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Practical Tools For Innovation
O'Reilly Bioinformatics Technology Conference
January 28-31, 2002 -- Tucson, AZ
Chambered Nautilus


Warren L. DeLano
By day, Dr. Warren L. DeLano is an informatics scientist for Sunesis Pharmaceuticals. By night, Warren is an open-source software developer. His lead project, PyMOL, is the most powerful molecular graphics package currently available as completely unrestricted open-source software. It is also one of very few high-performance molecular graphics packages to support a native Python API.

DeLano's mission is to develop high-impact biopharmaceutical software. As a student and scientific programmer at Yale University, he was a developer of the popular X-PLOR and CNS programs for structural biology. DeLano obtained his Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of California, San Francisco in 1999. He performed the bulk of his graduate research at Genentech, Inc. under the supervision of Dr. Jim Wells. DeLano used phage display, X-ray crystallography, and computational tools to study the origins of binding energy in protein interfaces. He developed the RigiMOL program to analyze conformational changes in protein interfaces, and SiteFinder to study properties of protein surfaces.

In 1998, DeLano left Genentech to help Jim Wells launch Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a company focused on exploiting energetic "hot spots" on proteins for purposes of drug-discovery. Over the past three years, DeLano has led the development of informatics and IT infrastructure at Sunesis, where open-source components played a major role, from deployment of Linux servers and a Linux computing cluster, to creation of a Python-based chemical informatics platform. DeLano believes that the pharmaceutical industry has a tremendous but largely unrealized interest in supporting open-source software development.

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