2013 Herman Skolnik Award Presented

Dr. Richard (“Dick”) Cramer was awarded the 2013 Herman Skolnik Award by the Division of Chemical Information (CINF) during the 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting held in Indianapolis, IN, September 8-12, 2013. 

This award recognizes Cramer’s outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science. Cramer’s scientific breakthroughs include the invention of Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA), the first and most widely-used 3D-QSAR technique for molecular discovery. Researchers use CoMFA to build statistical and graphical models that relate the chemical and biological properties of molecules to their 3D structures and the 3D steric and electrostatic properties. These models are then used to predict the activity of novel compounds. This information helps researchers to decide which molecules will likely make the best new drug candidates. This development earned Cramer one of the earliest cheminformatics patents. He continues to refine this technique through his work on topomeric descriptors and other QSAR innovations.

Dr. Cramer organized a one-day symposium for the occasion, which included the following presentations (links to abstracts below, a symposium report by Wendy Warr is in this Issue): 

Adventures in CoMFAland / Robert D Clark

Adventures in drug discovery: For now we see through a glass, darkly / Robert C Glen

Three paradigm shifts in computer-assisted drug design: The inventors and by-standers / Yvonne C Martin

Look back at 3D-QSAR and Dick Cramer / Anton J. Hopfinger

Evolution of QSAR from regression analysis to physical modeling / Ajay N Jain

Scientific analysis of baseball performance / David W. Smith

Synthesis planning: Something about reactions, representation, relationships, and reasoning / W. Todd Wipke

Think local, act global: Some challenges in cheminformatics and drug research / Tudor I Oprea

From library design to off-target prediction: A wide array of topomer applications / Bernd Wendt

2013 Herman Skolnik Award address:
Whole template CoMFA: The QSAR grail? / Richard D Cramer

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Chair, CINF Awards Committee