Jay Ponder

Washington University Professor Jay Ponder ’78 was recently selected as a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals.

He will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin to commemorate his election (representing science and engineering, respectively) and will be celebrated later this year, according to a news release.

Ponder, professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences and of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at the School of Medicine, is being honored for distinguished contributions to teaching and research in the field of computational chemistry and molecular modeling, particularly for the development of polarizable biomolecular force fields and molecular dynamics software.

His research is focused on prediction and modeling of structural chemistry and the relation of structure to molecular properties, particularly for biopolymers, according to the news release. He and members of his lab develop and apply computational tools addressing unsolved problems in structural biology, protein engineering, receptor-ligand binding, intermolecular interactions and conformational sampling.

Ponder joined the Washington University faculty in 1989.

He earned a PhD in chemistry from Harvard University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. Ponder earned a bachelor’s in mathematics and chemistry from Wabash College. While at Wabash, Ponder was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.