Link: University of Iowa

Department announces hiring of Dr. Michael Schnieders

The Department of Biochemistry, Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Genetics Initiative are pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Michael Schnieders. Dr. Schnieders starts on August 15 with a joint 12 month appointment as an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering (60%) and of Biochemistry (40%). His research space is being built in Biochemistry.

Dr. Schnieders is a 1999 BS in Engineering with High Distinction in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Iowa.  At Iowa, he was a Stebler Scholar in 1995, a Paul D. Scholz Memorial Scholar in 1996, a Goldwater Scholar in 1997, and a Rhodes Dunlap Scholar in 1998.  His undergraduate research produced one first author and one middle author publication in orthopaedics and bioengineering.

He completed his doctorate in 2007 at Washington University in St. Louis with Professor Jay W. Ponder.  There, he advanced the development of a polarizable force field that has allowed precise computation of solute-solvent interactions.  His graduate work consisted of two first author publications with Dr. Ponder and one paper in which Dr. Schnieders is the penultimate author.

In 2007 Dr. Schnieders began his postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University with Professors Vijay S. Pande and Axel Brunger.  There, he extended his computational studies to greatly improve protein Xray structure refinement with a program that he named Force Field X.

In 2011 he moved to the University of Texas, Austin to continue as a post-doctoral fellow with Professor Pengyu Ren.  There he moved into two additional areas at the forefront of computational chemistry and biophysics.  First, he is working on calculations of free energy of binding, solvation and crystal stability.  Second, he is aiming to improve docking technologies so that high resolution structures can better be used to identify inhibitors by computational methods.

As a new member of the Genetics Initiative, he plans to advance personalized medicine by using genomic and structural information to develop algorithms that will allow doctors to predict which of a set of related drugs will be most effective on patients as a function of coding polymorphisms in drug targets. Dr. Schnieders is looking forward to training biomedical engineering and biochemistry graduate students.

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