Ronald D Hills Jr

Dr. Ron Hills has been a part of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the UNE College of Pharmacy since 2010. Prior to joining UNE, Dr. Hills was a National Institutes of Health Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Utah and the University of Chicago, where he trained in the theory and methodology of multiscale biomolecular modeling. As a postdoctoral fellow, he developed a novel force field for dynamics simulation of proteins at coarse-grained resolution. Prior to his postdoctoral training, Dr. Hills earned his Ph.D. from the Scripps Research Institute as a Burroughs Wellcome Fund predoctoral fellow. His thesis research involved using atomistic and coarse-grained simulation to advance our understanding of the relationship between protein folding, aggregation and function. Dr. Hills obtained his B.S. degree from Florida State University, where his interest in biophysics first developed while performing research as a Goldwater Scholar in EPR spectroscopy and electronic structure calculation.


Ph.D., Biophysics

Scripps Research Institute


B.S., Biochemistry with Honors

Florida State University


Post-Doctoral Training

NIH Kirschstein Postdoctoral Research Fellow

University of Utah and University of Chicago


molecular dynamics simulation

protein structure and function

multiscale modeling


Research Interests

  • Development of multiscale and coarse-grained models for protein assemblies
  • Lipid-protein membrane interactions and protein conformational change
  • Multidrug resistance mediated by ABC transporters

Selected Publications

Hills Jr., R.D. and N. McGlinchey. 2016. Model parameters for simulation of physiological lipids. J. Comput. Chem. 37:1112. Featured on inside journal cover.

Hills Jr., R.D. 2014. Balancing bond, nonbond and Go-like terms in coarse grain simulations of conformational dynamics. Methods Mol. Biol. 1084:123-40.

Faller, C.E., K.A. Reilly, R.D. Hills Jr. and O. Guvench. 2013. Peptide backbone sampling convergence with the adaptive biasing force algorithm. J. Phys. Chem. B 117:518-26.

Ward, A.B., O. Guvench and R.D. Hills Jr. 2012. Coarse grain lipid-protein molecular interactions and diffusion with MsbA flippase. Proteins 80:2178-90. Featured on Journal Cover.

Jamison II, F.W., T.J. Foster, J.A. Barker, R.D. Hills Jr. and O. Guvench. 2011. Mechanism of binding site conformational switching in the CD44-hyaluronan protein-carbohydrate binding interaction. J. Mol. Biol. 406:631-47.

Hills Jr., R.D., L. Lu and G.A. Voth. 2010. Multiscale coarse-graining of the protein energy landscape. PLoS Comput. Biol. 6:e1000827.

Funded Grants

NSF 13-510 proposal no. 1516826 Hills (PI) 9/1/15 – 8/31/18
RUI: Multiscale models for ABC transporter molecular dynamics
Goal: Dissect lipid-protein molecular interactions and mutual adaptation in multidrug exporters.
Role: PI. Total Cost: $374,885

NIH R15 AREA GM099022 Guvench (PI) 9/1/11 – 8/31/15
Molecular Mechanism of Flexible Carbohydrate-Protein Interaction in CD44
Goal: Identify molecular-level interactions governing flexible CD44:hyaluronan binding using computer simulations.
Role: Co-Investigator (5% Effort). Total Cost: $352,480 (one year no-cost extension)

Ronald D. Hills Jr, Ph.D.

Ronald D Hills Jr



Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry


Pharmacy Building

(207) 221-4049

On Campus

Eligible for Student Opportunities