Xavier Prat-Resina, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Chemistry, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 2004
M.S. Chemistry, Universitat de Barcelona, 2000
B.S. Chemistry, Universitat de Barcelona, 2000
“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”
Xavier's background is in theoretical chemistry and biochemistry. He uses Quantum, Classical and Statistical Mechanics to build computational models to study the chemical processes of life. At the same time, his passion for computers led him to use molecular simulations and other kinds of visual technology to enhance chemistry learning.
After finishing his PhD in Spain, he went to the United States as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin Madison (www.chem.wisc.edu), to study theoretical models of membrane bound enzymes with computational tools. He went back to Spain to hold a research position at the Barcelona Research Biomedical Park (www.prbb.org). After a year he decided to refocus his interests on education and came back to the US to work in the Chemical Education Digital Library (www.chemeddl.org) and the Journal of Chemical Education, where he developed web materials for learning chemistry.
Please click on this link for additional information on Xavier Prat-Resina - http://umn.edu/home/pratr001.
Xavier’s passion for teaching goes beyond his job. He sees chemistry everywhere—in books and people, in ancient history and in daily news, on earth and in space. He sees it all over and tries to get everyone involved in this vision. At UMR, he will be using this passion to design and teach the curriculum for Chemistry and Biochemistry. In these courses, he wants to not only teach students how to learn, but teach them how to question what they learn, to provoke questions rather than providing the answers.
Research in Molecular Simulations
I create computational models of biomolecules to investigate their chemistry.
Computers are tremendously useful tools for repeating the same task over and over again. They are used to build atomistic models of biomolecules in their cellular environment. I use a series of tools from Quantum, Classical and Statistical Mechanics to study the chemical reactions involved in the chemistry of life.
Research on Learning
I develop web materials to teach science and assess their pedagogical value. On a broader perspective I investigate the role of technology in learning.
The erruption of the Web in educational materials has changed the way technology and information is used in learning. While printed textbooks include pictures, static plots and tables of data, now one can find online digital learning objects with interactive graphics and simulations that add visual and kinesthetic value to the learning experience.
Many areas in science can benefit from graphing tools, interactive applets and simulations. Knowing the what, when and where of technology in the class is essential for an ever-increasing technical society.
Author of Models 360 http://www.chemeddl.org/collections/molecules/, 2010.
Gonzalo Jaña, Verónica Jiménez, Jordi Villà-Freixa, Xavier Prat-Resina, Eduardo Delgado, Joel Alderete. Computational Study on the Carboligation Reaction of Acetohydroxyacid Synthase: New Approach on the Role of the HEThDP- Intermediate Proteins, 78(7):1774-88, 2010.
Nilanjan Ghosh, Xavier Prat-Resina, M. R. Gunner and Qiang Cui. Microscopic pKa Analysis of Glu286 in Cytochrome c Oxidase (Rhodobacter sphaeroides): Toward a Calibrated Molecular Model Biochemistry, 48 (11): 2468–2485, 2009.
Demian Riccardi, Partricia Schaefer, Yang Yang, Haibo Yu, Nilanjan Ghosh, Xavier Prat-Resina, Peter Koenig, Guohui Li, Dingguo Xu, Hua Guo, Marcus Elstner, Qiang Cui. Development of effective QM/MM methods for complex biological processes. J. Phys. Chem. B, 110 (13):6458-6469, 2006 Feature Article, (Cover).
Xavier Prat-Resina, Angels González-Lafont, and José Maria Lluch. Reaction Mechanism of the Mandelate Anion Racemization Catalyzed by Mandelate Racemase Enzyme: A QM/MM-Molecular Dynamics Free Energy Study. J.Phys.Chem.B, 109 (44): 21089-21101, 2005.
Xavier Prat-Resina, Josep Maria Bofill, Angels González-Lafont, and José Maria Lluch. Geometry optimization and transition state search in enzymes: Different options in the micro-iterative method. Int. J. Quant. Chem., 98 (4):367-377, 2004.
Andrea Bottoni, Gian Pietro Miscione, Juan Novoa, and Xavier Prat-Resina. DFT Computational Study of the Mechanism of Allyl Halides Carbonylation Catalyzed by Nickel Tetracarbonyl J. Am. Chem. Soc., 125 (34):10412-10419, 2003.