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People in the News: Benjamin Madej and Brian Athey


Benjamin Madej, a chemistry and biochemistry PhD student at the University of California, San Diego, has won the 2012-2013 Nvidia Graduate Fellowship Program award for his molecular dynamics research using graphics processing unit-based computing.

Madej will receive a $25,000 scholarship to further his research. Additionally, he will have access to Nvidia products, technology, and expertise.

His proposal focused on improving the Amber molecular dynamics GPU engine and extending the use of GPUs in other facets of molecular dynamics development and workflows. He is currently working on new methods for developing force fields used in molecular dynamics software, specifically the Amber MD package.

Biovest, a majority-owned subsidiary of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, has tapped Brian Athey to be a member of its scientific advisory board.

Athey is a professor of biomedical informatics and was recently named chair of the department of computational medicine and bioinformatics at the University of Michigan's medical school (BI 1/20/2012). Additionally, he serves on Appistry's scientific and technology advisory board (BI 2/10/2012).

Athey is also one of the founders of the tranSMART project community which supports open source pharmaceutical data-sharing and -analysis software platforms.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.