Student-related matters in Boston

I flew into Boston about an hour ago. My plan is to visit Schrodinger over the next two days (, a software company that delivers innovative solutions in the area of computational chemistry. In our fragment-based work, we rely on their Glide package, which allows us to model some of the scaffolds we pursue against our protein targets in collaboration with the SGC. Having said that, my main interest over the next 2 days is going to be Jaguar, which is a quantum chemistry program I have been interested in for a long time. Pretty much all of my students who use computational tools resort to Gaussian, which is something I myself used back at USC where I was a graduate student between 1992 and 1996. Now that I use Glide for my own docking needs, I consider it more sensible to stick to the same platform, hence my keen interest in Jaguar.

On another note, there are several interrelated themes in what I just wrote. Speaking of fragments, one of my PhD students got a job offer from a very innovative UK company that is active in the area of fragment-based approaches. I will not disclose the names as this is “too hot off the press”, but I did have a shot of brandy with my elated co-worker at 9:30am this morning. Continuing on the theme of my former students, I am off for a dinner at Legal Seafood with Zhi He (currently a PDF at MIT) and Ben Rotstein (currently a PDF at Harvard Medical School). We just got our Chemical Reviews article accepted, which is why we will have some more drinks with Ben as he is the leading author (Serge Zaretsky and Vishal Rai are the co-authors and I tip my hat off to them for a year’s worth of work). I will post a link to this article at some point soon.

To cap off the day filled with interesting student-related matters, just as I was getting off the plane, I got a note from my former student Iain Watson (now at Ontario Institute for Cancer Research) with the following link, which is really perplexing in terms of the story it covers (a possibility that USC will acquire Scripps). But that is not the cool part – what’s really cool is the picture showcasing “the one and only”, my mentor Barry Sharpless, together with Larissa Krasnova, who was my PhD student a while ago (and then did a PDF with Barry):

Overall, this has been an eventful day thus far…

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