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Now Available: Innovators Under 35 2013 See The 2013 List »

Vijay Pande, 31

Biotechnology

Stanford University

If scientists understood how the body’s proteins folded, they could better battle diseases like Alzheimer’s. But analyzing a protein’s trillions of possible folding steps is daunting, even for a supercomputer. In 1999 Vijay Pande, a professor of chemistry and structural biology at Stanford University, wrote algorithms that enable thousands of isolated computers to calculate tiny portions of a folding sequence and combine their solutions. The pragmatic Pande then sought advice from distributed-computing entrepreneur Adam Beberg (a former TR100 honoree) on how to integrate his code into a screen saver that PC users could download. Dubbed Folding@home, the software makes calculations any time the PC’s screen saver is running and reports the results to Pande’s computer. Since the project’s October 2000 debut, some 75,000 volunteers worldwide have helped simulate, for the first time, the complete folding behavior of five important proteins. Born in Trinidad to Indian parents, Pande is now using distributed computing to map the final folded structures of the proteins. On any given day, 35,000 PCs are providing the computing power.

2002 TR35 Winners

Ewan Birney

Biotechnology

Fiona Brinkman

Biotechnology

Chris Burge

Biotechnology

Benjamin Cravatt

Biotechnology

Nathaniel David

Biotechnology

Susan Hagness

Medicine

Derek Hansford

Materials

J. Joseph Kim

Medicine

Steven Laken

Medicine

Kelvin Lee

Medicine

Milan Mrksich

Materials

Stephen OConnor

Biotechnology

Alexander Olek

Biotechnology

Vijay Pande

Biotechnology

Stephen Quake

Materials

David Sabatini

Biotechnology

John Santini

Medicine

David Schaffer

Medicine

Christoph Westphal

Biotechnology

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