California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) and the Molecular Software Sciences Institute (MoISSI) at Virginia Tech collaborate to incorporate machine learning techniques in molecular simulation research and develop innovative pedagogical materials to train early-stage undergraduate students in computational science. Meet the faculty involved in Cal State LA-MoISSI PREC

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Meet the Faculty

Olaseni Sode

Associate Professor, Cal State LA, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Principal Investigator, Cal State LA-MoISSI

Olaseni (Seni) grew up in the Midwest in St. Louis, Missouri. He received undergraduate degrees in chemistry and French at Morehouse College and afterward completed his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Seni started in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Cal State LA in 2018. His research studies the electronic and vibrational properties of gas phase and condensed phase molecular systems. Seni enjoys running, basketball, and practicing French (sometimes all simultaneously).  

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Vibrational Spectroscopy, Condensed Phase Molecular Properties
EMAIL: [email protected] | Click to learn more about Dr. Sode

negin forouzesh

Assistant Professor, Cal State LA, Department of Computer Science
Co-Principal Investigator, Cal State LA-MoISSI

Negin Forouzesh was born and raised in Tehran, IRAN. She got her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in computer science from Tehran Polytechnic. She moved to the U.S. in 2015 to pursue her Ph.D. at Virginia Tech. Negin’s research is focused on the intersection of computer science and life sciences with the application domain in drug discovery. She applies mathematical/physics-based modeling, high-performance computing (HPC), and machine learning to simulate and understand biomolecular systems. Aside from academia, Negin is interested in hiking and listening to audiobooks/ podcasts. Her favorite hiking trail so far has been Bright Angel in Grand Canyon!

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Machine Learning, Implicit Solvent Modeling, Free Energy Calculation
EMAIL: [email protected] | Click to learn more about Dr. Forouzesh


Dr. Scott
Caitlin Scott
Assistant Professor, Cal State LA, Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Co-Principal Investigator, Cal State LA-MoISSI


Dr. Scott earned her Ph.D. at California Institute of Technology in 2014. Her research specializes in computational and biological chemistry, specifically, the development of drugs to target proteins in the brain using molecular dynamics, docking, and virtual ligand screening.

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Moleculay Dynamics, Docking
EMAIL: [email protected] | Click to learn more about Dr. Scott


Paul Nerenberg
Associate Professor, Cal State LA, Departments of Physics & Astronomy and Biological Sciences
Co-Principal Investigator, Cal State LA-MoISSI


Paul was born and raised in LA, roughly halfway between UCLA and USC. After earning BS and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Johns Hopkins and MIT, respectively, he held academic positions at UC Berkeley, the Claremont Colleges, and Caltech before starting as a faculty member at Cal State LA in 2016. In addition to his expertise in molecular simulation, Paul has long-standing interests in statistics and mathematical modeling, which he incorporates into his teaching at Cal State LA. When he isn’t at Cal State LA, Paul enjoys cycling, running, and watching many other sports that he is not good at. (Go Dodgers!)  

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Effects of Post-translational Modifications, Force Field Development
EMAIL: [email protected] | Click to learn more about Dr. Nerenberg

Events & Activities


Please contact Cal State LA-MoISSI PREC at [email protected] with any questions or inquiries on how you can get involved!

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