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MSU Chemist Wins OpenEye Junior Faculty Award

Gray shadow figure, with two strands of DNA running through it. One strand of DNA is blue and green, while the larger strand is gray and pink.

Michigan State University computational chemist Alex Dickson has received the highly competitive American Chemical Society, or ACS, OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in Computational Chemistry.

Alex Dickson, an assistant professor within the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University

The ACS is the world’s largest scientific society with more than 150,000 members. The Junior Faculty Award will provide Dickson with $1,000 to attend the 2019 ACS National Meeting in San Diego where he will present his lab’s pioneering research on protein-ligand interactions.

Dickson is one of just four outstanding junior faculty chosen for the honor based on the growing body of his work in computational chemistry and strong support from his department.

“Congratulations to Alex for receiving this award, which highlights the novelty and importance of the research being conducted by his team,” said Erich Grotewold, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, who nominated Dickson for the honor. “The OpenEye award will help Alex gain even more visibility within the computational chemistry community.”

Dickson’s research uses computational techniques to simulate the incredibly complex and ever-changing motions of biomolecules. Proteins such as RNA and DNA are used to gain insight into ligand binding processes in order to develop disease-targeting drugs.

At the ACS conference in San Diego, Dickson will discuss the software package his lab has developed to study long-time scale processes with molecular dynamics simulation.

To learn more about the ACS and to see a list of previous OpenEye winners, please visit: http://www.acscomp.org/awards/the-comp-acs-outstanding-junior-faculty-award.

Val Osowski via MSU Today

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