Northeastern Professor Creates Software to Make Drug Development Easier
Professor Paul Whitford of Northeastern University, a NEC member, has created a software program that can help provide better data for drug developers.
Whiteford and a team of graduate students have spent the last four years creating Smog, a free software program that simulates the creation of ribosomes. Ribosomes are the part of a cell that produce proteins that communicate signals, which are critical to understanding how a drug would work. Before Smog, drug developers would have to create a whole new ribosome simulation for each new test. Now, developers can save time by inputting different sets of data into the same simulation. “It would take at least a year for each (researcher) to get their infrastructure working,” Whitford said. “You’re looking at hundreds of manpower years.” The team at Northeastern received a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation for the project.