Gerard van Westen is a tenure tracker at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR). He is establishing the Computational Chemical Biology group, which focusses on computational methods integrated in different parts of teh drug discovery process. The group is embedded in the Drug and Target Discovery research cluster.
The current research is focussed on resistance modeling (viral, biological, and agricultural), polypharmacology modeling, characterisation of allosteric modulators, and innovative treatments for cancer. For this he explores the complementarity of diverse data sources. e.g. the prediction of binding mode (allosterism) using text-mined data, protein, and chemical descriptors.
Gerard’s PhD was in the field of of proteochemometric modeling at the LACDR in collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceutica in Beerse, Belgium. In essence this computational technique allows for the creation of advanced structure-activity relationships based on ligand information, protein information and mutual dependencies. He has done a postdoc at the European Molecular Biology Lab – European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in the ChEMBL group headed by John Overington.
Currently he has authored 36 peer-reviewed publications, obtained three personal grants, co-applied on two others, and have received several awards (among which ‘Discover of the year 2013’ of the Leiden University faculty of Science).