Publication: Development of a virtual reality platform for effective communication of structural data in drug discovery

We are excited to announce that we have been collaborating with The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) and have co-authored a paper that is being published in the Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling. The paper, titled “Development of a virtual reality platform for effective communication of structural data in drug discovery”, discusses how the immersive nature of virtual reality can help scientists better understand the nuances and features of molecular structures.

The goal is to reduce the time required to thoroughly understand the spatial and structural properties of protein complexes and drug-target binding sites through more effective communication between structural biologists, chemists, and discovery scientists from various disciplines while enhancing idea flow, creativity, and cross-site collaborations within drug-discovery teams.

The paper is available here:

If you are interested in the enterprise edition of our software or would like to learn more about our team feel free to contact us at

The Nanome Team

Nanome is Advancing Crystallography

Crystals are some of the most useful, interesting, and complex 3-dimensional structures in the world. To most, crystals are gems found in geodes and rings. However, crystals are of core significance to researchers in nanotech and chemical synthesis, like structural biologists.

For instance, in the drug discovery process, computational chemists work with protein engineers to create nano-medicine. Drug design is a massive undertaking, requiring data science, visualization, and lots of plotting. Before any computer-aided drug design, even a small molecule, is ready for any of this analysis, it must undergo crystallography. Simply put, to modify a structure, a chemical designer needs to know what it looks like — then the molecular modeling process can begin.

Given the versatility and importance of crystals, crystallography is a most important field of modern research, essential to the study and engineering of nanoscale systems.

Modern Crystallography Visualization
Today, researchers have utilized X-ray crystallography to map over 13,000 macromolecule structures — if you have ever looked at a representation of a protein, the data behind it was probably created by a crystallographer (with a powerful X-ray blaster).

Viewing a protein in VR.
Atomic-scale study and manipulation of crystals presents a challenge. By nature of their three-dimensionality, crystals are difficult to represent and explain in widely-used two dimensional mediums, like typical computer monitors. To suit the needs of engineers and students working with crystal structures and improve the efficiency their workflow, more powerful and intuitive tools are necessary. That’s where Nanome comes in:

Tomorrow’s Crystallography Laboratory
Nanome is a collaborative molecular design platform in Virtual Reality. It enables everyone from students to professional engineers to improve their intuition and develop new insights into nanoscale phenomena and molecular systems.

Intuitive interaction with crystal structures in Nanome.
When holding once-abstract and conceptual structures, like proteins, in your own two hands, a new sense of comfort and intuition naturally arises. UCSD’s Professor Zoran Radic, Principal Investigator on NIH-funded protein structure research, says that “looking at [protein] complexes in VR yields much more immediately obvious conclusions than any other kinds of visualization.” Within moments of entering VR, many of Professor Radic’s crystallographer colleagues develop new insights and understandings into their own structures.

VR Protein Structure visualization unlocks a world of value for crystallographers, and their reactions show this. This leads us to ponder the insights and value Nanome could bring to crystallographers involved in non-protein fields of research like piezoelectronics. For example, with crystal lattice visualization, researchers could make intuitive leaps in the optimization of materials with structure-dependent electromechanical properties.

Next Steps
Nanome has taken a huge step towards improving the tools of crystallographers by implementing electron density maps. These maps, containing a crystallography experiment’s direct results, are essential for advanced research. To Nanome it’s clear: innovations of the future will occur at the nanoscale. The first step is building the right tools.

About the Software

Nanome - Your Home for Nanoscale Design.

Explore chemistry and the nano-scale world from a whole new perspective. Build your own molecular structures out of thin air, explore the intricacies of a DNA strand or understand what medicine looks like at the molecular level.

  • Import molecules from RCSB Protein Databank, Pubchem, Drugbank, or local files.
  • Reach out and grab, rotate, or enlarge your molecules.
  • Transform the display such as color, surface and representation of your molecules
  • Build and add to molecules from scratch with preset rings, chains and atoms.
  • Measure distance and angles between atoms.
  • Mutate amino acids and rotate bond angles
  • Apply minimization simulations
  • Duplicate or Split any selected area of your structure to modify or export independently.
  • Private & public multi-user support including Desktop mode.
  • Capture and export images with the in-app camera
  • Electron Density Map support
  • Playback trajectories
  • Automate your favorite functionality through macros
  • Undo and Redo all your actions seamlessly

Nanome is available on all the major VR stores such as Oculus, Viveport, Steam.
Publication in the Journal of Molecular Modelling:

Official Documentation Site:

Teslim Saati