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Dr. Liao Chen

Office Phone: (210) 458-5457
Office: AET 3.396
Email: Liao [dot] Chen [at] utsa [dot] edu

Areas of Specialization:

  • Biophysics
  • Theoretical and computational physics

Research Interests:

Conducting extensive in silico experiments under equilibrium and nonequilibrium conditions, we map the free-energy landscape for biophysical processes. Learning about the driving force---the free-energy gradient, we find the mechanistic details of how proteins interact with ligands and how they react to environmental changes, gaining insights that cannot be gained by in vitro experiments alone. Two examples of such studies are glycerol modulation of GlpF’s function and scFv’s action against drugs of abuse with waters at the binding site. Please click here for more and up-to-date information.


•Glycerol modulates water permeation through Escherichia coli aquaglyceroporin GlpF, L. Y. Chen, BBA Biomembranes (2013) in press.
•Glycerol inhibits water permeation through Plasmodium falciparum aquaporin, L. Y. Chen, Journal of Structural Biology 181, 71-76 (2013).
•In silico study of Aquaporin V: Effects and affinity of the central pore-occluding lipid, Y. B. Zhang and L. Y. Chen, Biophysical Chemistry 171, 24-30 (2013).
•Mercury inhibits the L170C mutant of Aquaporin Z by making waters clog the water channel, Y. B. Zhang, Y. B. Cui, and L. Y. Chen, Biophysical Chemistry, 160, 69 (2012).
•Determination of equilibrium free-energy from non-equilibrium work measurements, L. Y. Chen, D. A. Bastien, and H. E. Espejel, PCCP,  12, 6579 (2010).
•Determination of the Na/Cu(001) potential energy surface from Helium scattering studies of the surface dynamics, A. P. Graham, F. Hofmann, J. P. Toennies, L. Y. Chen, and S. C. Ying, Physical Review Letters 78, 3900 (1997).