STEM Shoutout: Dr. Lydia Tapia

UNM promotes professor who studies robotics and antibodies

Dr. Lydia Tapia was recently promoted to assistant professor in the computer science department at UNM.

Tapia’s research has two main focuses. The first is the development of autonomous robots. Autonomous robots are capable of accounting for different uncertainties when completing a task.

“We have developed several novel methods to account for these various forms of uncertainty in autonomous motion-based task learning and planning,” Tapia said.

The second focus of Tapia’s research deals with antibody assembly. Antibody assembly structures are molecules that consist of multiple antigens bound to multiple antibodies.

“However, current experimental and simulation techniques are unable to model full assemblies (hundreds to thousands of molecules with geometric detail), and therefore they are unable to identify relationships between the allergen molecular structure and the expected assembly structure (e.g., expected allergic response given allergen features,” Tapia said. “Our work incorporates molecular geometry in both models and simulations for molecular assembly, thus addressing this key component.”