2017 Herman Skolnik Award Announced

The American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Information is pleased to announce that David Winkler, CSIRO, Australia, has been selected to receive the 2017 Herman Skolnik Award for his seminal contributions to chemical information in the development of optimally sparse, robust machine learning methods for QSAR and in leading the application of cheminformatics methods to biomaterials, nanomaterials, and regenerative medicine. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science and related disciplines. The prize consists of a $3,000 honorarium and a plaque. Prof. Winkler will also be invited to present an award symposium at the fall 2017 ACS National Meeting to be held in Washington, D.C.

Dr. David WinklerProf. David Winkler is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Manufacturing in Clayton and Adjunct Professor at Monash, Latrobe, Flinders, and Nottingham Universities. During his thirty years at CSIRO he has worked on a variety of projects involving the discovery of bioactive agents and materials and has been active in developing improved modelling methods for QSAR. He has substantial experience working with industry clients including AMRAD, Du Pont, Schering Plough, Bio-RAD, Sirtex Medical, and Air Liquide. His work has also contributed to several biotechnology startup companies; Starpharma, Asymmetrex, and Betabiotics. He also licensed his Bayesian machine learning modelling methods to the Bio-RAD Corporation. His current research interests include molecular design, computational chemistry, QSAR, complex systems, stem cell modelling and simulation, computational nanotoxicology, design of materials, tissue engineering, and biomaterials. Current projects include application of novel mathematical techniques to drug and materials design, design of drugs for myelofibrosis, design and optimization of materials for medical applications and to direct the fate of stem cells, and modelling interactions of nanomaterials with biology. He is past Director of Science and Technology Australia, past Board Chair of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), and current President-Elect of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS). He a Fellow of the RACI and Asian Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (AFMC) and a Board member of the QSAR and Modelling Society and the Chemical Structure Association Trust. He represents the RACI on the Pacifichem international organizing committee.

The awarding of the 2017 Herman Skolnik Award to Winkler recognizes the significant contributions to the fields of QSAR and cheminformatics methods. His contributions to chemical information are novel and diverse, from conducting seminal work on the use of cheminformatics methods to model the biological impacts of nanomaterials to the application of informatics and QSAR methods to biomaterials and regenerative medicine.

Winkler’s early research focused on the design and properties of drugs, and he recently developed the most comprehensive model to predict aqueous solubility of small molecule drug candidates. He has designed several drugs that are progressing to the clinic for hypertension, fibrosis, radioprotection, and the first disease modifying drug candidates for incurable myeloproliferative neoplasms. Over the last decade Winkler shifted research focus to predicting the properties of materials and applying cheminformatics methods to a broad range of materials including nanomaterials, biomedical materials, ceramics, ionic and supercritical liquids, and catalysts. His work is documented in 190 publications, 22 book chapters, and 25 patents, many with his long-term collaborator Frank Burden. He has given over 300 presentations at international conferences.

Winkler is also cited for his general contributions to our field. He has served on the editorial boards of journals such as Molecular Informatics, ChemMedChem, and Perspectives in Drug Discovery and as a reviewer for many journals including The Journal of the American Chemical Society, The Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Australian Journal of Chemistry, and several Nature journals. He has also served on numerous committees such as the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Chemistry, the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society (MGMS), the Chemical Structure Association Trust, and an IUPAC committee on QSAR nomenclature. He has also been very active in promoting our field in the Asia–Pacific region, as a long-term director of the Chemical Information Network project of the FACS past President of the AFMC.

David Evans, Chair, CINF Awards Committee