Olexandr Isayev joined Carnegie Mellon as an assistant professor in January 2020. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from Jackson State University and most recently was a research assistant professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We are working towards the acceleration of molecular discovery by the combination of AI, informatics and high-throughput quantum chemistry,” Isayev said of his research, placing it at the “interface of theoretical chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and computer science.” Using machine learning and neural networks, Isayev is developing technology that can rapidly and accurately calculate and model complex molecular structures and interactions. Furthermore, his lab has developed AI methods that can design molecules on their own and then critique them automatically, enabling the rapid development and testing of potential drugs or other useful substances.
Anna Kietrys joined Carnegie Mellon as an assistant professor in January 2020. After receiving her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences, Kietrys worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.
Kietrys’ research aims to understand the signals conveyed by RNA during aging and neurodegeneration brought on by diseases such as Parkinson’s. “Despite the rapid improvement in transcriptomics and new research techniques, researchers remain far from fully understanding the complexity of the RNA world and its role in the organization and function of the cell,” Kietrys said.
In particular, Kietrys focuses on studying recently discovered groups of RNA such as circular RNAs and ultra-small RNAs that are not yet well understood. A greater understanding of these molecules could eventually lead to new therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases.