2018 SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES
- Plenary Keynotes (View)
- Protein-Protein Interactions (View)
- Inflammation and Autoimmune Inhibitors (View)
- Kinase Inhibitor Chemistry (View)
- GPCR-Targeted Drug Design (View)
- Fragment-Based Drug Discovery (View)
- Ubiquitin Proteasome System Inhibitors (View)
- Small Molecules for Cancer Immunotherapy (View)
- Macrocyclics & Constrained Peptides (View)
- Targeting Complex Membrane Proteins (View)
- Biophysical Approaches for Drug Discovery (View)
- Lead Optimization for Drug Metabolism & Safety (View)
- Blood-Brain Penetrant Inhibitors (View)
Plenary Keynote Speakers
Benjamin F. Cravatt, PhD, Professor and Co-Chair, Department of Molecular Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute
Dr. Cravatt’s research group is interested in understanding the roles that enzymes play in physiological and pathological processes, especially as pertains to the nervous system and cancer. Dr. Cravatt obtained his undergraduate
education at Stanford University, receiving a B.S. in the Biological Sciences and a B.A. in History. He then received a Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in 1996. Professor Cravatt joined the faculty at TSRI in 1997.
Dr. Cravatt is a co-founder and scientific advisor of Activx Biosciences, Abide Therapeutics, and Vividion Therapeutics. His honors include a Searle Scholar Award, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, a Cope Scholar Award,
the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award, the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, the ASBMB Merck Award, and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy
of Arts and Sciences.
Stephen Fesik, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Chemistry, Orrin H. Ingram II Chair in Cancer Research, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Dr. Fesik’s research focus is on cancer drug discovery using fragment-based approaches and structure-based drug design. Prior to joining Vanderbilt in May 2009, Dr. Fesik was the Divisional Vice President of Cancer Research at Abbott
(2000-2009) where he built a pipeline of compounds that are showing promising anti-cancer activities in early stage clinical trials. While at Abbott, he also developed a few new NMR methods, determined the three-dimensional structures
of several proteins and protein/ligand complexes, pioneered a method for drug discovery called SAR by NMR, and applied this method to identify and optimize ligands for binding to many protein drug targets. His research has also involved
the use of siRNA for target identification and target validation. Dr. Fesik has published more than 240 papers, trained 38 postdoctoral fellows, has been a reviewer for several government funding agencies and has served as a member
of the Editorial Boards of many peer-reviewed journals. He is currently a member of Aileron Therapeutics SAB and the Bruker Board of Directors. His three awards from Abbott include Researcher of the Year Team Award (2008). He has also
received the NIH Director's Pioneer Award (2010), and honors from numerous academic societies, the most recent being the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research (2012).
Jark Böttcher, Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Boehringer Ingelheim RCV GmbH & Co KG
Jark Böttcher is currently working as a Distinguished Scientist within the Structural Research group at Boehringer Ingelheim’s R&D site in Vienna, Austria. He is responsible for enabling the X-ray crystallography of new
target proteins and fragment screening approaches. Prior to his current position, he worked as a Research Scientist in Protein Crystallography for the Proteros Biostructures GmbH in Martinsried. Germany. He holds a Ph.D. degree in
Chemistry from the University of Marburg, Germany and received his Ph.D. at the Institute for Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Philipps-University Marburg under the supervision of Professor Gerhard Klebe.
Michelangelo Campanella, PhD, PharmD, Professor and Unit Head, Mitochondrial Cell Biology and Pharmacology Research Group RVC and University College London Consortium for Mitochondrial Research
Campanella is an Italian born scientist who found home in the United Kingdom where he moved as EMBO/MARIE CURIE Postdoctoral Research Fellow over ten years ago. Trained as Clinical Pharmacist and a Pharmacologist, he developed technical
and cultural proficiency in techniques for the investigation of vital parameters in mammalian cells. Internationally acknowledged as an expert in the field of mitochondrial cell biology and pharmacology he is now Reader enrolled at
the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences of the Royal Veterinary College in London where he leads a research unit affiliated at the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research. Recipient of several awards in research, he is
active member of various editorial boards of scientific journals. Committed to the mission of comparative medicine and physiology he was recently selected to coordinate the interest group in Oncology of the Royal Veterinary College.
The core of his research focuses on the quality control mechanisms in mammals and organism models, with focus on those underlying cell pathology and inflammation. His scientific breakthroughs, hitherto, regard the hidden pathways of
the homeostatic mitochondrial function and their pharmacological regulation. His ambition is to unveil adaptive mechanisms for early detection and targeting of conditions to inform innovative pharmaceutical and nutraceutical approaches.
The abnegation for biomedical research, academic education and service towards talented scholars yielded him the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Foundation in 2014. Passionate about country life he is an eager skier happily married
with two children: one baby-boy who keeps him busy with rugby over the weekends and one baby-girl who keeps him awake most of the nights.
Andrew G. Cole, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Medicinal Chemistry, Arbutus Biopharma, Inc.
Andrew Cole has over 20 years of drug discovery experience in the biotechnology industry. He obtained his bachelors degree in chemistry from The University of Southampton, and his Ph.D. from The University of St. Andrews. Following a post-doctoral
assignment at The University of Texas with Professor Philip Magnus, Andrew joined Pharmacopeia, and subsequently Ligand Pharmaceuticals, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, directing research activities in the areas
of kinase and GPCR-based targets. Andrew has significant experience in antiviral research, holding positions at Pharmasset, focused on HCV and at OnCore Biopharma, focused on HBV. He is now a Research Fellow in medicinal chemistry
at Arbutus Biopharma advancing small molecules that interfere with the HBV capsid assembly process.
Ben Cossins, PhD, Principal Scientist, UCB Pharma
As an undergraduate, I studied biochemistry at Sheffield University and then a Masters in bioinformatics at Birkbeck college, London. I then completed a PhD in computational chemistry at Southampton University with Jonathon Essex working
on relative binding free-energy calculations. This was followed by 3 years in Barcelona working with Victor Guallar on novel Monte-Carlo protein sampling methodologies for docking and energy landscape exploration. Victor also guided
me in learning about electronic structure calculations. After I returned to the UK I took another postdoc with UCB in Slough. This project was focused on demonstrating the application of molecular dynamics in PPI drug discovery. I
have now been at UCB for more than 6 years and in this time we have developed a series of approaches for understanding early stage druggability of PPI targets.
Artem Evdokimov, PhD, CSO, HarkerBIO
Kamyar Hadian, PhD, Principal Investigator & Head, Assay Development and Screening Platform, Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen
Dr. Kamyar Hadian is currently the Head of the Assay Development and Screening Platform at the HelmholtzZentrum München in Munich, Germany and in parallel he is Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University in New York,
USA. He has in-depth experience in designing and running biochemical as well as cell-based assays for high-throughput and high-content screening in various disease areas such as immunology, cancer, virology and more. His current research
focus is the identification and validation of novel molecular targets within ubiquitin signaling pathways and the subsequent development of strategies to interfere with these targets. Before that, Kamyar studied biology at the Technical
University of Munich (TUM) and gained his Ph.D. at the HelmholtzZentrum München/Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in the field of virology (HIV research). After a short postdoc period in the field of NF-kB signaling, he was
appointed the Head of Assay Development and Screening Platform at the HelmholtzZentrum München in 2010.
Xin Huang, PhD, Principal Scientist, Department of Molecular Engineering, Amgen
Xin Huang, Ph.D., is Head of Structural Biology at Amgen. His group (at Cambridge, MA & South San Francisco, CA) has been working on structure-based drug discovery and development of both small and large molecules for various therapeutic
areas such as oncology, inflammation, neuroscience, and metabolic disorders. Dr. Huang joined Kinetix Pharmaceutical in July 2000 and Amgen in December 2000 as a result of Amgen’s acquisition of Kinetix. Prior to pharmaceutical/biotech
industry, Dr. Huang was a postdoc with Prof. Michael Eck at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Huang holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University.
Roderick E. Hubbard, PhD, Professor, University of York and Director, Vernalis
Rod Hubbard currently splits his time between Vernalis and the University of York. At York, his research is in developing and applying fragment methods for chemical biology, including work on the bacterial replisome, activating industrial
enzymes and the design and synthesis of novel 3D fragments. At Vernalis, he has helped establish fragment and structure-based drug discovery methods which has successfully delivered clinical candidates against a range of targets.
John Wayne Cancer Institute
As a translational scientist, Dr. Nurmammadov’s primary area of interest is therapeutic modulation of transcription factors, key regulatory proteins that control genesis and progression of cancers. During his doctoral studies,
Dr. Nurmammadov studied functional and structural characteristics of WT1, a regulatory protein known to cause Wilm’s tumor. The main angle of his research was analysis of the biophysical properties of WT1 and identification
of potential therapeutic approaches. The study led to elucidation of the molecular mechanism that allows WT1 to interact with nucleic acids in the cells. Throughout his postdoctoral training, Dr. Nurmammadov joined high-risk drug
discovery projects spanning hematology and oncology. At Harvard Medical School he successfully demonstrated that a transcription factor controlling hemoglobin maturation was amenable to drug targeting with small molecules. Later
at The Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Nurmammadov initiated a drug discovery project for targeting beta-catenin, a key regulator of colon cancer. In collaboration with leading scientists, he was involved in discovery of two drug
candidates that are being developed for clinical use. Dr. Nurmammadov and his colleagues have successfully shown that these drug candidates have promising effect in glioma. He earned his doctorate in Molecular Biophysics from Lund
University, Sweden. His postdoctoral training, was at the Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA.
Julien Orts, PhD, Professor, Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH
Julien Orts completed his studies with two Masters, one in Physics and one in Biophysics in 2007. He graduated in 2010 jointly from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory under
the guidance of Dr. Carlogmano and Prof. Griesinger. During that time, he developed the INPHARMA method that can experimentally assess, by NMR, the quality of docking poses of fragments in the receptor binding site using only unlabeled
protein (ug) from cell extra. In 2010, Julien, joint as a Post doc the ETH in Zurich in the laboratory of Physical Chemistry where Prof. Ernst received the nobel Prize (NMR). He was appointed in 2016 “oberassistent”,
assistant Professor. He is currently investigating protein dynamics and allosteric communications within proteins and protein complexes. He also develops methods for fast protein-ligand complex structures determination.
Maurizio Pellecchia, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Sciences, University of California, Riverside (UCR) School of Medicine
Maurizio Pellecchia, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacology at the School of Medicine of the University of California, Riverside, (CA, USA), and is the D. Hays Endowed Chair in cancer research, and his laboratory
focusses on developing novel biophysical and structure-based approaches to develop novel anti-cancer therapeutics, in particular that target protein-protein interactions.
Juan J. Perez, PhD, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona
After a Ph.D. degree in computational chemistry by the Universidad de Barcelona he has carried out postdoctoral positions in the University of Manchester, UK; Max-Plack Institut fur Physik in Garching bei Muchen, Germany. He has also
served as visiting Scientist at the IBM Laboratories in Kingston, New York, between 1987 and 1988 and as Senior Researcher in Molecular Research Institute of Palo Alto, California, between 1991 and 1994. Presently he is Full Professor
of Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Technical University of Catalonia (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, UPC) at the School of Engineering (ETSEIB) since 1984. He has served as deputy director
for international relations at the School of Engineering during the period 1999 to 2002, working to promote the internationalization of the curricula of Mechanical and Chemical Engineers. From 2002 to 2006 he was vice-rector of
research, doctoral studies and international relations. Cofounder of Allinky Biopharma, a start-up devoted to the design of allosteric modulators. Author of more than 150 articles in specialized journals his research interests
focus on computer-aided molecular design.
James (Chris) Tarr, PhD, Drug Discovery Scientist II, Stephen Fesik Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University
Chris is a Drug Discovery Scientist II in Professor Stephen Fesik’s laboratory at Vanderbilt University, where he has worked as a medicinal chemist on the Mcl-1 inhibitor project since joining the group in 2015. Prior to joining
the Fesik group, Chris was a postdoctoral fellow and then a Drug Discovery Scientist at the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery with Dr. Craig Lindsley where he worked on the discovery of positive allosteric modulators
of the M1 and M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Chris obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2010 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where his research focused on the development of new synthetic methodology
under the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey Johnson.
Dimitrios Tzalis, PhD, CEO, Taros Chemicals; Head of Chemistry, European Lead Factory
Dimitrios holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, an MS in Chemistry University of Chicago, USA and an MS Biology form Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA. Dimitrios received his Vordiplom at the Philips
University, Marburg Germany in 1992. He was awarded with the „Nathan Sugerman Award for Excellence of Teaching Organic Chemistry" from the University of Chicago. After his postdoc at the Philips University in Marburg he started
Taros in 1999 and has ever since been active as a serial biotech entrepreneur. He has 13 publications and holds 4 patents. Dimitrios is currently leading the Chemistry Consortium of the € 196m pan-European drug discovery project
European Lead Factory and member of its Project Executive Board.
Xiangshu Xiao, PhD, Associate Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology, Oregon Health & Science University
July 2014-present Associate Professor Program in Chemical Biology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR Dec 2007-present Member, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health &
Science University, Portland, OR Aug. 2007-June 2014 Assistant Professor Program in Chemical Biology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR Jul. 2005-Jul. 2007 Post-doctoral
Fellow, Chemical Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas Advisor: Prof. Thomas Kodadek Research Focus: Development of Artificial Transcription Activators. Aug. 2001-Jun. 2005 Ph.D., Medicinal Chemistry,
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana Advisor: Prof. Mark Cushman Dissertation: Chemistry and Biology of Topoisomerase I Inhibitors: Indenoisoquinolines and Camptothecins.
Inflammation and Autoimmune Inhibitors
Simon Bailey, PhD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Research, Intercept
Jacqueline Blankman, PhD, Director of Biology, Abide Therapeutics
Dr. Blankman oversees preclinical development of ABX-1431 and several additional development candidates advancing to the clinic. She received her Ph.D. in chemical biology from The Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Benjamin
Cravatt. Jackie’s research focused on the characterization of serine hydrolases that regulate signaling lipids in the central nervous system (CNS), including monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL), the major regulator of the endocannabinoid
2-arachdidonoyglycerol (2-AG) and target of ABX-1431. My current research focus is small molecules for 1) target-based drug discovery in immunology and 2) phenotypic drug discovery in immuno-oncology. I obtained my Ph.D. in chemistry
from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and subsequently did post-doctoral research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Key publications include: “Ability of Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors to sequester
Y551 and prevent phosphorylation determines potency for inhibition of Fc receptor but not B-cell receptor signaling,” Molecular Pharmacology, “Btk inhibition treats TLR7/IFN driven murine lupus. Clinical Immunology,”.
Key patent applications include: Compositions and methods for the production of pyrimidine and pyridine compounds with Btk inhibitory activity WO 2012170976, Preparation of phenylamino isonicotinamide compounds for use in treatment
of hyperproliferative diseases WO 2010017051, Preparation of glycosidase inhibitors for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and other disorders WO 2014159234
Daniel J. Cua, PhD, Group Leader, IMR Pathway Biology, Merck Research Laboratories, Palo Alto
Dr. Cua completed his Doctorate Degree with the Department of Molecular and Cellular Immunology at University
of Southern California. He continued his postdoctoral training at DNAX Research Institute, Palo Alto California. He is currently Group Leader, Immunology Discovery and Immuno-Oncology Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories. Dr.
Cua has contributed to medical literature with more than 110 original articles with 36,200 citations and h-index 59 (Google Scholar). In 2003, his work appearing in the journal Nature demonstrated that IL-23 is a critical cytokine
that promotes autoimmune inflammatory disorders. This work led to the proposal of the Th17 Immune Axis hypothesis (2005), which formed the basis for the successful clinical testing of anti-IL-17, anti-IL-23 and RORgt inhibitors
for treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders. More recently, his group has leveraged their expertise to study novel immune modulatory receptors on T cells and myeloid cells for immunotherapy of autoimmunity and cancer.
Jonathan Foot, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Drug Discovery, Pharmaxis Ltd.
Jonathan graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2001 with a Masters in Chemistry which included a year placement at AstraZeneca (Alderley Park).He then moved to the University of York for a PhD with Professor Richard Taylor,
studying synthetic methodology and natural product synthesis. He has carried out Postdoctoral Research at both the Australian National University and the University of Toronto, and currently works as a Senior Research Scientist
at Pharmaxis Ltd in Sydney, Australia.
Michael Hoemann, PhD, Senior Scientist, Department of Chemistry, AbbVie, Inc.
Bryan Laffitte, PhD, Director, Discovery Pharmacology, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation
Matthew D. Linnik, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Immunology, Lilly Biotechnology Center
Lesley M. Liu-Bujalski, PhD, Group Leader, Medicinal Chemistry, EMD Serono Research and Development Institute, Inc.
Kelly McClure, Senior Scientist, Immunology Chemistry, Janssen Research & Development
Kelly received a B.S. in chemistry from Midwestern State University in 1994 followed by a Master’s degree in organic chemistry from the University of Arizona in 1997. He then spent two years at Neurocrine Biosciences as a
medicinal chemist before moving to Janssen Research and Development in 1999. Initially, as a member of the Hit to Lead Chemistry Team at Janssen, he provided chemistry support to several therapeutic areas including Immunology,
Neuroscience and Cardiovascular & Metabolism. Currently he is a chemist in the Immunology group working to identify small molecule therapeutics to treat various immune mediated diseases.
Kristen Taylor Meadows, PhD, Principal Scientist, Cell and Molecular Biology, Celgene
I joined Receptos (now Celgene) in April 2014 and am currently leading our Preclinical Translational Research efforts to support ozanimod in Multiple Sclerosis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Our preclinical work is focused on
investigating how S1P receptor modulation by ozanimod impacts the function of immune cells, neural cells of the CNS and intestinal cells of the GI tract. Prior to joining Celgene/Receptos, I was a Scientist at aTyr Pharma,
a San Diego Biotech company exploring extracellular tRNA synthetase biology in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. I completed my PhD in Biomedical Sciences at The University of California, San Diego and my postdoctoral work
in the Immunology & Microbiology Department at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego where my focus was understanding the role of gamma delta T cells in chronic inflammation.
Frank Narjes, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, IMED Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmunity, AstraZeneca
Frank has more than 20 years’ experience as a medicinal chemist working on multiple small molecule programs across all phases of drug discovery. He is currently Senior Principal Scientist in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry
at AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden, working in the Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity IMED Biotech Unit. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, he has worked for Merck, Sharp & Dohme focussing on treatments against Hepatitis
C virus infection. Frank studied chemistry at the University of Hamburg, followed by a postdoctoral studies in the group of Professor Larry Overman at UC Irvine.
Cecil Robert Pace-Asciak, PhD, Professor, Translational Medicine and Pharmacology, Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute
Professor Pace-Asciak discovered the base signaling pathway of hepoxilins on which novel drugs are modeled, and applied to several disease states in vivo and in vitro. Native hepoxilins mobilize calcium from internal stores in
human neutrophils and this release of calcium leads to the desensitization of the cell to well known inflammatory mediators.
Snahel Patel, PhD, Senior Scientific Manager, Discovery Chemistry, Genentech, Inc.
Mark Schnute, Ph.D., Associate Research Fellow, Biotherapeutics Chemistry & Immunoscience Research, Pfizer Global R&D
Dr. Mark Schnute received his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign. He then completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Stanford University. Mark then joined the medicinal chemistry
group at Pharmacia. There he led several programs towards the development of antivirals including the advancement a novel broad-spectrum, non-nucleoside herpes antiviral into clinical trials. Mark then joined the Inflammation
research group at Pfizer. With Pfizer, his research has focused on the development of treatments for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases. His areas of interest have been in novel approaches to kinase
inhibition and the investigation of modulators for inflammatory lipid signaling pathways.
Kinase Inhibitor Chemistry
Daniele Andreotti, Director, Head, Medicinal Chemistry 3; Drug Design and Discovery, Aptuit
Daniele heads one of the three Medicinal Chemistry units at Aptuit. In this role he leads several scientific projects for different customers with the responsibility of setting up scientific strategies to meet customers’
objectives, coordinating resources from different departments as well as designing customized medicinal chemistry plans. He is also programme leader in integrated discovery projects. Daniele joined GlaxoSmithKline (formerly
GlaxoWellcome; Glaxo) in 1987. He has held various leadership and managerial roles in different antibacterial projects, e.g. respiratory tract infections, skin skin-structure infections and severe hospital-acquired infections.
He was head of antibacterial medicinal chemistry in 2000 and head of synthetic chemistry in 2002. He was appointed director of medicinal chemistry II at Aptuit in 2010. Daniele has 30 years’ experience in pharmaceutical
drug discovery. He contributed to the lead optimization, selection and progression of more than 15 preclinical drug candidates (CNS and antibacterial). He has acquired expertise on different therapeutic areas and biological
targets, mainly antibacterial (e.g. PBPs, ß-lactamases, DNA-GyraseA/B, LpxC), antiviral (e.g. Influenza, RSV) and CNS (Kinases, and GPCR targets), working with challenging natural synthetic and semi-synthetic chemical
classes (e.g. ß-lactams, macrolides). His research interests include medicinal and organic chemistry, drug discovery attrition, development of drug delivery systems as prodrugs and in silico data analysis.
Aleksandra Baranczak, PhD, Senior Scientist, Discovery Chemistry and Technology, AbbVie
Aleksandra Baranczak received her PhD in 2011 in the laboratory of Prof. Gary Sulikowski at Vanderbilt University. In 2012, she began postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Prof. Jeffery Kelly at The Scripps Research Institute.
In 2015, she joined AbbVie as Senior Scientist in the Department of Chemistry and Technology.
Hywel D. Williams, PhD, Principal Scientist, Pharma Sciences, Lonza Pharma & Biotech
Hywel works within the R&D department of Capsugel, now part of Lonza. In his current role, Hywel is based at Monash University in Melbourne Australia, and oversees an integrated Industry-Academic collaboration that looks to
develop new drug delivery technologies for challenging compounds. Working cooperatively with synthetic chemists, Hywel and his team is investigating the biopharmaceutical synergy between lipid drug delivery systems and new
lipophilic salts forms of drugs, including kinase inhibitors. Hywel obtained a Pharmacy degree from Cardiff University in Wales, and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Nottingham. He is an adjunct research
fellow at Monash University and has co-authored over 35 research papers in pharmaceutical sciences.
Scott Bembenek, PhD, Principal Scientist, Computer-Aided Drug Discovery, Janssen Research & Development
Scott did his graduate work at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where he investigated the dynamics of complex liquid systems using computer simulations and theoretical techniques. His work on supercooled liquids and glasses
remains well cited even today. Scott received his PhD with honors in 1997 in theoretical chemical physics. Thereafter, he was awarded a National Research Council Fellowship and joined the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen,
MD. There he used computational and theoretical techniques to study the dynamics of explosives. Scott pioneered a new approach to parameterizing interaction potentials necessary for accurate computer simulations. His work was
well recognized, and upon the completion of his fellowship, he was immediately offered a full-time position. Instead, Scott took a research associate position at Colorado State University. While computer simulations once again
played a role in his work, the majority of his time at the office was “old school, paper and pencil” theoretical physics on fluid systems. In fact, his paper “A Kinetic Theory for Dilute Dipolar Systems”
required more than 300 pages of derivations! Currently, he is a Principal Scientist in the Computer-Aided Drug Discovery group at Janssen Pharmaceutical Research & Development in San Diego, CA, where he has worked since
2002. During his time there, he has made substantial contributions to numerous drug discovery projects and has worked in a variety of disease areas.
Erik Schaefer, President & CSO, AssayQuant Technologies
Dr. Schaefer has over 20 years of experience at Life Science tool companies integrating innovative technologies to create enabling new products that accelerate discovery and drug development. He has developed and commercialized
over 400 new products with a focus on workflow solutions for detection of blood-based biomarkers and determining the role of protein kinases and phosphatases in normal and disease states. These efforts have led to 63 peer-reviewed
publications and 4 patents (2 pending).
Michael Bradshaw, PhD, Associate Director, Principia Biopharma
Michael Bradshaw obtained his PhD in Molecular Biophysics at Washington University in St. Louis. He conducted postdoctoral work in the Departments of Neurobiology and Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford University. He has
worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 10 years with previous stints at Roche Palo Alto and Elan Pharmaceuticals before taking his current position at Principia Biopharma, where he is currently associate director of
Shenlin Huang, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Medicinal Chemistry, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation
Dr. Shenlin Huang started his industrial career as a medicinal chemist in 2001 at Johnson and Johnson (J&J) Pharmaceutical. He led multiple kinase programs at J&J. In 2006, he moved to Genomics Institute of the Novartis
Research Foundation, where he currently holds a Senior Research Investigator position at the Department of Discovery Chemistry. He has led several drug discovery projects covering a broad range of therapeutic areas including
oncology, immunology, haematology etc. One of his major contributions is the discovery of Encorafenib, a selective BRAF inhibitor currently under FDA review for approval. He received his PhD in Organic Chemistry with Professor
James Tour at University of South Carolina. He obtained his postdoc research on natural product synthesis in Professor Daniel Comins’s lab at North Carolina State University. He obtained his BA in science at East China
Normal University in China. He is the author of more than 50 publications and patents.
Stefan Knapp, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Goethe Institut, Frankfurt
Prof. Stefan Knapp studied Chemistry at the University of Marburg (Germany) and the University of Illinois (USA). He did his PhD in 1996 in protein crystallography at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (Sweden) and continued
his there as a postdoctoral scientist (1996-1999). In 1999, he joined the Pharmacia Corporation. He left the company in 2004 to set up a research group at the Structural Genomics Consortium at Oxford University (SGC). From
2008 to 2015 he was a Professor of Structural Biology at Oxford University and between 2012 and 2015 he was the Director for Chemical Biology at the Target Discovery Institute (TDI). He joined Frankfurt University (Germany)
Ravi G. Kurumbail, PhD, Research Fellow and Structural Biology Laboratory Head, Pfizer
Ravi Kurumbail is currently a research fellow and a structural biology lab head at Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development at their Groton, Connecticut campus. Ravi was trained as a protein X-ray crystallographer in the laboratory
of Professor Alexander Tulinsky at Michigan State University where he worked on crystallographic studies of blood coagulation proteins. Following this, Ravi joined the lab of Professor Johann Deisenhofer at the Howard Hughes
Medical Institute and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical center, Dallas as a postdoctoral fellow and solved the structure of a bacterial cytochrome P450. Ravi then moved to St. Louis where he spent the next 13 years
at Searle, Monsanto, Pharmacia and eventually Pfizer. While at St. Louis, Dr. Kurumbail elucidated the structure of the membrane protein cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) that is the target of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
He was an active member of the Searle COX-2 team that discovered Celebrex™, Bextra™ and Dynastat™ and contributed to their mechanistic study and regulatory filings. For the past 10 years, Ravi has been leading
a structural biology lab at the Pfizer Groton campus. Over the years, Ravi’s research interests have spanned proteases, protein kinases, hydrolases, cyclooxygenases, cytochrome P450s and proteins involved in blood coagulation
and fibrinolysis. Dr. Kurumbail has been actively pursuing structure-based drug design over the past 20+ years in the pharmaceutical industry. He has broad experience in evaluation of kinase inhibitors and activators for a
variety of pathological conditions including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Stefan Laufer, PhD, Chairman, Pharmaceutical & Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacy & Biochemistry, University of Tuebingen
Stefan Laufer, is Professor for Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry at Tuebingen University. He received his degrees from Regensburg University. After 10 years in Pharmaceutical Industry (Head Drug Research, R&D Director
Merckle GmbH) he joined in 1999 Tuebingen University as Chairman Pharm./Med. Chemistry. His research interests are anti-inflammatory drug discovery with various eicosanoid (COX-1,2,3, LOXs, mPGES1, cPLA2) and protein kinase
targets (p38, JAKs, JNKs, CK1d, mtEGRFs). Three compounds from his lab entered clinical development phases. Dr. Laufer chairs the ICEPHA (Interfaculty Center for Pharmacogenomics and Drug Research), an academic drug discovery
platform at Tuebingen University and Robert Bosch Hospital Stuttgart. He authored more than 360 publications, 14 books/bookchapters and is inventor in 42 patent families.
Campbell McInnes, PhD, Professor, Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, University of South Carolina
Campbell McInnes, PhD is a Professor in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of South Carolina, USA in Columbia where he has been for the last 12 years. He has over 20 years’ experience in Drug Discovery in both Industry
and in Academia. Prior to joining USC he was the Head of Structure Based Drug Design at Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, a company started by Professor Sir David Lane, one of the discoverers of the P53 tumor suppressor protein. His
primary research interests are in developing methodology for improved targeting of protein-protein interactions and in applying this to the design of novel cancer therapeutics based on non-ATP competitive protein kinase inhibitors.
Dr. McInnes has published over 50 research articles and contributed to many pharmaceutical patents. He is also the founding member of PPI Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a company started to commercialize therapeutics based on the aforementioned
Michael Dabrowski, CEO, Pelago Bioscience
Michael has 15 years of Drug Discovery experience from Novo Nordisk and AstraZeneca in multiple therapeutic areas. Where he worked as project leader, manager responsible for screening and assay technology development as well as
strategic disease area portfolio management. He is one of 3 founders of Pelago and has been CEO since it’s inception in 2013.
Gerhard Mueller, PhD, CSO, Gotham Therapeutics
Dr. Mueller was Senior Vice President Medicinal Chemistry, Mercachem. 2008-2011: CSO at Proteros Fragments, Munich. 2003-2008: CSO at Axxima Pharmaceuticals and VP Drug Discovery at GPC Biotech, Munich. 2001-2003: Head Medicinal
Chemistry Lead Finding, Organon. 1994-2001: Project Manager at Bayer AG, Leverkusen. 1992-1994: Research Scientist at Glaxo, Verona.
Marc O’Reilly, PhD, Senior Director of Molecular Sciences, Astex Pharmaceuticals
Leticia Toledo-Sherman, PhD, Director of Computer-Aided Drug Design and Medicinal Chemistry, Chemistry, CHDI Foundation
Dr. Leticia M. Toledo-Sherman is Director of Computer-Aided Drug Design and Medicinal Chemistry at The CHDI Foundation, where she leads several drug discovery programs (ATM kinase, Nrf2 and KMO) aimed at developing therapeutic
agents for Huntington’s Disease. Dr. Toledo-Sherman also leads Structural Biology efforts aimed at understanding the structure function relationship of Huntingtin, the protein involved in HD, via a collaborative network
of academics and contract research organizations. Before joining CHDI in 2005, Leticia was Executive Director of Chemistry at Lymphosign Inc. (Pharmascience by acquisitions), and before that Head of Chemical Proteomics at MDS
Proteomics. Leticia started her professional career at Kinetix Pharmaceutical (Amgen by acquisition) working with kinase drug hunter pioneer Nick Lydon on creating a kinase inhibitor platform that tackled multiple kinase therapeutic
programs in parallel. Leticia did her postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She obtained her PhD in Organic Chemistry from The State University of New York at
Stony Brook using X-ray crystallography and computational chemistry as equals to organic synthesis in designing supramolecular organic materials. Currently, Leticia also serves as Science Advisory Board Member to The Structural
Genomics Consortium – University of North Carolina Kinase Unit and the Chemical Probes Portal.
Daniele Andreotti, Director, Head, Medicinal Chemistry 3; Drug Design and Discovery, Aptuit
Masato Yoshikawa, PhD, Principal Scientist, CNS Drug Discovery Unit, Research, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Guido J.R. Zaman, PhD, Managing Director & Head of Biology, Netherlands Translational Research Center B.V. (NTRC)
Guido Zaman is Managing Director and Head of Biology of NTRC, a biotech company based in the Netherlands. NTRC (Netherlands Translational Research Center B.V.) translates novel biological concepts into new small molecule drug leads.
Guido Zaman founded NTRC together with former colleagues at Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) in 2011. Guido Zaman received his PhD in Science from the University of Nijmegen and worked for five years at the Netherlands Cancer
Institute in Amsterdam, before he moved to pharmaceutical industry in 1996. At N.V. Organon, Schering-Plough and MSD he led several multidisciplinary and international teams, including on protein kinases, and was senior director
of Molecular Pharmacology.
GPCR-Targeted Drug Design
Andrew Alt, PhD, Associate Director, Biology, Arvinas
Dr. Alt is best known for his work on allosteric modulators of GPCRs, ion channels, and other receptor targets; and he led the discovery
of the first reported positive allosteric modulators of mu opioid receptors, delta opioid receptors, D1 dopamine receptors, and toll-like receptors. Dr. Alt earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan,
and completed post-doctoral training at the Indiana University Medical School. Dr. Alt has over 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, ranging from biotech (Arvinas, EPIX Pharmaceuticals) to “big pharma”
(BMS, Pfizer and Eli Lilly) prior to returning to academia as the Director of the Center for Chemical Genomics at the University of Michigan in January 2018.
Dean Brown is currently Director of External Chemistry at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Dean joined AstraZeneca as a medicinal chemist in the neuroscience disease area. He led the chemistry effort on an NMDA antagonist project for
neuropathic pain culminating in two candidates for clinical development. Dean then led the CNS Lead Generation Chemistry group, and was responsible for the delivery of many new LO programs for psychiatry, cognition and neuropathic
pain leading to multiple clinical candidates. Dean then moved to Infection with a focus of building new programs for multi-drug resistant infections and respiratory viral infections. In his current role he is responsible for
the early stage portfolio of neurodegenerative diseases, open innovation collaborations and DNA-encoded library screening. He is listed as an author and co-author on more than 50 publications and patent applications.
Matthew Eddy, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Raymond Stevens, The Bridge Institute, University of Southern California
Dr. Matthew Eddy is a physical chemist who specializes in the investigation of the structure and conformational dynamics of membrane proteins, including G Protein-Coupled Receptors, using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Dr.
Eddy received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working in the laboratory of Professor Robert Griffin. During his Ph.D., Dr. Eddy developed new methodologies for applying solid state NMR to study
the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins, focusing on discovering the mechanism of ion selectivity of the human mitochondrial membrane protein VDAC. After completing his Ph.D, Dr. Eddy joined the laboratory of Professor
Ray Stevens at The Scripps Research Institute. There, he began working in collaboration with Professor Kurt Wüthrich to investigate the conformational dynamics of G Protein-Coupled Receptors with solution nuclear magnetic
resonance. Dr. Eddy has authored or coauthored over 21 publications and is currently an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in Professor Stevens’ laboratory at the University of Southern California.
J. Silvio Gutkind, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmacology; Associate Director of Basic Science, Moores Cancer Center, UCSD
Sam Hoare, PhD, Founder and Chief Scientist, Pharmacology Data Analysis, Pharmechanics, LLC
Dr Sam Hoare is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Pharmechanics LLC, a company dedicated to helping drug discovery scientists analyze pharmacological data. With the advent of new targets, technologies and dimensions of
ligand activity, Pharmechanics helps transform raw data into the drug parameters used to drive drug discovery and development. Previously, Sam was with the Discovery Research group at Neurocrine Biosciences, where he
was Lead Pharmacologist on multiple GPCR and transporter drug targets. He is particularly known for applying receptor kinetics to CRF1 receptor antagonist development.
Paul A. Insel, MD, Distinguished Professor, Pharmacology and Medicine; Co-Director, Medical Scientist MD/PhD Training Program, University of California, San Diego
Dr. Insel received an M.D. from the University of Michigan and post-M.D. training at Boston City Hospital/Harvard Medical Service, NIH and UC San Francisco (UCSF). He is currently Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology
and Medicine and Co-Director of the MD/PhD Training Program at UC San Diego. His research has focused on GPCRs, including their signaling, compartmentation in caveolae and expression in health and disease. He has served
as Editor-in-Chief of numerous scientific journals (currently Editor, Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology; co-Head of Faculty, Faculty of 1000Prime in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery). He holds a Doc. Hon Causa
from the University of Paris, is a Fellow, Am. Assn. for the Advancement of Science and has received major awards from the American Physiological Society and American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Thierry Jolas, PhD, Study Director, Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services
Dr. Jolas is a Study Director in charge of standard and custom in vitro pharmacology studies at Eurofins Cerep for
a portfolio of more than 150 companies including 8 major pharma. He has a broad expertise in Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology, GPCRs, and Ion Channels. Dr. Jolas came to Eurofins from Schering-Plough and received
his PhD from Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris.
Sadashiva Karnik, PhD, Professor, Molecular Cardiology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Karnik has been an angiotensin receptor researcher for more than 20 years. He completed his post-doctoral training at MIT with Prof. Khorana on early structure-function relationship studies of visual rhodopsin.
Seva Katritch, PhD, Assistant Professor, The Bridge Institute, University of Southern California
Dr. Seva Katritch research is focused on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and on using this knowledge to design ligands with specific functional properties. These studies
employ molecular modeling and structural bioinformatics analysis of crystallographic, biophysical, pharmacological and other experimental data to probe interactions and conformational dynamics of GPCRs. Ultimately,
this work aims at better understanding the molecular basis of cell communications and exploring new venues for improving GPCR-based therapies. Katritch’s work has resulted in five patents and more than
70 publications, including prospective ligand-discovery studies, as well as high impact reviews on GPCR structure and function. Before joining USC, he held faculty positions at The Scripps Research Institute
and the University of California, San Diego School of Pharmacy and San Diego Supercomputer Center. Dr. Katritch has also served as director of computational biology for Plexus Vaccine and SiGA Technologies.
He completed his Ph.D. in Biophysics and Molecular biology at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and postdoctoral training at Lausanne University and Rutgers University.
Terry Kenakin, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Beginning his career as a synthetic chemist, Terry Kenakin received a Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Alberta in Canada. After a post-doctoral fellowship at University College London, U.K., he joined
Burroughs-Wellcome as an associate scientist (7 yrs). From there, he continued working in drug discovery for 25 years first at Glaxo Inc., then GlaxoWellcome and finally as a Director at GlaxoSmithKline Research
and Development laboratories at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. Dr. Kenakin is now a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. Currently
he is engaged in studies aimed at the optimal design of drug activity assays systems, the discovery and testing of allosteric molecules for therapeutic application and the quantitative modeling of drug effects.
In addition, he is Director of the Pharmacology graduate courses at the UNC School of Medicine. He is a member of numerous editorial boards as well as editor in Chief of the Journal of Receptors and Signal Transduction.
He has authored numerous articles and has written 10 books on Pharmacology.
Martin Lohse, PhD, Chairman, Max Delbrück Center, Berlin, Germany
Lisa Minor, Scientific Consultant, Multispan, Inc.
Dr. Minor has been a scientific consultant for Multispan since January 2012. She is a well-recognized scientific expert in drug discovery in several therapeutic areas, high throughput screening and safety profiling
through her tenure at Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals. She is an editor for NIH, served for 8 years on the advisory board for SBS (now SLAS) and on the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Toxicology
Program and chaired international assay development meetings.
Varun Vijay Prabhu, PhD, Associate Director, Research and Development, Oncoceutics, Inc.
Dr. Varun V. Prabhu is a researcher in the field of oncology drug discovery with experience in academia and industry. Dr. Prabhu has worked with Oncoceutics, Inc since 2012 on the mechanism of action, binding target,
biomarkers and combinatorial efficacy of imipridone small molecules. Dr. Prabhu has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications exploring the mechanism of action for cancer therapeutics targeting apoptosis
pathways, tumor suppressor genes and stem cell self-renewal. He completed his B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Institute of Chemical Technology in India, received a M.S. in Biotechnology from the University
at Buffalo, SUNY and earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from Pennsylvania State University. He has previously held research positions at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Fox Chase Cancer Center and OncoMed
Alex Thomsen, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Lefkowitz Lab, Department of Medicine, Duke University
Dr. Alex Rojas Bie Thomsen received his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from the laboratory of Professor Hans Bräuner-Osborne at the University of Copenhagen. His graduate work focused on biased agonism at
the calcium-sensing receptor. While working towards the completion of his Ph.D., Alex also studied in the laboratory of Professor Edward M. Brown at Harvard Medical School, where he concentrated on the physiological
role of the calcium-sensing receptor on calcium and phosphorous homeostasis. Alex went on to undertake postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Robert J. Lefkowitz at Duke University. At Duke, Alex’s
research primarily centered on the cell and structural biology of G protein signaling by internalized receptors. Very recently, Alex was recruited by Columbia University as an assistant professor where he will
continue his research on endosomal GPCR signaling. During his short career, Alex has been the recipient of several awards including the Sapere Aude: Young Elite Researcher Award.
JoAnn Trejo, PhD, MBA, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Pharmacology, Associate Dean for Health Sciences Faculty Affairs, University of California, San Diego
JoAnn Trejo is best known for discoveries that reveal how cellular responses are regulated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Her research focuses on understanding how ubiquitination offers novel and diverse
mechanisms for regulation of protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1) in the context of endothelial cell dysfunction and breast cancer progression. JoAnn earned her bachelor’s degree at UC Davis and PhD at
UC San Diego. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at UC San Francisco in the lab of Dr. Shaun Coughlin, a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She took her first faculty position at the University
of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2000 and then was recruited to UC San Diego in 2008, where she quickly rose through the ranks and promoted to full professor with tenure in 2012. In 2014, she was appointed
Vice Chair of the Department Pharmacology. JoAnn has made numerous novel discoveries related to the regulation of receptor signaling and trafficking that has been published in over 70 papers in prominent journals. JoAnn’s
research has also been continuously funded by numerous grants from the NIH, Komen Foundation, UC Tobacco-related Disease Research Program and the American Heart Association (AHA) including the prestigious AHA
Established Investigator Award. She is also a leader in the scientific community. She was elected to serve on Council of the American Society for Cell Biology and American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology, as Chair of two Gordon Research Conferences and multiple NIH and HHMI Study Sections. She has presented several distinguished and keynote lectures and has been awarded the American Society for Biochemistry
and Molecular Biology Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award and American Society for Cell Biology EE Just Award for outstanding scientific achievement.
Fragment-Based Drug Discovery
Jark Böttcher, Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Boehringer Ingelheim RCV GmbH & Co KG
Jark Böttcher is currently working as a Distinguished Scientist within the Structural Research group at Boehringer Ingelheim’s R&D site in Vienna, Austria. He is responsible for enabling the X-ray
crystallography of new target proteins and fragment screening approaches. Prior to his current position, he worked as a Research Scientist in Protein Crystallography for the Proteros Biostructures GmbH in Martinsried.
Germany. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Marburg, Germany and received his Ph.D. at the Institute for Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Philipps-University Marburg under the supervision
of Professor Gerhard Klebe.
Barry Bunin, CEO, Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc.
Prior to CDD, Dr. Bunin was an Entrepreneur in Residence with Eli Lilly & Co. Dr. Bunin is on a patent for Kyprolis™ (carfilzomib) for Injection, a proteasome inhibitor that received accelerated FDA approval
for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. Dr. Bunin was the founding CEO, President, & CSO of Libraria (now Eidogen-Sertanty). At Libraria, Dr. Bunin led a team that integrated exhaustive reaction
capture (synthetic chemistry) with gene-family wide SAR capture (medicinal chemistry). On the scientific side, he co-authored “Chemoinformatics: Theory, Practice, and Products” (Springer-Verlag),
a text that overviews modern chemoinformatics technologies, and “The Combinatorial Index” (Academic Press), a widely used text on high-throughput chemical synthesis. In the lab, Dr. Bunin did medicinal
synthetic chemistry developing patented new chemotypes for protease inhibition at Axys Pharmaceuticals (now Celera) and RGD mimics to inhibit GP-IIbIIIa at Genentech. Dr. Bunin received his B.A. from Columbia
University and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, where he synthesized and tested the initial 1,4-benzodiazepine libraries with Professor Jonathan Ellman.
Huifen Chen, PhD, Senior Scientist, Discovery Chemistry, Genentech
Huifen Chen, Ph.D., is Senior Scientist in the Computational Drug Design group at Genentech. She received a M.A. degree in Chemistry and Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biophysics from Columbia University. After her postdoctoral
training at the University of Chicago, she moved to San Diego and worked at a biotech company as a molecular modeler. In 1999 Dr. Chen moved to Parke-Davies (later changed to Pfizer Ann Arbor Laboratories) and
worked there for 8 years as a Principal/Senior Principal Scientist. Following the closure of Ann Arbor Laboratories, she joined Genentech Discovery Chemistry Department in 2007. She has worked on numerous protein
kinase targets and contributed to the discovery of several clinical candidates and in vivo tool compounds. Her current work primarily focuses on supporting drug discovery projects by using molecular modeling,
drug design and data analysis techniques.
Ben Cossins, PhD, Principal Scientist, UCB Pharma
As an undergraduate, I studied biochemistry at Sheffield University and then a Masters in bioinformatics at Birkbeck college, London. I then completed a PhD in computational chemistry at Southampton University with
Jonathon Essex working on relative binding free-energy calculations. This was followed by 3 years in Barcelona working with Victor Guallar on novel Monte-Carlo protein sampling methodologies for docking and
energy landscape exploration. Victor also guided me in learning about electronic structure calculations. After I returned to the UK I took another postdoc with UCB in Slough. This project was focused on demonstrating
the application of molecular dynamics in PPI drug discovery. I have now been at UCB for more than 6 years and in this time we have developed a series of approaches for understanding early stage druggability
of PPI targets.
Silvia Davalli, Senior Manager, Head, NMR Spectroscopy; Drug Design and Discovery, Aptuit
Justin Dietrich, PhD, Senior Scientist III, Discovery Chemistry and Technology, AbbVie, Inc.
Justin Dietrich received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2008 from the University of Arizona, College of Pharmacy in the lab of Dr. Laurence Hurley and Dr. Gary Flynn where efforts were focused on traditional
small molecule drug discovery in an academic setting. After a short post-doc in Dr. Christopher Hulme’s lab studying multicomponent reactions and developing enabling chemistry technologies, he joined as
a research scientist and was instrumental in building a state-of-the-art high-throughput medicinal chemistry facility. In 2011, he joined Abbvie in the Discovery and Chemistry Technology department, first working
in the scaffold oriented synthesis and high-throughput chemistry groups. He is currently a senior scientist in the fragment-based drug discovery group and serves as the chair of Abbvie’s proprietary monomer
Fredrik Edfeldt, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, Biophysics, Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca R&D, Sweden
Fredrik Edfeldt works at AstraZeneca in Gothenburg, Sweden as a biophysicist specializing mainly in NMR and SPR. He has sixteen years of experience working with fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD), and is now recognized
as one of the foremost experts on FBDD within AstraZeneca. Fredrik received his PhD in NMR structure determination from the University of Washington in 2001.
Kim Huard, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Medicine Design, Pfizer, Inc.
Kim Huard is a senior principal scientist in the newly formed discovery network group at Pfizer, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In her current role, she works at establishing collaborations with external partners
to identify new exploratory projects and developing them into clinical candidates. Kim joined Pfizer in 2010 and, in her prior role, was leading teams on various drug discovery programs in the cardiovascular
and metabolic disease research unit. Her work involves modulating different types of biological targets with diverse modalities, as well as targeting specific compound disposition such as liver selective or
brain penetrant agents. Prior to joining Pfizer, Kim graduated from the Université de Montréal with a PhD in organic chemistry in 2008 and spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University
of California, Irvine.
Sten Ohlson, PhD, Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
Prof. Sten Ohlson is a biochemist graduated from Lund University, Sweden in 1980. After academic studies, Sten joined the biotechnology- and life science industry in Sweden (Gambro, Perstorp) and USA (HyClone Labs)
where he spent thirteen years as manager and director of research. In 1993, he returned to Academia where he was a founding associate professor of the Biomedical Chemistry Centre of the University of Kalmar
in Sweden. In 1999, Sten Ohlson was appointed full professor in applied biochemistry and head of the biotechnology division at the University of Kalmar and later in 2010 he was a professor and head of the biotechnology
group of Linnaeus University (a fusion of Kalmar and Vaxjo Universities in Sweden). Sten is currently professor in applied biochemistry at the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) at Nanyang Technological University
(NTU), Singapore where he is heading a research group in drug discovery and clinical diagnostics. He is recognized for his pioneering contributions in cell culture engineering (whole-cell catalysts and novel
growth media), in biosensor techniques for studies on transient biological interactions and most importantly the introduction of novel techniques in affinity chromatography (HPLAC and WAC). Further, he has introduced
the concepts of transient drugs and continuous biosensors based on dynamic biological interactions. In 2017, he was the recipient of the ISMR Affinity Award for outstanding contributions to the field of affinity
technology. Sten Ohlson is also a bioentrepreneur and he has founded four life-science companies in Sweden (Perstorp Biolytica, ProLiff, KalBiotech and Transientic Interactions).
Kevin M. O’Malley, PhD, Senior Research Investigator, Lead Discovery, LDO, Bristol-Myers Squibb R&D
Dr. Kevin O’Malley is a Research Investigator in the Leads Discovery & Optimization department at Bristol-Myers Squibb. He uses biophysical approaches such as SPR, TSA, and MST for fragment screening,
hit assessment, and lead optimization on multiple targets across the drug discovery portfolio. Kevin received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in the laboratory of Dr. Barry S. Cooperman
studying the kinetics of enzyme-inhibitor interactions.
Marc O’Reilly, PhD, Senior Director of Molecular Sciences, Astex Pharmaceuticals
Julien Orts, PhD, Professor, Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH
Dr. Orts completed his studies with two Masters, one in Physics and one in Biophysics in 2007. He graduated in 2010 jointly from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the European Molecular Biology
Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Carlogmano and Prof. Griesinger. During that time, he developed the INPHARMA method that can experimentally assess, by NMR, the quality of docking poses of fragments in the
receptor binding site using only unlabeled protein (ug) from cell extra. In 2010, Julien, joint as a Post doc the ETH in Zurich in the laboratory of Physical Chemistry where Prof. Ernst received the nobel Prize
(NMR). He was appointed in 2016 “oberassistent”, assistant Professor. He is currently investigating protein dynamics and allosteric communications within proteins and protein complexes. He also develops
methods for fast protein-ligand complex structures determination.
Gregg Siegal, PhD, CEO, ZoBio
Paul Sprengeler, PhD, Research Fellow, Medicinal Chemistry, eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc.
Brian Stockman, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, Chemistry, Adelphi University
Brian Stockman moved to Adelphi University in 2009 after an 18-year career in industry (Pfizer and its heritage companies). He is currently an associate professor and chair of the chemistry department. His NIH-funded
research involves the identification of chemical tools to test the hypothesis that inhibiting nucleoside ribohydrolase enzymes will be deleterious to the Trichomonas vaginalis parasite.
Jenny Viklund, Director, Protein Science and Drug Design, Sprint Bioscience
Jennifer Viklund’s main responsibilities at Sprint Bioscience are chemistry project leader, development of the Sprint Bioscience fragment screening platform, enabling and driving drug design and data analysis
and updating the computational chemistry toolbox and workflows. Prior to joining Sprint Bioscience, she worked for ten years as a computational chemist at AstraZeneca, Sweden. Jennifer has a masters of science
in molecular biotechnology from Uppsala University.
Josh Wand, PhD, Professor, Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania
Josh Wand was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.Sc. (Hons) in biochemistry from Carleton University in Ottawa. Working under the direction of Stan Tsai, he also received a M.Sc. in bioorganic
chemistry from Carleton University. He received his Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Walter Englander. After a short postdoctoral stint in solid state NMR at the
National Research Council of Canada with I.C.P. Smith, he joined the faculty of the Institute for Cancer Research. He subsequently spent time on the faculties of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a Fellow of the Biophysical Society and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is currently the Benjamin Rush Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics
at the University of Pennsylvania where he continues to apply solution NMR to questions in protein biophysics with a particular emphasis on entropy in protein function. He also developed the reverse micelle
encapsulation strategy for solution NMR spectroscopy of macromolecules, originally to overcome the slow tumbling problem presented by large proteins. More recently this approach as been extended to provide site-resolved
hydration dynamics, to explore a variety of confined space phenomena and to provide a novel route to drug discovery.
Ubiquitin Proteasome System Inhibitors
Irina Bezsonova, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Connecticut
I became interested in structural biology as an undergraduate biology student at Moscow State University and joined Professor Julie Forman-Kay at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada as a PhD student
to study protein structure in solution using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. I found protein structure determination to be an interesting combination of art and science that is fascinating, challenging,
and incredibly gratifying. There is always a beautiful reward at the end of the process, and you just can't wait to see it! After graduate school I was determined to apply my skills to real world health-related
problems, which led me to join the laboratory of Professor Cheryl Arrowsmith at the Ontario Cancer Institute. Dr. Arrowsmith introduced me to the epigenetics field. Since 2010 I have been an Assistant Professor
at the University of Connecticut Health Center focusing my research on the role ubiquitination plays in epigenetics and cancer development. I live in Connecticut with my husband and two beautiful children.
Dan Bondeson, Research Scientist, Crews Lab, Yale University
Presently, I am a third year PhD candidate in the Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry department at Yale University under the mentorship of Professor Craig Crews. My work focuses on PROteolysis TArgeting Chimera
(PROTACs), which are bifunctional small molecules that simultaneously bind to a target protein and recruit it to an E3 ubiquitin ligase, leading to the targets degradation. In a recent publication we present
new PROTAC molecules which show improved potency over previous technologies. This new generation of PROTACs are highly selective for their targets, function sub-stoichiometrically by ‘reprogramming’
the E3 ligase for the new target, and are the first demonstration of a chemical knockdown system that could be suitable for therapeutic applications. My current work focuses on extending PROTAC technology
to knockdown proteins immune to previous therapeutic interventions: those proteins without an enzymatic active site.
Bradley Brasher, Ph.D., Managing Director, Boston Biochem
Jason Brown, PhD, Scientific Director, Ubiquigent Ltd
Jason co-founded Ubiquigent in 2009. Before Ubiquigent he worked in a biotech investment group. Prior to this he ran a kinase-focused assay development and drug discovery service facility for Upstate Biotechnology.
Jason received his MPhil and DPhil from the University of Cambridge in association with Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert (Pfizer), during which he identified the target of the epilepsy and neuropathic pain drugs
Neurontin and Lyrica. After his DPhil Jason ran an assay development group for Parke-Davis.
Tauseef R. Butt, PhD, President and CEO, Progenra, Inc.
Dr. Tauseef R. Butt is the President and CEO of Progenra. Dr Butt obtained his PhD degree in Molecular Biology from The University of Glasgow, Scotland. He was a Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health,
Bethesda, MD, before joining SmithKline Beckman (now GSK) Pharmaceuticals. He was Assistant Director in Research and Development at SmithKline. He also served as Adjunct Professor Biochemistry and Biophysics,
University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia (1989-2000). He has published over 100 papers in life sciences research. Dr. Butt serves as an Adjunct Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Drexel
University, Philadelphia and is active in a number of national and regional professional organizations, including several dedicated to biotechnology.
Brian Cathers, PhD, Executive Director, Co-Leader & Head, Drug Discovery, Protein Homeostasis Thematic Center of Excellence, Celgene
Dr. Cathers (Executive Director) is the Co-Leader and Head of Drug Discovery for the Protein Homeostasis Thematic Center of Excellence at Celgene, San Diego. Prior to joining Celgene as a Senior Scientist in
2004, Dr. Cathers was Director of Enzymology & Biophysical Chemistry at NewBiotics. He led several discovery projects in oncology and infectious diseases and contributed to the clinical development of
NB-1011 in colorectal cancer. Prior to NewBiotics, Dr. Cathers was a scientist at Axys Pharmaceuticals (South San Francisco, CA) where he specialized in protease targets (cathepsins) for inflammatory and
oncology indications. Dr. Cathers earned his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Kansas synthesizing and characterizing novel transition state mimics as inhibitors of HIV protease. He completed
his postdoctoral training at the University of Texas at Austin targeting telomeric DNA through either small molecule binders of G-quadruplex DNA or via non-native substrates for the enzyme telomerase.
Alessio Ciulli, PhD, Professor, Chemical & Structural Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee
Alessio Ciulli is currently a Professor in Chemical & Structural Biology at the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. His laboratory is concerned with elucidating and targeting protein-protein
interactions using small molecules to drug the ubiquitin-proteasome and chromatin/nucleosome systems. Alessio obtained his MSc magna cum laude in Chemistry from the University of Florence in 2002, and
a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2006. Prior to starting his independent group, he performed postdoctoral research as College Research Fellow at Cambridge and as a Human Frontier Science Program
visiting Fellow at Yale University. Alessio is the recipient of several awards, including a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship (2010); an ERC Starting Grant (2012); the Talented Young Italians Award for
Research and Innovation (2014); the EFMC Prize for a Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia (2015); the International Chemical Biology Society Young Chemical Biologist Award (2015); and the RSC 7th Capps
Green Zomaya Award in Medicinal Computational Chemistry.
Willem den Besten, PhD, Senior Scientific Researcher, Genentech
Dennis Dobrovolsky, Research Scientist, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School
Andreas Gollner, PhD, Laboratory Head, Medicinal Chemistry, Boehringer Ingelheim
Dr. Gollner earned a PhD in Organic Chemistry in 2009 with Professor Johann Mulzer, University of Vienna. From 2010-2011, he had a postdoc with Professor Scott Snyder, Columbia University, New York. Since
2011, he has worked as Medicinal Chemist Lab Head & Oncology Project Leader at Boehringer Ingelheim, Vienna, Austria. And since 2017, he has had the role of Medicinal Chemistry Group Leader (ad interim)
at Boehringer Ingelheim, Biberach, Germany.
Stephanos Ioannidis, PhD, Head, Early Portfolio, FORMA Therapeutics
Stephanos Ioannidis obtained his Bachelor of Science at King’s College London in Chemistry with Biochemistry. He then moved to Imperial College London where he received his PhD in Organic Chemistry
under the supervision of Professor Donald Craig. Followed his PhD work, he joined as postdoctoral fellow the laboratories of Professor Yoshito Kishi at Harvard University. After completing his postdoctoral
studies, he went on joining AstraZeneca in Waltham, MA. At AstraZeneca, he led several drug discovery teams from target validation stage to clinic. In 2013, after more than 11 years of a successful career
at AstraZeneca, Stephanos moved to FORMA Therapeutics in Watertown, MA. At FORMA Therapeutics, Stephanos leads the protein homeostasis area where one of his responsibilities has been the discovery of
novel small molecules of DUB enzymes. Other responsibilities include leadership of early portfolio and more recently leading the neurodegenerative therapeutic area at FORMA.
Stina Lundgren, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Medivir AB
Ms. Stina Lundgren has been a Representative Director at Medivir AB since November 2016 and served as its Deputy Employee Representative Director since 2013 until November 2016. She was employed in 2008
as a Senior Research Scientist and team leader in the Chemistry Department. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Alexander Statsyuk, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston
Alexander Statsyuk is an assistant professor at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. He obtained his PhD degree at the University of Chicago in 2006, where he synthesized natural product Bistramide
A and established its mode of action in cells. He then completed his postdoctoral work at UCSF, where he was working on the development of chemical cross-linkers to identify upstream kinases of protein
phosphorylation sites. Since 2010 he has been running his independent research program aimed at discovering drug leads targeting degradation pathways such as ubiquitin proteasome system and autophagy.
He is an author of 22 manuscripts, he filed 10 patent applications, and he is a recipient of Pew Scholar Award. Some of the technologies that he and his group have developed and patented include covalent
fragments, and novel probes UbFluor to conduct HTS screens to discover E3 ligase inhibitors.
William Tsang, PhD, Research Unit Director, Cell Division and Centrosome Biology, Montreal Clinical Research Institute
Director, Cell Division and Centrosome Biology research unit; Assistant IRCM Research Professor; Assistant Research Professor, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Université de Montréal;
Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine), McGill University; New Investigator Award, Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Research Scholar - Junior 2, Fonds de
recherche du Québec – Santé. Dr. Tsang seeks to understand the basic molecular mechanisms that control cell division. In particular, his research team is interested in identifying
and characterizing novel proteins at the centrosome, a tiny cellular organelle with the capacity to organize microtubules and to modulate the cell division process. Since centrosome dysfunction has been
implicated in a wide variety of human diseases, including cancer, kidney cyst formation, infertility and neurological disorders, Dr. Tsang’s research will uncover valuable mechanistic insights
that could lead to novel diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. He has published several articles in distinguished scientific journals like Cell, Developmental Cell, The Journal of Cell Biology, Human
Molecular Genetics, and Molecular Biology of the Cell. Dr. Tsang holds a junior 2 research scholarship from the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, and a New Investigator Award from the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Degrees and relevant experience: B.Sc. Honours in biochemistry, University of Alberta; PhD in biochemistry, University of Alberta; Postdoctoral Fellowship,
Department of Pathology, NYU School of Medicine and Cancer Institute, New York, USA. Major Honors and Awards: Faculty of Science Dean's Honor Roll, University of Alberta; Dean's Silver Medal in Science,
University of Alberta; University of Alberta PhD Scholarship; NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; AHFMR Graduate Studentship, Alberta Heritage
Foundation for Medical Research; NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; AHFMR Postdoctoral Fellowship, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.
Shaomeng Wang, PhD, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor, Medicine; Professor, Medicine, Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry; Director, Center for Therapeutics Innovation, University of Michigan
Dr. Shaomeg Wang is the Warner-Lambert/Parke Davis Professor in Medicine, professor of internal Medicine, pharmacology and medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Wang is also
the director of Michigan Center for Therapeutic Innovation and the Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Wang has advanced 6 compounds into clinical development, published more
than 270 peer-reviewed papers and is an inventor of 47 issued U.S. patents and several hundreds of international patents. Dr. Wang is a co-founder of several biotech companies.
Zhihao Zhuang, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Delaware
After earning his PhD Dr. Zhuang served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Pennsylvania State University. He joined the faculty of University of Delaware in 2007. Dr. Zhuang’s research group
is investigating at a molecular level how eukaryotic cells cope with genotoxic stress through the DNA damage tolerance pathways. Several important proteins, including the specialized DNA polymerase
eta, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and the deubiquitylating enzymes (DUB) are currently under investigation. The mechanism of enzyme action, as well as the regulation by reversible ubiquitylation
and SUMOylation are being deciphered. In the mean time small-molecule inhibitors and peptidomimetic antagonists that modulate the essential factors and enzymes in DNA damage tolerance pathway are
Small Molecules for Cancer Immunotherapy
Joshua Allen, PhD, Vice President, Research and Development, Oncoceutics
Joshua Allen discovered ONC201 and co-invented the imipridone class of compounds that are being developed by Oncoceutics. Dr. Allen received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the
University of Pennsylvania and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pharmacology at the Penn State Cancer Institute. Dr. Allen's preclinical and clinical development of novel therapies and biomarkers
have been recognized by entrepreneurial awards such as Forbes 30 under 30, as well as several grants and publications.
Rogier C. Buijsman, PhD, Head, Chemistry, Netherlands Translational Research Center B.V. (NTRC)
Rogier C. Buijsman, PhD, is managing director of the Netherlands Translational Research Center B.V. (NTRC) and leads the chemistry department at NTRC. Dr. Buijsman established NTRC together with his
colleague Dr. Guido Zaman to leverage their combined expertise and capabilities in early drug discovery. Previously, Dr. Buijsman was group leader Medicinal Chemistry at N.V. Organon; section head
of Medicinal Chemistry Lead Finding at N.V. Organon; section head of Medicinal Chemistry Lead Finding at Schering-Plough; and section head of Medicinal Chemistry Immunology at Merck Sharp and Dohme.
Dr. Buijsman has more than 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery. Under his supervision many discovery projects progressed through the discovery pipeline of Organon, Schering-Plough
and Merck Inc. Dr. Buijsman received his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from Leiden University, the Netherlands.
Stefano Crosignani, PhD, Director, Medicinal Chemistry, iTeos Therapeutics
Stefano has led the small molecule drug discovery programs at iTeos since 2012. He was previously at Merck Serono for 10 years directing medicinal chemistry for various target classes and therapeutic
areas. Stefano holds a chemistry degree from Pavia University and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Southampton University. He has authored 23 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor for 20 patent
Michael Dabrowski, CEO, Pelago Bioscience
Michael has 15 years of Drug Discovery experience from Novo Nordisk and AstraZeneca in multiple therapeutic areas. Where he worked as project leader, manager responsible for screening and assay technology
development as well as strategic disease area portfolio management. He is one of 3 founders of Pelago and has been CEO since it’s inception in 2013.
Paul Davis, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine, Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany Medical College
Dr Paul J. Davis is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and had his postgraduate medical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the NIH. His academic positions have included Chair, Department
of Medicine at Albany Medical College. He has served as President of American Thyroid Association, as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine and he is Co-Head,
Faculty of 1000 – Endocrinology. He serves on multiple Editorial Boards of His scientific interests include molecular mechanisms of actions of nonpeptide hormones, particularly, thyroid hormone.
He and his colleagues described the cell surface receptor for thyroid hormone on integrin αvß3 that underlies the pro-angiogenic activity of the hormone and the proliferative action of
the hormone on cancer cells. He has co-authored more than 200 original research articles and 30 textbook chapters and he has edited three medical textbooks.
Alexander Dömling, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Drug Design, University of Groningen
Alexander Dömling studied chemistry & biology at the Technical University Munich. After performing his PhD under the supervision of Ivar Ugi he spent his postdoctoral year at the Scripps Research
Institute in the group of Barry Sharpless. He is founder of several biotech companies, including Morphochem and R&D Biopharmaceuticals. In 2004 we performed his habilitation in chemistry at the
Technical University of Munich. Since 2006 he is professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Pharmacy and Chemistry and most recently Chair of Drug Design at the University of
Groningen. He is author of more than 100 papers, reviews and book contributions.
Donald Durden, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego; Director of Operations, SignalRx Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Durden is a physician-scientist and Associate Director of Moores UCSD Cancer Center. He is codirector of MCC and Rady Children‘s Hospital biorepository and center for personalize oncology.
His laboratory is focused on the study of PTEN and PI-3 kinase in cancer and human disease. He has been involved in drug discovery, development and clinical and basic cancer research for almost 20
years. He has been continuously funded by the NIH for past 20 years. His laboratory was the first to demonstrate that PTEN controls tumor induced angiogenesis, a pioneering which led him to be first
to show antitumor activity of PI-3 kinase inhibitory molecules ultimately resulting in the development of one of the first PI-3 kinase inhibitors, SF1126, to enter human clinical trials. He is the
scientific founder of SignalRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a company focused on the in silico design and development of dual and triple inhibitory chemotypes for cancer therapeutics and immunotherapy.
David Ferguson, PhD, Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Minnesota
David M. Ferguson is a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, the Associate Director of the Center for Drug Design, and a graduate faculty member of several interdisciplinary programs across the University
of Minnesota. His work focuses on the application of chemistry to solve problems related to biomolecular structure, function, and activity, especially as it relates to drug design and discovery.
His lab pioneered the development of structure-based models for opioid ligand design, described novel catalytic inhibitors of topoisomerase II for use in cancer treatments, and advanced the design
of TLR7/8 immunostimulatory agents with cytokine specific attenuation in generating a robust immune response for the design of adjuvants.
Brett Hall, PhD, CEO, Asellus Therapeutics
Dr. Hall obtained his B.S. from Ohio State University and Ph.D. from West Virginia University. He has held expanding leadership roles in Translational Medicine at Janssen (J&J) and Medimmune
(AstraZeneca). He and his teams have been responsible for translational strategies for over 30 oncology drug programs and have contributed to the registration of four oncology drug programs.
Dr. Hall is currently CEO at Asellus Therapeutics, an innovative oncology drug discovery biotechnology company in San Diego.
Suresh Kumar, PhD, Senior Director, Research and Development, Progenra
Dr. Suresh Kumar is a cell biologist and biochemist with several years of specific expertise in ubiquitin research. He was a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Serge Fuchs, a pioneer
ubiquitin scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied the role of ubiquitin in regulating key cytokine receptors. He discovered that the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFβ-TrCP degrades
the IFNalpha receptor, reducing the efficacy of IFNalpha in treating malignant melanoma. Dr. Kumar was also instrumental in establishing the roles of kinases in ubiquitin pathway mechanisms.
In addition, he has contributed to the fields of immunology and antiviral therapeutics. In his current role as Senior Director of R&D at Progenra, Dr. Kumar has responsibilities in lead discovery
and lead optimization. A major focus of Dr. Kumar is the development of small molecule immune-oncology drugs targeting the ubiquitin pathway enzymes.
Michael Nolan, PhD, Director, GlaxoSmithKline
I joined Tempero as the first scientist in 2009, working to equip and utilize the newly built immunology laboratory space as the biology leader of two drug discovery programs. We continue to work
with primary human materials by first intent, and leverage -omics platforms to develop our knowledge base of human Th17 and Treg biology. I have since led several Th17 and Treg projects covering
the range of target identification, target validation, and compound progression through in vitro and in vivo pharmacology in both autoimmunity and immuno-oncology. In October 2014, Tempero transitioned
fully into the Immuno-Inflammation Therapy Area at GSK. Prior to joining Tempero, I led GPCR drug discovery programs at Ascent Therapeutics and Wyeth in Cambridge, MA; developing and implementing
high content imaging assays for high-throughput screening and follow-up chemistry efforts. I received a BS in Biophysics from SUNY Geneseo and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Washington
before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Wyeth in Collegeville, PA.
Stephane Perreault, PhD, Research Scientist II, Medicinal Chemistry, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Stephane Perreault was born and raised in the province of Quebec (Canada). Following his undergraduate studies at Université de Sherbrooke, he earned his PhD degree in organic chemistry (NSERC
scholarship) in 2007 at the same institution under the direction of Professor Claude Spino. From 2008 to 2010, he was a FQRNT postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University in the research
group of Professor Tomislav Rovis. In 2010, he joined the Seattle site of Gilead Sciences where he is currently working as a Research Scientist II in Medicinal Chemistry.
Murali Ramachandra, PhD, CSO, Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited
Dr. Murali Ramachandra is the Chief Scientific Officer at Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited, a biotech company engaged in drug discovery for cancer and inflammatory diseases. At Aurigene, Dr.
Ramachandra has been mentoring and leading drug discovery efforts, which have resulted in successful delivery of multiple candidates, which are in different stages of clinical development. Dr.
Ramachandra had earlier worked on various aspects of cancer and inflammation at Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals and National Institutes of Health. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at University
of Kansas Medical Center and DuPont Experimental Station after receiving PhD from University of Idaho. With an overall research experience of >25 years, he has coauthored more than 55 publications
in peer-reviewed journals and is an inventor of twelve granted U.S. patents.
Nicolas Soldermann, PhD, Senior Investigator and Group Leader, Global Discovery Chemistry, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Nicolas Soldermann studied chemistry at Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Mulhouse where he obtained his Diplôme d’Ingénieur Chimiste de l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure
de Chimie de Mulhouse, France, majoring in medicinal and bioorganic chemistry and a Master in Sciences in organic and macromolecular synthesis from the University of Haute-Alsace, France. He
then moved in 1998 to Switzerland to the University of Neuchâtel for a PhD in organic chemistry with Prof. R. Neier. In 2002, he moved to Stanford University in the US for a Postdoc with
Prof. P.A. Wender. Nicolas joined Novartis in 2003 in the Global Discovery Chemistry department as an investigator in medicinal chemistry and since then worked in Hit-to-Lead and Lead Optimization
project for several diseases areas such as neurosciences, autoimmunity & transplantation and oncology. He led several projects from exploratory to late stage lead optimization yielding several
clinical compounds including leniolisib currently in phase II for APDS. Nicolas spent about 10 years in the autoimmune and Transplantation field and since 2015 he is a Senior Investigator / chemistry
group leader in Oncology and Immuno-Oncology.
John Vasilakos, PhD, Senior Research Immunologist and Business Director for TLR Agonists, TLR Department, Drug Delivery Systems Division, 3M
I have worked 20+ years in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, which include public and privately held large pharmaceutical, diversified technology, and small biotechnology companies.
My primary work experience has been in (1) Research - identification and characterization of small molecule and biological immune modulators for cancer, chronic viral diseases, and vaccine adjuvants.
(2) Clinical development - cancer immunotherapy and chronic viral diseases. (3) Business development - out-licensing and in-licensing early clinical stage molecules. I've held research and management
positions, which include senior research immunologist, vice president of immunology, and director of business development for toll-like receptors. Since 2003, my work has focused on early stage
development of cancer immunotherapeutic small molecules and biologicals. I consider the following to be my key career milestones: Generation of nonclinical pharmacology IND packages for 3 cancer
immunotherapy drugs in two different companies (summaries and reports); establishment & management of immunology research program in start-up biotechnology company (non-GLP & GLP laboratory);
establishment of academic, government, and industry research collaborations (>50); establishment of scientific & clinical advisory boards; active participant at pre-IND and end-of-phase
2 FDA meetings; active participant in three business development agreements (presentations/generation of due diligence packages); over 60 peer reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, and patents/patent
David Wustrow, Vice President, Drug Discovery, FLX Bio, Inc.
David Wustrow is Vice President of Drug Discovery at FLX Bio. Prior to joining FLX he has held positions in medicinal chemistry and early development at Parke-Davis/Warner Lambert, Pfizer, Neurogen,
Xenoport and Cleave Biosciences.
Macrocyclics & Constrained Peptides
Donna Baldisseri, Senior Applications Scientist, Bruker BioSpin
Dr. Donna Baldisseri received her BA in Chemistry from Boston University & her PhD in Chemistry from Wesleyan University. She had an IRTA postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Dennis Torchia at NIH
from 1988-1991, studying protein structure determination of recombinant, isotopically labeled protein using NMR spectroscopy. Since 2001, she is a Senior Applications Scientist with Bruker with
expertise in the application of cryoprobe technology and multi-dimensional NMR to biological systems of pharmacological interest.
Kaustav Biswas, PhD, Principal Scientist, Hybrid Modality Engineering, Amgen, Inc.
Kaustav Biswas is a Principal Scientist and group leader in Therapeutic Discovery at Amgen, Thousand Oaks, CA. He received his PhD degree at Princeton and did post-doctoral research in the laboratory
of Professor Samuel J Danishefsky at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. At Amgen, he has participated in and led multiple Medicinal Chemistry lead optimization teams
in neuroscience, oncology and hematology, resulting in identification of development candidates for pain, schizophrenia and migraine. Currently, he is a Principal Scientist in the Hybrid Modality
Engineering group researching peptide-based therapeutic approaches, focused on pain and cardiometabolic disorders. He has published over 50 papers and patents.
Julio Camarero, PhD, Professor, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Southern California
Professor Camarero started his studies in chemistry at the University if Barcelona (Spain), received his Master degree in 1992, and finished his PhD thesis there in 1996. Afterwards he joined the
group of Prof. Tom W. Muir at The Rockefeller University as a Burroughs Wellcome Fellow where he contributed to the development of new chemoselective ligation techniques for the chemical engineering
of proteins. In 2000, he moved to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a Distinguished Lawrence Fellow where he became staff scientist and head of laboratory in 2003. He joined the University
of Southern California in 2008 as an Associate Professor, becoming Full Professor in 2015. His current research interests are focused in the development of new bioorganic approaches using protein
splicing and synthetic protein chemistry for studying biological processes involved in cancer and how can be modulated or inhibited by novel microprotein scaffolds. Professor Camarero has authored
over 90 peer-reviewed publications and five invited book chapters.
Phil Cox, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Chemistry Group Leader, Discovery Chemistry and Technology, AbbVie, Inc.
Phil Cox began his industrial career in 1997 with Oxford Asymmetry International (now Evotec) where he was a Project Leader in the Discovery Services Division working on multiple collaborations in
both the Pharmaceutical and Agrochemical sectors. Phil then moved to Pharmacia, Skokie, where he was a member of the Parallel Medicinal Chemistry Group before transferring to Ann Arbor as part
of the Pfizer acquisition in 2003. After the closure of Ann Arbor in 2007, Phil moved to Abbott Labs (now AbbVie Inc.) where he is currently a Senior Principal Research Scientist and chemistry
group leader. In 2016 Phil was appointed an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Washington State University. Phil is an inventor on numerous patents spanning multiple therapeutic areas and has
published articles in the areas of property-based design, fragment-based drug discovery, and compound file management.
Paul Hawkins, PhD, Head, Scientific Solutions, OpenEye Scientific Software
Paul went to university in Southampton and did his Ph.D. at St. Andrews, on the medicinal chemistry of HIV-1 protease. He was a NATO post-doctoral fellow at Pennsylvania State University, studying
enzymatic hydroxylation. Paul was a bench chemist in biotech before entering the computational area. He's worked at OpenEye 12+ years, the last 6 as Head of Scientific Solutions, where he is
instrumental in setting OpenEye’s research priorities and provides much of OpenEye’s public-facing science.
Alex Hoose, PhD, Post-doctoral Research Associate, Liskamp Group, School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow
Alex Hoose obtained his Masters degree in Chemistry
from the University of Durham, UK (2010). He subsequently worked in peptide production at Cambridge Research Biochemicals, prior to undertaking pharmaceutical research at Medimmune into the development
of peptides for the treatment of neuropathic pain and diabetes. He subsequently obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Southampton, UK (2016) where he conducted research into
cap-dependent translation inhibitors in collaboration with Dr. Mark Coldwell. Alex then conducted post-Doctoral research (2016-2017) focused on the development of peptide metalloprotease inhibitors
under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Jamieson. He is currently a post-doctoral research associate (2017-present) in the group of Prof. Rob Liskamp within the School of Chemistry at the University
of Glasgow, UK. His research interests include the application of peptides as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and tools for the development of antibody-drug conjugates.
Thomas Kodadek, PhD, Professor of Chemistry; Associate Dean of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies, The Scripps Research Institute
Prof. Thomas Kodadek received his B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Miami (FL) in 1981 and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University in 1985. He then pursued post-doctoral studies
in the laboratory of Prof. Bruce Alberts at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School from 1985-1987. In the fall of 1987 he joined the faculty of Chemistry & Biochemistry
at the University of Texas at Austin, rising to the rank of full professor. In 1998, he moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where he served as Professor of
Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology as well as the Director of the Division of Translational Research. In June, 2009, Prof. Kodadek moved to the Scripps Research Institute campus in Jupiter,
FL where he is currently Chairman of Cancer Biology and Professor of Chemistry. Recently, Prof. Kodadek has focused on the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools for the treatment
of immune diseases and cancers. This work was recognized in 2006 by a prestigious NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for “exceptionally creative research”. Opko, a Miami biotechnology
company, has established a laboratory in Jupiter for the discovery of novel diagnostic markers for cancer, autoimmune and neurological diseases using the methods developed in the Kodadek laboratory.
Joshua Kritzer, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemistry, Tufts University
Joshua Kritzer is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and a member of the Molecular Microbiology Program and the Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology Program at Tufts University’s
Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. He is also a founding member of a privately-funded consortium, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Convergence Laboratory, that works on problems
that require the convergence of multiple fields of science. The Kritzer lab uses techniques from across chemistry, biophysics, genetics and cell biology to develop new classes of cellular
probes. Dr. Kritzer has been recognized with a Smith Family Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, and an NIH New Innovator Award.
Robert Liskamp, PhD, Chair of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, Chemistry, University of Glasgow
Rob Liskamp obtained his Ph.D. Bio-organic Chemistry at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands (1982). Post-doctoral research (1983-1986) was carried out in The Institute of Cancer Research
and Department of Chemistry of Columbia University, New York. From 1986-1993 he was an assistant professor at the University of Leiden. In 1991 he was a visiting professor at the University
of California in Los Angeles. In 1994 he became associate professor at Utrecht University and in 1996 professor of Molecular Medicinal Chemistry. In 2012, he was a visiting professor at the
Universities of Leeds and Glasgow. In 2013 he was appointed Professor and Chair of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, while maintaining a guest appointment
as professor at the University of Utrecht. Research interests include (enzymatic) synthesis of biologically active modified peptides and peptidomimetics, dendrimers, peptide folding, protein
mimics including synthetic antibodies and vaccines.
Scott Lokey, PhD, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Cruz
Scott Lokey received his Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Austin in organic chemistry, where his research centered on the synthesis of molecules that fold into protein-like shapes in water and
bind to specific DNA sequences. He did post-doctoral research at Genentech, where he worked on the synthesis of bioactive cyclic peptides, and then at Harvard Medical School on the synthesis
of molecules designed to disrupt cellular processes related to motility. He joined the faculty at UCSC in 2002 in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where his research group focuses
on the relationship between molecular structure and drug-like properties, especially cell permeability. Professor Lokey is also the director of the UCSC Chemical Screening Center, a high-throughput
screening facility dedicated to early stage lead discovery, especially against infectious agents and neglected disease targets.
Elnaz Menhaji-Klotz, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Internal Medicine Chemistry, Pfizer
Elnaz Menhaji-Klotz is currently a Senior Principal Scientist at Pfizer Global R&D where she is a medicinal chemist in the Internal Medicine chemistry group in Cambridge, MA. Prior to working
at Pfizer, she was a medicinal chemist at AstraZeneca in Wilmington, DE. She obtained her PhD in Organic Chemistry from Yale University followed by Post-Doctoral studies at Columbia University.
Matthew R. Naylor, PhD, LIFA Postdoctoral Fellow, Eli Lilly & Co.
Dr. Matthew Naylor began research in organic synthesis and chemical biology as an undergraduate in the lab of Prof. Matthew B. Francis at UC Berkeley. Taking a turn into classical small molecule
total synthesis in the lab of Prof. Erik J. Sorensen at Princeton, Dr. Naylor learned to appreciate the impact of fine structural features on complex organic reactivity. Returning to
the fold of chemical biology with a passion for organic synthesis, Dr. Naylor has been working in the lab of Prof. R. Scott Lokey at UC Santa Cruz to understand the structural consequences
of synthetic modifications on large cyclic peptides and natural products, toward expanding this chemical space for medicinal chemistry optimization.
Janet Paulsen, PhD, Senior Scientist, Applications Science, Schrödinger
Janet Paulsen is a Senior Scientist in the Applications Science group at Schrödinger where she focuses on drug discovery projects. Janet received her Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences,
and was a postdoctoral associate at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where she investigated protein dynamics to design antivirals less prone to resistance. She also worked
as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School where she studied disruption of nuclear egress as a potential antiviral strategy.
Sereina Riniker, PhD, Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, ETH Zürich
Sereina Riniker completed her Master’s degree in chemistry at ETH Zurich in 2008. After an internship in the research department of Givaudan AG and a research stay at the University
of California Berkeley, she returned in 2009 to ETH Zurich to obtain a PhD in molecular dynamics simulations. From 2012 to 2014, she held a postdoctoral position in cheminformatics at
the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since 2014, she is Tenure-Track Assistant Professor for Computational Chemistry at the Department
of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at ETH Zurich.
Marcel Schmidt, Industrial PhD Candidate, Van't Hoff Institute of Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam
Marcel Schmidt graduated in chemical biology at the University of Bielefeld (Germany). After undergraduate research with Prof. Dr. Tom N. Grossmann at the Chemicals Genomics Center of the
Max Planck Society (Dortmund, Germany), he performed graduate research with Prof. Dr. Martin Schmeing at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and Prof. Dr. Norbert Sewald at the University
of Bielefeld. In 2015 he joined EnzyPep (Geleen, The Netherlands) and is currently pursuing his PhD within EnzyPep in close collaboration with the University of Amsterdam (Prof. Dr. Jan
van Maarseveen). His work focusses on the development of enzyme-mediated ligation methodologies for peptides and proteins with a special focus on their application to the synthesis of
complex (multi-)cyclic peptides.
Marina Shalaeva, PhD, Principal Scientist, Medicinal Design, Pfizer
Marina Shalaeva, PhD is a Principal Scientist in Molecular Properties Group in Medicine Design department at Pfizer R&D Groton laboratories, Groton, Connecticut, USA. Marina holds MS
degree in Analytical Chemistry from Omsk State University and PhD from Omsk State Technical University, Omsk, Russia, where she defended her theses “The experimental determination
and in-silico modeling of physico-chemical properties of small biologically active molecules using lipophilicity parameters”. Before moving to US Marina worked at the Boreskov Institute
of Catalysis, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science, Novosibirsk, for 9 years, on gas chromatography and adsorption on carbon. At Pfizer Marina has been advancing physico-chemical
measurements and predictions in support to Drug Discovery for 19 years, developing methods for lipohilicity determination using RP-HPLC (ELogD), pKa determinations by multiplexed Capillary
Electrophoresis and predictive models for ADMET properties. She has published over 30 peer reviewed articles, patent applications and book chapters.
Hiroaki Suga, PhD, Professor, Department of Chemistry, School of Science, The University of Tokyo
Hiroaki Suga conducts various chemical biology research programs including pseudo-natural peptides, products, and drug discovery. He received his Bachelor (1986) and Master of Engineering
(1989) from Okayama University, and Ph. D. in Chemistry (1994) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After his post-doctoral work at Massachusetts General Hospital, he was appointed
as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry in the State University of New York at Buffalo (1997) and promoted to the tenured Associate Professor (2002). In 2003,
he moved to the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology in the University of Tokyo as a Full Professor. In 2010, he changed his affiliation to the Department of Chemistry,
Graduate School of Science. He is the recipient of Akabori Memorial Award 2014, Japanese Peptide Society and Max-Bergmann Gold Medal 2016, etc. He is the inventor of flexizymes and PDPS,
which are the major technologies of PeptiDream Inc. Tokyo, a publicly traded company, which has many partnerships with pharmaceutical companies in worldwide.
Adrian Whitty, PhD, Professor, Biochemistry, Boston University
Dr. Whitty is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Boston University, where he joined the faculty in 2008. He spent the previous 14 years at the biopharmaceutical company
Biogen, most recently as Director of Physical Biochemistry, where he led a group responsible for the structural, biophysical and mechanistic study of drug targets and of protein and
small molecule drug candidates. He obtained a B.Sc. in Chemistry at King’s College, University of London, and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago,
after which he held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brandeis University with Professor William P. Jencks, before joining Biogen in 1993. His research has included elucidation of
enzyme mechanisms and enzyme-inhibitor interactions, as well as mechanistic investigations of integrins and several cytokine and growth factor receptors. The two major focuses of
his current research are the development of approaches for discovering small molecule inhibitors against protein-protein interaction targets, particularly using synthetic macrocyclic
compounds, and the quantitative analysis of activation and signaling mechanism of growth factor receptors.
Targeting Complex Membrane Proteins
Brian J. Arey, PhD, Director, Mechanistic Pharmacology, Leads Discovery and Optimization, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Brian Arey received MS and PhD degrees from Florida State University in neuroendocrine physiology in Dr. Marc Freeman’s laboratory. His theses described the discovery and pathway
characterization of a novel underlying circadian rhythm of neurotransmitters regulating pituitary prolactin secretion. Dr. Arey was the recipient of an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship
in the NIH Center for Reproductive Sciences at Northwestern University, where he studied the expression and signaling mechanisms of the mouse and rat prolactin receptors.While at
Wyeth in the mid-90’s, Dr. Arey collaborated to develop some of the first described allosteric agonists, antagonists and partial agonists to the follicle-stimulating hormone
receptor (FSHR). As part of this research he was the first to demonstrate that the FSH receptor could activate multiple G-protein signaling pathways. In addition, he proposed the
concepts of biased agonism/conformational dynamics as a natural physiological phenomenon in relation to glycoprotein hormone receptors in a seminal paper that revealed that naturally
occurring glycosylated isoforms of FSH behave as biased agonists. In doing so, Arey and Lopez helped to clarify the physiological role of glycosylated variants of glycoprotein hormones
and demonstrated that synthetic compounds could be designed to mimic the activities of the natural FSH isoforms. At Bristol-Myers Squibb Dr. Arey has furthered his work by characterizing
allosteric modulators to the calcium sensing receptor (as anabolic bone agents) and several orphan GPCRs (for cardiovascular disease). Throoughout his tenure in the pharmaceutical
industry, Dr. Arey has contributed to many clinical candidate compounds targeting numerous receptor classes and assisted in the discovery or development of several marketed medicines.
Paul Davis, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine, Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany Medical College
Dr Paul J. Davis is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and had his postgraduate medical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the NIH. His academic positions have
included Chair, Department of Medicine at Albany Medical College. He has served as President of American Thyroid Association, as a member of the Board of Directors of the American
Board of Internal Medicine and he is Co-Head, Faculty of 1000 – Endocrinology. He serves on multiple Editorial Boards of His scientific interests include molecular mechanisms
of actions of nonpeptide hormones, particularly, thyroid hormone. He and his colleagues described the cell surface receptor for thyroid hormone on integrin αvß3 that
underlies the pro-angiogenic activity of the hormone and the proliferative action of the hormone on cancer cells. He has co-authored more than 200 original research articles and
30 textbook chapters and he has edited three medical textbooks.
Ilia G. Denisov, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Laboratory of Stephen Sligar, Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois
Ilia G. Denisov received his Ph.D. degree in Polymer Physics from the Institute of Macromolecular Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences. Since 1999 he has been in Professor S. G.
Sligar’s laboratory at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), currently as a senior research scientist. His main interests are in the field of spectroscopic studies
of reaction intermediates in heme enzymes and in biophysics and biochemistry of membrane bound human cytochromes P450 with specific focus on their allosteric properties and role
in drug-drug interactions. The main goal of his work is the deciphering of elementary steps of the complex mechanisms of oxygen activation and catalysis in heme enzymes using
various experimental techniques, such as small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), optical and resonance spectroscopy, cryogenic radiolysis, kinetic and relaxational methods. It also
includes the detailed characterization of the effects of protein-protein interactions in reconstituted complexes of cytochromes P450 with flavoprotein P450 reductase and cytochrome
b5. He published more than 40 papers and reviews on various applications of Nanodisc technology for structural and functional studies of membrane proteins.
Matthew Eddy, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Raymond Stevens, University of Southern California and The Scripps Research Institute
Dr. Matthew Eddy is a physical chemist who specializes in the investigation of the structure and conformational dynamics of membrane proteins, including G Protein-Coupled Receptors,
using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Dr. Eddy received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working in the laboratory of Professor Robert Griffin. During
his Ph.D., Dr. Eddy developed new methodologies for applying solid state NMR to study the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins, focusing on discovering the mechanism of
ion selectivity of the human mitochondrial membrane protein VDAC. After completing his Ph.D, Dr. Eddy joined the laboratory of Professor Ray Stevens at The Scripps Research Institute.
There, he began working in collaboration with Professor Kurt Wüthrich to investigate the conformational dynamics of G Protein-Coupled Receptors with solution nuclear magnetic
resonance. Dr. Eddy has authored or coauthored over 21 publications and is currently an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in Professor Stevens’ laboratory at the
University of Southern California.
David Hackos, PhD, Senior Scientist, Neuroscience, Genentech
David Hackos is currently a Senior Scientist at Genentech, where he is head of the neurophysiology group. He obtained his B.A. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University, his PhD
from the University of California, San Francisco, and did his postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health where he worked with Kenton Swartz on the mechanism of gating
in voltage-gated ion channels. He entered the world of ion channel drug discovery in 2001 when he joined Renovis, a small biotech company in San Francisco, where his group developed
a series of TRPV1 antagonists, one of which entered early clinical trials as a potential neuropathic pain drug. Since joining Genentech in 2008, his research has focused on ion
channel drug discovery in the areas of pain, inflammation, and psychiatric disorders.
Tracy M. Handel, PhD, Professor and Chair, Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California,
Xin Huang, PhD, Principal Scientist, Department of Molecular Engineering, Amgen
Xin Huang, Ph.D., is Head of Structural Biology at Amgen. His group (at Cambridge, MA & South San Francisco, CA) has been working on structure-based drug discovery and development
of both small and large molecules for various therapeutic areas such as oncology, inflammation, neuroscience, and metabolic disorders. Dr. Huang joined Kinetix Pharmaceutical
in July 2000 and Amgen in December 2000 as a result of Amgen’s acquisition of Kinetix. Prior to pharmaceutical/biotech industry, Dr. Huang was a postdoc with Prof. Michael
Eck at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Huang holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University.
Andrew King, PhD, Head, Biology and Pharmacology, Ardelyx
Stephen Muench, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Membrane Biology, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds
Dr. Muench is a lecturer in membrane biology at the University of Leeds. His group combine Electron Microscopy (EM) and X-ray crystallography to study the structure and mechanism
of protein complexes, with a special interest in membrane proteins. His group work on a range of systems from ion channels to developing new biosensors. Recent, major contributions
to his field include: (i) The use of EM to drive inhibitor design for the membrane bound bc1 complex, (ii) The first negative stain and cryo-EM reconstruction of a membrane protein
extracted using styrene maleic acid lipid particles (SMALPs), which removes the need for detergents. (iii) The first use of tagging to identify the binding site of small molecule
inhibitors using EM. (iv) A de novo built EM structure with an inhibitor bound which reveals the binding site and co-ordination with neighboring metal atoms. (v) work on new hybrid
vesicles with block co-polymers to improve membrane protein lifetimes. (vi) The first cryo-EM structure of the V-ATPase complex and the first sub nm V-ATPase reconstruction, providing
new insights into the structure and mechanism of this important membrane bound proton pump. After carrying out an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield,
Dr Muench continued in Sheffield for his PhD studies into the development of new anti-malarial and toxoplasmosis compounds through X-ray crystallography. After a brief postdoc
he moved to Leeds in 2005 to learn electron microscopy. After the award of an MRC career development fellowship Dr Muench joined the University of Leeds as a lecturer in membrane
biology. He has published 63 peer-reviewed papers (H-index: 20) and recently guest edited a special edition of “Methods” in the area of new developments in EM.
Avner Schlessinger, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pharmacological Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
The overall goal of Dr. Schlessinger’s lab is to improve and automate the structure-based drug discovery process by developing and applying computational methods, and to
characterize disease pathways, with a long-term goal of developing drugs against novel targets. His lab publishes in the areas of chemical biology, bioinformatics, and drug
discovery, as well as in personalized medicine and pharmacogenetics. Dr. Schlessinger graduated from Tel Aviv University with a B.Sc. in Biology and Chemistry, and completed
his Ph.D. from Columbia University in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. As a Ph.D. student, he developed programs predicting protein structure and function
from sequence using machine-learning. Following his graduate studies, Dr. Schlessinger was an NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic
Sciences at UCSF, where he established methods for structure-based drug design and used these approaches to discover ligands for a range of disease related membrane proteins.
Dr. Schlessinger serves on the editorial boards of PLOS Computational Biology and Journal of General Physiology.
Igor Stagljar, PhD, Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto
Igor Stagljar received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from ETH Zurich in Switzerland. His postdoctoral fellowship was at the University of Zurich, where he studied RNA transcription
and DNA repair. In addition, Igor was a visiting scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle with Stan Fields, the inventor of the yeast two-hybrid technology. Igor
was Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich from 2002-2005, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto since 2005, and Professor since 2010. His lab is using
high-throughput interactive proteomics, genetic, and biochemical tools to understand how cell signaling and membrane transport pathways control cell behavior in normal and
disease cells. Igor is the author of more than 100 PubMed cited scientific papers and is the recipient of several national and international science awards, the most recent
one being “The 2015 Inventor of the Year” award. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Molecular Biology, Molecular Systems Biology, BioTechniques,
Molecular Genetics and Genomics, BMC Biotechnology, and Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (BBRC). Lastly, he is a co-founder of Dualsystems Biotech Inc.,
one of the world-leading companies in the field of interactive proteomics, and has recently co-founded a new Toronto-based biotech start-up company named “ProteinNetwork
Sid Topiol, PhD, CSO, 3D-2drug, LLC; New Jersey Institute of Technology
Sid Topiol received his B.S. from CCNY and his Ph.D. from NYU. He trained as a theoretical quantum chemist. He post-docked at Northwestern with Mark Ratner and Arthur Frost, and
at Carnegie-Mellon with John Pople (Noble laureate.) He first joined The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology. He has spent over 20 years in Pharma,
starting with Berlex followed by Sandoz/Novartis and then Lundbeck. He has worked on all aspects of Structural and Computer Aided Drug Discovery in interdisciplinary project
environments. He now engages in industrial and academic activities. In 2010 he formed 3D-2Drug, a consulting company which provides the means for the most efficient drug discovery
activities through advanced scientific approaches. In 2011 he began teaching as an Adjunct Lecturer at New Jersey Institute of Technology and has, in 2014, joined the newly
forming Center for Healthcare Innovation at the Stevens Institute of Technology.
Joachim Wegener, PhD, Professor, Division Cell-Based Sensors, Fraunhofer Research Institution for Microsystems and Solid-State Technologies (EMFT), University of Regensburg
Joachim Wegener received his doctorate in 1998 from the University of Muenster (Germany) and continued his scientific education as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Ivar Giaever
(Nobel Laureate) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy (NY). In 2004 he obtained his „Habilitation“ at the University of Muenster, Germany. Since 2008 he
is full professor for bioanalysis at the University of Regensburg (Germany). His research interests focus on interfacing animal cells with physical transducers (e.g. planar
electrodes, piezoelectric devices, …) to monitor the cell response to chemical, biological or physical stimuli non-invasively and without using any labels. It is the
paradigm of his research to replace classical concentration-analysis by effect-analysis on biological organisms. Besides his affiliation with the University of Regensburg,
he is head of the division 'Cell-Based Sensors' of the Fraunhofer Research Organization.
Alan Wickenden, PhD, Scientific Director, Discovery Sciences, Janssen Research & Development, LLC
Alan Wickenden has over 25 years’ experience in the field of ion channels and drug discovery. He received his PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK and post-doctoral
training at the University of Toronto. He has held positions of increasing responsibility in drug discovery at Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Icagen Inc., and Janssen R&D.
Alan is currently Scientific Director, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology, focusing on membrane targets. Alan has authored 60 peer reviewed publications and 4 book
chapters, is an inventor on 6 issued patents and has serves on several scientific advisory boards and editorial committees.
Biophysical Approaches for Drug Discovery
Christopher Arthur, PhD, Principal Scientist Specialist, Structural Biology, Genentech
Dr. Arthur started his EM career at the Scripps Research Institute in 1999 working on two-dimensional crystals of membrane proteins. In 2003 he enrolled in the Ph.D. program
at the University of Colorado utilizing electron tomography to study the small chemical synapse of the brain. In 2007 he finished his Ph.D. work and returned to Scripps
to pursue a joint postdoc with Dr. Ron Milligan and Dr. Nigel Unwin. In 2011 he joined FEI company as a Titan Krios applications specialist and eventually became cryoEM
applications and customer success manager. In 2016 he left FEI to join Genentech as the Principal Systems Specialist for cryoEM.
Svetlana Belyanskaya, PhD, Scientific Leader, Encoded Library Technologies, R&D Platform Technology & Science, GSK Boston
Svetlana Belyanskaya is Scientific Leader at Encoded Library Technology (ELT) group at GlaxoSmithKline. Svetlana has been involved in the development of DNA-encoded technology
at Praecis Pharmaceutical and significantly contributed in designing and adapting the DNA tagging strategies for DNA- Encoded Libraries. She led biochemistry and affinity
based selection effort for several targets, partnered between GSK and Praecis Pharmaceutical. This effort resulted in the discovery of a series of potent and selective
inhibitors, one of which is currently undergoing clinical trials. Post GSK acquisition, Svetlana led a team of scientists in the ELT Lead Discovery group and was responsible
for ELT selections against multiple targets. Her team discovered multiple target specific small molecules with different MOAs, several of which were the first known small
molecule inhibitors for novel targets.
Delphine Collin, PhD, Vice President, Discovery and Biophysics, HarkerBIO, LLC
Bradley Doak, PhD, Research Fellow, Medicinal Chemistry, Monash University
Brad obtained a PhD in Monash University (Australia) in Fragment based drug design, followed by postdoctoral work at Uppsala University (Sweden) looking at drug discovery
beyond the rule of 5. Currently, Brad is a research fellow at Monash University in the Monash Fragment Platform where he leads the synthetic chemistry and chemoinformatics
of the platform.
Iva Navratilova, PhD, Staff Scientist, Department of Molecular Biology, University of Dundee
Anil Padyana, PhD, Associate Director, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry, Agios Pharmaceuticals
Brandon T. Ruotolo, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan
Joshua Salafsky, PhD, Founder & CSO, Biodesy, Inc.
Josh is the Founder of Biodesy and the inventor of the Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) technique for studying biological molecules. Previously, Josh was a postdoctoral fellow
in the Dept. of Chemistry at Columbia University and the Dept. of Physics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, as well as a guest researcher at the Cavendish Laboratory
at the University of Cambridge, UK. His expertise and interests are in the areas of Biophysics and Physical Chemistry. At Biodesy he leads a team focused on creating novel
techniques with SHG and applying them to problems in drug discovery and structural biology. At Biodesy Josh has been involved in early stage drug discovery collaborations
with more than 30 Pharma and biotech companies. Josh received his PhD from Stanford University where he studied the reaction center protein, the marvelous engine at the
heart of photosynthesis which converts light into chemical energy.
Pedro Serrano, PhD, Principal Scientist, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Takeda SD
Pedro Serrano leads the Biophysics team in the Dept of Structural Biology and Biophysics at Takeda since May 2017. Pedro obtained a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the University
of Barcelona in 2004. Interested in better understanding of the structural and biophysical determinants of Protein-ligand recognition, he joined the Prof. Kurt Wüthrich
laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), La Jolla, in 2005. At TSRI, he developed NMR methods for automated structure determination and characterized more
than 80 viral, bacterial and mammalian targets, including soluble, membrane and disordered proteins. Pedro became the leader of the NMR core of Joint Center for Structural
Genomics (JCSG) and a member of its Steering committee in 2010 and Assistant Professor at the dept. of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology at TSRI in 2015.
At Takeda, Pedro and the biophysics team work on a diverse portfolio of soluble and membrane proteins and apply a variety of biophysics techniques for the characterization
of small molecule and biologics.
Woody Sherman, PhD, CSO, Silicon Therapeutics
Dr. Sherman is CSO at Silicon Therapeutics. He completed his Ph.D. at MIT with Professor
Bruce Tidor, PhD, where he examined the role of electrostatics and dynamics in protein-ligand binding, and developed a novel method for optimizing ligand binding specificity
across a panel of (desirable and undesirable) targets. He then joined Schrodinger, where he was VP and Global Head of Applications Science before joining Silicon Therapeutics.
Dr. Sherman has over 80 publications spanning a broad range of topics, including free energy simulations, molecular dynamics, induced-fit docking, virtual screening, lead
optimization, selectivity design, cheminformatics, and protein design. He is on the Editorial Board of Chemical Biology & Drug Design and the Journal of Chemical Information
David Sykes, MS, Experimental Officer, Laboratory of Dmitry Veprintsev, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Nottingham
David Sykes BSc Hons Pharmacology, MSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. David has over 20+ years of experience working in a drug discovery environment mainly in a specialist
assay development role. During this period he has made a significant contribution to the understanding of agonist/ antagonist GPCR kinetic determinants resulting in a
number of important publications in an area of growing scientific interest. David is currently employed as a Senior Experimental Officer by The University of Nottingham
working in the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology lab headed by Prof. Dmitry Veprintsev. His current interests include the development of HTS fluorescence-based kinetic
binding assays specifically designed to assess the kinetics of unlabelled compounds and the use of purified receptor proteins as tools for drug discovery.
Gang Xing, PhD, Principal Scientist, Internal Medicine Research Unit, Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development, Pfizer, Inc
Dr. Gang Xing joined Pfizer in 2010 and is a Principal Scientist at Internal Medicine Research Unit of Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development in Cambridge, MA. His research
in Pfizer focuses on application and development of isotopic labeling-assisted LC-MS based metabolomics platforms that cover a wide range of cellular metabolites for quantitative
metabolic flux analysis. Applied in disease vs health condition models, the quantitative metabolic flux analysis enables the understanding of disease related metabolic
derangement and potential causes. Gang Xing’s studies have contributed to two aspects of drug discovery: 1) drug target discovery/validation and pharmacological
mechanistic studies in Diseases, and 2) compound screening for selected drug target.
Lead Optimization for Drug Metabolism & Safety
Deepak Dalvie, PhD, Senior Director, Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Celgene
Deepak Dalvie is a Senior Director in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics at Celgene. He received his B.Sc. in Chemistry and M.Sc. in the Technology of Pharmaceutical and
Fine Chemicals at the University of Bombay, India, and his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at SUNY Buffalo, NY. After a postdoctoral fellowship in the areas of chemistry
and metabolism under the supervision of firstly Professor Richard Sundberg at the University of Virginia and then Professor Neal Castagnoli at Virginia Tech, he joined
Pfizer as a research scientist in 1992. His research interests include the biotransformation and bioactivation of xenobiotics and understanding the molecular mechanisms
of drug metabolism and metabolic activation. He is an Associate Editor for Drug Metabolism and Disposition and serves on the editorial board of Xenobiotica.
Li Di, PhD, Research Fellow, Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism, Pfizer Inc.
Li Di has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical indus¬try including Pfizer, Wyeth and Syntex. She is currently a research fellow at Pfizer, Groton, CT. Her
research interests include the areas of drug metabo¬lism, pharmacokinetics, drug-drug interactions, absorption, transporters, and blood–brain barrier. She has
over 130 publications including two books and presented over 80 invited lectures. She is a recipient of the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, the New Jersey Association
for Biomedical Research Outstanding Woman in Science Award, the Wyeth President’s Award and Peer Award for Excellence.
Istvan Enyedy, PhD, Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Biogen
In the past 20 years Istvan J Enyedy has been involved in new target evaluation, hit finding, and hit-to-lead optimization projects for several types of target classes using
both ligand and structure-based methods. He is coauthor on more than 40 publications and 12 patents/applications. He received his PhD in 1998 at Catholic University of
America, Washington DC, and did postdoctoral training in Dr. Shaomeng Wang’s group at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC. Between 2001 and 2008
he worked at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, West Haven CT and Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge MA. Since August 2008 he has been working at Biogen Idec,
in Cambridge MA.
John C. L. Erve, PhD, DABT, Consultant, Jerve Scientific Consulting, Inc.
John Erve is from Chicago and received degrees in Chemistry (BS, MS) from the University of Chicago and earned a Ph.D in Toxicology at Oregon State University under the supervision
of Dr. Donald Reed. Following postdoctoral work at Vanderbilt (1995-1999) he joined BD-Biosciences (Woburn, MA) as a Study Director. In 2002, he joined AstraZeneca (Sweden)
where he was involved in characterizing reactive metabolites and their protein adducts in an effort to better understand the role of reactive intermediates in drug toxicity.
In 2004 he joined Wyeth (Collegeville, PA) as a Principal Scientist responsible for metabolite identification. Following the merger with Pfizer in 2010, John joined Novartis
Institutes of Biomedical Research (Cambridge, MA) as a Lab Head in Analytical Sciences. John returned to the field of drug metabolism by joining Elan Pharmaceuticals (San
Francisco, CA) in 2012 and after Elan was sold created Jerve Scientific Consulting focusing on helping small biotech companies in the Bay area with their drug discovery
efforts. His research interests include mechanistic toxicology and using mass spectrometry to characterize metabolites and metabolic pathways.
Mark Grillo, PhD, Staff Scientist, Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics, MyoKardia, Inc.
Mark P. Grillo received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He completed his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy,
University of Washington, Seattle and performed post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco. He is currently a Staff Scientist in the department
of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics at MyoKardia, Inc., South San Francisco. Prior to MyoKardia, Mark held positions at Pharmacia/Pfizer (Kalamazoo, MI), Merck (West
Point, PA), and at Amgen (South San Francisco, CA). Mark’s role has been and continues to be involved in the application of in vitro and in vivo ADME techniques
to optimally support drug discovery programs. Throughout his career in industry, Mark has contributed to 38 peer reviewed manuscripts and 4 book chapters. A continued
research interest of his includes the use of state-of-art in vitro and mass spectrometric methods for the detection of chemically-reactive metabolites in support of the
discovery and development of safe and efficacious drugs.
Natalie Hosea, PhD, DMPK San Diego Site Head, Takeda
Natalie A. Hosea leads the Department of Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics at Takeda in San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University
of California, San Diego. From 1996 to 1999, she completed a research fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. In 1999, Natalie joined Pfizer and during her
career there, she supported discovery projects in the neuroscience, diabetes, obesity, anti-viral, oncology, and rare disease therapeutic areas, and advanced multiple
candidates to early development as well as supported early development candidates including regulatory submissions. In the latter half of 2012, she expanded her leadership
experience at Pfizer through a position leading the Pharmacokinetic, Dynamic and Metabolism group dedicated to identifying, optimizing and delivering new therapies for
patients with rare diseases. In 2015, Natalie took a new position leading the DMPK function in Takeda, San Diego, where she continues with her team to impact drug discovery
and early development of both small molecule and biological therapeutics in CNS and GI disease areas. Areas of interest during her career continue to focus on developing
streamlined strategies to optimize chemical lead matter for candidate selection, along with prediction of human pharmacokinetics and translation of in vitro and pre-clinical
in vivo data to human.
Stephen MacKinnon, PhD, Director, Research and Development, Cyclica Inc.
Stephen received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto, using structural bioinformatics to study systemic trends in protein structures to reveal new mechanistic
insights. At Cyclica, he designed and led the development of computational proteome screening technologies. Stephen now oversees the prototype stages of new scientific
computing solutions and partnered research projects.
Mehran Moghaddam, PhD, MBA, Founder and CEO, OROX Biosciences
Mehran F. Moghaddam, PhD, MBA, obtained his doctorate in medicinal chemistry at Oregon State University-School of Pharmacy and completed his postdoctoral training in lipid
metabolism at University of California-Davis. He also completed his executive MBA program at University of Southern California-Marshall School of Business. Dr. Moghaddam’s
industrial career started by joining the DuPont Corporation in 1995, followed by Pfizer in 2001, and Celgene in 2003. While his efforts in DuPont and Pfizer were for most-part
focused on the development of small molecules, his 13+ years in Celgene were dedicated to discovery and characterization of both small molecules and biologics. From 2009-2017,
he served as the head of Discovery Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) in Celgene Corporation. Recently, Dr. Moghaddam founded a start-up company, OROX BioSciences,
Inc., dedicated to efficient and accelerated discovery of pharmaceuticals primarily for treatment of inflammatory ailments.
Jasleen Sodhi, Graduate Student, Laboratory of Dr. Leslie Benet, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics Program, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences,
University of California, San Francisco
Jasleen Sodhi is an experienced DPMK research scientist currently pursuing a PhD at the University of California San Francisco in the laboratory of Dr. Leslie Z. Benet. Her
research focuses on improving the in vitro to in vivo extrapolation of hepatic clearance with consideration of the heterogeneous nature of the liver. Following completion
of her undergraduate degree at University of California Berkeley, Jasleen worked the next 9 years as a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry, initially at
a small cancer diagnostic biotech company and then at Genentech (since 2009) in the department of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics. Jasleen has 8 peer reviewed publications
from that work, including three first-authored publications, two of which were published in Drug Metabolism and Disposition.
David M. Stresser, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, AbbVie, Inc.
David Stresser is a Principal Research Scientist in the DMPK-Translational Modeling department at AbbVie. Prior to joining AbbVie in 2016, he held research, management and
business development positions at Gentest Corporation, BD Biosciences and Corning Life Sciences in Woburn, MA. He received post-doctoral training in the laboratory of
David Kupfer at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts and graduate work in the laboratories of David E. Williams and George S. Bailey
at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, receiving a Ph.D. in toxicology in 1994. Dr. Stresser has authored or co-authored > 40 articles or book chapters in the
field of drug metabolism and has been an invited speaker at various national and international meetings, pharmaceutical companies and universities.
Ian Sweet, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Washington
Ian Sweet received his PhD from the University of Washington in Bioengineering in 1993. He received post-doctoral training in Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania
in the lab of Dr. Franz Matschinsky. Dr. Sweet is currently a University of Washington Research Associate Professor in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
His laboratory engineers and utilizes sophisticated methods to non-invasively assess energetics and function in a diverse range of cells and tissue important to the understanding
and treatment of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Blood-Brain Penetrant Inhibitors
William F. Elmquist, PharmD, PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Pharmaceutics; Director, Brain Barriers Research Center, University of Minnesota
William F. Elmquist is currently Professor and Director of the Brain Barriers Research Center, at the University of Minnesota, Department of Pharmaceutics. He received his
pharmacy degree at the University of Florida, and PharmD and PhD (pharmacokinetics) from the University of Minnesota. His research has studied the influence of active
efflux transporters in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) on CNS drug distribution. An important project currently underway is examining the determinants of anti-cancer drug
permeability in the blood-brain barrier to improve the treatment of brain tumors. Long-term objectives of Dr. Elmquist's research include examining expression and regulation
of transport systems in key tissues that influence drug disposition, and how variability in expression, either genetically or environmentally controlled, may contribute
to variability in drug response in the patient. Dr. Elmquist has long been a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry and the NIH, served on many journal editorial boards,
and is a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS).
Timothy P. Heffron, PhD, Senior Scientist, Discovery Chemistry, Genentech, Inc.
Timothy P. Heffron is a Senior Scientist at Genentech. As a medicinal chemist and chemistry and research team leader Timothy has contributed to the advancement of programs
directed toward treatments for neuro-oncology, oncology (including cancer immunotherapy), neurology, and ophthalmology indications. Timothy has contributed to seven molecules
that have advanced to Clinical Development, four of which came under his leadership as a chemistry team leader, including taselisib (Phase III). Timothy completed his
undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Yale University and his doctoral studies at MIT.
James J. Hickman, PhD, Professor, Nanoscience Technology, Chemistry, Biomolecular Science, University of Central Florida
James J. Hickman is the Founding Director of the NanoScience Technology Center and a Professor of Nanoscience Technology, Chemistry, Biomolecular Science, Material Science
and Electrical Engineering at the University of Central Florida. For the past 25 years, he has been studying the interaction of biological species with modified surfaces,
first in industry and in the latter years in academia. While in industry he established one of the first bioelectronics labs in the country that focused on cell-based
sensors and their integration with electronic devices and MEMS devices. He is interested in creating hybrid systems for biosensor and biological computation applications
and the creation of functional in vitro systems for human body-on-a-chip applications. He is also the founder and current Chief Scientist of a biotechnology company, Hesperos,
that is focusing on human-on-a-chip systems for drug discovery and toxicity. He has 116 publications and 20 book chapters, in addition to 15 patents and another 20 patent
Matt Lucas, PhD, Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Yumanity Therapeutics
Matt Lucas is currently Director of Chemistry at Yumanity therapeutics. A successful Leader and Manager with 14 years’ industrial experience in medicinal chemistry and
drug discovery, Dr. Lucas has led multiple projects from discovery into clinical development, and has a deep knowledge of what is required to successfully optimize lead
compounds and to select appropriate clinical candidates. Dr. Lucas has been exposed to diverse therapy areas including anti-infectives, pain, cardiovascular, immunology,
and neuroscience that has given him a broad understanding of the various challenges in drug discovery. Prior to joining Yumanity, Dr. Lucas was Director of Medicinal Chemistry
and member of the Discovery and Non-Clinical Development Research Leadership Team at Cubist Pharmaceuticals until it was acquired by Merck Research Laboratories. Before
joining Cubist, Dr. Lucas worked at Roche Pharmaceuticals as sites in Palo Alto, Basel and Nutley.
Igor Mochalkin, PhD, Associate Director, Medicinal Chemistry & Lead Optimization, EMD Serono, Inc.
Dr. Mochalkin has been involved in Structure-Based Drug Discovery for over 15 years, leading Structural Biology, Computational and Medicinal Chemistry Teams across several
therapeutic areas, including inflammation, oncology and infectious and cardiovascular diseases. Prior to re-joining EMD Serono Research and Development Institute (an American
subsidiary of German Merck KGaA) as Associate Director in Medicinal Chemistry, Dr. Mochalkin played a critical role in supporting drug discovery programs at Pfizer (2003-2009),
EMD Serono (2009-2012) and Eli Lilly (2012-1016), applying computational chemistry, fragment-based drug discovery, protein X-ray crystallography and Biophysics to early
drug discovery and lead optimization. Dr. Mochalkin received his Diploma from Moscow State University, Russia and PhD in Chemistry from Michigan State University. He pursued
his postdoctoral training at the University California San Diego. Dr. Mochalkin is co-author on over 20 peer reviewed scientific publications and patent applications and
a co-inventor of two clinical candidates, BTK inhibitor M2851 (Phase II) and p70S6K & Akt inhibitor M2698 (Phase I).
Snahel Patel, Senior Scientific Manager, Discovery Chemistry, Genentech, Inc.
Snahel Patel is Senior Scientific Manager, Discovery Chemistry, at Genentech, Inc., where he is responsible for therapeutic projects focused on chemical series development
from hit through lead optimization. Currently, he specializes in the areas of neurodegeneration and inflammation which has lead to successful nomination of early development
candidates entering pre-clinic. Prior to joining Genentech in 2008, Snahel spent ten years at Pfizer, Inc. In this capacity he managed hit-to-lead execution on a number
of areas including kinases, GPCRs and other unique enzyme targets, in a collaborative fashion with Pfizer's other research sites to continue lead optimization to pre-clinic,
culminating in a promotion to Senior Scientist level. He began his tenure at the Pfizer site in Sandwich, U.K. and then moved to Cambridge, MA where he was part of a team
creating the first Pfizer research chemistry lab in the area.
Zoran Rankovic, Director, CBT Chemistry Centers, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Zoran Rankovic is a Director of CBT Chemistry Centers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Before joining St. Jude in 2016, he was a research fellow
at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, and medicinal chemistry director at Merck, Schering-Plough and Organon UK. He started his industrial career at Organon in 1995, the same
year he earned his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Leeds (UK), under the guidance of Professor Ronald Grigg. During his career Zoran has been fortunate
to be able to contribute to and lead teams that delivered multiple clinical candidates for a range of CNS indications, including neurooncology, neurodegeneration, psychiatry
and pain. He is an author and co-inventor on over 70 patents, scientific publications and book chapters with over 3,000 citations, and an editor of two books on drug discovery
Paul Richardson, PhD, Director, Process and Analytical Technologies, Oncology Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer
Paul Richardson is Director of Process and Analytical Technologies within Oncology Medicinal Chemistry at Pfizer’s Research and Development site in La Jolla, California.
Paul has over 15 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He joined Pfizer in 2004, after working with Lexicon Pharmaceuticals/Coelacanth (NJ) as Director
of Process Chemistry for 8 years. Prior to that, he worked with Nycomed-Amersham in the UK. Paul received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Sheffield University, where
he worked with Professor Istvan Marko. He completed postdoctoral research studies at both Exeter University with Professor Stan Roberts and at the Scripps Research Institute
under the direction of Professor Barry Sharpless.
Klaus Baek Simonsen, PhD, Vice President, Discovery Chemistry, DMPK and Molecular Screening, Lundbeck
Dr. Klaus Bæk Simonsen is VP and Global Head of Discovery Chemistry, DMPK and Molecular Screening at Lundbeck. Klaus started his career at Lundbeck in 2005 as principal
scientist in Medicinal Chemistry Research, became Section Leader in 2006, Divisional Director of Medicinal Chemistry Research in 2008 and Divisional Director of Global
Discovery Chemistry and DMPK in 2012. Prior to joining Lundbeck, Klaus was employed at Anadys Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, California from 2000 to 2004 as Principal Scientist
and Project leader overseeing collaborations with Roche. From 2004-2005 he was Associate Professor at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Danish Pharmaceutical University,
Copenhagen. Dr. Simonsen holds a PhD degree in Organic Chemistry from University of Southern Denmark. Klaus was Post Doc at Aarhus University under the guidance of Professor
K.A. Jørgensen (1998-1999) and research fellow under the mentorship of Professor K.C. Nicolaou at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California (1999-2000).
Klaus is the author or co-author of more than 45 international peer reviewed publications and inventor or co-inventor of more than 15 patents. Klaus has more than 15 years’
experience in drug discovery and medicinal chemistry, which has resulted in the nomination of more than 10 drug candidates to preclinical and clinical development for
many different target classes.
Eduard Urich, PhD, Pre-Clinical Project Leader and Senior Scientist, Roche Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development, NORD Discovery & Translational Area, Roche
Florence Wagner, PhD, Senior Group Leader, Medicinal Chemistry, Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, The Broad Institute
Florence Wagner is a senior group leader in medicinal chemistry in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at Broad Institute. Her group focuses on designing and implementing
strategies that will enable development of novel therapies for central nervous system–related psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder,
and cognitive impairment. These strategies include the rational design and development of novel, potent, and highly selective small molecules suitable for clinical
development. The targets span from epigenetics (HDACs), kinases, G-protein coupled receptors, and voltage-gated ion channels. Recent findings of note include the design
of a toolkit of differentially selective HDAC inhibitors to explore the functional activity of the individual HDAC isoforms and discovery of first-in-class isoform
selective inhibitors of the glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3), which will provide key insights to direct therapeutic efforts. Wagner obtained her master’s degree
from the Department of Chemistry and Process Engineering at the Lyon (France) School of Chemistry and Electronics. Her keen interest in drug discovery developed out
of a year-long internship at Scynexis in North Carolina. From there, she went on to North Carolina State University, where her doctoral research under the supervision
of Daniel L. Comins focused on developing novel methods for the synthesis of nicotine derivatives for application in neurodegenerative disorders. Prior to joining
the Stanley Center, Wagner worked for Altiris (formerly Metastatix, Inc.) in Atlanta, GA, on the discovery of chemokine receptor modulators. She joined the Broad Institute
in 2008. Aside from her primary area of expertise in medicinal chemistry, Wagner is knowledgeable on the subjects of structural biology, pharmacology, and legal (patent)
issues. She is a two-time winner of the Outstanding Broad Retreat Poster award (in 2013 and 2014), and as of mid-2015 has produced 38 peer-reviewed articles, 4 review
articles, and 12 patent applications, 5 of which have been granted.