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Professor Fernanda Duarte

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Duration: 0:26:25 | Added: 04 Jan 2023
Georgina Ferry interviews Fernanda Duarte, Associate Professor in Computational Organic Chemistry, 26 April 2022.

Topics discussed include (00:00:21) early education and career in Oxford and Edinburgh; (00:00:40) early interest in chemistry; (00:01:16) use of computation in chemistry, including modelling work on enzymes; (00:02:30) process of building models; (00:03:37) collaboration with other chemists within the laboratory, particularly on methodology; (00:04:21) understanding how chemical reactions happen, including for drug development; (00:05:29) enzyme modelling involving metal ions; (00:07:03) first awareness of COVID-19, including attendance at a computational modelling conference in Bristol in March 2020; (00:08:18) work with Professor Chris Schofield, virus enzyme modelling particularly relating to the replication of the COVID-19 virus [main protease enzyme]; (00:12:10) enzyme interaction with its substrate; (00:14:05) identification of key interactions within the enzyme, testing of peptides experimentally in Oxford; (00:15:00) working remotely and on-site to continue experimental work; (00:15:30) current work relating to Mpro and exploration of the mechanism; (00:16:52) drug discovery efforts; (00:17:58) funding for project work, including work at the national computer facility funded by the UKRI; (00:19:05) personal reaction to the threat of COVID-19, living arrangements, laboratory safety and restrictions; (00:20:54) personal wellbeing, interaction with colleagues; (00:21:50) hours of work, particularly working more than usual; (00:23:15) collaborative nature of working on COVID projects; (00:25:39) changes to attitudes to work and hopes for moving forward in the future, including the value of human interactions in science.

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