The Drug Discovery Chemistry event is a dynamic conference for medicinal and biophysical chemists working in pharma and biotech. It is one of the few international events focused solely on discovery and optimization challenges of small molecule drug candidates.

Drug Discovery Chemistry offers a plenary keynote session on Tuesday, April 11 from 4:20 - 5:30 pm PDT and Thursday, April 13 from 8:30 - 9:30 am PDT. Join hundreds of your colleagues during each of these presentations, which include live Q&As with the audience.


Michelle Arkin4:35 pm Targeting Nodes and Edges in Protein Networks
Michelle Arkin, PhD, Chair and Distinguished Professor, Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Director, Small Molecule Discovery Center, University of California, San Francisco
Protein interaction networks consist of protein nodes and interaction edges. We aim to inhibit or stabilize specific protein-protein interactions to dissect these complex networks for chemical biology and therapeutics discovery. Through covalent fragment-based approaches, we discovered compounds that selectively stabilized the chaperone 14-3-3 bound to diverse client proteins and altered their function. Additionally, function-selective inhibitors for the multifunctional enzyme VCP/p97 are providing new tools and drug leads for cancer.

Michelle Arkin is Professor and Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco, and co-director of the Small Molecule Discovery Center. Her lab focuses on developing chemical probes and drug leads for novel targets, with a particular interest in protein-protein interactions and protein-degradation networks. Prior to UCSF, Michelle worked at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, where she helped discover protein-protein interaction inhibitors for IL-2 and LFA-1 (lifitigrast, marketed by Novartis). She is a co-founder of Ambagon and Elgia Therapeutics.


Nicholas A. Meanwell, PhD8:35 am Reflections on a Career as a Medicinal Chemist in Drug Discovery
Nicholas A. Meanwell, PhD, Vice President (recently retired), Small Molecule Drug Discovery, Bristol Myers Squibb Co.
A successful drug candidate depends on many factors: creativity of scientists involved, effective collaboration and commitment by the team, and the quality of the compound advanced. I reflect on a 40-year career pursuing the discovery of drug candidates designed to address unmet medical need in the cardiovascular, CNS and viral diseases therapeutic areas and share undervalued strategies and other synthetic chemistry approaches for overcoming specific medicinal chemistry challenges.

Dr. Nicholas Meanwell, who retired in October 2022, was a Scientific Vice President in the Department of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Bristol Myers Squibb. Over his 40-year career at BMS, he has led drug discovery programs in the cardiovascular, neurosciences, and virology therapeutic areas, research that has resulted in the advancement of 33 clinical candidates for the prevention of thrombosis, the treatment of stroke (MaxiPost), and therapy for viral infections, including RSV, HIV-1 (Rukobia), and HCV (Daklinza, Sunvepra, Xymency). He is the author of more than 300 publications and is named as an inventor on more than 140 issued U.S. Patents. Among his many contributions to the medicinal chemistry community and awards received, he is the current Perspectives Editor for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, he was inducted into the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2015, was the recipient of the 2015 Philip S. Portoghese Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship Award and the 2022 Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society.