After 4 physics-filled years at Cambridge alongside summer research at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics and Caltech, I will be conducting a PhD under Dr Alpha Lee in computational drug design. Mankind has so-far synthesized 10^8 compounds, which sounds like a lot, but it is estimated that there are at least 10^20 possible drug-like molecules. Many of these could be more affordable, effective pharmaceuticals – the challenge is in getting to them! My PhD will attempt to achieve this by describing three-dimensional molecules in a continuous representation - the continuity of the representation allows it to be used as an input to conventional machine learning techniques for the prediction of novel drug candidates with optimal properties. By lowering the cost of drug discovery, this would particularly benefit the research of neglected diseases where the profit margin for drug development is low to non-existent. In the future I hope to found a computational drug discovery start-up in my hometown, Hong Kong, focusing on diseases afflicting the Asia-Pacific region. I am incredibly honoured to join the Gates community, and I look forward to meeting and exchanging ideas with like-minded scholars!
University of Cambridge Natural Sciences 2019