Alex Dickson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Michigan State University

Portrait of Alex Dickson

Alex Dickson, Ph.D. is an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Michigan State University. Dr. Dickson’s research group specializes in the development of new algorithms and software for molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. MD can reveal atomic-level insight into drug-receptor interactions, but conventional simulations are often too short to observe key events, such as the binding and unbinding pathways of drug molecules. Algorithms developed in the Dickson lab can generate binding and unbinding trajectories that typically occur on timescales thousands to millions of times longer than conventional MD simulations. This unlocks new insights into binding poses, binding mechanisms and binding kinetics that can be used to design potent and specific drug molecules.

Dr. Dickson has been recognized with the OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the American Chemical Society, as well as the Elizabeth R. Norton Prize for Excellence in Research in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. Research in his laboratory is funded by awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as the Joint DMS/NIGMS Initiative to Support Research at the Interface of the Biological and Mathematical Sciences by the Division of Mathematical Sciences and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the NIH and by the Human Frontiers Science Program. Dr. Dickson earned his B.S. in chemical physics from the University of Toronto and his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan.