Joint CCPBioSim/MGMS Conference on Modelling and Simulation for Synthetic Biology

Wednesday 04 September 2019 12:00 – Friday 06 September 2019 13:00
University of Bristol

The 7th annual meeting of CCP-BioSim is organised jointly with the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society and will have the theme of Modelling and Simulation for Synthetic Biology.

The conference will showcase important advances in biomolecular modelling and simulation tools, technologies, interplay with experiment, and applications to biomolecular design and synthetic biology.

Registration now open

More details can be found using this link


Join us for the Eight Joint Sheffield Conference on Chemoinformatics

The Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society and the Chemical Structure Association Trust are organizing The Eighth Joint Sheffield Conference on Chemoinformatics (#shef2019), taking place at the University of Sheffield from the 17th to the 19th of June, 2019. This three-yearly international conference is very popular, has a great programme, and you can learn more here https://cisrg.shef.ac.uk/shef2019/. Peter reminded us that,

… the reduced registration rates apply until 29th April. We look forward to welcoming you to Sheffield in June.


MGMS Big Data Meeting a big success

The recent MGMS Big Ideas for Big Data in Drug Discovery Meeting took place at the School of Pharmacy, UCL in London, and was a big success. A big thank you to MGMS Member Dr Ewa Chudyk from Vertex Pharmaceuticals for organizing it; to Dr. Shozeb Haider for hosting us; and our many sponsors for helping to make it possible. Ewa will post an update soon: in the meantime, here is a picture of our Chair, Prof. Phil Biggin, advertising our new MGMS Early Career Workshop Initiative:

Prof. Phil Biggin, University of Oxford, & Chair of MGMS talks about the MGMS Early Career Workshop initiative.

YMF 2018 Winners

MGMS Young Modellers’ Forum 2018 was held at University of Greenwich on 30th November 2018.


  • Jonathan Shearer (Department of Chemistry/ University of Southampton)
  • Francesca Vianello (Department of Chemistry/ Imperial College London)
  • Timothy Burd (Department of Chemistry/ University of Oxford)


  • Joshua Carter (Nuffield Department of Medicine/ University of Oxford)
  • Silvia Amabilino (Department of Chemistry, University of Bristol & NovaData Solutions)


Anton “Tony” Hopfinger

It is with great sadness that the MGMS announces the passing of Prof. Anton “Tony” Hopfinger. He was a pioneer in the field of molecular modeling and cheminformatics, particularly known for Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSAR) and Quantitative Structure-Property Relationships (QSPR).

Tony graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics, and later a doctorate in biophysical chemistry from Case Western Reserve University.

He served as a Distinguished Research Professor of Pharmacy at the University of New Mexico, Professor Emeritus of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois, and was the Founder, Chief Technical Officer and Secretary of The Chem21 Group.

Tony was also the recipient of the 2010 Herman Skolnik Award, granted by the ACS Division of Chemical Information — recognizing outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science and related disciplines.

He dedicated his life to teaching and research, developing software and databases for the design of new compounds, including novel drugs.

Tony’s work transformed computational chemistry and he became widely-known as pioneer of multidimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship, notably 4D-QSAR. He published more than 315 peer-reviewed papers, four books, and presented at nearly four-hundred invited lectures worldwide. He trained more than 50 doctoral students, and more than 70 postdoctoral associates.

Hopfinger’s impact extended well beyond academia. Emilio Xavier Esposito, Chief Science Officer of exeResearch LLC, said Tony helped to develop “Aspartame, one of the world’s leading artificial sweeteners; and Aricept, the blockbuster drug for treating early stage Alzheimer’s disease.” His work also gave birth to Celebrex, used to treat pain and inflammatory diseases.

Wendy Warr interviewed Tony in 2007, and asked him if he had any advice for young modellers; he said:

“I would tell them to take the time to learn enough physical and theoretical chemistry, enough statistics and enough pharmacology so as to be able to understand and critically question the applicability and reliability of the methods being employed in the software they are using or developing. Obviously this is not generally considered fun to do, but I really think modelers today have gotten too far away from a healthy skeptical and questioning attitude toward computational tools. My anchor point is to remember that we still cannot routinely calculate a reliable IC50 value which is the cornerstone measurement in preclinical drug discovery.”


MGMS Lecture Tour, MGMS Prizes

MGMS Silver Jubilee Award

It was with great pleasure that the Chair of the MGMS, Prof. Philip Biggin, presented the 10th MGMS Silver Jubilee Award to Dr David Glowacki, from the University of Bristol. David was in Oxford as part of his MGMS Lecture Tour, and a jointly held with Comp Chem Kitchen and CCK-13.

MGMS Chair, Prof. Philip Biggin, presents Dr. David Glowacki with the 10th MGMS Silver Jubilee Award tankard at the MGMS Lecture Tour/CCK-13 at Oxford.


David also demonstrated his VR system with a molecular dynamics engine using the MMFF94 force field and two buckyballs that could be independently and simultaneously manipulated by two people:

MGMS Silver Jubilee Award Winner Dr David Glowacki demos VR at CCK-13 (Trimmed, 480p, 2)

Thankfully, no one threw up, fell over, or tripped off the stage! And everyone who tried it was impressed at how easy it was to manipulate the molecules and interact with the simulation.

Announcements, MGMS Prizes

MGMS Lecture Tour: David Glowacki in Oxford

We are  very pleased to announce Dr David Glowacki from the University of Bristol will be visiting Oxford as part of his MGMS Lecture Tour. He will be talking and giving live demonstrations of his molecular virtual reality system. He will also be presented with his MGMS Silver Jubilee Award.

10th MGMS Silver Jubilee Award tankard – David Glowacki

David’s talk and demo will be held in collaboration with the next “Comp Chem Kitchen”, CCK-13, at 5-6 pm on Thursday, November 29th, 2018, in the Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Statistics, 24-29 St Giles’, Oxford, OX1 3LB.

You can read more about David’s work in The New York Times.

If you’re curious and would like to try out molecular VR, please come along!

Free tickets are available, and refreshments will be provided, including beer.