Universidad Andres Bello, Chile
Fernando Danilo Gonzalez Nilo, Ph.D. in Chemistry (42) is currently full professor and director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Integrative BIology (CBIB) of the Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas at the Universidad Andres Bello (Chile).
Among his most important awards include: member of the Scientific Frontier of the Chilean Academy of Sciences of Chile (2007). He also participates in the commission of agricultural innovation and Biotechnology, from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of Chile (2007-2009) and in the Commission for International Collaboration NCI (USA) - Ministry of Health: Pilot Project for Breast Cancer.
In the scientific field, Dr. Gonzalez-Nilo has been honoured by the President of the Republic of Chile, Ricardo Lagos, for having one of the highest scores in scientific projects by FONDECYT (2004). Respect of its international activities, has been awarded the scholarship IUBMB / FEBS / Biochemical Society Travel Fellowships for Young Scientist (2000) and the fellowship of Organization of American States (OAS) Regular Training Program at the National Cancer Institute-US (1999 ). Currently, the group of Dr. Gonzalez-Nilo is in close collaboration with leading research groups in Molecular Simulation and Bioinformatics in USA, Europe and Latin America (CNRS (France), Beckmann Institute, NIH, NCI (USA), ISCIII, UPM (Spain), LNCC (Brazil), etc.).
Another of Dr. Gonzalez-Nilo’s important scientific activity is developing the first database of Nanobiotechnology structure, Collaboratory for Structural Nanobiology, CSN (http://nanobiology.utalca.cl) developed in collaboration with the NCI-USA.
In the field of education he serves as Professor of Molecular Simulation of Proteins in several PhD programs in Chile and South America. At the University of Talca he provides specialized lectures in Bioinformatics Engineering and in Biotechnology and Applied Sciences Ph.D. programs. Among his scientific papers are two articles published in the journal Proc. Nat Acad. Sci USA, 3 Cover Figure (FEBS Letters, JBC and JGP), and over 63 articles published in ISI journals.
Neuroscience: Synergy between Molecular Simulations and Computational Biology
Over the last few years, computational biology groups throughout the world have developed mathematical modeling and bioinformatics tools that aid in the generation of fundamental knowledge in neuroscience. One key to these developments has been the application of a transdisciplinary approach. In our group, a battery of computational tools based on High Performance Computing are used to develop models suitable to conduct in silico experiments at the level of proteins,
cells, and systems, serving as case studies of fundamental biological networks. The interplay between experimental and computational biology allows us to implement new methods, models and hypotheses, which are further tested by our experimental partners. Experimental results are then fed back into the in silico models to improve them, thereby creating new knowledge, including the three-dimensional structure and function of ion channels and other transmembrane proteins; the biophysics of molecular transport and signal transduction mechanisms across membranes; metabolic pathways of inflammation; new methods and applications in computer-based drug design; the inference and characterization of the structure of biological networks; the dynamic behavior of cellular and metabolic networks using stochastic approaches; as well as the identification and characterization of candidate genes to conduct biological experiments. In this presentation we will show our latest results in the simulation of the translocation of ions through the ion channels. These simulations have been done using advanced methods of non-equilibrium molecular dynamics, and obtain good agreement with experimental results while also giving new insights on the microscopic details of ion permeation through various K+ channels.
This is a joint work with Jeffrey Comer and Romina Sepulveda.