Tarakanova, Anna

Anna Tarakanova, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Research Interests:  
Computational modeling of biological and bioinspired materials, molecular and multiscale modeling, biomaterials, biomechanics, self-assembly, protein modeling
Department of Mechanical Engineering
UTEB Room 362
University of Connecticut
191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3139
Storrs, CT 06269-3139
Office Phone:  (860) 486-5463
BS Cornell University
Postdoc MIT

Research Summary:

Our research focuses on advancing molecular and multiscale modeling methods to study the structure, function and mechanics of biological systems and biological and bioinspired materials. We develop computational methods for the design and characterization of novel functional materials from the nanoscale for medical and engineering applications, drawing inspiration from natural design principles. We also investigate new characterization approaches for highly disordered molecules and associated self-assembly principles, related functions and implications for health and disease. Our work aims to expose disease mechanisms from a fundamental scale into structural and functional hierarchies associated with complex biological systems. 

More information can be found at:

Selected Publications:

  1. A Tarakanova, GC Yeo, C Baldock, AS Weiss, MJ Buehler. Tropoelastin is a flexible molecule that retains its canonical shape.Macromolecular Bioscience, 2018, 1800250 
  2. A Tarakanova, GC Yeo, C Baldock, AS Weiss, MJ Buehler. Molecular model of human tropoelastin and implications of associated mutations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018, 115 (28), 7338-7343 
  3. A Tarakanova, W Huang, AS Weiss, DL Kaplan, MJ Buehler. Computational smart polymer design based on elastin protein mutability.Biomaterials, 2017, 127, 49-60 
  4. A Tarakanova, W Huang, Z Qin, DL Kaplan, MJ Buehler. Modeling and Experiment Reveal Structure and Nanomechanics across the Inverse Temperature Transition in B. mori Silk-Elastin-like Protein Polymers.ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 2017, 3 (11), 2889-2899 
  5. GC Yeo, A Tarakanova, C Baldock, SG Wise, MJ Buehler, AS Weiss. Subtle balance of tropoelastin molecular shape and flexibility regulates dynamics and hierarchical assembly.Science Advances, 2016, 2 (2), e1501145 
  6. SW Cranford, A Tarakanova, NM Pugno, MJ Buehler. Nonlinear material behaviour of spider silk yields robust webs.Nature, 2012, 482 (7383), 72