Ariel Fernandez

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Ariel Fernandez
Dr. Ariel Fernandez, 2016.jpg
Fernandez in 2016
Born (1957-04-08) April 8, 1957 (age 66)
Bahía Blanca, Argentina
  • Argentina
  • United States
Alma mater
Known forDehydrons
Scientific career
ThesisStructural Stability of Chemical Systems at Critical Regimes (1984)
Doctoral advisorOktay Sinanoğlu

Ariel Fernandez (born Ariel Fernández Stigliano, April 8, 1957) is an Argentinian–American physical chemist and pharmaceutical researcher.[1]

Education and early career

Fernandez received Licentiate degrees in Chemistry (1979) and Mathematics (1980) from the Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina.[1] He then earned a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1984 with a thesis entitled Structural Stability of Chemical Systems at Critical Regimes[2][1]


Fernandez held the Karl F. Hasselmann Professorship of Bioengineering at Rice University until 2011.[3][better source needed] He is a member of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) in Argentina.[4]

Fernandez developed the concept of the dehydron, an adhesive structural defect in a soluble protein that promotes its own dehydration.[5] The nonconserved nature of protein dehydrons has implications for drug discovery, as dehydrons may be targeted by highly specific drugs/ligands.[6] This technology was applied by Fernandez and collaborators to design a new compound based on the anticancer drug Gleevec, in order to reduce its cardiotoxicity.[7][8] In laboratory tests, the new compound was similar to Gleevec in inhibiting gastrointestinal stromal tumors, but without toxic effects on cardiac cells, although it lacked Gleevec's inhibitory effects on leukemia cells.[8]

The editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences retracted a January 2006 paper coauthored by Fernandez because it had "substantial overlap", without attribution, of figures and text from an article by Fernandez published in Structure the previous month, a form of duplicate publication.[9] The website Retraction Watch has documented incidences of scientific concerns about some of Fernandez's other publications, claims that Fernandez has denied.[10]


Fernandez was awarded a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for early-career researchers in 1991;[11] a Guggenheim Fellowship for researchers in Latin America and the Caribbean in 1995;[12] and was elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering for his "contributions to understanding protein folding and protein-protein interactions and the use of this knowledge to design new drugs", in 2006.[13]


  • Transformative Concepts for Drug Design: Target Wrapping, by Ariel Fernández (ISBN 978-3642117916, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2010).
  • Biomolecular Interfaces, by Ariel Fernández Stigliano (ISBN 978-3319168494, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2015).
  • Physics at the Biomolecular Interface, by Ariel Fernández (ISBN 978-3319308517, Springer International Publishing AG, Switzerland, 2016).[14]
  • A Mathematical Approach to Protein Biophysics, by L. Ridgeway Scott and Ariel Fernández (ISBN 978-3319660318, Springer, 2017).
  • Artificial Intelligence Platform for Molecular Targeted Therapy: A Translational Science Approach, by Ariel Fernández (ISBN 978-9811232305, World Scientific Publishing Co., 2021).


  1. ^ a b c Ariel Fernandez. "Ariel Fernandez CV and Biographical Narrative".
  2. ^ Ariel Fernandez. Yale University Dissertation: Structural Stability of Chemical Systems at Critical Regimes (Dissipative Structures, Potential Energy Surfaces). Published/Created:1984
  3. ^ "Administration and faculty", Catalog 2010–2011, Rice University, archived from the original (PDF) on November 25, 2014, retrieved December 2, 2014.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Comunicación - Conicet". CONICET.
  5. ^ Monroe, Dan (2012). "Proteins Hook up Where Water Allows". Physics. 5 (51): 51. Bibcode:2012PhyOJ...5...51M. doi:10.1103/Physics.5.51. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  6. ^ Crunkhorn, Sarah (2008). "Anticancer drugs: Redesigning kinase inhibitors". Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. 7: 120–121. doi:10.1038/nrd2524. S2CID 27083179.
  7. ^ Demetri G. D. Structural reengineering of imatinib to decrease cardiac risk in cancer therapy.2007 Dec 3; J Clin Invest. 117(12):3650–3653. doi 10.1172/JCI34252 [1]
  8. ^ a b Dunham W. Reworked Gleevec curbs heart-related complication. REUTERS December 3, 2007 [2]
  9. ^ Cozzarelli, Nicholas R. (March 14, 2006). "Retraction for Fernández et al., Packing defects as selectivity switches for drug-based protein inhibitors". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 103 (11): 4329. Bibcode:2006PNAS..103.4329C. doi:10.1073/pnas.0601034103. PMC 1449696. PMID 16505348.
  10. ^ Kolowich, Steve (September 25, 2015). "Meet Retraction Watch, the Blog That Points Out the Human Stains on the Scientific Record". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  11. ^ "Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program Past Awards" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  12. ^ "Ariel Fernández". Fellows. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  13. ^ "College of Fellows". Members. American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  14. ^ Dobson, Peter J. (September 2017). "Review of Physics at the Biomolecular Interface". Contemporary Physics. Informa {UK} Limited. 58 (4): 369. Bibcode:2017ConPh..58..369D. doi:10.1080/00107514.2017.1371227. S2CID 126086755.