James Matthews received his B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University in 2001. After working for a year in a winery, he returned to Cornell to work with Professor John Brady and completed his Ph.D. in Food Science in June 2008. During his graduate studies, he used the molecular-mechanics program CHARMM to study cellulose and the sensitivity of simulated cellulose behavior to the force field parameters. He also developed a large-scale, all-atom model of Cel7A from Trichoderma reesei on a cellulose microfibril, the first time this had been done for a multi-domain cellulase.
Dr. Matthews joined NREL in June 2008 and with funding from a SciDAC grant is continuing to study cellulose and the enzymes that degrade it. He is using the molecular-mechanics programs CHARMM, AMBER, and LAMMPS to pursue simulations of biologically relevant sizes of cellulose microfibrils as the foundation for understanding the mechanisms of cellulase action.