Dr Andreas Bender
Andreas Bender is a Lecturer for Molecular Informatics with the Unilever Centre for Molecular Science Informatics at the University of Cambridge. Until April 2010 he was an Assistant Professor for Cheminformatics and Pharmaceutical IT with the Leiden / Amsterdam Center for Drug Research and Head of the Pharma-IT Platform at Leiden University. In his work, he is involved with the analysis of various kinds of bioactivity data and the generation of property prediction models, mainly for small molecules.
Before assuming faculty positions, Andreas was a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow with the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge/MA and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, working on projects related to ligand-based drug design in Novartis' Lead Discovery Informatics group. His work comprised applications to predict biological targets for small molecules and approaches to chart chemical space and the relations among targets, based on the similarities of their ligands.Andreas received his PhD from the University of Cambridge (UK) developing virtual screening methods working with Prof. Robert C. Glen at the Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics. He was a Cambridge Gates Scholar and a member of Darwin College whilst at Cambridge and did his undergraduate studies in Berlin, Dublin and Frankfurt as a German National Merit Foundation scholar. Andreas currently has more than 70 publications in the cheminformatics and bioinformatics fields to his credit and besides being a referee for more than 20 journals he serves on the editorial board of Combinatorial Chemistry and High-Throughput Screening (CCHTS).
The work of my group is related to virtual screening, the prediction of small molecule properties (such as solubility, logP, pKa) and the integration of biological and chemical data. In the past, I have analyzed chemical data from lots of different sources, such as from high-content screening, from safety profiling panels used in pharmaceutical industry, as well as from large commercial and public bioactivity databases. In the future, my work will shift more to the integration and analysis of heterogeneous chemical and biological data from different sources - such as chemogenomics data analysis methods and linking bioactivites to compound phenotypes. The work performed in my group is particularly relevant when it comes to the design of new molecules, that should have the desired bioactivity (or bioactivity profile) against a set of protein targets. Moreover, in most cases not activity against a target (or set thereof) is the final goal, but rather the modulation of the phenotype. Hence, the importance of integrating bioactivity data with pathway resources and a phenotype ontology becomes apparent, and given the increasing amount of data at our disposal today this work is also very timely. So if you either need a rational way to design bioactive compounds with a desired activity profile, or vice versa, if you would like to rationalize phenotypes by large-scale chemical and biological data analysis, please don't hesitate to contact me.
In 2010/2011 I am teaching the Physical Chemistry Part II Practical, along with a number of supervisions for College each week. For 2011 we are planning to launch a new lecture course on Cheminformatics and related areas.