Matthew Rizen

Matthew Rizen

Home Institution
University of Southern California

Year Participated

Year in School

REU Faculty Mentor
Nancy Amato

Research Area Interest
Artificial Intelligence

Project Title
Analyzing Binding Site Accessibility using Guided Motion Planning

Biography & Research Abstract


Motion planning algorithms are often used to find a path for a robot to travel along through a complex environment. They have also already been used to find and study paths that ligands can travel along to reach a recessed “binding site” on a protein. This project seeks to expand on this research by describing how tunnel volume and energy levels can affect a binding site’s accessibility, and answering how this accessibility determines a protein-ligand pair’s binding affinity.


I am a rising sophomore studying Computer Science at the University of Southern California. I joined the lab in the summer of 2021. I'm interested in biological applications of computer and data science, as well as machine learning and AI.