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Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak on RNA Evolution, Drug Discovery Chemistry

March 13, 2013 | Jack Szostak has won the Lasker Award and the 2009 Nobel Prize, founded numerous biotech companies including Gilead and more recently Ra Pharmaceuticals, is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and runs a lab at Mass General Hospital that is an intellectual powerhouse in a broad range of areas from RNA biology to novel chemical structures.

And now he’s trying to out-evolve nature.

Szostak will be keynoting CHI’s Drug Discovery Chemistry conference in San Diego in April. In this video interview with Bio-IT World editor Kevin Davies, Szostak discusses his current research interests and entrepreneurial endeavors.

“For a long time we’ve had an interest in using the principles of evolution to find new, interesting molecules,” Szostack tells Davies. “What we’re trying to do is basically use evolutionary technology combined with chemistry to make very large populations of [cyclic peptides], and see if we can actually do a little better than nature.”

Watch the video.

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