Andrew L Ferguson

Learn More
The antimicrobial peptide microcin J25 (MccJ25) is posttranslationally matured from a linear preprotein into its native lasso conformation by two enzymes. One of these enzymes cleaves the preprotein and the second enzyme installs the requisite isopeptide bond to establish the lasso structure. Analysis of a mimic of MccJ25 that can be cyclized without the(More)
We employ the diffusion map approach as a nonlinear dimensionality reduction technique to extract a dynamically relevant, low-dimensional description of n-alkane chains in the ideal-gas phase and in aqueous solution. In the case of C8 we find the dynamics to be governed by torsional motions. For C16 and C24 we extract three global order parameters with(More)
Nanomedicines (NMs) offer new solutions for cancer diagnosis and therapy. However, extension of progression-free interval and overall survival time achieved by Food and Drug Administration-approved NMs remain modest. To develop next generation NMs to achieve superior anticancer activities, it is crucial to investigate and understand the correlation between(More)
We employ molecular dynamics simulations to study the solubility and molecular conformations of n-alkane chains in water. We find nearly exponential decrease in solubility with carbon number up to n-eicosane (C(20)), and excellent agreement with experiment up to n-dodecane (C(12)). We detect no sharp break in the dependence of the solubility upon carbon(More)
Bottom-up self-assembly offers a means to synthesize materials with desirable structural and functional properties that cannot easily be fabricated by other techniques. An improved understanding of the structural pathways and mechanisms by which self-assembling materials spontaneously form from their constituent building blocks is of value in understanding(More)
Molecular simulation is an important and ubiquitous tool in the study of microscopic phenomena in fields as diverse as materials science, protein folding and drug design. While the atomic-level resolution provides unparalleled detail, it can be non-trivial to extract the important motions underlying simulations of complex systems containing many degrees of(More)
Nonlinear dimensionality reduction techniques can be applied to molecular simulation trajectories to systematically extract a small number of variables with which to parametrize the important dynamical motions of the system. For molecular systems exhibiting free energy barriers exceeding a few k(B)T, inadequate sampling of the barrier regions between stable(More)
The conformational states explored by polymers and proteins can be controlled by environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, and solvent) and molecular chemistry (e.g., molecular weight and side chain identity). We introduce an approach employing the diffusion map nonlinear machine learning technique to recover single molecule free energy(More)
Thin films of water under nanoscopic confinement are prevalent in natural and manufactured materials. To investigate the equilibrium and dynamic behavior of water in such environments, we perform molecular dynamics simulations of water confined between atomistically detailed hydrophobic plates at T = 298 K for pressures (-0.1) ≤ P ≤ 1.0 GPa and plate(More)
This photophysical study characterizes the generality of intermolecular electronic interactions present within nanomaterials derived from self-assembling oligopeptides with embedded π-conjugated oligophenylenevinylene (OPV) subunits stilbene and distyrylbenzene that in principle present two distinct β-sheet motifs. Two different synthetic approaches led to(More)