Dr. Dennis Della Corte launches Consortium of Molecular Design

BYU’s physics department recently gained a new professor, Dr. Dennis Della Corte. With his unique background and experience, this young and talented professor is an excellent addition to the department.

Dr. Della Corte was born and raised in Germany. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2005 and served a mission in his home country. He began his bachelor’s degree in Germany, moving to the University of Utah for his final year as an undergraduate. While in Utah he met and married his wife, Karen. Moving back to Germany for graduate study, he completed a doctorate degree in Biophysics and master’s degrees in both Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. He then entered industry, managing a multi-million dollar data science project that streamlined the analysis of diverse pharmaceutical data.

After building a career in Germany, he wrote about his family's move to Utah saying: “My wife is from Utah and after 6 years in Germany, while expecting our third child, she expressed a strong desire to move back closer to her family and our kids cousins.” He continued “After many long discussions, we decided that we [would] move to Utah, even if that meant giving up my career. We knelt down and told Heavenly Father of our resolution and asked him to provide the very best way of making this possible. The next day I had an email from a faculty member in my inbox suggesting that I should apply to an open faculty position in the Physics department.” He began as a physics professor at BYU in 2018.

Dr. Della Corte’s medical physics background has shaped his research interests at BYU. His group studies biophysics and uses physics based simulations and deep learning to study and engineer proteins.  Due to the multidisciplinary nature of his research, he attracts students from many different fields of study. In Dr. Della Corte’s own words, the most exciting part of research at BYU is “watching my undergraduates excel. The topics that we investigate...are all highly relevant and my students are very much sought after by industry and grad schools. I love to see them perform, either through publications or presentations. We often discuss challenging problems in group meetings, and the Lord seems very willing to bless us with inspiration and guidance towards topics that are meaningful and feasible for the students to solve.”  He is starting a Center of Molecular Design at BYU, connecting students with the biopharma industry.

(Student Contributors: Daniel McPherson, Bryce Hedelius, and Logan Page)