Frank Noé receives award from the American Chemical Society
Computational Scientist at Freie Universität receives Early Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry
№ 017/2019 from Jan 21, 2019
Prof. Dr. Frank Noé of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin is the recipient of this year’s Early Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The highly reputed society cites Noé’s important pioneering work in the development of innovative computational methods in biophysics. In particular, Noé has made important scientific contributions in the field of “Markov Modeling” and its application to protein simulations. Markov modeling is a method of machine learning, an area of artificial intelligence research. Markov models allow the complex dynamics of proteins and other molecules to be modeled as a random jump process between discrete states that correspond to different protein structures. Based on these models, Noé also works on the solution of the so-called sampling problem, i.e., the fact that a direct simulation of rare events, such as protein folding or binding to a drug molecule, could take years to centuries on a supercomputer. The methods developed by Prof. Noé allow such simulations to be done within weeks on ordinary computer game graphics cards. Each year, the division of Physical Chemistry of the American Chemical Society issues a “Senior” and an “Early Career” prize in theoretical and in experimental physical chemistry to recognize outstanding scientific contributions of its members. This year’s prizes will be awarded at the ACS national meeting in San Diego (US). The society has 160,000 members worldwide.
Dr. Frank Noé, born in 1975, currently holds an interdisciplinary professorship between the departments of Mathematics and Computer Science, Physics, and Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy at Freie Universität Berlin. His scientific career started with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the Cooperative University Baden Württemberg (Stuttgart) in 1999. After a master’s degree in Computer Science from the Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland), he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Heidelberg on the interface between computer science and theoretical biophysics (2006). He then led a research group at the Matheon, a research center for applied mathematics in Berlin, and accepted a position as professor of mathematical modeling in the life sciences in 2013. Frank Noé held a guest professorship at the University of Heidelberg in 2009 and is currently holding an adjunct appointment at Rice University, Houston, Texas. His research involves the development of methods of artificial intelligence, in particular with applications to challenges in the natural sciences. In addition, he is developing publicly available scientific software. He has received numerous awards for his scientific work, including a Starting Grant (2012) and a Consolidator Grant (2017) of the European Research Council.