A UT-ORNL team led by Governor’s Chair Jeremy Smith is using supercomputing to figure out ways to ease the path of turning vegetation into biofuel.
Jeremy Smith News
Industry publications highlight Jeremy Smith’s lignin research.
Ask a biofuel researcher to name the single greatest technical barrier to cost-effective ethanol, and you’re likely to receive a one-word response: lignin. To better understand exactly how lignin persists, researchers ORNL created one of the largest biomolecular simulations to date using the Titan supercomputer to track and analyze millions of atoms. The research was led by Jeremy Smith, UT Governor’s Chair based in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology.
Supercomputing simulations led by a joint UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory team could change how researchers understand the internal motions of proteins that play functional, structural and regulatory roles in all living organisms. The team’s results are featured in Nature Physics.
Jeremy Smith, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair and an expert in computational biology, is part of the team that is trying to engineer enzymes—called bioscavengers—so they work more efficiently against chemical weapons. His work is featured in an article on Ozy.com. “They (the researchers) want to employ advanced quantum and molecular mechanics to design an enzyme that
UT researchers are using supercomputing to simulate the interactions of drug compounds and proteins in the body. The computers allow them to rapidly collect and analyze data which could make medicine cheaper, find new uses for existing drugs, and enhance the understanding of a drug’s potential side effects.
Time wrote about a recent study by UT and ORNL researchers, published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry, that focuses on the engineering of enzymes produced in the bodies of squid that may be effective in breaking down nerve gasses and other deadly chemical weapons. The team aspires to create a prophylactic drug from these enzymes that will mitigate their harmful effects on humans, but first they must modify the enzymes to ensure that the human body won’t destroy them first.
Researchers at UT are a step closer to creating a prophylactic drug that would neutralize the deadly effects of the chemical weapons used in Syria and elsewhere. Jeremy Smith, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair and an expert in computational biology, is part of the team that is trying to engineer enzymes—called bioscavengers—so they work more efficiently against chemical weapons.
Imagine going to the doctor and the doctor peering into your genetic code to determine the best medicine to treat what ails you. The campus has received funding from computer chip maker Intel to develop computer codes to make personalized medicine like this and other transformative scientific discoveries possible.
National Public Radio featured the sequestration effects on research by Governor’s Chair for Molecular Biophysics Jeremy Smith and graduate student Sally Ellingson who use Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s supercomputer, Titan. Grant agencies like the National Science Foundation are only funding roughly 1 in 5 of the proposals it receives now, reported NPR. Smith said he’s