As part of its academic and scientific outreach program, MDL Information Systems (MDL) will fund a three-year research program at the Unilever Cambridge Centre for Molecular Informatics. The program is entitled "Investigations of algorithmic elaboration of reaction mechanisms, with potential application to predicting metabolic transformations in drugs and putative drugs." Commencing in 2003, the research will be carried out under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Goodman, whose group at the University of Cambridge has published over 60 papers in the field of experimental mechanistic and synthetic chemistry and simulation of reactions.
The designated researcher for the funded program is Ingrid Socorro, who has a Masters degree in chemistry from the University of Granada. Ms. Socorro has worked on organic synthesis and X-ray crystallography at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland as a participant in the Socrates-Erasmus exchange program run by the Commission of European Communities.
"The Centre for Molecular Informatics is very pleased to have MDL's support in funding this critical research program," said Dr. Goodman. "This partnership between MDL and the Centre reflects a shared interest in furthering inter-disciplinary research, integrating chemical, biological, and material science discovery through molecular informatics."
The Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics is a joint venture between Unilever and the University of Cambridge. Officially opened in March 2001 as an operating unit within the University's Chemistry Department, the Centre is committed to exploring new methods for creating, manipulating, and storing molecular data with the ultimate goal of extending scientists' understanding of molecules and their properties and supporting novel in silico experimentation. The Centre is currently staffed with one professor, three lecturers, and a team of over 25 scientists.
"MDL fully supports the research and education goals of the Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics," said Dr. Phil McHale, vice president of corporate communications and scientific affairs at MDL. "In combination with MDL's ongoing funding of Indiana University's Excellence in Informatics Fellowship, this agreement demonstrates MDL's commitment to supporting cutting-edge informatics research in leading academic institutions around the world."