The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences have named computational chemist Erik Thiede as a finalist for the 2021 Blavatnik Regional Award for Young Scientists in the chemistry category. The award recognizes outstanding postdoctoral scientists from academic research institutions in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It comes with a $30,000 prize for the winners in each category and $10,000 for finalists.
Thiede is a research fellow at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Mathematics in New York City. His research focuses on theoretical and computational chemistry.
The prize announcement notes that “Thiede is upgrading how scientists simulate the behavior of molecules by using machine learning to make simulations more efficient and accurate. Thiede is designing specific neural networks — artificial decision models that mimic neurons in the brain — that reflect the geometric properties of real molecules. These new tools will make it possible to simulate systems of molecules to unprecedented accuracy. Thiede’s work will accelerate the development of new chemistries for chemical synthesis, energy storage, and drug delivery.”
Before joining the Flatiron Institute, he received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago. Thiede will be honored alongside other Blavatnik Regional Award winners and finalists at the 2022 New York Academy of Sciences Annual Gala.