Announcements, News

W. Graham Richards’ “A Scientific Life”

Amongst his many and significant contributions to chemistry, Graham Richards helped found the MGMS some 40 years ago. Graham recently let us know that his autobiography is now available in paperback, hardback, and Kindle format.

The cover of "A Scientific Life" by Graham Richards, depicting models of DNA and a metallic ball-and-stick model of naphthalene.
The cover of “A Scientific Life” by Graham Richards, depicting models of DNA and a metallic ball-and-stick model of naphthalene — one of the earliest ray traced images in molecular graphics. It graced the cover of the Journal of Molecular Graphics (before it became the Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling).

“A Scientific Life” is a great read, going from Graham’s earliest challenges like how he overcame polio as a child, and later dealt with the tragic loss of his beloved wife; to his career at Oxford, and periods working in Paris, Stanford, and Berkeley; to how he helped catalyze a dramatic shift in UK universities’ approach to their scientific discoveries and commercial opportunities; and how he helped raise £60 million to build the very impressive Chemistry Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford. Graham was instrumental in launching one of Oxford’s first start ups, Oxford Molecular, which at its peak was valued at nearly £450,000,000. Graham supervised some 58 Oxford research students (myself included), and 24 postdoctoral researchers, and hosted 21 sabbatical visitors. He is still very much active, and hasn’t quite retired. 

It is very funny in places (the poor paraplegic corgi who helped secure scientific funding made me laugh out loud…), but most of all highlights Graham’s role in how computers have transformed molecular science.

— Garrett M. Morris

Note: Graham will be giving the Keynote, ‘The Origins of the MGMS’, at the MGMS@40 Meeting on Friday, 24th September 2021.

Announcements, MGMS Prizes

3rd MGMS Frank Blaney Award: Prof. Fernanda Duarte-Gonzalez

To support postdoctoral and young independent researchers, and to remember MGMS founder member Dr Frank Blaney, the MGMS has established the MGMS Frank Blaney Award (formerly the MGMS Silver Jubilee Award). This is awarded to outstanding young researchers in the field.

We are delighted to announce that the Third MGMS Frank Blaney Award has been awarded to Prof. Fernanda Duarte-Gonzalez, an Associate Professor in Computational Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, and a Tutorial Fellow in Chemistry at Hertford College, Oxford. Congratulations, Fernanda

 

Announcements, Conferences, MGMS Lecture Tour, News

MGMS Lecture Tour & AGM: November 24, 2020

We are pleased to announce that Prof. Rebecca Wade from Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University, Germany will be giving a virtual MGMS Lecture Tour lecture titled, “Computational Approaches to Protein Dynamics and Binding Kinetics for Drug Discovery”, and it will be held via Zoom on:

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

  • 2:00 pm GMT:  Lecture: “Computational Approaches to Protein Dynamics and Binding Kinetics for Drug Discovery”
  • 2:45 pm GMT: Q&A
  • 3:00 pm GMT: MGMS Annual General Meeting (AGM).
    • Agenda of the AGM can be found here.
    • Minutes of 2019 AGM can be found here.
    • Chair report can be found here.

 

Announcements, Conferences, Meetings

Postponed: “Computational Drug Design: A tribute Frank Blaney” Meeting

June 17-19 2020, The Queen’s University, Belfast, U.K.

https://frank-blaney-mgms-conference.weebly.com/

Given the increasing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MGMS has decided to postpone our scientific meeting to honor the life and work of Dr Frank Blaney, a well-known computational chemist who worked for many years in the pharmaceutical industry.

Frank was a pioneer within the world of molecular modelling, particularly with respect to Drug Discovery. Not only did he contribute greatly to promoting science within academia but also in advancing commercial sectors for Drug Discovery.  Frank was actively involved in the development of approaches to model membrane bound proteins such as GPCRs, ion channels and transporters, and the application of these approaches in drug discovery. Frank was a founding member of the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society (MGMS), and over the years worked in a number of academic and commercial institutions including Oxford University, Queen’s University Belfast, as well as Beecham Pharmaceuticals, GSK and Heptares.

Continue reading “Postponed: “Computational Drug Design: A tribute Frank Blaney” Meeting”

Announcements

Andy Vinter

Dear all,

It is with great sadness that I am writing to let you know that Andy Vinter passed away yesterday following a heart attack at the end of last week.  He was a font of knowledge and a highly respected scientist.  He had a long history of involvement with the MGMS: He was the founder member of the Society when it was set up in 1981 and served as the first Chairman and remained on the Committee for several years following.  He had many decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry working in various organizations over the years including Beechams, Ciba, Maybridge, Wellcome and SmithKline and French.  He was a visiting Professor at University College London and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Throughout Andy’s career, he maintained a strong interest in both molecular recognition and molecular similarity, with a particular focus on how insights could be applied in the drug design area. His interest in electrostatics led to the development of XEDs, an improved empirical approach to representing the molecular electrostatic potentials and how they influenced interactions such as pi stacking. This, in turn, led to the development of novel field based technologies, targeted at viewing molecules in the way that they would be seen by their protein, or other macromolecular, binding sites. With support from the Wellcome Trust, Cresset Biomolecular Discovery was established in 2001 as a vehicle for further development and commercialisation of the software and intellectual property.  As scientific founder, and Chief Scientific Officer, he continued his active involvement in the company’s science and ongoing development.

Andy was an inspiration to many people inside and outside the field.   Our thoughts are with his wife and children at this very sad time.   He will be sorely missed by all of us.

—Prof. Philip Biggin, Department of Biochemistry, Oxford

Announcements, Conferences

Announcing the 4th CCPBioSim/CCP5 Conference on Multiscale Modelling of Condensed Phase and Biological Systems

30th March – 1st April 2020
Manchester, UK

The early bird registration deadline for the 4th Manchester Multiscale Conference is coming soon (30 November 2019). The abstract submission deadline is 30 January 2020. Please see the CCPBioSim website for further details.

Continue reading “Announcing the 4th CCPBioSim/CCP5 Conference on Multiscale Modelling of Condensed Phase and Biological Systems”

Announcements, Conferences, Meetings

Announcing “Computational Drug Design: A Tribute to Frank Blaney”

June 17-19 2020, The Queen’s University, Belfast, U.K.

https://frank-blaney-mgms-conference.weebly.com/

The MGMS is pleased to announce our scientific meeting to honor the life and work of Dr Frank Blaney, a well-known computational chemist who worked for many years in the pharmaceutical industry. Frank was a pioneer within the world of molecular modelling, particularly with respect to Drug Discovery. Not only did he contribute greatly to promoting science within academia but also in advancing commercial sectors for Drug Discovery.  Frank was actively involved in the development of approaches to model membrane bound proteins such as GPCRs, ion channels and transporters, and the application of these approaches in drug discovery. Frank was a founding member of the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society (MGMS), and over the years worked in a number of academic and commercial institutions including Oxford University, Queen’s University Belfast, as well as Beecham Pharmaceuticals, GSK and Heptares.

Continue reading “Announcing “Computational Drug Design: A Tribute to Frank Blaney””