Dr Alpha Lee
I'm a scientist and entrepreneur working in biotech and climate tech.
I've been a faculty member in the Department of Physics, University of Cambridge since 2017. We work on machine learning for molecules and materials, with a particular focus on combining data-driven approaches with statistical physics of condensed matter. Before joining Cambridge, I was a George F. Carrier Fellow at Harvard University, and read DPhil in Mathematics at University of Oxford.
I've always felt a calling to make our world a better place with science. I'm taking a break from academia (on leave from my faculty job until 2027) to bring my research to market via startups and non-profits. I'm grateful to backers such as Y Combinator, and our spinouts were in W20 and W23 batches.
My research led to breakthroughs that can significantly speed up drug discovery. For example, I developed models that predict how molecules bind to human proteins, and how to make molecules faster in the lab. These advances inspired me to start PostEra, a machine learning-powered biotech. I'm current serving as PostEra's Chief Scientific Officer.
During COVID, I launched the COVID Moonshot to find COVID antivirals using a non-profit open-science model. We went from a cold start to nominating a development candidate in 18 months, raised $10M+ of philanthropic funding. DNDi, a global drug development non-profit, is taking our candidate towards the clinic. Building on this momentum, I'm leading the AI-driven Structure-enabled Antiviral Platform, an antiviral drug discovery center focusing on pandemic preparedness by discovering new antiviral therapeutics with a novel non-profit model, funded by NIH/NIAID.
A separate strand of my academic research focuses on using machine learning to understand energy materials such as batteries and super capacitors. For example, we developed models that can forecast battery degradation and provide microscopic understand of how electrolytes behave. To bring these research to the battery industry, I'm a Scientific Co-founder of Byterat, which offers a data platform for engineers that unlocks the full potential of battery testing data.
My CV will tell you a bit more about my academic life.
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