Cesar de la Fuente
Cesar seeks to harness computational power to find molecules with antibacterial activity. He uses synthetic biology and computational tools to determine features contributing to this activity and trains computers to find— or design— candidate molecules and tweak their structures virtually. For example, Cesar worked with a team to train a computer to execute a fitness function that selects structures that interact with bacterial membranes, thus converting several HDPs into the first artificial antimicrobials that kill bacteria both in vitro and in animals. By investigating these exciting possibilities, Cesar aims to build machine-made antibiotics to combat infectious diseases and develop clinical applications for autonomously generated synthetic molecules. Cesar believes that computer-made drugs may help to replenish our arsenal of effective drugs and outpace the evolution of antibiotic resistance.