Associate Professor; University of Colorado, Boulder
Michael Shirts, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder where his research centers on computational approaches to understanding and designing molecules with optimized properties. Dr. Shirts develops rigorous methods grounded in statistical thermodynamics which can improve the way we design and characterize molecules at the nanoscale. His focuses include drug design through prediction of physical properties, binding affinities and the design of novel materials, with an emphasis on the development of computational tools. These computational tools can fundamentally change molecular design by making searches through chemical and configurations space much more predictive, reliable and efficient.
Dr. Shirts’ honors and awards include the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Computational Molecular Science & Engineering Forum Impact Award, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, American Chemical Society COMP OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities Ralph E. Powe, Jr. Faculty Enhancement Award, University of Virginia FEST Distinguished Young Investigator Award, National Institutes of Health Individual Postdoctoral Fellow, Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA and the Fannie and John Hertz Graduate Fellowship.
Dr. Shirts earned a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from Harvard University in Boston and a doctor of philosophy in chemistry from Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. and was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University in New York.