Re: a philosophical question...

From: Richard Wood (
Date: Mon Feb 19 2007 - 17:16:52 CST

Hi all, I never got the types of responses that I was hoping for, and so, my question died. All of them were geared toward my personal situation, and not about the philosophical state of the discipline of computational chemistry, which was what I was looking for. Yes, I am having a rough go of it, but I was looking for people to look at the field, and to comment on why it is difficult to get into it and what is going to be done or should be done, to make it easier to get into. I hate to bring up personal instances, but I see all these people concerned about calculational issues and not looking at the bigger picture of the field that we are in. What does it matter that we are training in this field when a few months down the road there could be no use for that training? As far as someone commenting to me, "do you have any philosophical questions about MD?", I would say that I do. In fact, I have many. Here is one. I have noticed that several (many?) people are working in the field of lipid simulations, in the hope of learning something about cell membrane behavior. I am wondering if any of these people take into account the fact that a cell membrane is not made up of a single type of lipid, but generally more than one, and that some of these lipids are unsaturated (to assure that the membrane won't freeze). I would like to know how this is handled. The membrane building tool of VMD won't allow the building of a mixed lipid bilayer. How does one get around this? As an aside, the person that asked me the above question in an off-list email, stated several things about myself and my background that I totally disagree with, stating that "most senior comp. chemists at a pharma company came right out of the Ph.D., and most "workers" just have their master's. If you're applying to be a worker with two post-docs, nobody will take you seriously" and "they want someone who can write their own code in several languages, not only for MD (which is such a tiny part of pharma anyway), but for chemoinformatics, virtual screening, docking, QM/MM, almost everything" and the topper, "you learned how to run CHARMm scripts in two days". In my experience, all of these are totally untrue. One doesn't get into a group at Wyeth, Merck, etc. WITHOUT doing at least ONE post-doc, and not everyone in industry writes code. Even if you CAN write code, and have never done, say, cheminformatics, and they are looking for someone to do it, if you haven't done cheminformatics, you're screwed. To this person that is so uniformed about me, I've done so MUCH more than just MD. And I learned how to do just about anything I wanted to in CHARMM in about two days. Anything else is cake, including docking (does this person know how many commercial programs will do docking now?). Richard Richard Richard L. Wood, Ph. D. Computational Chemist Cockeysville, MD 21030 ____________________________________________________________________________________ Don't pick lemons. See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.

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