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Ron Dror is an Associate Professor of Computer Science in the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. Dr. Dror leads a research group that uses molecular simulation and machine learning to elucidate biomolecular structure, dynamics, and function, and to guide the development of more effective medicines. He collaborates extensively with experimentalists in both academia and industry.Before moving to Stanford, Dr. Dror served as second-in-command of D. E. Shaw Research, a hundred-person company, having joined as its first hire. He designed computer hardware, software, and algorithms that accelerate molecular dynamics simulations by orders of magnitude, and applied these simulations to the study of protein function, protein folding, and protein-drug interactions.Dr. Dror earned a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, where he developed machine learning methods for computer vision and genomics. He earned an MPhil in Biological Sciences as a Churchill Scholar at the University of Cambridge, as well as undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University, summa cum laude. He has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Whitaker Foundation, as well as two Gordon Bell Prizes and several Best Paper awards. His work has been highlighted by Science as a top-10 breakthrough of the year.
My lab’s research focuses on computational biology, with an emphasis on 3D molecular structure. We combine two approaches: (1) Bottom-up: given the basic physics governing atomic interactions, use simulations to predict molecular behavior; (2) Top-down: given experimental data, use machine learning to predict molecular structures and properties. We collaborate closely with experimentalists and apply our methods to the discovery of safer, more effective drugs.