Russ Pitzer Lecture

May 26, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017 - 4:10pm
100 Stillman Hall
Andy McCammon

Come back soon for more information on the 2018 Pitzer Lecture! You can find history of the Pitzer Lecture below...









2017 Pitzer Lecturer:

J. Andrew McCammon, University of California, San Diego


Thermodynamics of Molecular Recognition

4:10pm - Seminar in Stillman 100

Light reception to follow in 2136 NW


J. Andrew McCammon is the Joseph E. Mayer Chair Professor of Theoretical Chemistry and Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at UCSD.   He received his B.A. from Pomona College, and his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard University, where he worked with John Deutch (of MIT).  In 1976-78, he developed the computer simulation approach to protein dynamics in Martin Karplus’s lab at Harvard.  He joined the University of Houston as Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1978, and became the M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Chemistry in 1981. He moved to UCSD in 1995.  Professor McCammon has invented theoretical methods for accurately predicting and interpreting molecular recognition, rates of reactions, and other properties of chemical systems.  In addition to their fundamental interest, these methods play a growing role in the design of new drugs and other materials.  Professor McCammon is the author with Stephen Harvey of “Dynamics of Proteins and Nucleic Acids” (Cambridge University Press), and is the author or co-author of more than 800 publications in theoretical chemistry and biochemistry. More than 80 of his graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have secured tenured or tenure-track faculty positions at leading colleges and universities.  In the 1980’s, Professor McCammon guided the establishment of the computer-aided drug discovery program of Agouron Pharmaceuticals (now Pfizer Global Research and Development, La Jolla Laboratories), and contributed to the development of the widely prescribed HIV-1 protease inhibitor, Viracept (nelfinavir).  The McCammon group’s studies of HIV-1 integrase flexibility contributed to the discovery of the first in a new class of antiviral drugs by Merck & Co., named Isentress (raltegravir) and approved by the US FDA in 2007. Professor McCammon received the first George Herbert Hitchings Award for Innovative Methods in Drug Design from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in 1987.  In 1995, he received the Smithsonian Institution’s Information Technology Leadership Award for Breakthrough Computational Science, sponsored by Cray Research.  He is the recipient of the American Chemical Society’s 2008 National Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research.  He received the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry for 2016-17 and the Russell M. Pitzer Award in Theoretical Chemistry in 2017. Professor McCammon is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Biophysical Society.  He is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.


The Russ Pitzer Lectures

Russ Pitzer HeadshotRuss Pitzer received his B.S. degree in chemistry with honor in 1959 from the California Institute of Technology where he also played football. In 1963 he received his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard University, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT in the same year.

From 1963 to 1968 - Dr. Pitzer was a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology until he moved to the Ohio State University. He was promoted to professor in 1979. In 1986 Dr. Pitzer co-founded and served as Acting Associate Director of the Ohio Supercomputer Center. In 1988 he became a trustee of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, an institution which was founded by his father, Kenneth Pitzer, who was also a highly regarded chemist.

Dr. Pitzer served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at The Ohio State University from 1989 to 1994. He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at Pitzer College in 2003.

He has held visiting faculty positions at Berkeley, Bielefeld (Germany), Cambridge (England) and the University of Georgia.

His doctoral thesis is considered one of the very few genuine landmarks in the history of theoretical chemistry.

The pioneering research Dr. Pitzer presented in his 1973 paper "Electron Repulsion Integrals and Symmetry Adapted Charge Distributions" enabled ab initio computations on larger molecular systems than previously possible.

Previous Lecturers:

2017 - J. Andrew McCammon

2016 - Emily Carter

2015 - William Goddard

2014 - Klaus Schulten

2013 - Michele Parrinello

2012 - Martin Head-Gordon

2011 - William H. Miller

2010 - Rodney Bartlett

2009 - Fritz Schaefer

2008 - Thom Dunning