1pm - 2pm BST
Wednesday 7 June 2023
Professor Brendan Howlin - Molecular modelling in drug design and energy
University of Surrey
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Molecular modelling is the chemistry equivalent of engineering design except we design molecules instead of buildings and bridges. The mathematical principles are much the same except the charge on the atoms making up the molecule are significant at this scale. Hence, quantum methods are important also. There is a growing appreciation and understanding of quantum effects in biology, hence the Quantum Biology Centre at Surrey. Drug design is based on a very simple theory called the lock and key mechanism and Professor Howlin will show how we can go from this to designing drugs to alleviate the effects of ageing. Materials are governed by the same principles of molecular modelling so we can calculate material properties as well. One application of Professor Howlin's research involves the production of environmentally friendly high energy density supercapacitors which are largely aqueous based (so don’t catch fire) and do not contain any conflict metals.
Professor Brendan Howlin
Professor of Computational Chemistry
Professor Brendan Howlin is Professor of Computational Chemistry at the University of Surrey. He has been involved in modelling research for 34 years and has published over 220 papers in this area. He concentrates on modelling polymers and proteins and was credited with carrying out the first molecular simulation of a cross linked polymer. In the past six years he has collaborated with Superdielectrics on the development of environmentally friendly high energy density supercapacitors. He also works on designing anti-ageing drugs by molecular modelling and AI. His work has been supported by the research councils and industry and he has gained over £5M of funding, £1.5M over the past six years from Superdielectrics. He has recently finished an EPSRC grant on designing active masks for COVID with Professor Tina Lekakou as PI and was PI on the EPSRC funded ATHENA Project. His H index is 30 and he is a sustainability fellow and an AI fellow at the University and active in the Leverhulme Quantum Biology Centre at the University.