Research Team

FightAIDS@Home is a research project run by Prof. Arthur Olson's laboratory in the Department of Integrated Structural and Computational Biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. The FightAIDS@Home project also includes Prof. Rik Belew from the Department of Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego.


The Scripps Research Institute

Prof. Arthur J. Olson is the FightAIDS@Home project leader.

Prof. Olson is a Professor of Integrated Structural and Computational Biology, Director of the Molecular Graphics Laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute, and Director of the new, large HIV Center called the "HIVE" that encompasses researchers from 6 different institutions around the country and is funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop new approaches to discover novel AIDS therapeutics based upon our ever-increasing knowledge of the structural biology of HIV. To learn more about the HIVE, click on the logo at the bottom of this page.

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, now running the day-to-day operations of the FightAIDS@Home research. 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.

Dr. Stefano Forli joined Prof. Olson's laboratory at TSRI on March 2008. He received his Ph.D in 2006 in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Universita' degli Studi di Siena, Italy, after an industrial fellowship in SienaBiotech. His main expertise is in docking, high throughput virtual screening and structure-activity relationships. The aims of his research are to exploit protein structural information to identify novel, potentially-active molecules and to overcome multi-drug resistance.

Dr. Sargis Dallakyan is a Research Programmer III in Prof. Olson's lab. He is responsible for the hardware and software environment for the "Molecular Graphics Laboratory," and he is the Lead Developer on the Python Molecular Viewer (PMV), which we use during parts of the preparation and analysis of the experiments we perform on FightAIDS@Home. Dr. Dallakyan received his Ph.D. from Yerevan Physics Institute .

Dr. Garrett M. Morris is the FightAIDS@Home research project technical contact. Dr. Morris is co-author of AutoDock, the rational drug design software that runs on the FightAIDS@Home global Internet computing grid.

Dr. Morris received a D.Phil. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Oxford in 1991. His expertise is in computational chemistry and molecular modeling, and he is the author of Cameleon, one of the first commercial software products in bioinformatics. Although he is now the Head of Computational Chemistry at Crysalin, Ltd., Oxfordshire, UK, he is still helping us develop the software utilized in this project.

Former Team Members

Dr. Alex L. Perryman joined Prof. Olson's laboratory at TSRI on August 1st, 2007, administering the the FightAIDS@Home until 2013. He now works at Rutgers University and has been performing structure-based drug design research against HIV since joining Prof. Andrew McCammon's laboratory at UCSD in 2000. Alex received a Ph.D. in 2005 from the Biomedical Sciences program at the University of California, San Diego, in the Pharmacology Dept. He was then an Amgen Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Stephen L. Mayo's lab at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 2005-2007, where he applied protein engineering to the design and optimization of anti-viral proteins. Alex is an expert at using information about protein structures to guide the fight against disease. His research is focused on learning how to defeat multi-drug-resistant mutant "super bugs" and on designing and evaluating potential new drugs that can help reduce human suffering. To learn more about Dr. Perryman, check out his LinkedIn profile.

Scott Kurowski is a software technologist and entrepreneur, applied mathematician, amateur scientist, and aviator. Mr. Kurowski founded Entropia, Inc. in 1997, and in 2000 he partnered with the Olson Lab at TSRI to create FA@H to showcase the company's grid platform, while tackling a major humanitarian goal. Since 1998, he has held executive R&D roles at five start-up companies financed by a total of more than $175 million in venture capital, where his award- and patent-winning teams developed wireless, enterprise, web and multi-teraflop grids, products and services. Mr. Kurowski ported AutoDock to Windows and the grid, and with Dr. Garrett Morris led the original Entropia FA@H grid launched in October 2000 on 24,000 CPUs.

Dr. William Lindstrom received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to his graduate studies, he had extensive experience in the software industry. He joined Dr. Olson's laboratory in 2000, to pursue a post doctoral position in computer-aided drug design against HIV protease. As of September, 2007, Dr. Lindstrom is a Scientist and Principal Investigator for Acelot, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA, USA.

Dr. Alexandre Gillet is a Programmer and Systems Analyst; he was responsible for the hardware and software environment in the Olson Laboratory. He received his Master's degree in Molecular Modelling and Genome Analysis from the University of Paris 7, France, and recently received his doctorate in the laboratory of Prof. Olson, at The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Gillet is now a Software Engineer 2 at Illumina, Inc., San Diego, CA, USA.

Dr. Max Chang received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in Computer Science under the supervision of Prof. Rik Belew. Dr. Chang is now a Research Associate in the lab of one of our collaborators, Prof. Bruce Torbett at TSRI, La Jolla, CA.

University of California, San Diego

Prof. Rik Belew is a Professor of of Computer Science, with special research interests in machine learning and free-text information retrieval.

We are working together with other laboratories here at Scripps and elsewhere, to design, synthesize and test new HIV protease inhibitors that are better than existing drugs in defeating the virus's ability to develop drug resistance.

Our collaborators include:

The Elder Laboratory - Virology
The Olson Laboratory - Computational Chemistry

The Finn Research Group - Synthetic Chemistry
The Stout Laboratory - Xray Crystallography
The Torbett Laboratory - Cell Biology
The Fokin Laboratory - Synthetic Chemistry

These collaborators and several other labs at other universities recently joined together to create a new HIV Center called the "HIVE". To see the HIVE website, click on the logo below.