About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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November 1, 2013

Chemist At Work

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Posted by Derek

Well, now I know the previously-obscured downside of writing a monthly column for Chemistry World. This month's entry is on emulating enzymes, and it's adorned by the illustration shown here (© "The Hit Man", so it says). I just emailed the link to my wife, and after she caught her breath from laughing, she noted the following for verisimilitude: "Tell them that you don't wear a tie. And that your height-to-width ratio is better. And that your beard isn't all that fearsome." Nothing, you'll note, about my tongue hanging out. That part is apparently true to life.

Comments (15) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blog Housekeeping


1. petros on November 1, 2013 8:48 AM writes...

I though the cartoon was quite amusing and at least you are shown with lab coat and (safety) glasses

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2. Anonymous on November 1, 2013 8:56 AM writes...

And the lollipop in the pocket?

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3. Anonymous on November 1, 2013 9:01 AM writes...

Or are you just pleased with your work?

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4. Old Man Chemist on November 1, 2013 9:16 AM writes...

Please button up your lab coat!

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5. Dr. Manhattan on November 1, 2013 9:49 AM writes...

"Nothing, you'll note, about my tongue hanging out"

Ah yes, the infamous "Miley Cyrus" effect! It's a passing fad, you just happened to get caught up in the timing of it.

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6. Hitman on November 1, 2013 1:06 PM writes...


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7. CMCguy on November 1, 2013 1:51 PM writes...

#5 DrM I avoid all things Miley Cyrus so not sure but if you are commenting on the tongue sticking out I remember photo's of Michael Jordon doing this as he drove to the basket. I also been known to do that when concentrating on a physically demanding task (changing tires) and seen my son's do it so wonder if there was a genetic component behind that.

In this case I might argue Derek was attempting to account for water molecules in the model to test the molecule fit however that would be going too far.

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8. Poul-Henning Kamp on November 1, 2013 2:31 PM writes...


Don't attempt to buy the original artwork from the artist, you will almost certainly end up in a bidding war against your wife :-)

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9. Chemjobber on November 1, 2013 3:24 PM writes...

CMC, glad I'm not the only one who was thinking about the Jordan tongue.

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10. Anonymous on November 2, 2013 8:07 AM writes...

With the number of entries you have on your blog, I wonder how much time you spend making compounds or you are not on the bench any more.

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11. Derek Lowe on November 2, 2013 12:40 PM writes...

Oh, I still do bench work - I'd miss it terribly if I got away from it completely. I'm not as productive as someone who's in the lab full-time, but I've probably sent in a hundred compounds or so this year so far.

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12. Anonymous on November 3, 2013 4:51 AM writes...

Good stuff, Derek, I think it's important to always keep one's head in the sky and feet on the ground. I had the pleasure to work with a Nobel laureate in the lab when he was 85. So humble and inspiring. I think all pharma R&D management should spend at least some time working with their white coat in the lab, just to keep their feet on the ground and appreciate what (and who) they are dealing with.

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13. Pennpenn on November 3, 2013 5:38 PM writes...

@2- I'm fairly sure that's meant to be a part of the model he's building, rather than a lollipop.

Could be wrong though.

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14. Fred on November 4, 2013 2:09 PM writes...

Buttoning the lab coat might help with the height to width ratio in addition to improving safety compliance.

I might not give Miley Cyrus the same advice....

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15. Alessandro on November 8, 2013 2:19 AM writes...

that guy is Prof. Peter Kundig from Geneva !!

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