Brian Shoichet received a B.Sc. in Chemistry (MIT) followed by doctoral work with Tack Kuntz (UCSF) on molecular docking. Postdoctoral work with Brian Matthews (Institute of Molecular Biology) used protein crystallography, mutagenesis, and biophysics to investigate a trade-off between enzyme activity and stability.
A lesson from the Kuntz and the Matthews labs was the importance of model systems for complicated problems, and of cycles of theory and experiment. In the Shoichet lab, new docking and chemoinformatics methods are tested prospectively, by affinity and wherever possible by crystallography. Work begins in model systems that isolate a specific term, broadening thereafter to bio-relevant targets, often GPCRs, seeking novel chemical matter that illuminates new signalling and function. An exciting new direction in the lab is exploiting ultra-large make-on-demand libraries, which have much expanded accessible chemical space for the field.
The research in the Shoichet lab is supported by the NIH and by DARPA.