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Anthony Cruz-Balberdy Anthony Cruz-Balberdy is a doctoral student in computational and theoretical chemistry working in the labs of Professors Gustavo López and Tom Kurtzman at Lehman College.  He received both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez before joining the Doctoral Program in Chemistry at the City University of New York in 2014.
 
Anthony is a prolific science writer and is the author of 21 peer-reviewed publications covering an impressive range of topics. After receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree, Anthony pursued his passion for scientific research by expanding his undergraduate research project with research mentor Professor Juan López-Garriga where he studied ligand stabilization in hemoglobin (I, II, and III) complexes from Lucina pectinata using resonance Raman spectroscopy. While pursuing his master’s he also helped organize the Science on Wheels Educational Center which is an outreach project that offers innovative science experiences to students in the K-12 public school system in Puerto Rico. After obtaining his master’s degree, Anthony joined the theoretical and computational research group of Professor Gustavo López at Lehman College where he has published on a variety of topics including the thermodynamics of phase equilibria in surfactant monolayers, quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical treatments of the dynamics of hydrogen transfer in polypeptide proton wires for use in fuel cells, and molecular dynamics studies on the activation of Src Kinases as a switch for cancer tumor metastasis. His paper on Src Kinase activation was published in the high-impact journal Nature Communications and has already been cited 89 times. While working on this project, Anthony started collaborating with co-author Professor Tom Kurtzman studying how the solvation of proteins can be exploited for the discovery and design of new drugs. With Professor Kurtzman, Anthony has developed software to map out properties of water in protein active sites, studied how the displacement of water contributes to the thermodynamics of drug-protein recognition, and incorporated solvation thermodynamic maps into virtual screening software to help discover new drug molecules. This latter study was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 
 
In 2015, Anthony joined CUNY’s NSF CREST-IDEAL scholarship program and, as part of this program, is currently studying the influence of solvent on the stability and self-assembly of nanostructures. In the summer of 2016 he obtained a competitive summer internship at GlaxoSmithKline where he worked on testing and implementing the OpenEye ORION cloud platform for computer-aided drug design. He is continuing this project in the Kurtzman Lab helping to integrate the solvation mapping software he helped develop into the ORION software package.  
 
Along with being an outstanding researcher, Anthony is dedicated to science education and has helped mentor and train more than 30 graduate, undergraduates and high school students in the Lopez and Kurtzman labs. Moreover, Anthony has taught undergraduate physical and general chemistry laboratories to chemistry and nursing students at Lehman College since 2011.
 
A list of Anthony’s publications can be found here.

 
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