she completed her postdoctoral training in the Voth Group at the University of Chicago, contributing important insights about the protein-lipid interplay during early stages of HIV-1 viral assembly as well as key biomolecular interactions within the lipid envelope of the SARS-CoV-2 viral particle. She completed her PhD degree under the mentorship of Dr. Jeffery Klauda at the University of Maryland-College Park, where she developed organelle-specific membrane models for yeast. Her simulations were the first to examine complex lipid mixtures at the atomistic level, and showcase the chemical structure and ratio of lipids of in silico models reproduce different mechanical and structural membrane properties, which in turn influence the interaction with other biomolecules.
Dr. Monje-Galvan’s work is well cited and at the forefront of computational biophysics. First as a fellow and then as mentor, she has been actively involved in programs that promote the participation of minorities and underrepresented groups in STEM fields, such as the Louise Stokes Alliance for Minorities Participation (LSAMP) program. She is currently involved in initiatives to promote engineering careers among school-aged girls (EngineerGirl from the National Academies of Engineering); international professional societies to promote the advance of biophysics and theoretical chemistry in Latin-American countries (SOBLA, LAWNP); and works closely with the “Complex Systems Group” at the Physics Research Institute and Drs. Guezzi and Ticona in the Physics Department of the Universidad Mayor de San Andres (UMSA) in La Paz, Bolivia.
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Biophysical Society (BPS), American Chemical Society (ACS), and Society of Latin-American Biophysicist (SOBLA), consultant with the Complex Systems Group at the Physics Research Institute of UMSA (La Paz, Bolivia)