Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
The appointment of Bruce Tidor of the Department of Chemistry to be the next holder of the Paul M. Cook Career Development Professorship has been announced by Provost Joel Moses.
Professor Tidor's research involves the use of molecular modeling to study molecular recognition and binding by proteins and nucleic acids. Learning how natural molecules have evolved to bind specifically and tightly to one another is providing useful guidance for rational molecular design.
He was one of a team of MIT-affiliated scientists from three different branches of chemistry who last year produced the first detailed structural information on an amyloid plaque similar to that found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The work, reported in the November 1995 issue of Nature Structural Biology, represents an important step forward in understanding the biology of Alzheimer's disease and may some day lead to new diagnostic and treatment techniques.
He received the AB in chemistry and physics from Harvard College (1983), the MSc in biochemistry from the University of Oxford's Wolfson College (1985) and the PhD in biophysics from Harvard (1990). From 1990-94 he was a Whitehead Fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He joined the MIT faculty in 1994.
Professor Tidor serves on the MIT Council on Educational Technology. Recently he received support from the Class of '51 Fund for Excellence in Education and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation for a program to incorporate computer animation, simulation and display into the weekly lectures of four of the key service subjects in the undergraduate curriculum.
The funding also allowed creation of a computer graphics laboratory for teaching in the department. He developed the program with Melinda G. Cerny, then educational counselor in the department and now a member of the leadership team for the reengineering of student services.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on July 24, 1996.