Laboratory of Chemoinformatics and Molecular Modeling Is Created at MEPhI

A new laboratory of chemoinformatics and molecular modeling under the leadership of a leading oncologist, MD. Alexander Shtil (head of the laboratory) and a specialist in computational chemistry, Ph.D. Sofia Borisevich, is created on the basis of the Institute of Cyber Intelligence Systems (ICIS) of the MEPhI together with the N.N. Blokhin National Medical Research Center of Oncology and the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences. The staff of the laboratory includes specialists in biomedicine, chemistry, molecular modeling and bioinformatics.

Among the key projects of the new ICIS division are the development of the first domestic software package for molecular modeling, AI algorithms to speed up the search for and creation of new anticancer drugs, the creation of a new master's program in chemoinformatics and molecular modeling, and in the future – postgraduate studies. It is also planned to hold a number of open lectures and seminars on computational chemistry, biology and chemoinformatics for IT specialists.

The head of the laboratory, Alexander Shtil, believes that the new division will become a powerful interdisciplinary platform for theoretical and applied research of new biomolecules within the framework of interaction between IT specialists and experimenters.

According to Sofia Borisevich, co-head of the laboratory, molecular modeling methods are successfully used all over the world to solve a number of physicochemical and biological problems. In silico experiments, similar to in vitro and in vivo experiments, provide answers to many questions regarding drug development. To successfully solve such problems, powerful computing resources and modern software are required. Unfortunately, today in Russia there is no specialized domestic software that allows solving problems in the field of molecular modeling and drug development, and the laboratory team, together with partners, will have to develop it.

In the near future, the laboratory will be equipped with computer systems and biomedical equipment for experimental research. Two Russian pharmaceutical companies conducting exploratory research and development of antitumor drugs have already become its industrial partners, as well as those companies interested in highly qualified personnel in the field of chemoinformatics and computational chemistry.

The laboratory invites MEPhI students, graduate students, professors and researchers to work on interdisciplinary projects in the above areas for cooperation.