Tech to host talk on computational protein modeling

Louisiana Tech University’s New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Series next lecture will be given by Dr. Lydia Kavraki, the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University.

Kavraki’s presentation titled “Computational Modeling of Proteins and Molecular Interactions: Beyond Simulation” will take place at 3:30 p.m. May 6 in University Hall.

 “Louisiana Tech is delighted to host Dr. Kavraki, an internationally acclaimed computer scientist, on our campus,” said Dr. Sumeet Dua, Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships. “Her uniquely productive career captures the essence of how cutting-edge computational research can lead to discoveries, mentoring and educational opportunities in interdisciplinary areas such as structural biology, biomedicine and motion planning. A recipient of various international awards, Dr. Kavraki, is a trailblazer for many fundamental research ideas through her novel algorithmic-driven approach to challenging domain problems. We are excited that she will be sharing her rich experiences with our students and faculty through the New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Series.”

Kavraki is a pioneer of probabilisitic roadmapping for biomedicine and robotics applications. She is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the Grace Murray Hopper Award in 2000 for her innovative work. In 2002, Kavraki made Popular Science Magazine “Brilliant 10” list.

Kavraki’s research focuses on the development of novel computational methodologies for biomedicine and robotics. In both fields, her research seeks to develop physical algorithms: algorithms that are capable of solving complex high-dimensional problems arising in real-world applications – for example moving a robot from point A to point B or to predict if a drug can bind to a receptor. Within the field of biomedicine Dr. Kavraki’s research group develops computational tools on high-performance systems to model protein structure and function, understand biomolecular interactions, develop new medicinal drugs, and help analyze, in the long run, the molecular machinery of the cell.  Through robotics and biomedicine, Dr. Kavraki studies the fundamental issues arising when algorithms are designed for problems in the physical world and develop coherent solution frameworks that quantify, to the extent possible, the unavoidable tradeoff between accuracy and performance.

Kavraki’s seminar is the last lecture of the 2018-19 New Frontiers in Biomedical Research Seminar Series.  The series is an interdisciplinary lecture series that focuses on advancements in the fields of biomedical engineering, biology, biochemistry, and physics. The series strives to foster an understanding of human health and disease by bringing renown researchers to campus to for faculty, students, and members of the Ruston community to interact with.

For more information, contact Dr. Jamie Newman at or Dr. Caldorera-Moore at