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Valerie Welborn

Assistant Professor
421A Davidson Hall

Research Interests

The high subdivision of matter in biological systems results in an abundance of interfaces that govern complex phenomena in ways we do not fully understand. Our work is aimed at developing new models of biological interfaces or biological-like interfaces (such as dye-sensitized devices) to control and exploit their unique properties. Combining morphological, structural, dynamic and electronic factors, we derive new concepts and methodology to study these complex environments by bridging various time and length scales.


  1. V. Vaissier Welborn*. 2022. Beyond structural analysis of molecular enzyme-inhibitor interactions. Electron. Struct., DOI:10.1088/2516-1075/ac509f.
  2. V. Vaissier Welborn*. 2021. The role of water dynamics in age-related bone weakening. Research Outreach, 127, DOI:10.32907/RO-127-1960557845.
  3. V. Vaissier Welborn*. 2021. Structural dynamics and computational design of synthetic enzymes. Chem. Catalysis, 2, 1-10.
  4. V. Vaissier Welborn*. 2021. Environment-controlled water adsorption at hydroxyapatite/collagen interfaces. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 23, 13789-13796. \textbf{Cover article}. Editor-selected as "2021 Hot PCCP article".
  5. J. Nash, T. Barnes and V. Vaissier Welborn*. 2020. ELECTRIC: Electric fields Leveraged from multipole Expansion Calculations in Tinker Rapid Interface Code. J. Open Source Softw., 5, 2576.
  6. V. Vaissier Welborn. 2020. Enamel Synthesis Explained. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 117, 21847-21848.
  7. V. Vaissier Welborn and T. Head-Gordon. 2019. Fluctuations of Electric Fields in the Active Site of the Enzyme Ketosteroid Isomerase. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 141, 12487-12492.
  8. V. Vaissier Welborn and T. Head-Gordon. 2019. Computational design of synthetic enzymes. Chem. Rev., 119, 6613-6630.
  9. V. Vaissier Welborn, L. R. Pestana and T. Head-Gordon. 2018. Computational optimization of electric fields for better catalysis design. Nat. Catal., 1, 649-655.
  • Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) on Theory and Simulation of Materials (TSM) Ph.D. Prize for Research Excellence, 2014
  • Outstanding Contribution to Outreach and Public Engagement, CDT TSM, 2014
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) fully-funded Ph.D. Fellowship, CDT TSM, 2011
  • Ph.D. Physics, Imperial College London Center for Doctoral Training (CDT) on Theory and Simulation of Materials (TSM), 2014
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015–2017
  • Postdoctoral Associate, University of California, Berkeley, 2017–2019