Garcia Research Group

Prof. Angel E. Garcia


Angel E. García is the Senior Constellation Chaired Professor in Biocomputation and Bioinformatics and Professor of Physics at RPI.

Professor and Head, Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy Joint appointments in:

Department of Biology

Department of Biomedical Engineering

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

He received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Cornell University. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the Biophysical Society, the Protein Society, the AAAS, and the American Chemical Society. He received the Edward Bouchet prize of the American Physical Society in 2006. Angel E. García is an Associate Editor of Proteins, Structure, Function and Bioinformatics, and a member of the Faculty of 1000 for BioMed Central.


Dr. Alan A. Chen


Alan Chen joined the Garcia group as a postdoc in fall of 2009. He completed his Ph.D under Rohit V. Pappu of Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied the theory of electrolytes and counterion binding to nucleic acids using atomistic computer simulations. Prior to this, Alan received his B.A. in both physics and molecular biology at Cornell University, where he did research in protein NMR spectroscopy in the lab of Linda Nicholson. Alan's current research interests include using multi-scale molecular simulations to elucidate the folding kinetics of RNA tetraloops and the mechanical dissociation of retroviral RNA loop-loop junctions known as "kissing-loops".


Dr. Akansha Saxena

Akansha profile.jpg

Akansha is a postdoc in the Garcia group. She completed her Ph.D from Washington University in St.Louis under the guidance of Dr David Sept. Before moving to Troy, Akansha was in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor as a Visiting Research Investigator.

During her Phd she worked on understanding the structure and function BK(Ca) channel by using molecular simulations. She also worked on developing a new model for using ions in the the MD simulations.

Akansha received her Bachelors in Technology in Biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India where she worked with Professor A. K Ghosh on molecular characterization of the silkworm RNA.

Currently, Akansha is working on understanding the interaction of Antimicrobial peptides with lipid bilayers.


Graduate Students

Jacob Miner



Jake joined the Garcia group in Spring 2012. He holds bachelor-of-science degrees in biology and chemistry. During his graduate work at RPI, Jake has been funded by the NIH-NIGMS Pre-Doctoral Training Grant (2013-2014) and has worked as a short-term consultant for Corning Life Sciences (Summer 2014).

Jake's research focuses in the Garcia group have included: (1) characterizing secondary structure formation in amyloids (PAPf39), (2) coupling RNA coarse-grained molecular dynamics to ion-mobility mass spectrometry, and (3) RNA folding.

Ryan Krafnick

Ryan Krafnick obtained a B.S. in Physics from RPI in 2012. Current work involves simulating polymers using the lattice Boltzmann method for coupling molecular dynamics to fluid dynamics.

Charles A. English


Charles English got his bachelor's degree in physics from Loyola College in Maryland (now Loyola University) in 2009. While there, he experimentally and computationally studied surfaces of alloys as well as overlayer and interlayer alloy systems. Some of this work was included in two publications, of which he is a co-author (see [1] and [2]).

Joining the Garcia Group in the fall of 2010, he currently is working on the thermodynamics and kinetics of folding for two variations of the Trp-cage miniprotein with special attention given to the effects of using charged versus capped ends.

David J. Rosenman

Which one is David?!? The world may never know.

David got his B.S. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology in 2009. He joined the Garcia lab in 2010 as a graduate student in the Biology department at RPI. His research in the Garcia lab focuses on the use of molecular dynamics and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques to characterize the conformational ensemble of the Aβ peptides implicated in Alzheimer's disease. Some of his publications include: [1], [2].


Camilo Andres Jimenez Cruz


Camilo got his bachelor degree on Physics from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 2006 where he studied various Higgs Bosson production channels on the Large Hadron Collider (link, link).

Enrolled in the department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute since fall 2008, and under the supervision of Dr. Angel Garcia he is currently researching protein stability via computational methods.


Kun Huang


Kun Huang got his B.S in Physics from Wuhan University in 2008. Now he is a graduate student in Physics department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research interest are various kinds of biological membrane systems, and their interaction with cell penetrating peptide.

Support Staff

Bob Healey - System Administrator

Master Students

Undergraduate students


Deepak Canchi


Deepak got his Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras, India in 2006, and is now a graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at RPI. His current research focuses on the molecular origin of the effects of co-solvents on protein stability.

Jianhui Tian


I got my Bachelor's degree in Modern physics department from University of Science and Technology of China in July, 2004. Now I am a graduate student in Physics department at RPI. My current research focuses on the confinement and crowding effects on protein structure, dynamics and thermodynamics.

Dr. Nikolaos Sgourakis


I graduated from the Biology department of the National University of Athens in 2004. I received my Master's degree in Bioinformatics from the same department in February 2006. Since the last year of my undergraduate studies I have been involved in research in Bioinformatics under the supervision of Professor Stavros Hamodrakas. In particular, I have focused on the development of tools that predict properties of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), namely their interactions with G-proteins (coupling). I am currently a PhD student of Biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, under the supervision of Professor Angel Garcia. Recent research involves the application of simulation tools for the characterization of of the conformational ensemble of the Alzheimer's peptides, and the correlated atomic motions of proteins. Our simulation results are validated through direct comparison with NMR data. Another aspect of our research involves the simulation of membrane protein tertiary complexes. (Web Page)

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