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The Scientist at Work in Big Pharma

Ensconced in a darkened room at GlaxoSmithKline's suburban Philadelphia campus, Lara Kallander brings up an image of an X-ray crystallized compound on a wall screen. The image looks like a heap of brightly colored children's pickup-sticks arrayed at random angles. Kallander puts on a weighty pair of 3-D glasses. At first the left eye is annoyingly fuzzy, as if the lens is smudged. Then she hits a few keystrokes on the computer and suddenly the pickup sticks seem to pop off the screen. The lin

Robert Calandra

Ensconced in a darkened room at GlaxoSmithKline's suburban Philadelphia campus, Lara Kallander brings up an image of an X-ray crystallized compound on a wall screen. The image looks like a heap of brightly colored children's pickup-sticks arrayed at random angles. Kallander puts on a weighty pair of 3-D glasses. At first the left eye is annoyingly fuzzy, as if the lens is smudged. Then she hits a few keystrokes on the computer and suddenly the pickup sticks seem to pop off the screen. The lines plump up, or gain depth, and the internal structure becomes clear.1 Suspended inside the structure are two connected green molecules, the objects of Kallander's interest.

"This shows us how we can change the molecule to make it bind better," says Kallander, a principal scientist in medicinal chemistry at GlaxoSmithKline. "We look for spaces around the molecule where we can introduce other carbons to enhance...

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