CANDO and the infinite drug discovery frontier

Multiscale small molecule analytics and engineering using the CANDO paradigm.

Use the CANDO platform to discover new treatments/cures for a disease of your choice! 

Project description

Computational Analysis of Novel Drug Opportunities (CANDO) is a platform for multiscale therapeutic discovery, repurposing, and design. It overcomes the limitations of traditional single target based approaches that have led to the current repertoire of drugs, but this represents the low-hanging fruit and the drug discovery pipeline is drying up. Currently it takes billions of dollars and over a decade of time to bring a drug to market. CANDO aims to make this process more efficient.

CANDO works by thinking about compounds in terms of their interactions with larger molecules and entites/objects in biological systems. Initially CANDO describes a compound in terms of its proteomic interaction signature, where the compound's interactions to all proteins in a given proteome are calculated. Then these signatures are compared and analytics performed on them to determine which drugs are best for which diseases.

Project outcome

The simplest outcome is a list of predictions for a disease. This list will crossed check with the literature for any evidence they work. Additional analytics can be done on this.

Ideally if the project is successful, then a paper can be written. Regardless, there will be a presentation given to the rest of the lab. 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment The longer a student can commit, the better
Start time Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid? Remote
Level of collaboration It's mostly individual but done in the context of a lab's work which includes more than a dozen members 
Benefits Academic credit
Who is eligible All undergraduate students 

Core partners

  • Depends on the indication/disease picked by the student

Project mentor

Ram Samudrala

Professor and Division Chief

Biomedical Informatics

Phone: (206) 251-8852


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 


bioinformatics, biomedical informatics, CANDO, computational biology, bioinformatics, computational biology, computational drug discovery, modelling and simulation, Biomedical Informatics