Silicon Therapeutics Announces Prof. Michael Shirts as Open Science Fellow

Boston – August 2, 2017: Silicon Therapeutics, an integrated computational drug discovery company creating novel small molecule therapeutics for diseases with challenging protein targets, is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Shirts of the University of Colorado Boulder has been named an Open Science Fellow. Prof. Shirts is focused on developing computational methods and tools that can improve molecular design by making searches through vast chemical spaces much more efficient, predictive, and reliable. The Open Science Fellow program is designed to support investigators who have demonstrated a commitment to the open science movement through their contributions to open source software.

“We are pleased to welcome Prof. Michael Shirts as an Open Science Fellow, further demonstrating our commitment to the open science movement. Prof. Shirts has been instrumental in open science efforts that have generated broad community interest, such as Folding@Home, Genome@Home, OpenMM, and Gromacs,” says Dr. Woody Sherman, CSO at Silicon Therapeutics. “Prof. Shirts has pioneered several recent advances in GPU-based molecular simulation methods, including the development of enhanced sampling techniques for free energy calculations. His focus on rigorous statistical thermodynamics coupled with modern hardware acceleration architectures to accurately simulate protein-ligand binding at the atomistic level is of great value to the pharmaceutical industry and synergistic with our INSITE platform at Silicon Therapeutics. We are delighted to support the open science work being done by Prof. Shirts and we are enthusiastic to work together on future open science innovations.”

“I’m very excited to help Silicon Therapeutics push forward open science and open source software efforts to improve the process of discovering novel medicines to treat challenging diseases,” says Prof. Shirts. “Physics-based in silico approaches are at the cusp of playing a major role in drug design, and collaborative community-based scientific efforts are going to be key in realizing the full potential of atomistic simulation methods.”

About Dr. Michael Shirts

Prof. Shirts works to design and characterize new molecules and materials at the nanoscale through the use of theory and computation. His focuses include the prediction of physiochemical properties, protein- ligand binding affinities, and properties of novel biomimetic materials. He is especially interested in the development of computational tools that can fundamentally change molecular design by making searches through chemical and configurations space much more predictive, reliable, and efficient. Prof. Shirts graduated from Harvard University in Chemistry, and afterwards was a Fannie and John Hertz Scholar at Stanford University, receiving a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2005 in the lab of Vijay Pande, where he was part of the team that started the Folding@Home project. He was an NIH Ruth L. Kirchenstein NRSA Fellow under Rich Friesner at Columbia, and then started as a faculty member at the University of Virginia in 2008. In 2015, he moved to the University of Colorado Boulder, where he is currently an associate professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Silicon Therapeutics

Silicon Therapeutics, the first fully integrated computational drug discovery company, is focused on developing novel medicines for diseases with targets that are currently considered to be challenging for traditional approaches. Our INSITE platform closely represents the real dynamic nature of targets using accurate all-atom simulations, enabling us to discover, design, and optimize compounds for targets that were previously considered “undruggable.” Our science, our team, and our mission are focused on applying advanced physics-based computational technologies to build and progress a pipeline of innovative medicines for patients. Silicon Therapeutics is headquartered in Boston, MA, USA with offices in Shanghai, China. Learn more at