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Research: Outsmart Ebola Together: Research Participants
Research Participants

The Scripps Research Institute

La Jolla, California, USA

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is a nonprofit research institution whose philosophy emphasizes the creation of basic knowledge in the biosciences for its application in medicine and the pursuit of fundamental scientific advances. The more than 200 principal investigators at TSRI include many distinguished leaders in their fields, including two Nobel laureates and numerous members of the National Academy of Sciences (including its Institute of Medicine), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Erica Ollmann Saphire

Dr. Erica Saphire is a Professor of Immunology and Microbial Science at The Scripps Research Institute. Her research explains how and why viruses are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for medical defense. Her team has explained how the viruses drive themselves into cells, how they suppress immune function, where human antibodies can defeat them, as well as structure of the entire human antibody itself. A recent discovery expanded the central dogma of molecular biology by proving that certain viral proteins actually rearrange into different structures at different times for different functions. Her work has been recognized with the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, an Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease and a Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, by young investigator awards from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Society of Microbiology, and by the Surhain Sidhu award for the most outstanding contribution to the field of diffraction by a person within five years of the Ph.D. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, serves on the Scientific Leadership Board of the Global Virus Network and is the Director of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium. This organization, the VIC, united the field into a single force to understand and provide antibody therapeutics against Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and other viruses.

Hal Wasserman
Research Associate

Dr. Hal Wasserman's degrees include a BA in Computer Science from Harvard University, an MA in Film Production from the University of Southern California, and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. As a graduate student and postdoc, he developed algorithms for error-correcting codes and highly reliable software. He has also worked as a software engineer specializing in graphics, platform programming and networking for interactive entertainment and mobile apps.

The following additional participants are also involved with the FightAIDS@Home project in the Olson Laboratory at TSRI:

Arthur J. Olson

Arthur Olson is the Anderson Research Chair Professor at the Scripps Research Institute, where 35 years ago he founded and still directs the Molecular Graphics Laboratory. His lab has created both AutoDock and AutoDock Vina, the world's most widely used and cited molecular docking programs. Olson is the Director of the NIH funded HIV Interaction and Viral Evolution (HIVE) Center. He initiated the FightAIDS@Home Internet distributed HIV computational project in 2000, which has run on the IBM World Community Grid since 2005.

Daniel N. Santiago
Research Associate

Dr. Daniel N. Santiago received his Ph.D. in 2012 in computational chemistry at the University of South Florida and joined Prof. Olson's Lab in May 2013. Dr. Santiago's research interests include the use and development of computational techniques (such as virtual screening, molecular dynamics, and data mining) for drug discovery. Past projects involved polypharmacology (drug repositioning), protein-protein interactions for developing cyclic peptides as drug molecules, and flexible docking techniques for targets in cancer and infectious diseases. He is working on FightAIDS@Home and also now works on Outsmart Ebola Together.

Stefano Forli
Research Associate

Dr. Stefano Forli is a Staff Scientist in Prof. Olson's laboratory at TSRI, which he joined in 2008. He received his Ph.D in 2006 in Medicinal Chemistry at the Universita' degli Studi di Siena, Italy, His main expertise is in docking, high throughput virtual screening and structure-activity relationships, and he is also involved in the FightAIDS@Home project. The main goal of his research is to exploit structural information for drug discovery to find novel molecules able to bind to and inhibit Ebola proteins.