SSPC’s Investigator of the Year was presented to Prof. Damien Thompson, who made a significant impact to SSPC through development of the Modelling theme in Phase II, which has been branded world-leading by an international review panel. He is Professor of Physics at the University of Limerick and leads the predictive materials modelling group at Bernal Institute.
Damien has had multiple novel ideas and breakthroughs in research highlighted globally, publishing regularly in top tier journals including Nature, Nature Materials, and Nature Nanotechnology. For example, he has worked with scientists in Zurich and Madrid to develop a new kind of medical sensor that can detect minute traces of a substance down to the level of a molecule. They believe it may provide fast and accurate point-of-care detection for diseases such as Ebola, HIV or even the common cold.
His research interests are modelling and design of nano-structured materials for technology applications, addressing global challenges in (bio)pharma and energy. In a recent annual Research Performance Report, Prof. Thompson represents the first four of top 10 WoS article and review publications ranked by profile in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Limerick.
Listen back to Damien’s webinar on Molecular design of next-generation pharmaceuticals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZCCvS8jTAw&t=5s in which he describes the nanoscale physics that governs the design of more complex APIs at the molecular level. Computer simulations are allowing researchers in the SSPC Modelling theme to predict, prior to experiments, the structure-function properties of assemblies formed by small molecules, amino acids, peptides and full proteins in solution and on biological surfaces. The Modelling theme are always interested in further developing and applying their computational tools to co-design novel API formulations in collaboration with SSPC Partners.