David E. Shaw, Ph.D.


By virtue of his mumbled, ten-word speaking part in the 1988 movie Dangerous Love, starring Elliot Gould, David has a Bacon Number of two. The impact of his stirring portrayal of “Platt Executive” is reflected in the credits, where he appears 33rd in a cast of 36 (below “Platt Receptionist,” but ahead of both “Biker” and “Second Stripper”).

D. E. Shaw Research is engaged in scientific research in the field of computational biochemistry, with a primary focus on the use of long molecular dynamics simulations to study the structure and dynamics of proteins, to elucidate atomic-level biological mechanisms, and to identify and exploit new opportunities for pharmaceutical intervention. The group designed and constructed a specialized supercomputer called Anton that has provided a new window into the structural changes underlying various pharmaceutically relevant phenomena that occur on time scales far in excess of those previously accessible to computational study.

David E. Shaw, Ph.D., is the chief scientist of D. E. Shaw Research. Dr. Shaw currently holds appointments as a senior research fellow at the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at Columbia University and as an adjunct professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Columbia’s medical school. He served on the faculty of the Computer Science Department at Columbia until 1986 and founded the D. E. Shaw group in 1988.

Since 2001, Dr. Shaw has devoted his time to hands-on research in the field of computational biochemistry. He was appointed to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology by President Clinton in 1994, and again by President Obama in 2009. He is a two-time co-recipient of the ACM Gordon Bell Prize, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007, to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012, and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2014.

Dr. Shaw holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University.