Justin A. Lemkul has been named assistant professor of biochemistry in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

He is one of a number of new faculty members recently hired in the college this academic year. New positions were identified to bring talent to the college's focus areas, including food, health, the environment, and community viability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.

Lemkul's research focuses on applying computer simulations to understanding mechanisms of protein aggregation and using new approaches to computer-aided drug design. He is particularly interested in disordered states in proteins and nucleic acids, as these are new targets for pharmaceutical design.

Lemkul was named the Outstanding Doctoral Student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2012 and was awarded the Outstanding STEM Dissertation by the Virginia Tech Graduate School in 2013. His postdoctoral work was funded by a fellowship from the National Institutes of Health, during which time he developed the simulation model used in his current work.

Lemkul received both his bachelor's degree in biochemistry and his doctorate in biochemistry from Virginia Tech.