Patricia Soto Becerra, BA, PhD

Patricia Soto Becerra, BA, PhD

Patricia Soto Becerra, BA, PhD

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences

Academic Appointments


  • Physics


  • Associate Professor

Teaching Activity

  • Developer of general physics lecture and lab courses for life sciences students
  • Developer of upper level and master's level courses that integrate active learning techniques, including computational modeling
  • Teaching style: hybrid classroom, research-based active learning techniques, cognitive wrappers, Ignatian pedagogical paradigm


Patricia grew up in Bogotá, Colombia where she received her BS and MS in Physics from Los Andes University.  She then attended the University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands where she earned her Doctorate in Mathematics and Natural Sciences. In 2004 she moved to the University of California in Santa Barbara to pursue postdoctoral training, partially funded by an international fellowship from the American Association of University Women. Patricia joined the Department of Physics at Creighton University in August 2007. Her scientific expertise falls in the broadly defined field of computational molecular biophysics and aims at deciphering the biophysical principles of the pathological folding process of proteins and peptides hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and prion diseases.  Patricia’s scholarly purpose is to bridge physical and life sciences in an integrated research and educational program with undergraduates.

Publications and Presentations


  • , 41, 2047-2059
  • , 132, 532-539
  • , 200, 137-141
  • , 6, 17 pages
  • , 130, 11066-11072
  • , 93, 3015-3025
  • , 124, 134904


Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Science topics: protein conformational dynamics, pathological protein folding. Technique: computational statistical mechanics, structural bioinformatics, biomolecular modeling, molecular dynamics simulations, molecular docking, normal mode analysis, continuum electrostatics

Current Research Projects

  • Conformational dynamics of amyloid proteins at the cell membrane interface.

Grant Funding Received

  • NSF-TUES. "Conference on Introductory Physics for Life Sciences"
  • NE EPSCoR FIRST award
  • Teragrid: 30,000 hours of computer time.
  • Creighton University Magis Core Curriculum grant for the new course of General Physics Lab II PHY 206.
  • Creighton University - CURAS Faculty Fellowship 2014
  • Creighton University George Haddix President Fund 2012- 2013
  • Creighton University, Graduate school 2011
  • Creighton University George Haddix President Fund 2015- 2016

Awards and Honors

  • MAC travel award to attend 59th Biophysical Society meeting, Biophysical Society, 2014
  • Faculty Mission Fellowship, College of Arts and Sciences, Creighton University, 2013