Micholas Dean Smith, Ph.D. MRSC

Associate Professor at University of Tennessee Knoxville

Email: [email protected]

E340, Bldg. 2040
1 Bethel Valley Rd.
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6309



Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=_B_6FmgAAAAJ&hl=en



Education / Biography

Doctor of Philosophy, Physics, Drexel University, June 2014

Dissertation Title “Influence of aqueous-salt conditions on the structure and dynamics of the monomeric and novel dimeric forms of the Alzheimer’s Aβ21-30 Protein Fragment”

M.S. Physics, Drexel University, June 2011

B.S. Physics, Portland State University (University Honor’s College/Program), June 2009



Research Interests

Currently my time is spilt between projects related to drug development (lead optimization) and computational investigations of lignocellulosic biomass biopolymers. In the first project (drug development), I am working on projects related to the development of novel treatments for polycystic kidney disease and lung cancer. For the work on polycystic kidney disease, I collaborate with Dr. Darryl Quarles at the University of Tennessee Health Science center in Memphis, TN.

The aim of the second project (biomass) is to elucidate the mechanisms by which organic solvent-water cosolvent systems enhance the degradation of lignocellulosic biomass to produce bio-based fuel precursors.  I also initiated a second project focusing on the use of minimalist coarse-grained models to study mechanical properties of assemblies of randomly branched copolymers (particularly lignin, and its chemically modified variants) and will be seeking funding in the future.

Further I have collaborated on a number of projects dealing with topics ranging from mercury transport, ionic-liquid interactions with plant biopolymers, protein aging/dynamics, membrane structure and dynamics, allosteric network discovery, and the usage of  nanoparticles as antimicrobial agents.