A HAMPSHIRE professor has been given funding towards his innovative scientific research examining how molecules interact.

Professor Jonathan Essex, pictured, the head of computational systems chemistry and chairman of the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation at the University of Southampton, has received the prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.

The award, which is jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), recognises talented scientists of outstanding achievement and potential, and will help cover the cost of Professor Essex’s work for the next five years.

He said: “The work essentially involves using computers to model how molecules interact, with my particular specialism being in biological applications. “By combining different types of simulation together, we can begin to understand how these processes could apply to the very early stages of drug development in the pharmaceutical industry.”