A monthly newsletter that includes a collection of important news and updates from Telluride Science.


After one of the snowiest (and coldest) Marches that we can remember, the ski resort closed on April 2. We are now enjoying the quieter pace of off-season and are in the throes of summer planning. 

We look forward to welcoming scientists back to town in early June for the start of summer workshops which run June 5 to July 28. All of these workshops will be held at the Telluride Intermediate School.

Mark your calendars for Town Talks held at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village: June 6, June 13, June 20, June 27, July 11, July 18, and July 25. We are extremely grateful to Alpine Bank for their ongoing support of the Depot project and for sponsoring our Town Talks this summer. Grant funding from the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association (TMVOA) will also support these important community outreach events this year.

The summer event calendar is taking shape and will be available in early May. We are excited to be partnering with the Telluride Foundation on three events that will cover a wide variety of topics including art, awe and everyday wonder, and climate change. More details will be shared in next month’s newsletter.


This video shows construction progress at the Depot on March 29.

Construction at the Depot is progressing on schedule for a grand opening of the Telluride Science & Innovation Center in summer 2024.

Steel support beams were recently installed and the interior is starting to take shape. We continue to work on our capital campaign and still need to raise an additional $4.35M to transform this historic building into the state-of-the-art Telluride Science & Innovation Center.


If you have friends or colleagues who might be interested in supporting the Telluride Science & Innovation Center, please email Annie Carlson.


Right to Left: Graduate student Adil Kabyldawith and Alexandre Tkatchenko

How is the fundamental understanding of quantum mechanics helping to keep medicine from expiring?

Alexandre Tkatchenko is a Professor of Theoretical Chemical Physics and the Head of the Department of Physics and Materials Science at the University of Luxembourg. Alexandre was here in Telluride with his graduate student, Adil Kabylda, for the March 2023 workshop, Intermolecular Interactions: New Challenges for Ab Initio Theory.

Alexandre develops novel quantum mechanical methods and applies them across large space and time scales – this feat became possible only recently due to the confluence of theoretical method developments, artificial intelligence algorithms, powerful software codes, and large computers. These developments push the boundaries of quantum mechanics beyond what its founding fathers (including Einstein, Schrödinger, or Feynman) could imagine.


Utilizing quantum mechanics with tools like machine learning, Alexandre models what will happen at scales beyond the atomic level, from cosmology to biology to pharmacology. While most of his work would be considered fundamental science, his modeling approach was recently adopted by a dozen pharmaceutical companies to improve the formulation of drug therapeutics. 

Whenever a pharmaceutical company creates a drug, it is a very complicated design and formulating process to create the final molecule – a mixture of the active drug and other chemical components, that is unstable enough (metastable) so that it can be dissolved and absorbed by the body, but stable enough in its absorbable form that it doesn’t “expire.” Most things in nature want to go from a higher energy state to a lower energy state. The problem with a low-energy state is that it is often not absorbable by the body. A drug expires when it transitions from its metastable state to a stable state. Alexandre’s quantum mechanics modeling approach has been applied very effectively to more efficiently design pharmaceutical drugs that can keep drugs from expiring and remaining in a usable and therapeutically active state.

With such a broadly applicable modeling method, we look forward to hearing about new ways that Alexandre and his team will advance other areas of science and technology.


JULY 18 - 28, 2023

Help us keep this amazing group in Telluride!

If you have a home that can house several young scientists for 10 days and/or lodging for a family of four (2 small children), please email Annie Carlson.


Since 2015, an extraordinary group has gathered at Telluride Science to further the understanding of how information is transferred and transformed at the nanoscale. Their ground-breaking work on the thermodynamics of information will have significant applications ranging from biological systems to quantum devices.

With federal grant funding from the Army Research Office, the workshop organizers have supported the participation of emerging scientists, but it is not enough. It is becoming increasingly difficult to bring all the right people to Telluride, and we'd love to find a way to make this important workshop more affordable. This unique 10-day meeting brings together revered scientific leaders, including our co-founder Peter Salamon, and promising new scientists. The inclusion of many younger scientists creates this special need to make the experience more accessible.


Prineha Narang, a regular attendee and organizer of Telluride Science workshops, is a force to be reckoned with. Her resume is impressive, with a lengthy list of accolades and accomplishments. She was recently selected as one of the seven distinguished scientists to serve as a U.S. Science Envoy and just received the Maria Geoppert Mayer Award, which recognizes achievement by a woman physicist in the early years of her career. Congratulations, Pri!  




A great partnership

We are always pleased when our visiting scientists share their knowledge and passion for science with students in Telluride and assist with the Pinhead Institute's Scholars in the Schools program.

Last month, Dr. Margarita Bernal-Uruchurtu attended our final workshop of the winter and set aside some time to visit with students in the Nature of Science class at Telluride Mountain School. They were very engaged, asked some thoughtful questions and enjoyed hearing about her work in physical chemistry and water.

Thank you, Dr. Bernal-Uruchurtu for volunteering your time and talent!

THE 411

The gondola closed for the winter season on April 2 and will remain closed for several weeks of required spring maintenance. The gondola will reopen for the summer season on Thursday, May 25 and run through Sunday, October 15, 2023.

Mark your calendars for Town Talks in Mountain Village at the Telluride Conference Center:

  • June 6
  • June 13
  • June 20
  • June 27
  • July 11
  • July 18
  • July 25

The Town Talk speaker line-up will be available in May.

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