LSTM GROUP: Dr. Chara Alexiou
My genuine interest is on research topics that involve aspects of computational biomechanics and fluid-biomaterial interactions at any level of observation (biopolymer, biological cell, tissue). Typical examples from my research include: a) the development of novel multiscale theoretical models for mass and momentum transport in cellular biological media, and b) the computational simulation of the interaction between a Newtonian fluid and a permeable, poro-elastic cellular biological medium (e.g., microbial biofilm, mammalian tissue) in vessels and in porous media.
My current research interests are focused on the determination of structural and configurational properties of bio-polymers such as DNA, which are of immense biological and technological interest, since they are involved in numerous applications, as for example in electrophoretic separation and enzymology, structural stabilization of synthetically derived proteins, as well as in targeted drug delivery systems. In recent years, a great deal of research interest is emerging towards the understanding of the role of the molecular architecture in the dynamic and rheological properties of DNA solutions. The objective of my work is the determination of structural and configurational properties of solvated DNA molecules, and the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern these properties. To this end, a systematic computational study is being performed, through the combination of: a) detailed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of aqueous solutions of DNA structures for the investigation of the structure and dynamics at an atomistic level, and, b) the development of coarse-grained models for the description of the interaction with the solute at a mesoscopic level, and the estimation of the emerging transport properties. The computational methodology outlined here constitutes an essential stepping-stone towards the derivation of scaling laws for the conformational, dynamic and rheological properties of DNA molecules.
Another area of current interest involves the simulation of the microstructure & rheology of blood suspensions through the application of Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) algorithms.
- 2012: PhD, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Greece
- 2002: Diploma in Chemical Engineering, University of Patras
- 2013 – present: Post-doctoral research fellow, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras
- 2002-2012: PhD studies, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Greece, thesis “Interaction between a fluid and a cellular biological medium in vessels and porous media”, supervised by Prof. Payatakes Alkiviades (dec. 2009) & Prof. Stavros Pavlou (2009-2012)
- Excellent Paper Award by the American Academy of Sciences for the paper entitled: “Hierarchical simulation of biofilm growth dynamics in porous media”, (with G.E. Kapellos, S. Pavlou, A.C. Payatakes), which was presented at the International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology, Houston, TX, USA, Aug. 5-10, 2007.
- Graduate Student Fellowship by the Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (FORTH-ICES) to carry out Ph.D. studies at Chemical Engineering, University of Patras (1/2005-12/2008).
- Awards (2) by the Greek State Scholarship Foundation for outstanding academic performance in postgraduate studies during the academic years 2002-2004 (1st and 2nd years of studies).
- Graduate Student Fellowship by the European Union in the context of the Operational Program for Education and Initial Professional Training (“Ε.Π.Ε.Α.Ε.Κ.”) to initiate Ph.D. studies at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras (2003).
- Award by the Technical Chamber of Greece for outstanding academic performance during undergraduate studies 1997-2002 (graduated 2nd in the class of 2002).
- Award by the Hellenic Association of Chemical Engineers for outstanding academic performance during undergraduate studies 1997-2002 (graduated 2nd in the class of 2002).
- Awards (2) by the Greek State Scholarship Foundation for outstanding academic performance in undergraduate studies during the academic years 1998-99 and 1999-2000.
- Honorary Praises (2) by the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras for outstanding academic performance during the academic years 1998-99 and 1999-2000.
- Award by the Greek State Scholarship Foundation for the admission (1st) in the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras (1997).
- Reviewer for Advances in Water Resources; Chemical Engineering Science