Don Backos
Computational Chemistry and Biology Core Faculty
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Why did you initially apply to work at CU?

Technically, I never applied.  I did my Ph.D here and a few months before I graduated I was offered a postdoc position, and then a few years later I was promoted to faculty.

What makes CU a great place to work?

There are lots of things about CU that make it a great place to work but I would have to say the people here are the most important.  There is a strong sense of cooperation and partnership among the employees, students and faculty here.

What is a typical working day like for you?

Each day is different from the last, I’m fortunate to be able to work on a wide variety of different projects for many different people and in many different areas.  Everyone’s research can benefit from the inclusion of computational simulations and it can often lead to whole new avenues of research.

What is the best part of your workday?

When I finally figure out the answer to a question or how to address a problem I’ve run into.

Do you have the opportunity to work with faculty from different departments?

Yes, I run a core facility so I have interactions with a number of faculty members in different schools and departments working on a wide variety of different projects.

What makes CU faculty stand out against other universities?

The spirit of collaboration and team work among the faculty is second to none.  The senior faculty members are very approachable and make a real effort to support the junior faculty.

What do you enjoy most about living in Colorado?

The outdoor activities, the weather and the friendly people.

What is your favorite campus/neighborhood location?

The School of Pharmacy building and Cedar Creek Pub.

What are your favorite area restaurants?

Cuba Cuba, Sushi Zaza and Pho79.

What do you enjoy doing on your spare time?

Illustration, photography, animation, painting, skiing and hiking.

What would be your one piece of advice for someone interested in working at CU?

Make an effort to find out what everyone is working on. When you need certain types of expertise, you’d be amazed how often there is a world-class expert in that area who is just down the hall.