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Samer Gozem

Assistant Professor

B.S. (2008) Summa Cum Laude, American University of Beirut.
Ph.D. (2013), Bowling Green State University.
Postdoc (2014 – 2017), University of Southern California.
Assistant Professor (2017 – present), Georgia State University


Areas of training: Multiscale (quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical) modeling, light-responsive proteins, electronic structure, molecular dynamics, photochemistry, photoionization, bioinformatics and proteomics, programming.


Modeling of Photochemical and Photobiological processes.

Research Interests:

Our research group is largely interested in developing and applying computational tools to investigate light-induced chemistry in chemical and biological systems. Light-responsive proteins have evolved to use light efficiently to drive complex processes ranging from photosynthesis to vision. The versatility, selectivity, and efficiency of these photobiological systems serve as an inspiration for technology, driving efforts to develop light-harvesting systems for solar energy applications, light-driven water splitting catalysts for solar energy storage, fluorescent probes for bioimaging, optogenetics tools, photodynamic therapies, and more. To learn from natural light-responsive proteins, however, we need to develop a fundamental understanding of how such systems operate at a molecular level. This requires investigating the light-induced chemical events that occur upon light excitation. Therefore, we develop and employ computer models of chemical and biological systems to understand how they respond to light. These models are usually rooted in quantum mechanical and/or classical theories and methods. Ultimately, one of our main goals is to derive structure-function relations in photoreceptor proteins that can aid in the design of new light-responsive proteins with potential applications in biotechnology. We are currently investigating light-induced events in flavoproteins such as light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) sensing domains.



 A full list of publications can be found at

  1. Orozco-Gonzalez Y, Kabir MP, Gozem S. Electrostatic Spectral Tuning Maps for Biological Chromophores. J. Phys. Chem. B. 2019. Link to Article.
  2. Gozem S; Luk HL; Schapiro I; Olivucci M. Theory and Simulation of the Ultrafast Double-Bond Isomerization of Biological Chromophores. Chem. Rev. 117, 13502—13565. 2017. Link to Article.
  3. Gozem S, Melaccio F, Luk HL, Rinaldi S, Olivucci M. Learning from Photobiology how to Design Molecular Devices Using a Computer. Chem. Soc. Rev. 43, 4019-4036. 2014. Link to Article.
  4. Gozem S, Schapiro I, Ferre N, Olivucci M. The Molecular Mechanism of Thermal Noise in Rod Photoreceptors. Science. 137, 1225–1228. 2012. Link to Article.
  5. Gozem S, Gunina AO, Ichino T, Osborn DL, Stanton JF, Krylov AI. Photoelectron Wave Function in Photoionization: Plane wave or Coulomb wave? J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 6, 4532–4540. 2015. Link to Article.