SimTK User Profile: Alain Laederach, PhD
Alain Laederach of the Wadsworth Center counts on Simtk.org as a long term software and data repository and says Simbios’ dissemination efforts will pay off.
Alain Laederach, PhD, a research scientist at the Wadsworth Center and an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University at Albany, was a post-doc in Russ Altman’s lab when the Simbios grant was written. He left Stanford in 2008 but continues to use various Simbios tools including the Simtk.org repository (see: Biomedical Computation Review, Winter 2008/09, p.3-4).
“We use Simtk.org as our model for all software distribution,” Laederach says. In fact, he includes Simtk.org in his grant applications. “When you write a grant to propose software development, you have to explain how—past the grant—the software will live somewhere. Simtk.org is a way to satisfy that requirement for future projects because there’s an intent that it will live forever—beyond Simbios.”
In several of his collaborations, Laederach uses Simbios tools—NAST or RNABuilder (which themselves are built on top of SimTK libraries)—for 3-D modeling of RNA because he’s familiar with them. The spread of new tools, Laederach says, is fundamentally grassroots. “People use tools because they’ve used them before or they know someone who has used them.”