Buck Institute Emphasizes Importance of Artificial Intelligence with New Appointment

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Buck Institute appoints Alex Zhavoronkov as Adjunct Professor in artificial intelligence for aging research

Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Insilico Medicine, a Baltimore-based company specializing in artificial intelligence for drug discovery, biomarker development and aging research, announces the appointment of its founder and CEO, Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, to the faculty of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging as an adjunct professor. 

Recent advances in modern artificial intelligence demonstrated promising results in both biomarker development and drug discovery and the leading academic and research institutions are expanding their AI groups. The Buck Institute is the leading research institution with massive amounts of biological data coming from high-throughput experiments and with the unique multidisciplinary expertise in aging research. Alex Zhavoronkov works on the intersection of the next-generation of artificial intelligence and aging research and will help support the AI efforts at the Buck.
 
“We are incredibly excited about the potential of AI to accelerate aging research,” said Dr. Eric Verdin, President and CEO of the Buck Institute. “The Buck has been at the forefront of asking the most important questions in the field. Now, with the latest in bioinformatics and artificial intelligence, and with the involvement of world-class experts like Dr. Zhavoronkov, we will finally have the tools to answer them. Fully utilizing these powerful technologies, we will dramatically increase our understanding of how aging works, and what we can do about it.”
 
Dr. Zhavoronkov is the founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine, a Baltimore-based leader in the next-generation artificial intelligence for drug discovery, biomarker development, and aging research. At Insilico he pioneered the application of generative adversarial networks and reinforcement learning techniques for generating novel molecular structures with desired properties. His group developed and published the first deep-learned multi-modal predictors of age. At Insilico he set up R&D centers in 6 countries including Korea, Russia, Hong Kong and Taiwan and launched multiple biomarker initiatives including Young.AI and Longenesis. Prior to founding Insilico Medicine, he worked in senior roles at ATI Technologies (acquired by AMD in 2006), NeuroG Neuroinformatics, the Biogerontology Research Foundation, YLabs.AI and established AgeNet.net competitions and the diversity.AI initiative.
 
Since 2012 he has published over 90 peer-reviewed research papers in the various areas of artificial intelligence, bioinformatics and aging research and several books including “The Ageless Generation: How Biomedical Advances Will Transform the Global Economy” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).  He is also the co-organizer of the Annual Aging Research for Drug Discovery Forum and the Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain for Healthcare Forum at EMBO/Basel Life in Basel, one of Europe's largest industry events in drug discovery. Dr. Zhavoronkov holds two bachelor degrees from Queen’s University, a master’s in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Physics and Mathematics from Moscow State University, and is an adjunct professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
 
“If I were to name the most productive center on the planet doing credible and cutting-edge research in aging, without doubt this would be The Buck Institute. It is a home for the leading scientists in the field and everything from equipment to architecture to management is of the highest quality. It is a great honor for me to be joining this venerated institution as an adjunct professor at the time when the field of artificial intelligence is bearing the first fruits in aging research. I look forward to effectively contributing to the AI initiatives at the Buck”, said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, the founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine and the CSO of the Biogerontology Research Foundation in the UK.  
 
About the Buck Institute for Research on Aging
At the Buck, we aim to end the threat of age-related diseases for this and future generations. We bring together the most capable and passionate scientists from a broad range of disciplines to study mechanisms of aging and to identify therapeutics that slow down aging. Our goal is to increase human health span, or the healthy years of life. Located just north of San Francisco, we are globally recognized as the pioneer and leader in efforts to target aging, the number one risk factor for serious diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, macular degeneration, heart disease, and diabetes. The Buck wants to help people live better longer. Our success will ultimately change healthcare. Learn more at: https://buckinstitute.org
 
About Insilico Medicine, Inc
Insilico Medicine, Inc. is an artificial intelligence company headquartered at the Emerging Technology Centers at the Johns Hopkins University Eastern campus in Baltimore, with R&D and management resources in Belgium, Russia, UK, Taiwan, and Korea sourced through hackathons and competitions.
The company utilizes advances in genomics, big data analysis, and deep learning for in silico drug discovery and drug repurposing for aging and age-related diseases. Insilico pioneered the applications of the generative adversarial networks (GANs) and reinforcement learning for generation of novel molecular structures for the diseases with a known target and with no known targets. In addition to working collaborations with the large pharmaceutical companies, the company is pursuing internal drug discovery programs in cancer, dermatological diseases, fibrosis, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, diabetes, sarcopenia, and aging. Through a partnership with LifeExtension.com the company launched a range of nutraceutical products compounded using the advanced bioinformatics techniques and deep learning approaches. It also provides a range of consumer-facing applications including Young.AI and Aging.AI and operates Chemistry.AI intended to capture the tacit knowledge of medicinal chemists. In 2017, NVIDIA selected Insilico Medicine as one of the Top 5 AI companies in its potential for social impact. In 2018, the company was named one of the global top 100 AI companies by CB Insights. Brief company video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l62jlwgL3v8

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Qingsong Zhu
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