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Chemistry Department
K. Aurelia Ball

K. Aurelia Ball

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Office: Dana 223
Phone: 518-580-8191
Fax: 518-580-5129
Email: kball@skidmore.edu

At Skidmore since 2016

Research group web page



My computational biochemistry research program uses computer simulations and other computational methods to study how intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) interact with folded proteins in the context of disease, or as part of normal cellular function. IDPs are different from typical folded proteins in that they lack a single well-defined structure and instead dynamically occupy many alternate structures. This research draws on knowledge from physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science to understand the fundamental physical principles governing interactions between disordered and folded proteins and how these interactions are important for their function. One current project studies how an IDP that is part of the HIV virus interacts with folded human proteins to change their structure, dynamics, and function. Students in my research group will investigate biologically important IDP interactions from a physical and chemical perspective, and learn valuable computational skills. Applying concepts related to physical chemistry, statistical mechanics, and classical and quantum physics, students will model proteins and their interactions. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop new methods in the analysis of protein dynamics, and collaborate with structural biologists, biochemists, and computational chemists. Students in the group may also have opportunities to work on experimental validation of their computational results using 2D biological NMR or other methods.
I am currently recruiting Skidmore undergraduates interested in biophysical research and learning computational skills to join my lab. No experience necessary.


Selected Publications (*Indicates undergraduate co-authors)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society (Computational Chemistry)
  • Biophysical Society (Intrinsically Disordered Proteins)