Areas of Study


I earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Clemson University in 2013. My Ph.D. work involved molecular dynamics simulations using advanced sampling and polarizable force fields. I also gained extensive teaching experience at Clemson by teaching physical chemistry and cooperative general chemistry labs in which students worked collaboratively to solve given problems through experimentation while developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. Upon completion of the degree, I went on to postdoc at the Physics Department to work on modeling impact of single point mutations associated with rare genetic diseases on protein proteins, particularly the Rett Syndrome protein MeCP2. I then joined the faculty of Gallaudet University. 

At Gallaudet University, I continue doing computational biophysics research with undergraduate and high school students while improving undergraduate education through games and incorporating research into curriculum.

I'm an advocate for increasing diversity in STEM higher degrees and workforce through early exposure to research. Therefore, I have a special interest in involving undergraduate and high school students in research, particularly students from historically underrepresented groups in STEM.

I have been an American Chemical Society Project Seed coordinator and mentor since 2019. Since 2016, I mentored 14 Deaf/HoH undergraduate and high school students at Gallaudet and several groups of students at Quest Student Research Institute.

Teaching Motto: Everyone can learn!

Research Motto: It's never too early to get involved in research!

Quote: "Diversity without inclusion is exclusion"


List of Publications: Google Scholar Profile

Twitter: @DrKucukkal

  • CHE-109 General Chem Lab I (2016/01)(01)
  • CHE-109 General Chem Lab I (2017/01)(01)
  • CHE-109 General Chem Lab I (2018/01)(01)
  • CHE-109 General Chem Lab I (2020/01)(02)
  • CHE-110 General Chem Lab II (2016/02)(01)
  • CHE-110 General Chem Lab II (2018/02)(01)
  • CHE-201 Internship in Chemistry I (2019/01)(01)
  • CHE-240 Cmptr Appl for Scientists (2019/02)(01)
  • CHE-295 Special Topics (2019/02)(01)
  • CHE-307 Analytical Chemistry I (2016/01)(01)
  • CHE-307 Analytical Chemistry I (2018/01)(01)
  • CHE-308 Analytical Chemistry II (2016/02)(01)
  • CHE-308 Analytical Chemistry II (2018/02)(01)
  • CHE-309 Analytical Chemistry Lab I (2018/01)(01)
  • CHE-310 Analytical Chemistry Lab II (2018/02)(01)
  • CHE-325 Biochemistry: Proteins and DNA (2020/01)(01)
  • CHE-331 Physical Chemistry Lecture I (2017/01)(01)
  • CHE-331 Physical Chemistry Lecture I (2019/01)(01)
  • CHE-332 Physical Chemistry Lecture II (2017/02)(01)
  • CHE-332 Physical Chemistry Lecture II (2019/02)(01)
  • CHE-333 Physical Chemistry Lab I (2019/01)(01)
  • CHE-334 Phys Chemistry Laboratory II (2017/02)(01)
  • CHE-334 Phys Chemistry Laboratory II (2019/02)(01)
  • CHE-495 Special Topics (2017/02)(01)
  • CHE-499 Independent Study (2017/01)(02)
  • GSR-104 Quantitative Reasoning (2019/01)(08)
  • GSR-230 Scientific and Quantitative Re (2019/01)(02)
  • GSR-230 Scientific and Quantitative Re (2019/02)(03)
  • PHY-151 Physics I (2018/01)(01)
  • PHY-151 Physics I (2019/01)(01)
  • PHY-151 Physics I (2020/01)(01)
  • PHY-152 Physics II (2016/02)(01)
  • PHY-152 Physics II (2019/02)(01)
  • PHY-153 Physics I Laboratory (2018/01)(01)
  • PHY-153 Physics I Laboratory (2019/01)(01)
  • PHY-154 Physics II Laboratory (2016/02)(01)
  • PHY-154 Physics II Laboratory (2019/02)(01)
  • CHE-110 General Chem Lab II (2020/02)(01)
  • CHE-110 General Chem Lab II (2020/02)(02)
  • PHY-152 Physics II (2018/02)(01)
  • PHY-152 Physics II (2020/02)(01)
  • PHY-154 Physics II Laboratory (2018/02)(01)
  • CHE-109 General Chem Lab I (2021/01)(01)
  • CHE-331 Physical Chem for Biosciences (2021/01)(01)
  • CHE-333 Phys Chem for Biosciences Lab (2021/01)(01)
  • Advising Load 2020/01: Total:2 Undergraduate:2
  • Advising Load 2019/02: Total:2 Undergraduate:2
  • Advising Load 2020/02: Total:1 Undergraduate:1
  • Advising Load 2018/02: Total:2 Undergraduate:2
  • Advising Load 2019/01: Total:2 Undergraduate:2
  • Advising Load 2021/01: Total:3 Undergraduate:3
  • Computational Chemistry Activities with Avogadro and ORCA
  • Computational and structural studies of MeCP2 and associated mutants
  • PChem challenge game: reinforcing learning in physical chemistry
  • Modeling ion permeation in wild-type and mutant human 7 nachr ion channels
  • Identification of Hotspot Residues in Binding of SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Human ACE2 Proteins
  • Binding analysis of methyl-CpG binding domain of MeCP2 and Rett syndrome mutations
  • Mutations in the KDM5C ARID domain and their plausible association with syndromic Claes-Jensen-Type disease
  • Impact of rett syndrome mutations on MeCP2 MBD stability
  • Structural and physico-chemical effects of disease and non-disease nsSNPs on proteins
  • On human disease-causing amino acid variants: Statistical study of sequence and structural patterns
  • Structural, dynamical, and energetical consequences of Rett syndrome mutation R133C in MeCP2
  • Computational and experimental approaches to reveal the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms with respect to disease diagnostics
  • Molecular dynamics simulations using advanced sampling and polarizable force fields
  • Polarizable molecular dynamics simulations of aqueous dipeptides
  • Simulation of multiphase systems utilizing independent force fields to control intraphase and interphase behavior
  • Exploring the effects of single point mutations in nAChR transmembrane domain: a molecular dynamics study
  • A Biophysics Undergraduate Research Story from the University for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • ACS Project Seed- (American Chemical Society)
  • Center for Integrated Quantum Materials Education and Outreach- (Harvard University)
  • Travel Grant- (Counsel on Undergraduate Research)
  • Faculty Professional development Grant- (Gallaudet University)
  • Organizing the Chemistry & Biology Networking Symposium- (American Chemical Society)
  • ACS Project Seed- (American Chemical Society)
  • AIMS Award- (Atomwise Company)
  • Supercomputing Time for Steered Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Small Molecule-Plk1 Complexes- (NSF XSEDE)
  • Molecular DynamStart up Allocation for Simulations of Plk1 and Potential Natural Product Inhibitors- (NSF)
  • Student Mentoring in Identification of Selective Natural Product Inhibitors for Plk1 Protein- (ACS)
  • The Alliance for Students with Disabilities for Inclusion, Networking, and Transition Opportunities in STEM (TAPDINTO-STEM)- (NSF)
  • Samantha Forshay-Mathematics (Honors) 2019/02-2020/02
  • Faculty-Student Affairs Committee: Member 2021/01
  • Uncontrolled: Member 2021/01
  • Data Science Committee 2017/02-2018/01
  • Internationalization Committee Workgroup 2018/02-2019/01
  • Faculty Adviser to Deaf Muslim Student Association 2019/02
  • Faculty Adviser to Chemistry Club 2019/01-2019/02
  • Undergraduate Student Mentoring in Research 2016/01
  • MSCHE Self Study Working Group 2 2021/01-2021/02
  • Faculty of Color Coalition 2018/01
  • Judge at UMBC Undergraduate Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Science: University of Maryland in Baltimore County 2016/01
  • Reviewer or Review Editor: Multiple Scientific Journals 2016/01
  • Topic Editor: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2019/01
  • Presenter: Genomic Medicine Conference, Baltimore, MD 2016/02-2016/02
  • Presenter: Counsel on Undergraduate Research Biennial Conference, Arlington, VA, 2017/03-2017/03
  • Invited Talk: St. Mary's College of Maryland 2019/02-2019/02
  • Presenter: Biophysical Society 2020/02-2020/02
  • Invited Book Review: Wiley 2017/02-2017/02
  • Invited Book Proposal Review: Wiley 2020/01-2020/01
  • Presenter : Gallaudet University Research Expo 2016/02-2016/02
  • Organizer of Chemistry & Biology Networking Meeting 2018/02-2018/02
  • Organizer: 24th World Chemistry & Systems Biology Conference 2017/01-2018/01
  • Executive Director and Research Mentor: Quest Student Research Institute 2018/03
  • Grant Proposal Reviewer : University of Pennsylvania Orphan Disease Center 2021/01
  • Board Chair: Global Deaf Muslim 2018/02
  • Invited Talk: Chantilly High School - Women in Science Club 2020/01-2020/01
  • Invited Talk: Franklin Middle School 2018/03-2018/03
  • Attendee: Online Trainings 2020/02
  • Collaborations with Internal and External Faculty 2016/01
  • Attendee 2020/01-2020/01
  • Attendee 2017/01-2017/01
  • Presenter: Effects of Rett Syndrome Mutations on MeCP2 Stability and Binding to DNA, Maryland 2016/02-2017/01
  • Attendee : Online Trainings 2020/02-2020/02
  • Alda Center Women's STEM Leadership Program: Online 2021/01-2021/01
  • American Chemical Society: September 2010
  • Association for Women in Science: August 2011
  • Biophysical Society: August 2012
  • Counsel on Undergraduate Research: January 2018
  • Contact Me

    Tugba Kucukkal

    N446D Hall Memorial Building

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