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David Hecht
David Hecht

Department: School of Mathematics, Science & Engineering
Division: Faculty
Phone: (619) 421-6700 x5461
David Hecht, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
office: 331B
Phone: (619) 421-6700 x5461

Before coming to Southwestern College in 2005, David Hecht worked 10+ years in various biotech and pharmaceutical companies performing systems integration as well as data management with the goal of accelerating lead discovery and optimization processes for preclinical drug discovery and development. He received the B.S. degree in biochemistry from Rutgers University, the M.S. degree in physical chemistry from U.C. Berkeley and the Ph.D. in macromolecular structural biology and chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA.

His teaching areas of emphasis include: Intro. General Chemistry 170; General Chemistry 200 and 210, and Intro. Biochemistry 160. He is currently chair of the Southwestern College Honors Program Committee and serves on the CalPass Committee (consisting of representatives from Sweetwater Union High District, Southwestern College and San Diego State University).

David Hecht holds several additional academic appointments including: visiting researcher, U.C. Irvine EECS and adjunct faculty member, San Diego State University Dept. of Chemistry. He is an associate editor of the journal Biosystems and a senior member of the IEEE.

His current research interests include: structural bio- & chemi-informatics analyses of protein-ligand interactions as well as development of computational approaches to accelerate drug discovery and development. These include developing novel applications of semantic programming, machine learning and neural nets, evolutionary algorithms, and in-silico screening (e.g. docking algorithms).


Hecht, D. “Applications of Machine Learning and Computational Intelligence to Drug Discovery and Development”. Drug Development Research, 2011, 72 (in press).

Fogel, G.B., Tran, J., Johnson, S., Hecht, D. “Machine Learning Approaches for Customized Docking Scores: Modeling of Inhibition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Enoyl Acyl Carrier Protein Reductase”. 2010 IEEE Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Montreal, 2010, 243-248.

Hecht, D.; Sheu, P.C.Y.; Tsai, J.J.P., “SCDL applications to drug discovery”. Proceedings of the 2009 9th IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and BioEngineering, BIBE 2009 , 2009, art. no. 5211225, pp. 449-454.

Wang, C.C.N.; Hecht D; Hsiao H.C.W.; Sheu PC-Y and Tsai JJP, “Describing Dynamic Biological Systems in SPDL and SCDL”, Proceedings of the 2009 9th IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and BioEngineering, BIBE 2009 , 2009, art. no. 5211117, pp. 455-460.

Hecht, D.; Cheung M; Fogel GB, “Docking Scores and QSAR Using Evolved Neural Networks for the Pan-Inhibition of Wild-type and Mutant PfDHFR by Cycloguanil Derivatives”, 2009 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, Trondheim, Norway, 2009, 262-269.

Hecht, D.; Fogel, G., “A novel in silico approach to drug discovery via computational intelligence.,” J Chem Inf Model., 2009 ,49, 1105-21.

Hecht, D.; Fogel, G., “Computational Intelligence Methods for Docking Scores,” Current Computer-Assisted Drug Design, 2009, 5, 56-68.

Hecht, D.; Fogel, G., “Computational Intelligence Methods for ADMET Prediction,” in Frontiers in Drug Discovery and Development, Volume 4, Caldwell, G.W., Atta-ur-Rahman, Yan, Z., Choudhary, M.I. Editors.; Bentham Science Publishers, 2009, 351-377.

Wang, S.; Hu, R.-M.; Hsiao H.C.W.; Hecht, D.; Ng, A.K.L.; Chen, R.-M.; Sheu, P.C.Y.; Tsai, J.P., “Using SCDL For Integrating Tools And Data For Complex Biomedical Applications,” International Journal of Semantic Computing, 2008, 2, 291-308..

Hecht D; Hu R-M; Chen R-M; Ou J-W; Hsu C-Y; Gong H; Ng K-L; Hsiao HCW; Tsai JJP, and Sheu PC-Y, “Biosemantic System: Applications Of Structured Natural Language To Biological And Biochemical Research”, ASC2008 IEEE International Workshop on Ambient Semantic Computing, Taichung, Taiwan , 2008, 386-393.

Davis N; Biddlecom N; Hecht D; Fogel GB, “On the relationship between GC content and the number of predicted microRNA binding sites by MicroInspector”, Computational Biology and Chemistry, 2008, 32, 222-226.

Cheung M; Johnson, S.; Hecht D; and Fogel GB, “Quantitative Structure-Property Relationships for Drug Solubility Prediction Using Evolved Neural Networks”, 2008 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, Hong Kong, 2008, 688-693.

Fogel GB; Cheung M; Pittman E; and Hecht D, “In Silico Screening Against Wild-Type and Mutant Plasmodium falciparum Dihydrofolate Reductase”, J.Molecular Graphics and Modelling, 2008, 26:1145-1152

Fogel G.B.; Cheung M.; Pittman E.; Hecht D. “Modeling the Inhibition of Quadruple Mutant Plasmodium falciparum Dihydrofolate Reductase by Pyrimethamine Derivatives”, J. Comput. Aided Mol. Des. 2008, 22, 29-38.

Hecht D; Cheung M.; Fogel G.B. “QSAR Using Evolved Neural Networks for the Inhibition of Mutant PfDHFR by Pyrimethamine Derivatives”, Biosystems, 2008, 92, 10-15.

Hecht D and Fogel G.B. “Evolved Neural Networks for High Throughput Ligand Screening”, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 2007, 4, 476-484.

Pockros, P.J.; Schiff, E.R.; Shiffman, M. L.; McHutchison, J. G.; Gish, R. G.; Afdhal, N. H.; Makhviladze, M.; Huyghe, M.; Hecht, D.; Oltersdorf ,T.; Shapiro, D.A., “Oral IDN-6556, An Anti-Apoptotic Caspase Inhibitor, Lowers Aminotransferases In Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C”, Hepatology, 2007, 46, 324-329

Zhang, X.; Hecht, D.; Sheu, P., “Analyzing Chemical Compounds with ChemObjects”, Integrated Design and Process Technology IDPT 2006, 2006.

Ma CYC; Wong SWM; Hecht D.; Fogel G.B. “Evolved Neural Networks for High Throughput Anti-HIV Ligand Screening”, 2006 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, Vancouver, Canada, 2006, 9284-9291

Hecht, D.; Tadesse, L.; Walters, L. “Defining Hydrophobicity: Probing the Structure of Solute-Induced Hydration Shells by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1992. 114, 4336-4339.

Hecht, D.; Tadesse, L.; Walters, L , “Correlating Hydration Shell Structure with Amino Acid Hydrophobicity,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1993. 115, 3336-3337.


Experimental Biology 2010 in Anaheim, CA (2010) Lovati Maria Rosa, Manzoni Cristina, Parolari Anna,Daniels Jessica, Hecht David, Buehler Lukas, and Raga Bakhiet. Soy Peptides Activate Ldl-R: In Vitro Experiments And Docking Data.

Experimental Biology 2009 in Washington DC (2009) Ashkan Tafti, David Hecht, Lukas Buehler, Raga Bakhiet. Modeling Studies: Exploring Potential Binding of Soy Protein Alpha Prime 7S Globulin Subunits to Human PCSK9 as a Mechanism for Enhancing LDL Receptor Recycling.

Experimental Biology 2007 in Washington DC (2007) Saida, Perez,Viry Martino, Juana Hernandez, David Hecht, Raga Bakhiet Molecular Modeling Studies: Potential Binding of Soy Protein 7S Globulin to Human LDL Receptor.

29th West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium at Point Loma Nazarene University (2006), Ethel Rios-Reyes and David Hecht, Calculated Molecular Descriptors of HIV-1 Protease Inhibitors: Gas-Phase vs Active-Site Bound Conformations.

IEEE Workshop on Computer Vision Methods for Bioinformatics (CVMB’05). Sorin Draghici, Gary Fogel, David Hecht. IEEE CIS Technical Committee Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Panel Discussion: CVPR and Bioinformatics – Now and Future

Digestive Disease Week 2004. Eugene R Schiff, Paul Pockros, Mitchell L Shiffman, John McHutchison, Robert Gish, Nezam H Afdhal, Manana Makhviladze, Mira Huyghe, David Hecht, Tilman Oltersdorf, David A Shapiro. Oral IDN-6556, an Anti-Apoptotic Caspase Inhibitor, Lowers Aminotransferases in HCV Patients

AASLD Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, October 24 - 28, 2003: Paul Pockros, Mitchell Shiffman, MiRa Huyghe, Eugene Schiff, Clarissa Navarro, Denice Shelton, Heather Raley, Tilman Oltersdorf, David Hecht, David Shapiro IDN-6556 Multicenter Study Group. Oral Administration of the First Pan-Caspase Inhibitor of Apoptosis, IDN-6556, Lowers Liver Enzymes

Last updated: 12/16/2010 8:15:49 AM..