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.


Join us for the MGMS at 40 meeting

Friday, 24th September, 2021

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Event Website

The Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society was formed in 1981 to bring together scientists working in different fields of study who have a common interest in molecular modelling and graphics. This year, to celebrate 40th anniversary of the society, we would like to invite you to participate in our half-day interactive event. Confirmed speakers include: 

There will be opportunities for poster presentations. During the meeting we will also try to identify major developments in the field in the last 40 years.  Participants with the most important and original entries will win a prize. At the end of the day we will hold the MGMS Annual General Meeting. Everyone is welcome!

Register now!


The MGMS Early Career Virtual Workshop Initiative

The MGMS is pleased to announce a call for applications to the MGMS Early Career Virtual Workshop Initiative. Applicants are invited for proposals for on-line workshops or meetings on a topic that is broadly in line with the MGMS’s overall scientific remit, please see website for details of previous meetings for a rough guide. Although we do not envisage in person activities before September 2021 (this deadline might be extended depending on pandemic government guidance), we encourage virtual initiatives in the meantime. Applicants should complete the brief application form and a proposed budget. For a one-day virtual workshop, the budget is anticipated to be up to £300, but proposals outside this range will be considered. Applications should come from student groups or early career (within 5 years of their PhD award) researchers in either academia or industry. The deadline for applications is 31st May 2021 and applications should be emailed to the MGMS secretary ( Applications will be notified in June of the outcome.
Download application form now!

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.



Modelling Photoinduced Processes in Molecular Systems

A 2-day workshop sponsored by the MGMS Early-Career Workshop initiative was hosted at the Molecular Sciences Research Hub, the new home of the department of Chemistry, Imperial College London. The meeting, organised by Lara Martínez-Fernández (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain) and Javier Segarra-Martí (Imperial College, UK) brought together over 70 young theorists from 10 different countries worldwide investigating quantum states in molecular systems and their interaction with external stimuli such as photons, phonons and electrons. It served as a platform for the next generation of theoretical photochemists to gather and network, and highlighted the vast advances early-career scientists have made in the modelling of photoinduced processes. The great feedback obtained from all participants has triggered a follow-up meeting planned for 2021 in Spain and which we hope will become a yearly forum for young scientists in this modelling field. 

Announcements, Conferences, Meetings

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

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

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.

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