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, 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.


MGMS Prizes, News

MGMS Silver Jubilee Award Winner in NY Times

Congratulations once again to our latest, 10th Silver Jubilee Award winner, Dr David Glowacki. He was just featured in The New York Times:

David will be giving this year’s MGMS Lecture Tour in November 2018, so stay tuned for details of where and when. He will be also demonstrating his VR and AR work, so you’ll hopefully have a chance to try it out. You can read more here:

Prof Richards to receive Richard J. Bolte Sr. Award for Supporting Industries

We are pleased to offer our congratulations to honorary and founder member of the MGMS, Professor W. Graham Richards who will receive the 2018 Richard J. Bolte Sr. Award for Supporting Industries on Heritage Day on May 9, 2018.

Prof. Richards was a pioneer of the field, being part of the first generation of researchers to use computers as part of chemical research, particularly in the context of pharmaceuticals.   He had a long and distinguished career at the University of Oxford, including a stint as Chairman and confounded its first spin-off – Oxford Molecular. He also helped set up the University’s technology transfer company, Oxford University Innovation.   He was one of the first to harness computer idle time to search for compounds that might be used to treat cancer and anthrax.   In 2001 he founded Oxford Drug Design (formerly InhibOx) and continues to serve as Chairman.

More information on the award can be found here :-




Some Sad News…

It is with great sadness that the MGMS has learned of the death of Dr Frank Blaney on Saturday 14th April 2018.

Frank was a founding member of the MGMS and remained intimately connected to it ever since. He served as Chair of the MGMS and was also responsible for the organisation of many successful conferences throughout his life. He was a long-standing member of the computational chemistry community and had a particularly strong interest in membrane proteins including GPCRs, ion channels and transporters. He also had an interest in using QM methods to understand cytochrome P450s. Following a long career at GSK, his interest and substantial expertise in GPCRs led to his becoming a consultant, working closely with Heptares Therapeutics. He was a fount of knowledge for computational chemistry and was a strong advocate for its use where he knew it could provide something useful for drug discovery.

He will be sorely missed by the entire computational chemistry community.

Phil Biggin, Chair of the MGMS.

Upcoming Meetings

• Our next MGMS conference, “Discrete models and formal verification in biology”, will be held on 29-31 August 2018, at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge.

A fundamental feature of biological systems is the scale and complexity of the underlying networks. To understand this biocomplexity it will require the adoption of novel tools and concepts from computer science that allow the construction and analysis of models using techniques derived from the field of formal verification.

This meeting will bring together systems biologists and computer scientists from a wide range of fields to discuss how to apply and develop these new approaches.

Registration and abstract submission are both now open through the above link.


Young Modellers’ Forum 2017 Prize Winners

Talk Prizes Poster Prizes
  • Adam Baskerville: 
    University of Sussex.
  • Hannah Bruce Macdonald:
    University of Southampton.
  • Nick Fowler:
    University of Manchester.
  • Marc Daemgen:
    University of Oxford.
  • Ricardo Parra-Cruz:
    University of Nottingham.

The programme and abstracts for YMF-2017 are available.

10th MGMS Silver Jubilee Award, 2017

The MGMS is delighted to award the 10th Silver Jubilee Prize to Dr David Glowacki. Dr Glowacki graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, but then moved to the UK, obtaining an MA from Manchester University in 2004 and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Leeds in 2008. He currently holds a Royal Society Research Fellowship at the University of Bristol and is a visiting scholar at Stanford University. Dr Glowacki’s work embraces both the sciences and the arts, exploring the interface between the two in terms of human perception; he has published in the fields of dynamics and non-equilibrium system simulations, but also scientific visualisation and digital aesthetics. The award recognises his ongoing, interdisciplinary work.

10th MGMS Silver Jubilee Award tankard – David Glowacki

MGMS Co-opted Committee Member, Prof. David Winkler, wins the ACS Division of Chemical Information Herman Skolnik Award

Prof. Dave Winkler, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), Universities of Latrobe and Monash, Australia, has been selected to receive the 2017 Herman Skolnik Award, for his seminal contributions to chemical information in the development of optimally sparse, robust machine learning methods for QSAR and in leading the application of cheminformatics methods to biomaterials, nanomaterials, and regenerative medicine. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science and related disciplines.

Further details on the nomination and Prof. David Winkler may be found on the ACS Division of Chemical Information web site.

The MGMS committee would like to pass on their warmest congratulations to Dave.