COJOCARU Vlad – Scientific researcher I


Fields of interest/specialization: computational molecular biochemistry.

Senior research scientist with strong expertise in computational molecular biochemistry. I have a broad interdisciplinary knowledge and experience across physics, chemistry and biology. Throughout my scientific career from Ph.D. student to research group leader, I strove to discover how the three dimensional structure and dynamics of molecules impact on their function in cells. I discovered how proteins influence the folding of RNA molecules, how drug metabolizing enzymes embed in lipid membranes and channel drug molecules from and to their active sites, and how specialized proteins that regulate gene expression bind to and explore DNA. For these discoveries, I used diverse molecular modeling and simulation methods and self built or established analysis tools. Through my research, I gained experience with computer architectures, unix, several programming languages and a variety of molecular modeling software. I have always been ambitious and enjoyed challenges, especially in designing and leading projects in highly interdisciplinary teams. Most recently, I have been leading a small research team and guided students towards successful completion of internships or Ph.D. studies. I have published appreciated collaborative research articles in prestigious competitive journals, gave invited lectures at prestigious international conferences and obtained third-party funding for my research.

Curriculum Vitae: Cojocaru_CV

Google Scholar:

Representative works:

  • Huertas J, Schöler HR, Cojocaru V (2021). Histone tails cooperate to control the breathing of genomic nucleosomes. PLoS Computational Biology 17(6): e1009013 (featured on issue cover),
  • Huertas J, MacCarthy CM, Schöler HR, Cojocaru V (2020). Nucleosomal DNA Dynamics Mediate Oct4 Pioneer Factor Binding. Biophysical Journal 118(9):2280-2296 (featured on issue cover),
  • Öztürk M, Pachov G, Wade RC, Cojocaru V (2016). Conformational selection and dynamic adaptation upon linker histone binding to the nucleosome. Nucleic Acids Research 19;44(14):6599-613 (featured on issue cover),
  • Merino F, Ng CKL, Veerapandian V, Schöler HR, Jauch R, Cojocaru V (2014). Structural basis for the SOX-dependent genomic redistribution of OCT4 in stem cell differentiation. Structure 22(9):1274-86,
  • Cojocaru V, Balali-Mood K, Sansom MS, Wade RC (2011). Structure and dynamics of the membrane-bound cytochrome P450 2C9. PLoS Computational Biology 7(8):e1002152 (featured on issue cover), 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002152