Dr Andela Saric
MA (Columbia), PhD (Columbia)
Sir Alan Wilson Research Fellowship in biological and medicinal sciences, HFSP Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Department of Chemistry
I use computer simulations to understand physical mechanisms underlying complex biological processes. Following an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, which is where I was born and raised, I moved to New York, where I enjoyed five vibrant scientific years and have completed a PhD in Chemical Physics at Columbia University. At present, I am a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Chemistry and hold a Human Frontier Science Program Fellowship. I am delighted to join Emmanuel this autumn, and contribute to its intellectual and social life.
My main extra-academic interests include all sorts of dancing, from salsa and ballroom, to ballet and ethnic dances. I also enjoy yoga, travelling, and, strangely, boxing.
I also believe that scientists have responsibility to train younger generations to ensure further development of science and society. Apart from teaching university curriculum, I have been closely working with a number of young science enthusiasts for the past 10 years, and am intensively involved in the Summer School of Science project, an international science workshop for motivated and talented high school students.
My main source of inspiration are the phenomena that lie at the intersection of physics, biology and chemistry. As a Research Fellow, I am studying amyloid aggregation, a process in which normally soluble proteins in cells spontaneously clump together and grow into large fibrils. A number of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and systemic amyloidoses, are associated with the formation of amyloid aggregates. It is very challenging to experimentally characterize the early stages of the process, which appear to be crucial for its toxicity. In this case computer simulations that we are conducting can provide invaluable insights, and offer quantitative information for influencing the aberrant processes in rational manner.