NAMD, recipient of a 2002 Gordon Bell Award and a 2012 Sidney Fernbach Award, is a parallel molecular dynamics code designed for high-performance simulation of large biomolecular systems. Based on Charm++ parallel objects, NAMD scales to hundreds of cores for typical simulations and beyond 500,000 cores for the largest simulations. NAMD uses the popular molecular graphics program VMD for simulation setup and trajectory analysis, but is also file-compatible with AMBER, CHARMM, and X-PLOR. NAMD is distributed free of charge with source code. You can build NAMD yourself or download binaries for a wide variety of platforms. Our tutorials show you how to use NAMD and VMD for biomolecular modeling.

The 2005 reference paper Scalable molecular dynamics with NAMD has over 6,000 citations as of October 2016.

Wit, grit and a supercomputer yield chemical structure of HIV capsid (article referring to NAMD simulations on Blue Waters reported in Zhao et al., Nature, 497:643-646, 2013.)

Rapid parameterization of small molecules using the force field toolkit, JCC, 2013.

HPCwire Editors' Choice Award: Best use of HPC in life sciences

NAMD Powers Molecules by Theodore Gray App for iPhone and iPad

Multilevel Summation Method for Electrostatic Force Evaluation, JCTC, 2014.

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Other Spotlights 

Spotlight: Atomic Resolution HIV Capsid Pays Off (April 2016)

HIV-1 Capsid

image size: 101.5KB
made with VMD

When experimental-computational biologists embarked on the great challenge of resolving the atomic level structure of the HIV virus capsid that contains the virus' deadly genetic cargo, they were advised by referees not to try as the capsid is too big, too irregular, and nobody would need the highly resolved structural information. Stubbornly, the researchers went ahead anyway and succeeded getting the atomic resolution structure, overcoming size and irregularity challenges (see highlight Elusive HIV-1 Capsid). But the question remained: Is the atomic level structure of the huge HIV capsid made of 1,300 proteins useless? The HIV capsid is a closed container made of protein pentamers and hexamers, with a surface of continuously changing curvature. Two recent experimental-computational studies demonstrate now that the capsid structure is far from useless, in fact, it is a great treasure. The first study was published last year and showed that the human protein, Cyclophilin-A (CypA), involved in several diseases, interacts with the HIV capsid and affects the capsid's dynamic properties (see highlight HIV, Cells and Deception). In a second, recent study, guided by cryo-EM measurements and benefiting from large-scale molecular dynamics simulations with NAMD, researchers could resolve with new accuracy the binding of hundreds of CypA proteins on the capsid's surface. They found that CypA binds along high curvature lines of the capsid, which enhances stiffness and stability of the capsid, even though only about half of the capsid is actually covered by CypA. The limited levels of CypA stabilize and protect the viral capsid as it moves through the infected cell towards the cell's nuclear pore where nuclear proteins additionally bind to the capsid at places not covered by CypA and promote there uncoating and release of the capsid cargo into the nucleus. More information is available on our retrovirus website and in a news release.


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"Hands-On" Workshop in San Francisco (Dec 12-16, 2016)
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"Hands-On" Workshop in Urbana (Oct 17-21, 2016)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Jülich (Aug 15-19, 2016)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Pittsburgh (June 6-10, 2016)
NAMD Developer Workshop in Chicago (May 26-27, 2016)
Charm++ Workshop in Urbana (April 19-20, 2016)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Odense (Oct 12-16, 2015)
"Hands-On" Workshop in San Diego (Sept 21-25, 2015)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Okazaki (Sept 9-11, 2015)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Berkeley (August 3-7, 2015)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Pittsburgh (June 1-5, 2015)
Charm++ Workshop in Urbana (May 7-8, 2015)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Urbana (April 6-10, 2015)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Atlanta (Nov 3-7, 2014)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Bremen (June 16-20, 2014)
Charm++ Workshop in Urbana (April 29-30, 2014)
Cryo-EM Modeling Workshop in Urbana (Jan 8-10, 2014)
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NAMD 2.12 New Features
2016 User Survey Report
NAMD 2.11 New Features
NAMD 2.11 (Dec 2015)
NAMD 2.10 New Features
NAMD 2.10 (Dec 2014)
NAMD 2.9 New Features
NAMD 2.9 (April 2012)
2011 User Survey Report
NAMD 2.8 New Features
NAMD 2.8 (May 2011)
NAMD 2.7 New Features
NAMD 2.7 (Oct 2010)
How to Cite NAMD
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NAMD 2.11 User's Guide
  (also 728k HTML or 1.1M PDF)
NAMD 2.11 Release Notes
Running Charm++ Programs (including NAMD)
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Antibiotic Resistance Through Efflux Pumps
Membrane Protein Breakthrough
Massive Flu Virus Simulations
Ion Channels in General Anesthesia
How HIV Defeats Cellular Defender
Key Component in Bacterial Decisions
TCBG Papers and Presentations at SC15
Charm++-Related Events at SC15
TCBG Reaches Milestone 40th Workshop
NAMD Paper Has 5000 Citations
Transport Cycle in Atomic Detail
Atomic Model of Immature Retrovirus
ANL Supercomputer Early Science Program
Cellulosomes: One of Life's Strongest Bonds
ORNL Supercomputer Readiness Program
Solving Puzzle-Like Bond for Biofuels
Real Science Using Stampede's Xeon Phi
App Puts Chemistry at the Tips of Users' Fingers
NAMD Powers Molecules by Theodore Gray
Big Ten Network "Computing a Virus" Feature
NAMD Paper Has 4000 Citations
Bolstering Extreme Scale Computational Biology
CUDA Achievment Award for Fighting HIV
Team learns how membrane transporter moves
Extreme Computational Biology at SC13
Editors' Choice: Best use of HPC in life sciences
Rapid parameterization of small molecules
NAMD Paper Has 3000 Citations
Code cracks HIV capsid, opens drug possibilities
HIV-1 Capsid Structure Determined
Poliovirus Simulated on BlueGene/Q
Virus Structure Determined with Blue Waters
Fashioning NAMD: A History of Risk and Reward
Kale, Schulten Receive Fernback Award
Making History on Blue Waters
Proteins Help DNA Replicate Past Damage
SC11: Scaling to 100 Million Atoms
Copper Folds Parkinson's Plaques
Mechanics of Membrane Proteins
Molecular Mystery of Blood Clotting
Alzheimer's Misfolding Simulated
When Cellular Bones Soften
Getting the Rabbit in the Hat
Insights Into Deafness
Molecular Machines Replicate and Repair DNA
Sound Science
Blueprint for the Affordable Genome
Mechanics of Hearing and Deafness
NAMD Paper Has 1000 Citations
Closing the Gaps
Inside the Swine Flu Virus
Older News Items