Dr Jamie Platts Awarded Research Fellowship
12 April 2010
Dr. Jamie Platts has recently been awarded a Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust for “Accurate Simulation of Non-Covalent Interactions”, with £43K over two years. The award has been made to tackle one of the biggest unsolved problems in reliable computer simulation of large molecular systems that dominate biology, medicine, and of catalysis; namely accurate description of non-covalent interactions. State-of-the-art computing facilities and theoretical methods for treating non-covalent interactions will be used to study larger systems, and longer timescales than any tackled to date.
Non-covalent interactions are at the heart of many important natural phenomena, from the unique properties of water to the stability of cell membranes that form the basis of all life. The structure, folding and function of biological molecules, the interaction of these biological molecules with small molecules and drugs, and the selectivity of catalysts for their substrates all stem, at least in part, from the subtle balance of non-covalent interactions. Understanding the structure and energetics of such non-covalent interactions is a major challenge in modern chemistry, and is fundamental to such important areas as protein folding and design of new drugs and catalysts.