Dr. Kenneth Merz joins Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Computational Life Sciences to develop biomedical research through advanced computing.
(Photo provided by Kenneth Merz, PhD)
Kenneth Merz, PhD, a pioneer in computational chemistry and molecular simulation, has joined the staff of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Computational Life Sciences (CCLS).
In his role with CCLS, Dr. Merz will help guide projects across advanced computing, including high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Dr. Merz's decades of expertise in simulating our bodies' most complex processes is key to CCLS's goal of accelerating life sciences through computational research.
Dr. Merz joins Cleveland Clinic from Michigan State University where he held a distinguished professorship. His research includes theoretical and computational tool development and application to chemical and biological problems. He has published more than 400 research papers and has been cited 178,662 times.
"I decided to join Cleveland Clinic because of its willingness to take big risks to push the frontiers of health and life sciences to improve patient outcomes," Dr. Merz says. "That's what I am most proud of in my research career – when my work has had an impact and, I hope, has made the world a better place."
For more than 30 years, Dr. Merz has co-developed the AMBER suite of biomolecular simulation programs. The programs' ability to simulate interactions between molecules laid the foundation for using software simulation and artificial intelligence in drug discovery. Dr. Merz and his team continue to work to improve and expand the programs for their worldwide user base.
Dr. Merz's significant contributions to the field expand across academia and industry. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the American Chemical Society's Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling. He founded and co-founded two companies, QuantumBio, Inc. and Attmos, Inc., and developed six patents.
"As Cleveland Clinic defines the role of quantum computing in healthcare and life sciences, Dr. Merz brings in extraordinary depth, breadth, and vision around the quantum chemistry dimension," says Lara Jehi, MD, Chief Research Information Officer. "We are delighted to welcome him in our computational life sciences family."
Dr. Merz earned his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Texas. He completed postdoctoral fellowships in applied orbital theory from Cornell University and macromolecular structure and dynamics from the University of California.
Dr. Merz's appointment is part of the Cleveland Innovation District's commitment to bring world-leading talent to Ohio. The Cleveland Innovation District is a unique public-private initiative that brings the State of Ohio and JobsOhio together with Cleveland's healthcare and higher education institutions to create jobs, accelerate research and educate the workforce of the future.
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