Dr. Pitera is a research staff member in Science and Technology at the IBM Almaden Research Center. His research focuses on the use of computer simulation to address questions in biology and chemistry, particularly in the areas of protein folding, molecular recognition, self-assembly, and computer-aided materials design. His current research projects include simulations of polymeric materials for lithography, desalination, and drug delivery applications.
Dr. Pitera received undergraduate training in Biology and Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, where he worked in Prof. Pamela Bjorkman’s protein crystallography group. Subsequently, he pursued graduate studies in Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco in the laboratory of Prof. Peter Kollman. In Dr. Kollman’s group, he developed an interest in the use of biomolecular simulation and free energy calculations in the rational design of proteins and pharmaceuticals. He pursued similar work in a postdoctoral position with Prof. Dr. Wilfred van Gunsteren at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, where his research focused on novel methods to calculate free energies for ligand design. Dr. Pitera is also an adjunct assistant professor in the UCSF Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and maintains active collaborations with groups at UCSF and Stanford.