Welcome to the BioSM Group@DGIST

Soft matter and biological physics share a close relationship within the realm of physics due to the substantial presence of soft matter systems within various components of biological cells and tissues. Employing theoretical models and computer simulations, our research team primarily dedicates itself to unraveling the fundamental physical mechanisms governing biological systems across scales ranging from the molecular to the cellular level. This encompasses an exploration of free energy landscapes and the dynamics of conformational changes in polymer complexes. Additionally, our interests encompass the simulation and modeling of electrolytes, with a specific focus on deciphering the intricate mechanisms underpinning ion transport.

Presently, our research pursuits encompass several noteworthy areas. These include the structural and functional examination of membrane proteins, the characterization of the functional and mechanical attributes of soft matter within biological contexts, the exploration of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) and their role in drug delivery, as well as investigations into electrolytes pertinent to lithium-ion transport and material design.

Group Members

Principal Investigator


Seungho Choe

Associate Professor, Dept. of Energy Science & Engineering

Graduate Students


Afira Mariam

PhD Student (April 2022 ~ )


Muhammad Raza

MS Student (April 2022 ~ )


Shanjida Akter

MS Student (September 2022 ~ )

Alumni/Former Interns


Daam Heo

Intern (June 2022 ~ July 2022)


Katrina Shaffer

Exchange student (June 2023 ~ August 2023)

Current Projects

Cell-Penetrating Peptides(CPPs) and Drug Delivery

Cell-Penetrating Peptides (CPPs) exhibit the ability to transport pharmacologically active compounds such as proteins, plasmid DNA, liposomes, and nanoparticles into cells, presenting a promising avenue for forthcoming therapeutic applications. Nevertheless, the precise pathways through which uptake occurs remain a topic of ongoing discussion.

Electrolytes for Li-ion Transport and Material Design

Water-in-salt electrolytes (WISEs) have garnered significant interest recently owing to their expanded electrochemical stability window, surpassing that of conventional diluted aqueous electrolytes. This heightened stability has positioned WISEs as components in batteries and supercapacitors.

Functional and Mechanical Properties of Biological Soft Matter

Recognizing the essential nature of comprehending the functional and mechanical characteristics of foundational structures like peptides, DNAs, and membranes (whether bilayer or monolayer), becomes paramount in unraveling the mechanisms governing diverse biological functions at the molecular level.

Light-harvesting: Mechanisms of Energy Transfer

The field of light-harvesting delves into the investigation of materials and molecules that seize photons from solar light. This encompasses endeavors to gain deeper insights into the light-capturing attributes of photosynthetic organisms, as well as the construction of artificial systems intended to facilitate photochemical reactions.

Membrane Proteins Structure and Function

Integral to the functioning of all organisms, membrane proteins (including enzymes, receptors, ion channels, and transporters) hold pivotal significance. These proteins constitute the primary targets for pharmaceutical interventions. Our overarching objective revolves around comprehending the diverse functional attributes exhibited by various membrane proteins, and in doing so, pinpointing viable pharmaceutical agents capable of modulating their biological activities.

Modeling and Simulations of Self-Assembly of Polymers

The realm of polymer self-assembly has emerged as a burgeoning domain within the sphere of materials science, presenting numerous potential applications in nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology. It is imperative to scrutinize the energy landscape governing the interactions among self-assembled polymers, as well as to elucidate the trajectory of these polymers and the strategies for achieving the ultimate morphology.

Molecular Dynamics Studies of Polyelectrolyte-Polyampholyte Complexes

Polyelectrolytes (PEs) refer to polymers containing ionizable groups that are either positively or negatively charged, whereas polyampholytes (PAs) are polymers with charged groups encompassing both positive and negative charges. The investigation of PEs and PAs adhering to charged chains and surfaces has been a subject of comprehensive research over an extended period due to its significance in fields such as biology, materials science, and soft matter exploration.

Path Sampling of Rare Events

Path sampling methodologies offer a means to augment the efficiency of simulating infrequent occurrences, such as protein folding, protein binding and unbinding, as well as cellular signaling processes. Among these approaches, the Weighted Ensemble (WE) method stands out as a particularly potent and versatile technique.

Theoretical Modeling of a Cell Division and the Min System

Within E. coli, the Min protein system—comprising Min C, Min D, and Min E proteins—exerts a crucial function in orchestrating cell division positioning. Our focus has revolved around formulating partial differential equations that capture the dynamics of the Min system.

Recent Posts

Seungho gave a talk titled by “Spontaneous translocation of cell-penetrating peptides across a model membrane using MD simulations” @ International Soft Matter Conference(ISMC2023) (09/04-09/08, Osaka)

Seungho gave a talk titled by “Spontaneous translocation of cell-penetrating peptides using the weighted ensemble method within molecular dynamics simulations” @ International Conference on Biological Physics(ICBP2023) (08/14-08/18, Seoul)

Our group was awarded computing time (Sep 2023 ~ Aug 2024) on Nurion@KISTI.

Welcome our new intern, Katrina Shaffer! She is an exchange student from Univ. of Virginia, USA.

Muhammad gave a talk titled by “External electric effect on the translocation of R-derivatives peptides across a symmetric lipid bilayer using umbrella sampling” @ 2023 KPS spring meeting (04/19-04/21, Daejeon)

Open Positions

Our group is seeking talented and motivated students (intern, Master, PhD). Please contact us if you are interested.


  • schoe[at]dgist.ac.kr
  • Dept. of Energy Science & Engineering, DGIST, 333 Techno Jungang-daero, Hyeonpung-eup, Dalseong-gun, Daegu 42988 Rep. of Korea