The 2022 Fellow is Neelesh Soni! 

Dr. Soni is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Sali lab who is trained in applied mathematics and computational biology. His work primarily focuses on developing algorithms and software tools to solve computational biology problems such as developing scoring schemes for protein-protein interactions, stability of amino acid substitutions, and determining 3D structures of macromolecular assemblies.

Previously, he has contributed to the analytical and numerical solutions related to coiled-coil protein assemblies and developed algorithms for quasi-3D problems. He has also worked on the effects of atomic packing on protein stability using geometric and machine learning algorithms. This work has led to the development of software for analyzing the impact of amino acid substitutions on protein stability and software to design novel peptide inhibitors.

Currently, he is working with members of multiple research groups, including the Rout lab, to decipher the comprehensive models of the Nucleopore complex (NPC) and its sub-complexes for different model systems. The work involves the Integrative modeling of the functionally important NPC nuclear basket that is majorly composed of coiled-coil proteins and remains a mystery. The nuclear-basket proteins are part of a dynamic interactome involved in various processes such as regulating the chromatin crowding near the central transporter, contributing to the NPC position and stability, and providing docking sites for cargo transport. NPC basket models would be a starting point to many independent NPC-related discoveries. Apart from this, NPC basket models would also contribute to the NPC neighborhood mapping and related cancer mutations.