Sally C. Pias, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Jones Annex 205
Tel: (575) 835-6204
Fax: (575) 835-5364

Research Interests

Our group uses computer simulations to investigate molecular-level mechanisms underlying biological phenomena. We are currently studying the principles governing molecular oxygen movement across fatty cellular structures. Specifically, we seek to clarify how lipid compositional features—for example, cholesterol abundance and fatty acyl chain saturation—influence the transport of oxygen and other metabolites on the cellular level. In addition, we model the incorporation of prodrugs within lipid-based drug-delivery vehicles. Our goals in this work are to explain experimental findings regarding prodrug incorporation efficiency and drug activity, as well as to engage in "smart design" of more effective delivery systems. Lastly, we are involved in computational methods development, with particular interests in extending the Amber Lipid Framework to accomodate a wider range of lipid-based molecules and in using graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration to gain biological insight.

Research Group

Staff Research Assistant:

Rachel Dotson

Graduate Students:

Gary Angles, James Ryan Bredin, and Rajendra Prasad Gautam


Emily McClenahan and Alex Burd

Former Members:

Graduate student Ryan Shea; postdoc Ana West; and undergraduates Kristina Bueche, Timothy Ricard, Sergio Torres, David DeVries, Michael Mallette, Angelica Cave, Jonathan Tsosie, Mendi Marquez, Cassidy Coleman, and Joshua Ingram

Currently recruiting additional PhD students. Please contact me to express your interest. Financial support is available for admitted students.

Courses Taught

BMS 101, Introduction to Biomedical Sciences

CHEM 121, General Chemistry I

CHEM 122R, General Chemistry II Recitation

CHEM 441, Biochemistry I: Biomolecular Structure and Function

CHEM 441L, Biochemistry I Lab

CHEM 442, Biochemistry II: Biomolecular Mechanisms and Metabolism

CHEM 442L, Biochemistry II Lab

CHEM 521, Advanced Topics in Biochemistry

Link to CV