CyberScience co-hire awarded ACS OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty AwardPosted on May 17, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. — Edward O’Brien, assistant professor of chemistry and an Institute for CyberScience faculty co-hire, has been awarded the American Chemical Society (ACS) OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in Computational Chemistry for his work “Origins of the Mechanochemical Coupling of Peptide Bond Formation to Protein Synthesis.”
The ACS Computers in Chemistry Division awards up to four tenure-track junior faculty to present their work at the ACS National Meeting, to be held in fall 2018 in Boston.
“I am happy to see that Ed O’Brien has been recognized with this award,” ICS Director and Professor of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science Jenni Evans said. “It demonstrates the power of computational methods and big data to new advances in science. ICS is proud to provide support for the research and computational needs of researchers such as Ed, who utilize advanced computation.”
O’Brien’s research sought to identify new sources of mechanical forces acting on ribosomes, the molecular machines that make proteins; how those forces are transmitted across the ribosome; and their impact on the action of this molecular machine.
Within cells, ribosomes synthesize proteins. A change to the speed at which a protein is being synthesized will alter how the protein behaves. One source of change in speed can be from mechanical forces, such as the behavior of the protein as it is created. This study provides a molecular-level explanation for experimental data related to mechanochemistry, which is the study of mechanical forces affecting chemical processes.
“This is the first time these questions have been answered and it puts mechanochemistry at heart of a process that is central to life itself,” O’Brien said. “I’m grateful to have received this award in recognition of this research.”
For his work, O’Brien applied the methods of multiscale modeling on computing resources from the ICS Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) and the National Science Foundation XSEDE to interpret the information. O’Brien said that multiscale modeling, simply put, is like Google Maps.
“With Google Maps you can see the Earth, a state, a town or your house,” O’Brien said. “This is basically how multiscale modeling works because we are able to zoom in and out on our information and see it from different perspectives to answer a variety of questions.”
His research, which consisted of simulations lasting for several months, had unexpected results that have never been predicted before. He stated that these findings are fundamental to understanding how the speed of protein synthesis affects protein behavior and can lead to a better understanding of certain diseases.
William Noid, associate professor of chemistry and a colleague of O’Brien, was delighted to hear that O’Brien received the OpenEye award.
“This award highlights Ed as one of the top young researchers in computational chemistry,” Noid said. “This recognition, along with the resulting enhanced visibility, will only help to further accelerate his outstanding career trajectory.”
This research was supported by funds from the National Science Foundation, University of South Florida and Penn State.
The Institute for CyberScience is one of the five interdisciplinary research institutes under the Office of the Vice President for Research, and is dedicated to supporting cyber-enabled research across the disciplines. ICS builds an active community of researchers using computational methods in a wide range of fields through co-hiring of tenure-track faculty, providing seed funding for ambitious computational research projects, and offering access to high-performance computing resources through its Advanced CyberInfrastructure. With the support of ICS, Penn State researchers harness the power of big data, big simulation and big computing to solve the world’s problems.
- Featured Researcher: Nick Tusay
- Multi-institutional team to use AI to evaluate social, behavioral science claims
- NSF invests in cyberinfrastructure institute to harness cosmic data
- Center for Immersive Experiences set to debut, serving researchers and students
- Distant Suns, Distant Worlds
- CyberScience Seminar: Researcher to discuss how AI can help people avoid adverse drug interactions
- AI could offer warnings about serious side effects of drug-drug interactions
- Taking RTKI drugs during radiotherapy may not aid survival, worsens side effects
- Cost-effective cloud research computing options now available for researchers
- Costs of natural disasters are increasing at the high end
- Model helps choose wind farm locations, predicts output
- Virus may jump species through ‘rock-and-roll’ motion with receptors
- Researchers seek to revolutionize catalyst design with machine learning
- Resilient Resumes team places third in Nittany AI Challenge
- ‘AI in Action’: Machine learning may help scientists explore deep sleep
- Clickbait Secrets Exposed! Humans and AI team up to improve clickbait detection
- Focusing computational power for more accurate, efficient weather forecasts
- How many Earth-like planets are around sun-like stars?
- Professor receives NSF grant to model cell disorder in heart
- SMH! Brains trained on e-devices may struggle to understand scientific info
- Whole genome sequencing may help officials get a handle on disease outbreaks
- New tool could reduce security analysts’ workloads by automating data triage
- Careful analysis of volcano’s plumbing system may give tips on pending eruptions
- Reducing farm greenhouse gas emissions may plant the seed for a cooler planet
- Using artificial intelligence to detect discrimination
- Four ways scholars say we can cut the chances of nasty satellite data surprises
- Game theory shows why stigmatization may not make sense in modern society
- Older adults can serve communities as engines of everyday innovation
- Pig-Pen effect: Mixing skin oil and ozone can produce a personal pollution cloud
- Researchers find genes that could help create more resilient chickens
- Despite dire predictions, levels of social support remain steady in the U.S.
- For many, friends and family, not doctors, serve as a gateway to opioid misuse
- New algorithm may help people store more pictures, share videos faster
- Head named for Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering
- Scientific evidence boosts action for activists, decreases action for scientists
- People explore options, then selectively represent good options to make difficult decisions
- Map reveals that lynching extended far beyond the deep South
- Gravitational forces in protoplanetary disks push super-Earths close to stars
- Supercomputer cluster donation helps turn high school class into climate science research lab
- Believing machines can out-do people may fuel acceptance of self-driving cars
- People more likely to trust machines than humans with their private info
- IBM donates system to Penn State to advance AI research
- ICS Seed Grants to power projects that use AI, machine learning for common good
- Penn State Berks team advances to MVP Phase of Nittany AI Challenge
- Creepy computers or people partners? Working to make AI that enhances humanity
- Sky is clearing for using AI to probe weather variability
- ‘AI will see you now’: Panel to discuss the AI revolution in health and medicine
- Privacy law scholars must address potential for nasty satellite data surprises
- Researchers take aim at hackers trying to attack high-value AI models
- Girls, economically disadvantaged less likely to get parental urging to study computers
- Seed grants awarded to projects using Twitter data
- Researchers find features that shape mechanical force during protein synthesis
- A peek at living room decor suggests how decorations vary around the world
- Interactive websites may cause antismoking messages to backfire
- Changing how government assesses risk may ease fallout from extreme financial events
- Algorithm aims to alert consumers before they use illicit online pharmacies
- Deep learning may help doctors choose better lung cancer treatments
- Using cues and actions to help people get along with artificial intelligence
- Multi-university NSF grant to boost research computing expertise