TL;DR: CCK-8, the 8th of our new series of meetings for computational chemists, cheminformaticians, and molecular modelers, is on Thursday, October 26th, 2017, at 5 pm in the Seminar Room, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QUFree tickets are available.


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Please join us for our next “Comp Chem Kitchen”, CCK-8, at 5-6 pm on Thursday, October 26th, 2017, in the Seminar Room, Department of Biochemistry, South Parks Road, Oxford. We are really pleased to announce Prof. Alpha Lee from the Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, UK, will be speaking:

  • Prof. Alpha Lee (Cambridge): Exploring chemical space using random matrix theoryDeveloping computational methods to explore chemical space is a major challenge for drug discovery. The challenge is often the limited number of experimental measurements relative to the vast chemical space. I will discuss a mathematical framework, inspired by random matrix theory, which allows us to remove noise due to finite sampling and identify important chemical features. I will illustrate this framework with three examples: predicting protein-ligand affinity [1], optimal design of experiments by combining coarse and fine measurements [2], and inferring a generative model in chemical space by combining Ornstein-Zernike theory with deep learning [3].[1] A. A. Lee, M. P. Brenner and L. J. Colwell, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 113, 13564 (2016);
    [2] A. A. Lee, M. P. Brenner and L. J. Colwell, Phys. Rev. Lett., accepted (2017) arXiv:1702.06001 [PDF];
    [3] A. A. Lee, arXiv:1706.08466 (2017) [PDF].

Lightning Talks:

  • Simon Nadal (Groups of Prof. Ben Davis, CRL; and Prof. Shabaz Mohammed, Biochemistry): “SILCS simulations in preclinical drug discovery“.
  • Anthony Aimon (Visiting Scientist, OxXChem, i04-1 Beamline, Diamond Light Source): “Opentrons: Automated Organic Synthesis made easy“.

Get in touch if you would like to give a 5 minute talk at a future CCK on your latest research or give a quick demo your latest programming project, or even to nominate someone (students, postdocs, professionals, PIs, Emeritus Professors). The talks usually resemble one of the following styles:

  • an overview of computational chemistry in your research;
  • a (live!) demonstration of some software that you are developing or using; or
  • a summary of a computational chemistry paper, method, programming language, or tool that you’ve seen recently.

Refreshments will be provided, including beer.

We would like to thank the University of Oxford MPLS Network and Interdisciplinary Fund for making CCK possible.

About CCK

Comp Chem Kitchen is a regular forum and seminar series to hear about and discuss computational methods for tackling problems in chemistry, biochemistry and drug discovery. It focuses principally on cheminformatics, computational chemistry, and molecular modelling, and overlaps with neighboring areas such as materials properties and bioinformatics.

We’re keen to encourage people involved in coding and methods development (i.e. hackers, in the original untarnished sense of the word) to join us. Our hope is that we will share best practices, even code snippets and software tools, and avoid re-inventing wheels.

In addition to local researchers, we invite speakers from industry and non-profits from time to time, and occasionally organize software demos and tutorials.

If you’re interested in giving a talk, here are some possible topics:

  • Software development (e.g.: Python, C, C++, CUDA, shell, Matlab);
  • Optimizing force field parameters & EVB models;
  • Cheminformatics (e.g.: RDKit);
  • X-ray and NMR crystallography, including small molecule and macromolecular;
  • Protein & RNA modeling, including Molecular Dynamics;
  • Virtual screening and Docking;
  • Machine Learning;
  • Quantum Methods, including DFT.

Bring your laptops, by the way, if you have something you’d like to show!


Want to speak? Ideas for speakers?

* If you have ideas for speakers, or would like to give a talk, let us know. We also invite lightning talks of 5 minutes (or fewer) from attendees, so if you have some cool code you’ve been working on and would like to demo, bring your laptop, smartphone, tablet, (wearable?) and tell us all about it. *

Please pass this message on to friends, colleagues, and students who may be interested too!

The main CCK web site is:
Follow us on Twitter: @CompChemKitchen
See you soon! We’re looking forward to seeing and hearing about the diverse range of computational molecular science that you’re cooking up…

—Garrett, Richard, Phil and Rob

[email protected]
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CCK-2 (Tuesday 14th June)

Our second meeting, CCK-2 will be held in the Abbott’s Kitchen in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QR at 5 pm on Tuesday June 14th 2016 (8th Week). Free tickets are available.


  • Mike Bodkin (Vice President, Research Informatics, Evotec), “Chemical space and how to warp drive discovery”.
  • Jonathan Yates (Department of Materials, University of Oxford), Lightning talk,  “A brief introduction to the Collaborative Computational Project for NMR Crystallography (CCP-NC)”.
  • Jonny Brooks-Bartlett (Elspeth Garman Group, Department of Biochemistry); Lightning talk: “The Julia Programming Language”.
  • Fernanda Duarte (Rob Paton Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford): Lightning talk: “Exploring biochemical systems using the Empirical Valence Bond (EVB) approach”.
  • Matteo Degiacomi (Justin Benesch Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford): Lightning talk: “The Python package BiobOx: a collection of data structures, tools and methods for biomolecular modelling” BiobOx is used for manipulation, measurement, analysis and assembly of atomistic and super coarse-grain structures as well as EM maps.

Talks will take place between 5pm and 6pm, please stay for refreshments and chat afterwards.

We would like to thank Prof. Philip Biggin and the MRC Proximity to Discovery Fund for supporting CCK.