Ken A. DillKenneth A. Dill, Distinguished Professor
Director of the Laufer Center for Physical & Quantitative Biology

1978 Ph.D. Biology Department, UCSD, La Jolla
1981 Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemistry, Stanford Univ.

Phone: 631) 632-4124

Research Interests

Properties of Proteins. We are interested in the physical properties of proteins. In particular, we are exploring: (1) the molecular forces that drive proteins to fold into their biological native structures, (2) how amino acid sequences encode those structures, (3) the thermodynamic factors that stabilize proteins against unfolding and aggregation, and (4) the rates and mechanisms by which proteins fold. We believe that knowledge of these physical properties can contribute to computer-based methods for predicting protein structures, dynamics, conformational changes, and their biological mechanisms.

Properties of Water. We are interested in the structure and physical properties of water. In particular, we have been developing simplified models that can be explored analytically and through Monte Carlo computer simulations, for the properties of pure water, for understanding hydrophobic interactions, and for ion solvation. We believe that better understanding of water as a solvent will have value in improving models in computational biology for the folding of proteins and RNA molecules and for ligand docking and drug design.


J. D. Schmit and K. A. Dill. The Stabilities of Protein Crystals. J. Phys. Chem. B 114 : 4020--4027 (2010). (PDF)

T. Urbic and K. A. Dill. A Statistical Mechanical Theory for a Two-dimensional Model of Water. J. Chem. Phys. 132 : 224507 (2010). (PDF)

G. J. Peterson, S. Pressé and K. A. Dill. Nonuniversal power law scaling in the probability distribution of scientific citations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (37): 16023--16027 (2010). (PDF)

S. Pressé, K. Ghosh, R. Phillips, and K. A. Dill. Dynamical fluctuations in biochemical reactions and cycles. Physical Review E 82 (3): 031905 1-6 (2010). (PDF)

B. Hribar-Lee, K. A. Dill, and V. Vlachy. Receptacle model of salting-in by tetramethylammonium ions. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 114 (46): 15085-15091 (2010). (PDF PDF with links)

K. Ghosh and K. A. Dill. Cellular proteomes have broad distributions of protein stability. Biophysical Journal 99 (12): 3996--4002 (2010). (PDF)

J. Schmit, K. Ghosh and K. A. Dill. What drives amyloid molecules to assemble into oligomers and fibrils? Biophysical Journal 100 (2): 450--458 (2011). (PDF)

C. J. Fennell, C. W. Kehoe, and K. A. Dill. Modeling aqueous solvation with semi-explicit assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (8): 3234--3239 (2011). (PDF)