Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Helgi Ingolfsson

Computational Biologist

Biosciences and Biotechnology Division

July 7, 2020

What do you like about working at the Lab?

I get to work on exciting, large-scale projects with a diverse group of experts in their various sub-fields.

What do your day-to-day work activities include?

All too many meetings, but when I get to sit at my desk, I develop computational models, write code to more effectively run simulations, and run and analyze molecular dynamics simulations on some of the world’s largest high-performance computers.

What is one project you’re really proud to have worked on?

We have been developing in silico assays for measuring drug-induced changes in membrane properties. This is of great importance, as many of the key proteins that regulate cell function are membrane embedded, and their function can change when you alter the membrane environment. Therefore, drugs can have undesirable off-target effects on a range of proteins without even directly interacting with them—a mechanism we can now test in silico during drug design, even before the drug lead is synthesized.

What is your career background?

I’m a computer scientist turned experimental biophysicist turned computational biologist.

What inspired you to go into your field of work?

Curiosity about how things work. Biology in particular always appeared so messy, and still does, but little by little we discover more about the underlying principles.

What advice would you give to a new employee at the Lab?

Explore—the Lab is large, with an amazing amount of exciting and diverse research.

What do you do in your free time?

Currently, I mostly play with my 7-month-old daughter, but I also love to hike and read.

Are you a member of any employee resource groups?

I’m a member of the Early Career Employee Resource Group.

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