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UF Chemistry Professor Awarded NSF Grant to Build Open Network for Molecular Science

University of Florida chemistry professor Adrian Roitberg will work as part of a multi-university team on a new project that has received nearly $1 million to advance molecular sciences though machine learning.

The team was awarded $994,433 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build an open network where molecular scientists from different institutions can contribute their data and access tools to make the most of their research.

By bringing together experimental data and molecular models through machine learning, the platform will allow users to predict how molecules interact in complex systems. The goal is to create a central, collaborative hub that will improve and accelerate the process of creating new products ranging from medicines to smart materials.

Led by principal investigator D. Tyler McQuade, a chemical and life science engineering professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), the project is among the first to be funded by the NSF initiative Convergence Accelerator, which aims to solve problems by bringing people together across disciplines.

In addition to Roitberg and McQuade, the team includes James K. Ferri, professor in the VCU Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, and Carol A. Parish, professor of chemistry at the University of Richmond. The companies Two Six Labs of Arlington, Virginia, and Fathom Information Design of Boston will also collaborate on the project.

The researchers plan to present their prototype in March 2020 in hopes of obtaining $5 million more in funding.

You can learn more about the project here: