Alexander Tropsha, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Pharmacoinformatics, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
K.H. Lee Distinguished Professor, Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry
Adjunct Professor, UNC Department of Biomedical Engineering
Adjunct Professor, UNC Department of Computer Science
100K Beard Hall, , CB# 7568, Chapel Hill, NC, 27955-7568
ACCEPTING DOCTORAL STUDENTS
Alex Tropsha, Ph.D., is an expert in the fields of computational chemistry, cheminformatics and structural bioinformatics who works to develop new methodologies and software tools for computer-assisted drug design. He is creating new approaches to protein 3D structure analysis and prediction based on the principles of statistical geometry. His particular expertise lies in the field of cheminformatics, a discipline where information and informatics methodologies are applied to storing, managing, exploring and exploiting chemical databases. In layman’s terms, cheminformatics combines chemistry and computer science to aid in the discovery of new drugs.
Tropsha has authored more than 190 peer-reviewed papers and 20 books and book chapters. He joined the School’s faculty in 1991 as an assistant professor and director of the Laboratory for Molecular Modeling. He was promoted to associate professor in 1997 and to full professor in 2004 and holds appointments as an adjunct professor in the UNC Department of Biomedical Engineering and in the Department of Computer Science and is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was named as the K. H. Lee Distinguished Professor in 2008.
As associate dean for pharmacoinformatics and data science, Tropsha serves as the chief informatics officer in the School and provides oversight and strategic direction for the research and training programs in data-rich areas of pharmaceutical sciences.
Ivan Rusyn, Fred Wright, Bryan Roth
Early stages in modern drug discovery often involve screening small molecules for their effects on a selected protein target or a model of a biological pathway. In the past fifteen years, innovative technologies that enable rapid synthesis and high throughput screening of large libraries of compounds have been adopted in almost all major pharmaceutical and biotech companies and have also proliferated to academia leading to the unprecedented growth of available databases of biologically active compounds. Managing, understanding, analyzing and exploiting this data to enable rational design of new experiments requires skills and computational tools.
Tropsha’s Laboratory for Molecular Modeling conducts studies in the broad areas of computer-assisted drug design, cheminformatics and structural bioinformatics. The lab is generally interested in understanding the relationship between biomolecular structure and its function.
The lab is poised to develop
- novel descriptors to characterize complex molecules,
- novel techniques to analyze screening data,
- novel biologically relevant diversity/similarity measures,
- novel tools for virtual screening of compound libraries and the design of novel compound and libraries with high expected hit rates, and
- novel protocols for large scale cheminformatics computing and dissemination of the tools and target property predictors
PhD, biochemistry and pharmacology
Moscow State University
Advisor: Prof Lev S. Yaguzhinski
Thesis: Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships for Muscarinic and Nicotinic Agonists and Antagonists
Moscow State University