Michael Skinnider is the grand prize winner of the 2023 NOMIS & Science Young Explorer Award. He is assistant professor in the Princeton Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University (US).
Michael Skinnider is originally from Victoria, British Columbia (Canada). He earned his MD and PhD from the University of British Columbia, completing his doctoral work with Leonard Foster. He was also a visiting PhD student and then a postdoctoral fellow at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) with Grégoire Courtine. Previously, he completed his undergraduate studies at McMaster University (Canada), where he worked in the laboratory of Nathan Magarvey, and where his work led to the formation of a successful start-up company to accelerate the discovery of bioactive small molecules from nature (Adapsyn Bioscience). Skinnider’s research interests are broadly at the intersection of applied machine learning for problems in biology, chemistry and medicine, with a particular interest in the discovery of novel small molecules.
His award-winning essay, “Hallucinating hallucinogens,” describes how he developed an artificial intelligence–based approach to identify new designer drugs wreaking havoc in a growing number of communities around the world.