About Us


Transforming drug discovery

The Accelerating Therapeutics for Opportunities in Medicine (ATOM) consortium is a public-private partnership with the mission of transforming drug discovery by accelerating the development of more effective therapies for patients.



In June 2016, GSK, the Department of Energy, and the National Cancer Institute announced their intent to create the ATOM partnership as one of the Cancer Moonshot task forces, with funding support under the 21st Century Cures Act.

The ATOM consortium was officially established in October 2017.

ATOM founding members are GSK, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, and the University of California, San Francisco. 



Our goal is to transform drug discovery from a slow, sequential, and high-failure process into a rapid, integrated, and patient-centric model. We are integrating high performance computing, diverse biological data, and emerging biotechnologies to create a new pre-competitive platform for drug discovery.


Consortium Members

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GSK is providing chemical and in vitro biological data for more than 2 million compounds from its historic and current screening collection, as well as preclinical and clinical information on 500 molecules that have failed in development but provide data that could help advance new, successful compounds. GSK also offers expertise in drug discovery and development, computational chemistry, and biology.

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is contributing its best-in-class supercomputers, including its next-generation system Sierra, as well as its expertise and innovative approaches to modeling and simulation, cognitive computing, machine learning, and algorithm development. More broadly, by applying high-performance computing to the ambitious problem of cancer therapy, the Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration hopes to accelerate technologies vital to its core missions.

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Frederick National Laboratory, on behalf of the National Cancer Institute, is contributing scientific expertise in precision oncology, computational chemistry and cancer biology, as well as support for open sharing of datasets and predictive modeling and simulation tools. 

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UC San Francisco is providing expertise from a long-history of innovation in medicine and drug discovery combined with its strengths in cancer and translation of technologies and therapeutics to improve the lives of patients.

The goals of ATOM are tightly aligned with those of the 21st Century Cures Act, which aims in part to enable a greater number of therapies to reach more patients more quickly.
— David Heimbrook, Former Laboratory Director at FNLCR

What we do


ATOM develops, tests, and validates a multidisciplinary approach to drug discovery in which modern science, technology and engineering, supercomputing simulations, data science, and artificial intelligence are highly integrated into a single drug-discovery team approach that can ultimately be shared with the drug discovery community at large and applied to other disease areas.

The consortium will achieve its goals by building new tools, models, and processes that it intends to make broadly available as a shared resource to accelerate drug discovery. Scientific understanding and vast amounts of data gathered from decades of research will be used by the consortium in hopes that the information will be leveraged to find solutions for cancer patients. 

The ATOM team will combine publicly available data, the data provided by GSK, and that of future consortium members, to generate new dynamic models that can better predict how molecules will behave in the body, potentially bringing new drugs to patients faster. In this effort, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will contribute its best-in-class supercomputers, including its next-generation system Sierra, as well as its expertise and innovative approaches to modeling and simulation, cognitive computing, machine learning, and algorithm development. 

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ATOM is a novel public-private partnership that draws on the lab’s unique capabilities to create a paradigm change in drug development
— Bill Goldstein, Director of LLNL
We must do all that we can to reduce the time it takes to get medicines to patients.
— John Baldoni, ATOM Founder



Leadership Team & Joint Research Committee (JRC)

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Jim Brase, M.S.

ATOM Co-lead and Head of Technology / ATOM JRC Member / Deputy Associate Director for Computation / Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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Stacie Calad-Thomson, Ph.D.

ATOM Co-lead and Head of Operations

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Tom Rush, Ph.D.

ATOM Co-lead and Head of Science / ATOM JRC Member / Senior Director and Head of Biology Automation / GSK

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Michelle Arkin, Ph.D.

ATOM JRC Member / Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry / UCSF

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Dwight Nissley, Ph.D.

ATOM JRC Member / Director, Cancer Research Technology Program / Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

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Deirdre Olynick, Ph.D., M.B.A.

ATOM Director, Business Development and Operations


Governing Board

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John MacWilliams, J.D., M.S.

ATOM Governing Board Chair / Senior Advisor to the Director / Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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Alan Ashworth, Ph.D., F.R.S.

President / UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center


Andrew Roddam, D.Phil.

Vice President Collaborations, Data & Computational Sciences / GSK

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Ethan Dmitrovsky, M.D.

Laboratory Director / Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

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Patricia Falcone, Ph.D.

Deputy Director for Science and Technology / Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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Barry Selick, Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor, Business Development, Innovation, and Partnerships / UCSF

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Eric Stahlberg, Ph.D.

Director, Biomedical Informatics and Data Science / Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research


Advisory Board


Michael Ringel, J.D., Ph.D.

ATOM Advisory Board Chair / Senior Partner & Managing Director / Boston Consulting Group

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John Baldoni, Ph.D.

ATOM Founder & Advisory Board Member

We need to get better medicines to patients faster. This project aims to do that.
— Alan Ashworth, President of UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center



Benefits of Membership



ATOM is actively seeking additional partnerships with organizations who share in our vision. Member benefits include access to:

                    1.    Algorithms and generated data for a member-benefit period
                    2.    Training and capability development for employees
                    3.    Best-in-class computational resources
                    4.    Expertise of the group and leaders in their industries
                    5.    Unique collaboration and incubation environment
                    6.    Workflow for internal drug discovery and commercialization

UCSF scientists and clinicians have long been leaders in drug discovery, therapeutics, and cancer biology with the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Care Center among the top-ranked cancer institutes in the country. Our role with ATOM is therefore in lock step with UCSF’s mission of advancing health worldwide.
— Sam Hawgood, MBBS, UCSF Chancellor



The ATOM Consortium is actively seeking additional partnerships with qualified pharma, biotech, technology, academic, government, and other organizations.



499 Illinois Street
3rd floor
San Francisco,
CA 94158


Connect with us

If you would like to learn more about ATOM, contact us using the link below and one of our team members will get back to you.

GSK is working to set a precedent with pharmaceutical companies by sharing data on failed compounds.
— John Baldoni, ATOM Founder

Job Opportunities


Cancer Drug Discovery Data Scientist

Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research is accepting applicants for the ATOM Fellowship Program for a one-year appointment beginning early 2020.

See the Fellowship Description and FAQs for details.


News & Events

News Releases




For highlights on our 2018 accomplishments and 2019 plans, read our Year-in-Review Newsletter.


Stay informed with periodic updates from our Leadership and Technical teams.




September 30 | Argonne National Laboratory to Join ATOM to Transform Drug Discovery with Artificial Intelligence (ANL News)

April 9 | NVIDIA CEO Ties AI-Driven Medical Advances to Data-Driven Leaps in Every Industry (NVIDIA Blog)

April 8 | NVIDIA spins up its GPUs to accelerate AI-driven medical diagnosis and drug discovery (Silicon Angle)

April 8 | NVIDIA Doubles Down on Medical AI (Enterprise AI)

April 8 | FNL-founded consortium partners with tech firm to advance AI drug discovery (The Frederick News-Post)

April 8 | ATOM Consortium Combines Forces with NVIDIA to Accelerate AI in Drug Discovery (ATOM News Release)

January 15 | Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery: 2018 Year in Review (Medium)


August 16 | Transforming Drug Discovery by Accelerating the Development of More Effective Therapies (Technology Networks)

May 16 | Innovations in Oncology: The Cancer Moonshot and Beyond (Technology Networks)

May 4 Sharing Dark Data: Inside The ATOM Initiative (Scrip)

April 17 | Numerate Intends to Join ATOM Consortium to Rapidly Accelerate Preclinical Drug Development (ATOM News Release)

February 15 | 6 Steps to AI Leadership in Pharma: An Interview with John Baldoni of GSK (LinkedIn)


November 28 | Bay Area Scientists Say Computers Can Develop Cancer Drugs 6 Times Faster (KQED Science)

November 1 | What it means to be the most innovative (LinkedIn)

October 31 | Scientists launch platform to facilitate discovery of cancer drugs (Life Science Daily)

October 30 | Public-private group proposes plan to accelerate drug discovery from 6 years to 1 (Laboratory Equipment)




Media Contacts

Izumi Hinkson, Ph.D.

ATOM Scientific Project Manager, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

240-276-6095 izumi.hinkson@atomscience.org

Frank Blanchard

Director, Public Affairs and Communications,
Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research


Laura Kurtzman

Senior Public Information Officer,



Mary Anne Rhyne

Director, Corporate Communications,


Jeremy Thomas

Public Information Officer,
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory