Virtual Chemistry creates research environments where investigators can focus on science while remaining transparent and efficient in their use of important resources.

Established in 1995, Virtual Chemistry has demonstrated a consistent track record of listening and responding to our customers’ needs. By combining our scientific backgrounds with modern software engineering best practices, we create software that works for scientists.

Virtual Chemistry employs a team of veteran scientist-programmers with deep experience in both the latest software technologies and the science that drives today’s life science companies. The Virtual Chemistry team “speaks” science.


Terry R. Coley, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO

Terry co-founded Virtual Chemistry, Inc. (VCI) in November 1995. Terry holds degrees in computer science and chemistry from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. in quantum computational chemistry from Caltech.

At Deltagen, Dr. Coley served as the Vice President of Information Technology. There he created standards for IT infrastructure, software development, and IT hiring practices. Key accomplishments include the design and development of DeltaDiscovery, a flexible, metadata-driven system for acquisition, warehousing, and web-display of laboratory data. This software hosted and delivered all revenue-generating data for Deltagen’s DeltaBase product, a subscription database of functional genomics information.

Before establishing VCI, Dr. Coley founded a company in 1989 to sell a load balancing system which he designed for parallel computers. In 1993, Dr. Coley became a full-time consultant to Vestar, Inc. studying molecular modeling approaches in their liposomal drug delivery group. He joined Biosym Technologies in 1994 and became a Project Leader in the life sciences business unit where he implemented the inter-process communication facilities and designed the initial Message Passing Interface-based parallelism in the Discover molecular dynamics program. Dr. Coley has extensive experience in parallel computing, 3D computer graphics, and software development tools and technologies. Dr. Coley is directly involved with many projects at VCI.

Travis V. Thelen, Ph.D.
Vice President, Products and Services

Travis joined Virtual Chemistry in August, 2003, bringing broad experience in life sciences, software development, and engineering. Dr. Thelen joined Virtual Chemistry from Deltagen, Inc. where he served as Group Leader of Application Development. While at Deltagen, Dr. Thelen played a key role in LIMS (laboratory information management systems) development, data warehousing and data management implementations, and development of Deltagen’s functional genomics platform DeltaBase.

Dr. Thelen has consulted for such companies as: Gensym, TRW, BMC Software, Atlantic Research Corporation, US Army LIA Labs, Computer Sciences Corporation, US Air Force, and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals. Consulting engagements include such diverse applications as: Real-time fault diagnosis (root-cause analysis) of distributed software and network systems; dynamic scheduling, planning, and optimization applications; business process modeling and re-engineering; laboratory automation and integration applications; and knowledge management system development.

Dr. Thelen did post-doctoral work with Dr. Robert L. Welch of Gensym Corporation working on applications of Bayesian network technology to fault diagnosis and real-time reliability analysis after receiving Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Chemical & Biological Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Thelen also holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

Peter J. Nielsen, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor

Peter holds a degree in Biology from the University of Colorado. After Post-Doctoral training at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland and the Biocenter at the University of Basel working on the regulation of protein synthesis, he moved with Georges Koehler to the Max-Planck-Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg Germany as a Research Group Leader and began working on gene expression during B-cell development. During this time, he developed TierBase, a relational database to help scientists manage laboratory animal breeding and experimentation. TierBase has become widely used in numerous European countries. Peter has extensive experience translating the needs of animal management facility and scientific users into practical software. In 2012, he started a collaboration with VCI to help develop a single product that will bring the advantages of both Mosaic Vivarium and TierBase to user communities from North America to Europe and beyond.

“We have had outstanding results with a company called Virtual Chemistry. Technical support at Virtual Chemistry is the best I have experienced.”

– Carol Kiekhaefer M.D., Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin