|Muhammad Bilal Abid||Medical College of Wisconsin|
Dr. M. Bilal Abid graduated from the Aga Khan University School of Medicine Pakistan, completed USMLE examinations and internship from Penn State University Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania and then moved to Singapore to complete internal medicine residency at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He then worked in the division of hematology/oncology and stem cell transplantation at the National University Cancer Institute of Singapore (NCIS) and then at the University of Bristol Cancer Institute, Bristol NHS Foundation Trust UK. He is an avid clinical researcher and continues to publish research articles related to leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, stem cell transplantation, cellular therapy and infectious diseases. Dr. Abid also serves on the editorial board of several international journals and mentors students and trainees interested in clinical and translational research. He is currently affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) & Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In his spare time, Dr. Abid enjoys playing basketball and spending time with his daughter and wife, who is an orthodontist.
|Sepideh Afshar||Eli Lilly & Co|
Sepideh Afshar is a group leader and principal scientist at Eli Lilly and Co. Sepi has a BS in chemical engineering and has received a PhD in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA. Her graduate work at Dr. Sherri Morrison’s lab was focused on protein engineering with emphasis on Antibody-Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy. Immediately after completion of her graduate work in 2009, she joined Eli Lilly Biotech Center in San Diego. Since then, she has been responsible for establishing new drug discovery platforms that complement the existing discovery practices at Lilly. Her current focus includes protein-protein interaction, oral peptide delivery, and developing peptide-protein fusions which cross the blood brain barrier.
|Adel Ahmed||Drexel Univ|
|Alain Ajamian||Chemical Computing Group|
Alain Ajamian joined CCG in January 2011. Prior to joining Chemical Computing Group, Alain served as Managing Director at BioChemia where he played an integral role in establishing the operational business. Before this, Alain was a drug discovery scientist at MethylGene where he made significant contributions to the development of epigenetic inhibitors and is an inventor on several related patents.
|Katerina Akassoglou||Univ of California San Francisco|
Dr. Katerina Akassoglou is a Senior Investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, and a Professor in the Department of Neurology at UCSF. She has pioneered studies that uncovered new roles for the blood clotting factor fibrinogen in CNS autoimmunity, trauma, and neurodegeneration. She has discovered new mechanisms that control the communication between the brain, immune and vascular systems and developed a new immunotherapy approach for suppressing neurodegeneration. Dr. Akassoglou has published over 85 papers in peer-reviewed journals and she is active in several national and international organizations, editorial boards, and funding agencies. Her laboratory had a long-standing funding from the NIH, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Heart Association, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Dr. Akassoglou was awarded by the White House the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Abel Award from ASPET, the Dana Foundation Award in Brain and Immunoimaging, a EUREKA award from NINDS, The Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research, and the NINDS R35 Research Program Award.
|Ronald Alfa||Recursion Pharmaceuticals Inc|
|Samantha Allen||Janssen R&D LLC|
I obtained my PhD in the lab of Prof. Paula Booth at Imperial College, London. In Paula’s lab I studied the effects of the inter-helical loops and lipid lateral pressure on the folding kinetics and stability of the seven transmembrane protein bacteriorhodopsin. After leaving Paula’s lab I moved to UC-Berkeley to postdoc in Tracy Handel’s lab. During that time I developed methods to express, purify and functionally reconstitute the chemokine receptor CCR1 for structural and functional studies. I moved to the Structural Biology group at Merck in PA in 2008, and in 2015 I left Merck to join Emerging Sciences & Innovation at Janssen. I love learning about and using new ways to answer difficult biology questions, and have a particular passion for membrane proteins. I’m currently in the Small Molecule Screening group at Janssen where I’m developing methods to identify and profile small molecules for drug discovery.
|Michelle Arkin||Univ of California San Francisco|
Michelle Arkin is a Professor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, co-Director of the Small Molecule Discovery Center at UCSF and an Adjunct Professor at the Buck Institute for Aging Research. Michelle’s research interests include developing biological tools and drug leads for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases and designing compounds to modulate the function of allosterically regulated enzymes and protein-protein interactions (PPI). As co-Director of the SMDC, Michelle collaborates with many academic and pharmaceutical laboratories to tackle challenging problems in drug discovery. She is also very active in the academic drug discovery community, as the current President of the Board of Directors for the Academic Drug Discovery Consortium, PI for the UCSF Center in the NCI Chemical Biology Consortium, and editorial board member for the Assay Guidance Manual and Current Protocols in Chemical Biology. She recently completed a term as reviews editor at Cell Chemical Biology. Michelle earned her PhD in chemistry at Caltech in Jackie Barton’s lab and then held a Daymon Runyon postdoctoral fellowship with Jim Wells at Genentech. She was among the first scientists at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, where she helped develop inhibitors of PPI, including lifitigrast, an FDA approved drug for dry eye (SARcode/Shire). From 2005 to 2007, she was the Associate Director of Cell Biology at Sunesis and led the translational science team for Vosaroxin, an anti-cancer agent in phase 3 clinical trials.
|Tim Baffi||Univ of California San Diego|
Tim Baffi is a graduate student in his final year of study under Dr. Alexandra Newton in the UC San Diego Biomedical Sciences Program. His research focuses on regulatory mechanisms of Protein kinase C (PKC) that determine its cellular activity and stability, and how these processes are perturbed in disease. Specifically, his interests include how the interplay between the kinase complex mTORC2 and the phosphatase PHLPP1 regulate PKC phosphorylation and fidelity during synthesis to set the level of functional PKC in the cell. Tim is the recipient of the PhRMA Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmacology & Toxicology.
|Patrick Barton||Evotec Inc|
Patrick is Vice President DMPK, Evotec, Abingdon UK where has responsibility for in-vitro and in-vivo aspects of DMPK support to drug discovery projects. In addition he leads the Modeling and Simulation and Physical Chemistry groups at Cyprotex UK.
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.
|Inder Bhamra||Redx Pharma Plc|
Inder Bhamra gained a PhD in organolithium chemistry in 2005 from the University of Liverpool, UK and has worked as a medicinal chemist in oncology at Redx Pharma since 2012.
|Peter Blomgren||Gilead Sciences Inc|
|Matthews Bradley||SAJE Pharma|
Dr. Bradley has held key positions in the pharmaceutical industry for over 35 years and has extensive expertise in drug discovery and strategic drug development with a focus on target selection, discovery chemistry, drug proof of concept, preclinical pharmacology/toxicology, and IND/Phase I and II studies in numerous therapeutic areas. He is currently focused at SAJE on the preclinical and clinical applications of inhibiting the enzyme, S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR), which regulates nitrosylation signal transduction pathways. Previous to SAJE, he co-founded and developed other biopharmaceutical companies. He was a Cancer Expert at the NCI and then Director of Safety Assessment and Biological Research at Merck before joining the biotech community. He has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from Stanford University.
|Dean Brown||AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals|
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.
|Jason Brown||Ubiquigent, Ltd|
|Tauseef Butt||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.
|Matthew Calabrese||Pfizer Inc|
Earned a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale, followed by a Postdoctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with Dr. Brenda Schulman. Joined the Structural biology department at Pfizer in 2011 as a Senior Scientist and am presently a Senior Principal Scientist and lab head within that department.
|Michelangelo Campanella||Royal Veterinary College|
Michelangelo 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.
|Jordan Carelli||Pfizer Inc|
I am a chemical biologist with a passion for understanding how drugs interact with biomolecules to cause cellular effects. I trained with Jack Taunton at UCSF, and am now a Senior Scientist at Pfizer in La Jolla. My current interests include understanding drug-protein interactions in relevant biochemical/cellular contexts, and understanding how signal transduction pathways dynamically rewire in response to pathway inhibitors.
|Philip Chamberlain||Celgene Corp|
Philip Chamberlain obtain his BA and DPhil degrees from the University of Oxford before traveling to the US to perform his post-doctorate work at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) in San Diego. Philip joined Celgene, San Diego in 2007 and leads the Structural and Chemical Biology department which provides structural, biochemical and cellular data in support of discovery projects. Philip has a research interest in understanding and extending the action of cereblon modulators, and has published work in this area in journals including Nature and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.
|Tao Che||Univ of North Carolina Chapel Hill|
Tao Che is currently a postdoc research associate at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University. His research in the Bryan Roth lab focuses on the structural and functional study of opioid receptors, in particular the mu- and kappa opioid receptors. This work has already led to the determination of active state structure of kappa opioid receptor and has helped elucidate general mechanisms involved in GPCR activation, biased signaling and ligand selectivity.
|ChoiFong Cho||Brigham & Womens Hospital|
There are numerous major shortcomings in currently existing treatments for malignant brain tumors. The Cho group has developed a number of innovative technologies to facilitate high-throughput screening of tumor-targeting agents that can cross the blood-brain-barrier, and is currently employing these technologies to design novel anti-brain cancer therapeutics with improved efficacy that can ultimately benefit brain cancer patients. Dr. Cho is an Instructor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and a Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), leading an independent laboratory to design and develop next-generation brain cancer therapeutics. Her research on developing the blood-brain-barrier organoid model offers a paradigm shift in the neuroscience field for analyzing drugs for delivery to the brain.
|Paul Colbon||Liverpool ChiroChem Ltd.|
Dr Paul Colbon, CEO and Director (co-founder): Industrial Chemist. Previously worked with Redx Pharma and AstraZeneca.
|Derek Cole||Takeda San Diego|
|Philip Collier||Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc|
Philip Collier graduated with a first class honors degree in chemistry from University College Cork, Ireland in 1998. He then gained a PhD degree from the University of York, England in 2002. After postdoctoral positions at Caltech and Imperial College London, he joined Vertex Pharmaceuticals Europe Ltd. in 2004. In 2009 he relocated to Vertex in Boston where he currently leads a group of medicinal chemists in the rare disease space.
|Jason Crawford||Yale Univ|
|Michael Dabrowski||Pelago Bioscience|
|Daniel Dairaghi||Eli Lilly & Co|
Dan Dairaghi is a Senior Research Advisor and Group Leader in Immunology at Eli Lilly, and has over 20 years’ experience in drug discovery. Before joining Eli Lilly, he was at ChemoCentryx as a Senior Director of Molecular Pharmacology and Head of Clinical Biomarkers. Dan did his graduate work at Stanford and his post-doctoral work in immunology at the DNAX Research Institute.
|Ben Davis||Vernalis R&D Ltd|
Dr Ben Davis is a Research Fellow at Vernalis Research, a biotech company based in Cambridge UK which has been at the forefront of fragment-based approaches since 1998. An NMR spectroscopist and biophysicist by training, his current research focus is the development of biophysics and FBLD methods for challenging therapeutic targets and systems. Dr Davis studied for his PhD in protein folding and molecular interactions with Professor Alan Fersht at Cambridge University, and then studied the interactions of small molecules with proteins and RNA. He has over 20 years’ experience in the drug discovery industry. He has contributed to seven books over the last decade and is an author on more than forty scientific publications. He is a frequent speaker at scientific conferences and has been running FBLD training workshops since 2007.
Dr. Alexis, Director Discovery Medicinal Chemistry has been working in the R&D of pharmaceutical companies for 30 years. His expertise covers all the aspects of Drug Discovery and, Lead generation and optimization, in several therapeutic areas : oncology, anti-infective, inflammatory and metabolic diseases. During his career, he contributed to the development of several drug candidates going to Phase I and beyond. He is the co-author of 35 patents and more than 30 research papers.
|Paolo Di Fruscia||AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals|
Paolo Di Fruscia is a medicinal chemist within the Fragment-Based Lead Generation (FBLG) team at AstraZeneca, UK. Previously, he completed his doctoral studies at Imperial College London and expanded his organic and medicinal chemisty skills with a couple of post-doctoral fellowships. The former at the Scripps Research Institute’s Department of Molecular Medicine in Florida, USA and the latter within the Drug Discovery and Development Department at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genova, Italy.
|Daniel Di Sepio||Eurofins Discovery (formerly Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services)|
His research interests are in increasing the impact of predictive sciences in our discovery programmes particularly M&S, in-Silico ADME/T relationships, physical property determination, structure-property relationships and their applicability in understanding drug metabolism and disposition.
|Peter Dragovich||Genentech Inc|
Peter Dragovich received a BS in chemistry from UC Berkeley and subsequently obtained a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from Caltech under the direction of Professor Andrew Myers. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 25 years in both large-pharma and biotech organizations and has performed a variety of research and management activities during that time. He joined Genentech in 2010 and is currently a Staff Scientist in the Discovery Chemistry Department. Since arriving at Genentech, he has worked on multiple projects in both the immunology and oncology therapeutic areas (including leading the company’s efforts to identify novel payloads and linkers useful for the creation of new antibody-drug conjugates).
|Ron Dror||Stanford Univ|
Ron Dror is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and, by courtesy, Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Structural Biology at Stanford University. Dr. Dror leads a group that employs a broad range of computational methods to study the spatial organization and dynamics of biomolecules and cells. Before joining Stanford, Dr. Dror served as second-in-command of D. E. Shaw Research, a hundred-person company, where he focused on biomolecular simulation (part of a project highlighted by Science as one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs of 2010). Dr. Dror earned a PhD at MIT and an MPhil as a Churchill Scholar at the University of Cambridge.
|Donald Durden||SignalRx Pharmaceuticals Inc|
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.
|Matthew Eddy||Univ of Florida Gainesville|
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 PhD from the the laboratory of Professor Robert Griffin at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his PhD, Eddy developed new methodologies for using NMR in the solid state to determine structures of membrane proteins in cellular-like environments. Following his PhD, Dr. Eddy joined the laboratories of Professors Raymond Stevens and Kurt Wüthrich at The Scripps Research Institute and University of Southern California as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, applying an integrative structural biology approach to study human G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and focusing on applications of NMR to understand GPCR allosteric functions. Dr. Eddy has authored or coauthored over 25 peer-reviewed publications in high-profile scientific journals including Cell, JACS, and Structure. Dr. Eddy recently started his own laboratory at the University of Florida, developing new approaches to investigate GPCR structure-function relationships directly in cellular environments.
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.
|Daniel Erlanson||Carmot Therapeutics Inc|
Dr. Daniel A. Erlanson is the co-founder of Carmot Therapeutics, Inc. a small-molecule drug discovery company applying fragment-based approaches to a variety of therapeutic targets. Prior to Carmot, Dr. Erlanson spent a decade developing fragment-based drug discovery technologies at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, which he joined at the company's inception. Before Sunesis, he was an NIH postdoctoral fellow with James A. Wells at Genentech. Dr. Erlanson earned his PhD in chemistry from Harvard University in the laboratory of Gregory L. Verdine and his BA in chemistry from Carleton College. As well as co-editing two books on fragment-based drug discovery, Dr. Erlanson is an inventor on more than a dozen issued patents and an author of more than forty scientific publications. He is also editor of Practical Fragments, a blog devoted to fragment-based drug discovery.
|John Erve||Jerve Scientific Consulting Inc|
John Erve is from Chicago and received degrees in Chemistry (BS, MS) from the University of Chicago and earned a PhD 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.
|Peter Ettmayer||Boehringer Ingelheim Austria GmbH|
Peter Ettmayer joined Boehringer-Ingelheim in 2005 as a Scientific Director in Oncology Research where his main responsibilities span from heading the structural research group to NCE based external collaborations in the UK, Boston and Shanghai. Following the successful internalization of several first in class projects in 2014 Peter is now responsible for biophysical and function assays for compound profiling in the TA oncology as well as the PROTAC collaboration with the University of Dundee. Peter received his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria in 1990. After a postdoctoral stay he joined the Novartis Research Institute in Vienna as a laboratory head in the antiviral therapy and immunopathology area. In his almost 30 years in Medicinal Chemistry Peter´s main research focus is in the areas of oncology and immunopathology covering many fields of medicinal chemistry, e.g. PPIs, kinase inhibitors, peptidomimetics, combinatorial chemistry, prodrugs., hit finding and PROTACs.
Ghotas is a site manager and chemistry group leader in the DNA encoded library technology (ELT) division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was born and raised in Kurdistan mountains before migrating to Canada. He completed his undergraduate and MSc degrees at the University of Waterloo, concentrating on synthesis and structureactivity studies of antifungal natural products aureobasidins. He then joined Vertex Pharmaceuticals, in Cambridge, as a medicinal chemist. While at Vertex, he was instrumental in the success of P38 MAP Kinase (first and second generation), ICE-1 inhibitors (second generation), and early ZAP-70 programs. These efforts led to discovery of four clinical candidates, VX-745, VX-765, VX-954 and VX-702. After 4 years at Vertex, he then moved to the University of Toronto to pursue a PhD degree in organic chemistry with focus on “Novel Approaches to Synthesis of Nitrogen Containing Heterocycles”. After completing his PhD with Dr. Robert Batey, he moved back to Boston area to join Praecis Pharmaceuticals as a staff scientist to lead the medicinal chemistry sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor agonist discovery program. His team’s efforts led to candidate selection of GSK1842799A that was transitioned into GSK as part of Praecis acquisition in 2007. He has worked on DNA encoded library technology from the inception of the platform and has led different group activities within the platform over the past 14 years. Ghotas has authored well 50 publications and patents in the area of drug discovery and platform development over the last 20 years
|Rudi Fasan||Univ of Rochester|
Rudi Fasan earned a BS degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Padua (Italy) and a PhD from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) working on the design and synthesis of beta-hairpin protein epitope mimetics under the supervision of Prof. John Robinson. In 2005, he joined Prof. Frances Arnold's group at the California Institute of Technology working on the directed evolution of alkane hydroxylases. In 2008, Dr. Fasan began his independent career at the University of Rochester, where he currently holds a position of Full Professor of Chemistry. His research program focuses on the design, development, and investigation of peptide macrocycles as selective modulators of protein-protein interactions and on the engineering of metalloprotein catalysts for C-H functionalization and asymmetric C—C and C-heteroatom bond forming reactions. His awards include a SNSF Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005-2007), the 2007 Friedrich-Weygand Young Investigator Award, a Provost Multidisciplinary Research Award (2011), and the 2014 Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry.
|Brice Felden||Univ of Rennes|
|Andrew Fensome||Pfizer Inc|
Andrew Fensome received his bachelor and doctoral degrees from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in the UK, from where he joined Wyeth Research in 1992, and has been with Pfizer since 2010. He has worked in medicinal chemistry design and synthesis in several disease areas: Women’s Healthcare, Neuroscience and Inflammation and Immunology: leading multiple programs in the discovery phase and into clinical development. He currently holds the position of Associate Research Fellow within Medicinal Sciences with Pfizer, in Cambridge Massachusetts.
|David Ferguson||Univ Of Minnesota Twin Cities|
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.
|Eric Fischer||Dana Farber Cancer Institute|
After studying biology at the University of Basel in Switzerland, Eric Fischer obtained his PhD at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research were he conducted pioneering work on the structure, function and mechanism of action of thalidomide and its efficacy target Cereblon. After his PhD he moved to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to start his lab in the vibrant chemical biology community in Boston. He is also an Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fischer has been recognized for his pioneering work on the structure of cereblon and the mechanism of action of thalidomide and has significantly contributed to our understanding of small molecule mediated protein degradation. His lab studies the structure and function of ubiquitin E3 ligases and translates these insights into the development of novel therapeutic strategies.
|Stewart Fisher||C4 Therapeutics Inc|
Dr. Fisher is the Chief Scientific Officer at C4 Therapeutics, a new biotechnology company focused on the selective recruitment of targets to E3 ligases for ubiquitination and degradation by the ubitiquin/proteasome system where he is responsible for strategic delivery of the project portfolio and collaboration management. Prior to joining C4, Dr. Fisher was the Director of Enzymology and Quantitative Biochemistry in the Center for the Development of Therapeutics at the Broad Institute. His group focused on the mechanistic analysis and quantitative assessment of protein:ligand interactions required for therapeutic discovery. Prior to joining the Broad Institute, Dr. Fisher spent 15 years at AstraZeneca in the Infectious Diseases Innovative Medicines Unit, where he led numerous antibacterial programs that progressed through Phase I clinical trials and was the Executive Director, Biological Sciences. His department supported the entire drug discovery project portfolio, from target validation to pharmacodynamics modeling in support of Phase III candidates. In addition, Dr. Fisher spent 2 years at Hoffmann LaRoche leading drug discovery programs in Metabolic Diseases. Dr. Fisher received his BA in Chemistry at the University of Vermont and PhD in Chemistry at Caltech and was a National Institutes of Health Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Harvard Medical School with Professor Christopher T. Walsh.
|Robert Fraczkiewicz||Simulations Plus Inc|
Robert Fraczkiewicz has been Product Manager (1998-2006) and is a Team Leader (2006-2014) at Simulations Plus, Inc. His primary role at Simulations Plus is the development of a commercial computer programs ADMET Predictor and ADMET Modeler for prediction of crucial properties of chemicals from molecular structure. Dr. Fraczkiewicz was also instrumental in developing computational routines present in other software products: GastroPlus and DDDPlus. Prior to joining Simulations Plus, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch (1998, Prof Werner Braun), where he developed new algorithms for molecular modeling of proteins in dihedral space including solvent effects (programs FANTOM and GETAREA). Dr. Fraczkiewicz received his PhD in computational chemistry from the University of Houston in 1996. His thesis included developing a computer program for calculating vibrational spectra of molecules (RAMVIB) and its application to study of active centers in metalloproteins. The University of Wrocław, Poland, had awarded the MSc degree in theoretical chemistry and spectroscopy to Robert Fraczkiewicz in 1988. For the next three years, prior to receiving an invitation from the University of Houston, he worked as a staff scientist in the Radioisotope Laboratory, Technical University of Wrocław, Poland, where he also completed a graduate course in computer applications in chemistry.
|Karen Gascoigne||Genentech Inc|
Karen Gascoigne is a Scientist in the Discovery Oncology department at Genentech. Her work focuses on the role of epigenetics and transcriptional dysregulation in cancer, and her group leads development of novel oncology drug targets in this space. Prior to joining Genentech, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute – MIT, and received her PhD from Manchester University, UK.
|Lara Gechijian||Jnana Therapeutics|
During her undergraduate years at Wellesley College, Lara worked as a research assistant in the lab of Matthew Meyerson (Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT) where she conducted research on the characterization of the potency, activity, and functional effects of a novel cytotoxic agent. Lara completed a PhD candidate in Biomedical and Biological Sciences and Therapeutics at Harvard Medical School. She conducted her graduate research in the labs of Dr. Jay Bradner and Dr. Nathanael Gray where she focused on targeted degradation as an approach to developing novel epigenetic cancer therapeutics. Lara is currently a biochemist at Jnana Therapeutics, a biotech company dedicated to launching solute carrier transporters to the forefront of medicine.
|Annette Gilchrist||Midwestern Univ|
Dr. Gilchrist works on allosteric and/or biased modulators for a number of different GPCRs including PAR1, CCR1, and FFAR2. She also serves as an International Editor for the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. In addition to editing the book “GPCR Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Targeting: Shifting Paradigms and New Directions” published by John Wiley and Sons she has written chapters on G protein signaling and CCR1 antagonists. Dr. Gilchrist recently served with Dr. Paula Stern as a guest editor for Frontiers in Endocrinology for a themed issue on “Chemokines and Bone”. She is an Associate Professor at Midwestern University. Previously, she was with Cue Biotech and Caden Biosciences, companies she co-founded that focused on GPCRs and used a novel approach to identify allosteric compounds based on their ability to modulate GPCR/G protein coupling (US Patent Numbers 7,208,279 and 7,294,472). Prior to that Dr. Gilchrist worked as an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Biological Chemistry at Northwestern University where she developed a set of unique tools known as minigene vectors (US Patent Number 6,559,128). Minigene vectors allow one to dissect out the G protein that mediates a given physiological function and they have been widely adopted by researchers around the world. Preceding that Dr. Gilchrist was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Heidi Hamm. In this setting, she identified high affinity peptides that mimic the C-terminus of Ga, and were later used for crystallization of rhodopsin. Dr. Gilchrist’s work on GPCRs began with her graduate studies in which she studied signaling of chemokine receptors through tyrosine kinases and phosphatases. Dr. Gilchrist has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Connecticut Health Center and a MS in Biochemistry from the University of Connecticut.
|Daniel Greve||LEO Pharma AS|
Daniel received PhD in organic chemistry from Univ. of Copenhagen in 1999. PostDoc at Tech. Univ. of Eindhoven, Holland in 2000. PostDoc at Univ. of Oxford, UK in 2001. Industry: Employed at Lundbeck in June 2001 as a scientist working with organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry. Moved to LEO Pharma in January 2007 as a senior scientist in medicinal chemistry. Headed up the topical JAK research project as a project leader 2009. From 2016 head of Medicinal Chemistry II at LEO Pharma.
|Neil Grimsey||Univ of Georgia|
Dr. Grimsey started his academic career as a graduate student at the University of Cambridge (UK) in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, where he studied the temporal regulation of lipid phosphatases during adipocyte differentiation and nuclear membrane biogenesis. In 2009 Dr. Grimsey started his postdoctoral training at the University of California San Diego in the Department of Pharmacology in the laboratory of Dr. Trejo, making significant contributions to the GPCR field. His work revealed a novel atypical use for ubiquitination in the regulation of GPCR induced inflammation and vascular leakage. Critically, this pathway is conserved for a family of GPCRs, enabling them to bypass the typical three tire kinase cascade to activate the proinflammatory MAPK p38. In 2018 Dr. Grimsey started his own research group in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Georgia Athens. His laboratory is continuing these studies to explore the spatiotemporal regulation of GPCR induced proinflammatory signaling in the vasculature and disease progression; focusing on the development of new tools to specifically target this atypical pathway in multiple disease models.
|Kamyar Hadian||Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen GmbH|
Dr. Kamyar Hadian is a Principal Investigator and the Head of the ‘Assay Development and Screening Platform’ at the HelmholtzZentrum München in Munich/Germany and in parallel he is an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Biological Sciences at the Columbia University in New York/USA. 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. 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 Cancer, Immunology, Virology, Diabetes and more. Kamyar studied Biology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and received his PhD from the Ludwig-MaximiliansUniversity (LMU) in 2009 for his studies in HIV research, where he elucidated virus-host interactions. After a short Postdoc period working in the field of NF-B signaling, he was appointed the Head of ‘Assay Development and Screening Platform’ at the HelmholtzZentrum München in 2010. Five years later in 2015 he received a tenure position.
|Kristin Hamman||Syros Pharmaceuticals|
Kristin Hamman is a Research Investigator in Biochemistry and Biophysics at Syros Pharmaceuticals. She received her Master of Science degree in Biochemistry at University of Colorado, Boulder and has worked at Syros since 2014 engaging in assay development and small molecule drug discovery on multiple projects.
|Seungil Han||Pfizer Global R&D Groton Labs|
Seungil Han is currently an associate research fellow and a cryo-EM lab head at Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development at their Groton, Connecticut campus. Seungil was trained as a protein X-ray crystallographer in the laboratory of Professor Jeffrey Bolin at Purdue University where he worked on crystallographic studies of dioxygenase. Following this, Seungil joined the lab of Professor John Tainer at the Scripps Research Institute as a post-doctoral fellow and solved the structures of ADP-ribosylating bacterial toxins and DNA-repair enzyme. Seungil then moved to Berkeley where he spent 3 years at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a research assistant professor to work on structure of DNA repair enzyme. Seungil then moved to Connecticut where he spent the next 17 years at Pfizer. Over the years, Seungil’s research interests have been kinases, proteases and hydrolases and have been actively pursuing structure-based drug design. Over the past 5 years, Seungil has expanded his research into single-particle cryo-electron microscopy and vaccines and is a currently a lab head in the cryo-EM lab and have been studying several challenging targets to support the discovery of new drugs and vaccines.
|Wayne Hancock||Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia|
Wayne Hancock has more than 400 papers in PubMed, an H-index of 99, and constantly ponders the fine tuning of immune responses, especially with regard to modulation of Foxp3+ T-regulatory cells, but also with regard to effects on conventional T cells. Understanding the nuances of the regulation of key gene sets is likely to boost immune responses and promote durable anti-cancer immunity beyond the current ceiling of ~20% of tumors seen with anti-PD-1 or PD-L1 targeting. While much more needs to be done, there are already clues and data to show how such break-throughs can be achieved by considering the inhibitory effects of Tregs, MDSC, neutrophils and the tumor microenvironment on antitumor immunity.
|Matthew Hartman||Virginia Commonwealth Univ|
Matt Hartman received his BS in Chemistry from Wheaton College, and then moved to the University of Michigan where he received his PhD in chemistry in 2002 working with Jim Coward on the synthesis of fluorinated carbohydrates as mechanistic enzyme inhibitors. He then moved to Harvard where he did postdoctoral research in molecular biology with Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak. Since 2006 he as been at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry. His lab has focused on two areas: the development of drug release strategies for photoactivation of anticancer drugs, and, creation of diverse mRNA-displayed peptide libraries for the discovery of inhibitors of protein-protein interactions.
|Engi Hassaan||Philipps Univ Marburg|
Engi graduated in 2011 with a BSc in Pharmacy and Biotechnology from the German University in Cairo, where she also received her MSc in Drug Design. She moved to Germany in 2015 to join Prof. Klebe’s Drug Design group in Marburg and was awarded a Marie Skłodowska -Curie fellowship to pursue her PhD. Her research within the AEGIS (accelerated early stage drug design) consortium focuses on targeting neglected infectious diseases like Human African trypanosomiasis through fragment-based drug design. She also works a lot in analyzing why different biophysical methods give non-overlapping hit rates.
|Paul Hawkins||OpenEye Scientific|
Paul went to university in Southampton and did his PhD 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.
|Erik Hembre||Eli Lilly & Co|
Erik graduated from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He then spent a year working as an analytical chemist at 3M Corporation in St. Paul, MN, before moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan to pursue a PhD in organic chemistry working on the synthesis of poly-hydroxylated alkaloid natural products. In 1996, he joined the labs of Barry Trost at Stanford University as a NIH Post-doctoral fellow where he applied palladium catalyzed asymmetric allylic alkylation chemistry to the synthesis of natural products. In 1999, Erik moved to Indianapolis, Indiana to join Eli Lilly and Company as a Sr. Organic Chemist. Over the past 20 years, Erik has contributed to Lilly’s drug discovery efforts in the areas of neuropsychiatric disorders, obesity, diabetes, and neurodegeneration, and has contributed to the discovery of 8 molecules that have advanced into human clinical development. He is currently a Research Fellow in Lilly’s Discovery Chemistry Research and Technologies group.
|R. Jason Herr||AMRI Global|
|Swen Hoelder||Institute of Cancer Research|
Swen studied chemistry at the University of Muenster (Germany) and completed his PhD in organic chemistry at the Technical University in Berlin in the team of Professor S. Blechert. He then joined Professor P.G. Schultz’s team in Berkeley as postdoc. Following his postdoc, Swen spent several years in the pharmaceutical industry, at Aventis (now Sanofi) and then at Altana Pharma (now Takeda). He primarily worked on medicinal chemistry campaigns for diabetes and cancer projects. In 2007, Swen joined The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, UK as a faculty member and medicinal chemistry team leader. The ICR is one of the world's most influential cancer research organisations with a longstanding track record of discovering cancer drugs. In 2017, he was awarded a readership (the British equivalent of a full professorship without chair) in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design. The main research interest of Swen’s team is to discover novel, small molecule cancer drugs and the unique and collaborative environment of the ICR.
|Rikke Holmgaard||Eli Lilly & Co|
Rikke Holmgaard is Research scientist in the Immuno-Oncology and Myeloid Biology group at Eli Lilly and Company. Prior to joining Lilly, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, and received her PhD from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
|Dennis Hu||FLX Bio Inc|
Dennis received a dual BA/MS in Chemistry from Northwestern University as a Goldwater Scholar, earned an MPhil by Research from the University of Cambridge on a Churchill Scholarship, and completed his PhD at Stanford University as a NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Currently he is a Senior Scientist at FLX Biosciences, a South San Francisco-based startup focused on developing small molecule treatments for cancer and inflammatory diseases. He has been a contributor to the FLX CCR4 and GCN2 immuno-oncology programs, and a chemistry and project team leader for its USP7 program.
|Roderick Hubbard||Vernalis R&D Ltd|
Professor Rod Hubbard has been an academic at York for over 35 years working with methods for analysis and exploitation of protein structure. He developed molecular graphics and modelling methods in the 1980s and helped build Structural Biology at York during the 1980s and 1990s. He worked on the structure of many proteins of therapeutic importance combined with studies of protein-ligand interactions and methods in structure-based design. In 1997, he was a founding SAB member of what became Vernalis. Since 2001 he has split his time between Vernalis (fragment and structure based drug discovery) and York (fragment methods for chemical biology and industrial biotechnology). In addition, he works with UK Research Councils and consults with pharmaceutical and technology companies around the world.
|Paul Hughes||Amgen Inc|
|Anthony Hunter||Salk Institute for Biological Studies|
Tony Hunter, a professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory and director of the Salk Institute Cancer Center, studies how cells regulate their growth and division, and how mutations in genes that regulate growth lead to cancer. His lab has made significant contributions in the area of signal transduction, how signals that stimulate or rein in growth are routed within a cell. This knowledge already has resulted in a new approach to cancer treatment.
|Stephanos Ioannidis||FORMA Therapeutics Inc|
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.
|Wolfgang Jahnke||Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research|
Wolfgang Jahnke is a Director at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, where he is responsible for NMR and Biophysics within the Protein Sciences department. Wolfgang has made various contributions to the field of fragment-based drug discovery and has co-authored two books on FBDD. For his contributions to the field and to current clinical candidates, Wolfgang has been recognized by the Novartis Leading Scientist award, and by the Industrial Science Award of the Swiss Chemical Society.
|Petr Jansa||Gilead Sciences Inc|
Peter Jansa earned his PhD in organic and medicinal chemistry, under Prof. Antonín Holý, (inventor of 5 original drugs); Charles University, Prague. Research Scientist Gilead Sciences 2011-present. 12 years’ experience in medicinal chemistry - primary focus on anti-infective drugs (antivirals, antibiotics and antiparasitics), additional experience with GPCRs ligands, metabolic enzymes inhibitors, nucleosides, phosphonates, cyclophilin inhibitors, phenotypic screening, targeted protein degradation by small molecules, antimetabolites, anti-inflammatory and anticancer agents. 52 peer reviewed articles, 15 patents or patent applications. Participated on the discovery of 5 clinical candidate molecules. Lead chemist on 3 discovery projects. Primary interest: medicinal chemistry, drug design and discovery, pharmacokinetics and computational chemistry.
Anass Jawhari, holds a PhD in biochemistry & structural biology from Louis Pasteur University (Strasbourg, France). He was research associate at Scripps (La Jolla, US) and senior postdoc at the Gene Center (Munich, Germany) before joining Transgene as Research Investigator. Anass is now CSO at CALIXAR with expertise on macromolecular assemblies of soluble and membrane proteins. He has 20 years’ experience in R&D projects related to molecular aspects of infectious diseases, cancer and vaccine.
|Nan Ji||Kymera Therapeutics|
|Charles Johannes||A Star|
|Ted Johnson||Pfizer Inc|
During undergraduate Chemistry studies at the University of California Irvine, Dr. Johnson performed research under the direction of Professor Harold Moore and worked on the synthesis of quinone antitumor/antifungal agents, completing the synthesis of nanaomycin D. He received his Chemistry BS degree in 1994. While working as a graduate student at UCLA with Professor Michael Jung, he completed the total synthesis of 7-deoxy-xestobergsterol A, xestobergsterol A, and simultaneously carried out synthetic studies on eleutherobin, a potent anti-tumor compound. He was awarded the Saul Winstein Fellowship, the Gregory Research Fellowship, and the Distinguished First Year Graduate Student Award. Dr. Johnson received his PhD in 1999. As an NIH post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University with Prof. E.J. Corey, Dr. Johnson completed the total synthesis of putative pseudopteroxazole, a potent anti-tuberculosis compound, showcasing an unprecedented diastereoselective intramolecular imidoquinone Diels-Alder reaction. During his studies and ongoing 16 years as a medicinal chemist at Pfizer in La Jolla, California, Dr. Johnson published many high profile patents and publications. He won the American Chemical Society Young Investigator Award in 2011 and the Pfizer Global Medicinal Chemistry Award in 2013. Most notably, he was the co-project leader of the ALK program and co-designed lorlatinib, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Lorlatinib was given Breakthrough Therapy status in 2016 and approved by the FDA in November, 2018.
|Vsevolod Seva Katritch||Univ 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 PhD in Biophysics and Molecular biology at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and postdoctoral training at Lausanne University and Rutgers University.
|Jan Kihlberg||Uppsala Univ|
Jan Kihlberg holds a chair in Organic Chemistry at Uppsala University, Sweden since 2013. His key research interests are to understand what properties convey cell permeability, aqueous solubility and target binding to drugs in the beyond rule of 5 space and to translate this knowledge into guidelines for design. He is also involved in studies of the chemical biology of glycopeptides, peptides and their mimetics. He has published >175 peer–reviewed publications, book chapters and patents. Before moving to Uppsala Prof. Kihlberg spent 10 years at AstraZeneca R&D in Gothenburg, first as Director of Medicinal Chemistry and then as Director of Competitive Intelligence and Business Foresight Analysis. Prior to that he was Professor in Organic Chemistry at Umeå University during 1996-2003, after leaving Lund University where he established his research group in 1991.
|Dominik Koelmel||Pfizer Inc|
Dominik received his PhD from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Germany) in 2013 for his work on the synthesis of fluorescently labeled cell-penetrating peptoids under the supervision of Prof. Stefan Bräse. Subsequently, he went to the US for his postdoctoral studies. He joined the group of Prof. Eric T. Kool at Stanford University in 2014, where he focused on the synthesis of DNA-based polyfluorophores and new substrates for oxime/hydrazone bioconjugation. In 2016, he moved to Princeton University to work with Prof. David W. C. MacMillan on the photoredox-mediated functionalization of native peptides and proteins. Since November 2017, Dominik has been working in Pfizer’s DNA-Encoded Libraries group under the supervision of Mark E. Flanagan, where he is developing and evaluating new DNA-compatible chemical transformations.
|Seong Joo Koo||Janssen Pharmaceutica NV|
Seong Joo Koo is a Senior Scientist at Lead Discovery at Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, where she employs various high content assays for HTS and compound profiling. Before joining Janssen, she worked as an in vitro pharmacologist at Oncology department at Bayer in Germany. She received her PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from Free University and master’s degree in Molecular Biology from International Max Planck Research School in Germany.
|Andras Kotschy||Servier Research Institute of Medicinal Chemistry|
András Kotschy is the managing director of the Servier Research Institute of Medicinal Chemistry in Budapest, Hungary. After completing his PhD degree he joined the staff of Eötvös Loránd University where he rose through the ranks to associate professor also completing his habilitation and obtaining a DSc degree. In 2007 he moved to the newly established Servier Research Institute of Medicinal Chemistry as director of the Discovery Chemistry division and in 2015 became director of the institute. He is the author of 57 refereed publications that received over 1200 citations, 1 book, 2 book chapters, and 15 patents. He is also the recipient of multiple scientific awards and fellowships.
|Letian Kuai||WuXi AppTec|
Letian Kuai worked on cell-based HTS and target identification with integrative chemical genomics/proteomics at the Broad Institute. At GSK, he focused on improving DNA encoded library technology and capability expansion in various projects outside the traditional hit identification space. He now leads biology/informatics for WuXi AppTec's DNA Encoded Library platform.
|Irina Kufareva||Univ of California San Diego|
Irina Kufareva received a Master of Science in Mathematics and a PhD in Computer Science in 1994 and 1999, respectively, both from Tomsk State University, Russia, where she went on to serve as a faculty for 2 years prior to moving to the USA. Between 2004 and 2009, she trained in computational biology as a research associate with Ruben Abagyan's group at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla. In 2009, she was employed by the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and began growing her independent research program. She became an Associate Adjunct Professor in 2018. The goal of her group at UCSD is to elucidate the structural, molecular, and architectural principles of cell signaling by combining computational predictions with experimental validation, with emphasis on GPCRs such as chemokine receptors.
|Priyanka Kulkarni||Amgen Inc|
Priyanka Kulkarni is a Scientist in the Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism group at Amgen Inc. in Cambridge, where she is responsible for prospective assessment of drug-drug interaction potential of drug candidates using physiological based pharmacokinetic modeling. Priyanka completed her doctoral studies at Temple University, Philadelphia with Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics as her major. Before joining Temple University, Priyanka attended University of Pune in India where she earned Bachelor in Pharmacy.
|Suresh Kumar||Progenra Inc|
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, lead optimization and preclinical development. A major focus of Dr. Kumar is the development of small molecule drugs targeting the ubiquitin pathway enzymes to treat cancer, neurodegeneration and inflammatory diseases.
|PeiPei Kung||Pfizer Inc|
Pei-Pei Kung received her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from Rutgers University under the direction of Professor Roger Jones. She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years in both large-pharma and biotech organizations. She is currently an associate research fellow in the Pfizer La Jolla research organization where she has been working for the past 15 years. Pei-Pei has spent the majority of her career in the cancer research field and has worked on or led project teams that delivered clinical candidates for kinase, ATPase, and epigenetics drug targets. She was part of the chemistry team that designed PF-02341066 (crizotinib, Xalkori) which was developed as the first targeted therapy for ALK+ or ROS1+ metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Pei-Pei is the lead author or co-author of 56 scientific publications and is an inventor of 22 issued patents and pending applications.
|Nicholas Kwiatkowski||Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research|
Dr. Kwiatkowski received his PhD in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology from Harvard University in 2011 under the supervision of Prof. Nathanael Gray. During his PhD, he developed and characterized novel inhibitors targeting cell cycle kinases Mps1 and Aurora A/B. Subsequent work developing inhibitors against cyclin –dependent kinase 7, which regulates both the cell cycle and gene transcription, led to a burgeoning interest in studying transcriptional misreuglation in cancer. This was the major impetus for joining the laboratory of Professor Richard Young at the Whitehead Institute at MIT. There he studied how altered gene expression programs are acquired in cancer and how these alterations might confer unique vulnerabilities to certain transcriptional inhibitors including THZ1, a first-in-class CDK7/12/13 covalent inhibitor developed in the Gray laboratory. In 2015, he returned to Nathanael Gray’s laboratory as a staff scientist where he leads projects with a focus towards developing novel kinase inhibitors and establishing proof-of-concept anti-cancer activity to guide their preclinical development for the treatment of a variety of cancers.
|Fred Chiu-Lai Lam||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
Dr. Lam is a research scientist in Professor Michael Yaffe’s laboratory at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. His research interests include understanding the mechanisms of how modulation of chromatin structure leads to increased DNA damage in cancer, allowing for the formulation of novel synthetically lethal combinations of targeted small molecule inhibitors that can enhance tumor cell killing. As a neurosurgeon, he is also interested in studying the biology of brain tumors in hopes of finding novel ways of overcoming treatment resistance and improving therapeutic outcomes. Through collaborations with Professor Paula Hammond’s laboratory at the Koch Institute, he has been able to test the use of nanoscale materials to deliver novel combinations of small molecules across the blood-brain barrier to target and treat intracranial orthotopic mouse models of brain tumors. He believes that novel multimodal therapies will improve treatment outcomes for patients with brain tumors.
|Kit Lam||Univ Of Ca Davis|
Dr. Lam is an expert in combinatorial chemistry, chemical biology, drug development, molecular imaging, nanotheranostics and medical oncology. His laboratory is engaged in the development and application of combinatorial library methods for basic research and drug discovery. In addition to cancer drug development and drug delivery, he is also interested in exosomes, membrane active peptides, signal transduction, antibiotics development, molecular immunology, chemical microarray, and proteomics. Dr. Lam is both a board-certified medical oncologist and a laboratory investigator. He is distinguished for revolutionizing cancer diagnosis and treatment and is acclaimed for his pioneering role in the field of combinatorial chemistry and developing the novel one-bead-one-compound technology, which rapidly screens millions of chemicals at one time to identify those that bind to diseased cells. The tool is advancing the early detection and precise delivery of treatments for brain, breast, prostate, pancreatic, lymphoma and other cancers. In addition, it is advancing the discovery of imaging agents that produce highly detailed molecular profiles of diseases for improved diagnosis and tracking medication effectiveness. His development and applications of combinatorial chemistry and other chemical methods look to solve many biomedical problems. Dr. Lam invented the “one-bead-one-compound” (OBOC) combinatorial library method, filed the patents (the basic patents on the OBOC technology was issued in 1996, 1997, and 1999 by the US patent office), and published the technique in Nature in 1991. The OBOC combinatorial library approach is unique and truly an ultra-high throughput method, as thousands to millions of chemical compounds (peptides, peptidomimetics, small molecules, nucleic acids, and macrocyclic natural product like molecules) can be efficiently synthesized and screened in parallel in a relatively short time.
|Na Li||Amgen Inc|
I am senior scientist in pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism (PKDM) department at Amgen since 2017. My current role at Amgen is to lead the initiative to understand the in vitro and in vivo disconnection as it relates to drug transporter mediated absorption, distribution, and elimination. Prior to join in Amgen, I was the technology manager at Corning Life Sciences and lead the ADME R&D group to develop novel in vitro drug metabolism, transporter and toxicity models to support drug ADME and tox research. I received my PhD in pharmacology from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire in 2007. From 2007 and 2009, I was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Yurong Lai’s Lab at pharmacokinetics, dynamics and metabolism (PDM) Pfizer St. Louis. My major research focused on development and implement proteomics approach to decipher the species difference of drug transporters and improve the interspecies scaling and in vitro to in vivo extrapolation for transporter mediated drug clearance. I am a patent inventor and the author of 18 original publications in the peer-reviewed journals.
|Mingxiang Liao||Clovis Oncology|
Michelle (Mingxiang) Liao is an Associate Director of Clinical Pharmacology and Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) at Clovis Oncology. Prior to that, she was a Senior Scientist and group leader of DMPK at Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co. since June 2007. She was responsible for the in vitro permeability and transport studies to support projects at all stages of discovery and development. She obtained her PhD degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Peking Union Medical College, and did her postdoctoral research at Dr. Maria Almira Correia’s lab at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
|David Liu||Protagonist Therapeutics Inc|
Dr. Liu has served as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Protagonist Therapeutics since May 2013 and has served as CSO and Head of Research and Development since February 2016. Prior to Protagonist, Dr. Liu was the Chief Operating Officer and a co-founder of Trenovus, Inc., from 2010 to 2012. Prior to Trenovus, Dr. Liu was Vice President of Research at FibroGen Inc., from 2002 to 2010. Prior to Fibrogen, Dr. Liu served as Director of Inflammation Research at Scios, Inc., now part of Johnson & Johnson, from 1992 to 2002. Dr. Liu held a position as an academic researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and was Instructor and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, from 1976 to 1986. Dr. Liu received his PhD in microbiology and immunology from Michigan State University, and his BS in chemistry from The University of Chicago.
|Scott Lokey||Univ Of California Santa Cruz|
Scott Lokey received his PhD 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.
|Matthew Lucas||Yumanity Therapeutics|
Matt Lucas is currently Senior Director of Chemistry at Yumanity therapeutics. A successful Leader and Manager with over 16 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.
|Robert Luedtke||Univ of North Texas|
Dr. Luedtke obtained his PhD in the area of Molecular Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Tenured Professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center working in the are of Molecular Pharmacology. His primary research focus has been on the development and characterization of D2 and D3 dopamine receptor selective ligands.
|Charles Lugar||Eli Lilly & Co|
I joined Eli Lilly in 1991 after completing my undergraduate work at Indiana University and followed up with my Master’s Degree in Organic Chemistry from Purdue in 1994. After working on variety of targets focused predominately on nuclear hormone receptors, I led a team of chemists in the evaluation of scaffolds for new projects in early lead generation space. Most recently, I served as the chemistry team leader for the RORgt inhibitor project.
|Guangzhong Ma||Arizona State Univ|
|Galia Maik-Rachline||Weizmann Institute of Science|
Galia Maik-Rachline, from the Weizmann Institute of Science, grew up in Israel and received her Bachelor's and Master’s degrees from the University of Miami, USA in 1994 and 1997, respectively. She then returned to Isreal where she obtained her PhD degree from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2004 and continued working as a staff scientist with Professor Rony Seger on the development of PEDF mutants as anticancer drugs. She then worked for several years at the Life Science Research Israel (LSRI) Ltd. after which she returned to the Weizmann Institute. Since 2010 she has been working as a staff scientist focusing on the nuclear translocation of MAPKs as a novel therapeutic target for cancer and inflammation related diseases.
|Susruta Majumdar||St Louis College of Pharmacy|
Sush Majumdar received his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from University of Florida, FL and a Post-doc in Neuropharmacology from Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY. He is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Anesthesiology at the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, St Louis College of Pharmacy and Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, MO. Research in the Majumdar laboratory is aimed at attaining functional selectivity of opioid agonist action from its on target adverse effects while integrating chemical synthesis with biochemical, genetic and pharmacological approaches. Work from the laboratory has led to probes which display G-protein biased signaling, transmembrane splice variants of mu opioid receptor agonists and aided the crystallization of kappa opioid receptor in its active form.
|Eric Marsault||Univ of Sherbrooke|
Éric Marsault studied chemistry at École Supérieure de Chimie Organique et Minérale (ESCOM) in Paris and at Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI), then obtained a PhD in organic chemistry from McGill university under the direction of the late Pr George Just in 1996, where he worked on an asymmetric synthesis of DNA phosphorothioates. Following an 18-month period as a visiting scientist with Sanofi (Milan), he joined the lab of Pierre Deslongchamps in Sherbrooke for postdoc (1998-2000), working on the transannular iels-Alder strategy for synthesis of diterpene-like products. He then joined the recently incorporated Néokimia (which became Tranzyme Pharma in 2004) as a scientist (2000), then group leader (2001-2006) then director of medicinal chemistry (2006-8). During these years of construction and intense development of the company, he had the opportunity to develop his skills in combinatorial chemistry, medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, assuming responsibilities in platform development, medicinal chemistry, lead optimization and manufacturing which led to the discovery of several preclinical macrocyclic candidates on G protein-coupled receptor targets, two of which reached clinical phases 2 and 3 for gastro-intestinal disorders.In 2009, he joined Université de Sherbrooke (Dpt of Pharmacology) as associate professor and opened a medicinal chemistry lab at the Institut de Pharmacologie de Sherbrooke (IPS). His lab, which now includes 18 students, focuses on the use of small molecules to validate emerging biological targets, and functions in a highly collaborative way in which there is always a partner from pharmacology, physiology, biology or medicine. This exposes students to an interdisciplinary environment and gives them access to complementary expertise in terms of mentoring. His works have lead to several collaborations with pharmas, including the first investment of the recently founded Néomed on the development of host-based inhibitors against influenza. He is co-author of over 30 research papers and co-inventor of over 35 patent applications. Since 2013, he is director of the FRQS-funded Réseau Québécois de Recherche sur le Médicament (www.rqrm.ca) and director of the Institut de Pharmacologie de Sherbrooke www.usherbrooke.ca/ips).
|Subhi Marwari||SUNY Upstate Medical University|
Dr. Subhi Marwari received her PhD in Pharmacology & Pharmacy from the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore. Dr. Marwari developed the clinically translatable non-invasive intranasal delivery platform for the novel “stapled” peptidomimetics in rodents and advanced the peptide macrocycles technology to a diversity of in-vivo applications in eating and central nervous system therapeutics. Prior to her doctoral research, she contributed extensively in developing the novel chemical entities and animal models of drug discovery for a variety of physical and mental illnesses at Drug Development Unit (DDU), NUS. She has recently been awarded an NIH funded postdoctoral fellowship in eating associated mental disorders at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Overall, with 8 years of experience in drug development, 2 international patents and >25 publications and conference presentations, her current research interests continue to develop in the protein engineering and biochemical developability assessment to study molecular properties at the transition from research to early development in preclinical and clinical subjects.
|Mary Matyskiela||Celgene Corp|
Mary Matyskiela is a Principle Scientist and group leader in the Structural and Chemical Biology department at Celgene. She received a BS in Chemistry at Yale University, followed by PhD work at the University of California San Francisco and postdoctoral studies at the University of California Berkeley focusing on ubiquitin ligase and 26S proteasome structure and function. Her work at Celgene includes biochemical and structural studies on small molecule modulation of cereblon for targeted protein degradation.
Till is currently director of NMR in research and development at Merck (MSD). Previously at Genentech/Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck Darmstadt (EMD), his time in pharmaceutical industry was focused on drug discovery and development of small and large molecules. His expertise in fragment-based lead discovery enabled the discovery and development of inhibitors and delineation of the mode of action on traditionally hard to drug targets such as BACE, kRAS and USP7. Prior to working in industry, Till was assistant professor for Biophysics at Regensburg University, Germany and is currently adjunct professor. He studied Chemistry at the Goethe University in Frankfurt and did his PhD in biophysical chemistry under the mentorship of Prof. Heinz Rueterjans, a post-doc at the Biomolecular Research Institute and WEHI in Melbourne in Dr. Ray Norton’s group and the Max-Planck-Institut for medical Research in Heidelberg with Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Robert Kalbitzer. Till recently developed methods for selective labeling of poly-Ubiquitin chains to delineate the preference of deubiquitinating enzymes for different ubiquitin chain linkages.
|Robert Mazzola||Merck Research Labs|
|Frank McCormick||Univ of California San Francisco|
Prior to joining the UCSF faculty, Dr. McCormick pursued cancer-related work with several Bay Area biotechnology firms: Cetus Corporation Director of Molecular Biology, 1981-1990; Vice President of Research, 1990-1991 and Chiron Corporation, Vice President of Research 1991-1992. In 1992 he founded Onyx Pharmaceuticals and served as its Chief Scientific Officer until 1996. At Onyx, he initiated and led drug discovery efforts that led to the approval of Sorafenib in 2005 for treatment of renal cell cancer, and for liver cancer in 2007. Sorafenib is being tested in multiple indications worldwide. Dr. McCormick is the author of over 285 scientific publications and holds 20 issued patents. He also served as President, 2012-2013 for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Since 2013, he has lead the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) sponsored Ras Initiative at the Frederick National Laboratories for Cancer Research, overseeing the NCI’s national effort to develop therapies against Ras-driven cancers.
|Dustin Mergott||Eli Lilly & Co|
Dr. Dustin J. Mergott received his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1998. He then received his PhD in organic chemistry in 2004 from the University of Michigan under the guidance of Professor William R. Roush, and subsequently completed a two-year postdoctoral appointment at Harvard University in the lab of Professor Eric N. Jacobsen. Dustin joined Lilly in 2006 where he is currently Senior Research Advisor and Medicinal Chemistry Group Leader. While at Lilly, Dustin’s research has focused on Alzheimer's Disease. He has held key leadership roles on multiple amyloid and tau programs and has helped advance several molecules into clinical development. Dustin is an avid runner, having completed two full marathons and many half-marathons. He also loves to hang out with his family!
|Samy Meroueh||Indiana Univ|
|Scott Mlynarski||AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals|
|Igor Mochalkin||EMD Serono R&D Institute 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).
|Raymond Moellering||Univ of Chicago|
|Lauren Monovich||Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc|
|Barry Morgan||HitGen Ltd|
|Kari Morrissey||Genentech Inc|
Kari Morrissey, PhD is a Scientist in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at Genentech, where she is the Clinical Pharmacology lead on several oncology programs in early and late stage clinical development. Dr. Morrissey received her BS in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles and her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics from the University of California, San Francisco. At the same time as her graduate training, Dr. Morrissey was also a graduate fellow in the Office of Clinical Pharmacology at the FDA. Dr. Morrissey is an Associate Editor of the BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology Journal, member of the Scientific Program Committee of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and co-chair of the IQ Consortium Drug Transporter Working Group.
|Gerhard Mueller||Gotham Therapeutics|
Gerhard Mueller is CSO of Gotham Therapeutics, New York, US since 2017. 2011-2017: Senior Vice President Medicinal Chemistry at Mercachem, NL. 2008-2011: CSO of Proteros Fragments, Munich, D. 2005-2008: VP Drug Discovery at GPC Biotech, Munich, D. 2003-2005: CSO of Axxima Pharmaceuticals, Munich, D. 2001-2003: Head Medicinal Chemistry, Organon, NL. Before: Medicinal Chemist at Glaxo, Bayer
|Melinda Mulvihill||Genentech Inc|
Melinda (Mela) Mulvihill is a Scientist in the Biochemical and Cellular Pharmacology Department at Genentech specializing in Biophysics applied to Small Molecule Drug Discovery. She earned her BS in Chemistry at Sonoma State University, PhD in Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego with Professor Elizabeth Komives, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley with Professor Daniel Nomura.
|Lenka Munoz||Univ of Sydney|
Lenka Munoz received PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Bonn, Germany. Her post-doctoral training in molecular pharmacology was at the Northwestern University, USA. She is an Associate Professor and Laboratory Head at The University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanism of action of kinase inhibitors in cancer models and developing effective therapies for glioblastoma. Recent work includes publications in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Cancer Cell, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemical Pharmacology, Oncogene and Cell Death Discovery. She also has a substantial intellectual property and out-licencing portfolio around neuro-oncology therapeutics that she has developed.
|Brian Murphy||Bristol Myers Squibb Co|
|Aditya Murthy||Genentech Inc|
Aditya completed his undergraduate and doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, Canada. His PhD explored the role of metalloproteinase enzymes and their inhibitors in inflammation, focusing on cytokine biology. With a growing interest in mucosal immunology, Aditya joined the Immunology Department of Genentech as a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Menno van Lookeren Campagne in 2011. Focusing on human genetics and the contribution of germline variants to inflammatory bowel disease, Aditya’s work investigated the role of autophagy, a cellular catabolic process, in regulating the immune response. This work identified a molecular mechanism underlying a common risk variant in the autophagy gene Atg16L1, whereby a missense mutation (T300A) sensitized the protein to Caspase-mediated degradation and compromised autophagy (Murthy et al, Nature 2014). In 2014, Aditya joined the Cancer Immunology department as a Scientist in the stromal biology group led by Dr. Shannon Turley and Dr. Ira Mellman. Currently, Aditya’s group uses insights gained from GWAS (genome-wide association studies) of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases to identify pathways that may contribute to a productive anti-tumor immune response. A strong focus of the lab is elucidation of targetable nodes in the autophagy pathway.
|Songqing Na||Eli Lilly & Co|
Songqing Na is a senior research advisor at Eli Lilly’s Immunology research, Biotechnology Center, San Diego. He has been working on discovery of novel therapeutic proteins, oncology drug discovery and immunology research for autoimmune diseases. Several projects he led and helped have been advanced in clinical at different stages. Dr. Na has extensive experience in both large and small molecule drug discovery covering both oncology and immunology.
|Anil Nair||Icagen Inc|
Anil C. Nair is responsible for the computer-aided drug discovery at ICAGEN. Prior to this, he was the Head of in silico Drug Discovery at Sanofi Tucson site. Dr. Nair has a PhD in Quantum Chemistry and over 20 years of experience in computer-aided drug design.
|Santhosh Neelamkavil||Merck Research Labs|
Dr. Santhosh F. Neelamkavil, PhD, is Director, Global Chemistry at the Kenilworth site of Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc., New Jersey. He leads a multidisciplinary drug discovery team with research interests and responsibilities that include the discovery of innovative therapeutic agents to treat the most significant unmet medical needs. He has expertise working across the therapeutic areas of neuroscience, cardio-metabolic, immuno-oncology and infectious diseases. He has also managed fragment-based drug discovery efforts and led or co-led multiple programs with external CROs. His work has led to the discovery of multiple pre-clinical and clinical candidates and is the co-author and co-inventor on 47 publications, granted patents and pending patent applications. He has presented in multiple international conferences. In 2013, he was selected for Young Investigator Award from American Chemical Society, Organic Division. He most recently served as the editor for Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry III Vol. 7 published in 2017 by Elsevier. Prior to working at Merck, Dr. Neelamkavil received his PhD from University of Illinois at Chicago working with Professor David Crich and later completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratories of Professors Amos B. Smith III and Ralph F. Hirschmann at the University of Pennsylvania.
|Marc O'Reilly||Astex Pharmaceuticals|
BSc Hons in Physics from Imperial College London; DPhil in structural biology at Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics and Corpus Christi College, Oxford; Post Doc & MRC training fellowship in the Rhodes Group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), Cambridge (UK). I joined Astex Pharmaceuticals in 2000 and am now Senior Director and Head of the Molecular Sciences Group, which supports Astex’s fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) capability (recombinant protein production, structural biology (crystallography, cryo-EM), biophysics (SPR, ITC, NMR, MS, Tm) & bioinformatics)
|Julien Orts||ETH Zurich|
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.
|Brian Paegel||Scripps Research Institute|
Brian M. Paegel (pronounced “Pay-gull”) is associate professor with tenure in the Department of Chemistry at Scripps Research. He earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Duke University (1998) and his doctoral degree in chemistry from UC Berkeley (2003). In 2008, Paegel was appointed to the chemistry faculty and relocated to the new east coast campus of Scripps Research in Jupiter, Florida. His laboratory develops new technology for drug discovery, integrating approaches in molecular combinatorics and miniaturization. Ongoing studies concern controlling cellular membrane assembly and measuring membrane transport, the evolution of new proteases for mass spectrometry-based proteomics, DNA-encoded library design and synthesis, combinatorial chemistry, microfluidic circuit prototyping, and instrumentation engineering. As faculty at Scripps Research, he has received a NIH Director’s New Innovator award and a NSF CAREER award.
|Prakash Palde||Pfizer Inc|
I am currently a Principal Scientist leading the Biophysics efforts at Pfizer. The area of my expertise includes biophysical characterization of protein-ligand interactions using label-free methods. I received my PhD in Biophysics in 2009 from the University of Rochester following which I gained postdoctoral experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
|Snahel Patel||Genentech Inc|
Snahel Patel is Scientist, Discovery Chemistry, at Genentech, Inc., where he is responsible for therapeutic projects focused on chemical series development from hit through lead optimization. Currently, he is a Chemistry Team Lead specializing in the areas of inflammation and neurodegeneration which, along with his team, has led to successful nomination of two early development candidates entering pre-clinic. Snahel has also served as a team member of projects in which he is co-inventor of GDC-0134 currently in Phase I trials for ALS. Snahel has led technology initiatives in the Discovery Chemistry group including a medicinally attractive building blocks store, parallel chemistry service for array synthesis and worked collaboratively with Roche colleagues in Basel on aspects of global screen file enhancement and potential technology sharing. 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.
|Maurizio Pellecchia||Univ of California Riverside|
Maurizio Pellecchia, PhD 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.
|Mark Peterson||Cyclenium Pharma|
Dr. Peterson recently co-founded Cyclenium Pharma with a focus on developing and utilizing a next generation macrocyclic technology for novel drug discovery. Prior to Cyclenium, Dr. Peterson was Vice President, IP & Operations at Tranzyme Pharma, a pioneer in the use of small molecule macrocycles in pharmaceutical research, where he led the chemistry R & D efforts during the technology development stage of the company and the initiation of its discovery programs, then later was instrumental in contributing to the development of its clinical portfolio and building an extensive portfolio of over 120 patents and applications. Previously with Monsanto and Advanced ChemTech, he has worked in a variety of research areas including structure-based design, solid phase organic chemistry, combinatorial technologies, synthetic automation, heterocycles, unnatural amino acids, peptides and peptidomimetics. A native of Wisconsin, he received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Washington State University and conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Minnesota, the last year receiving an NIH National Research Service Award. He is author or co-author of over 85 publications and abstracted presentations plus three book chapters, as well as co-inventor on over 25 patents.
|Tanja Poljak||Fidelta Ltd.|
Tanja Poljak is a Group Leader at Fidelta. She received her PhD (2007) in Organic Chemistry from Zagreb University. Tanja has an experience workingon macrocycles and small heterocyclic compounds. She has worked on different therapeutic areas (antiinfectives, antiinflammatories, pain, oncology) and in all stages of early drug discovery.
Markus got fascinated by the process of protein degradation early on during his Master’s thesis at Free University in Berlin, where he worked on proteasomal functions and ubiquitin-binding proteins. He further gained broad knowledge in respiratory diseases, inflammation and oncology while pursuing a PhD in molecular biology and medicine of the lung in Germany and at Albert-Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He moved on to a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago, where in collaboration with Noble Laureate Aaron Ciechanover, he discovered a hypoxia-regulated ubiquitin-ligase. Prior joining GSK, he specialized in ubiquitin-ligase recruitment in ER-associated protein degradation at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Oxford. Currently, he is Scientific Leader within the Protein Degradation DPU, leading the technology branch.
|Ganesh Rajaraman||Celgene Corp|
|Murali Ramachandra||Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd|
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.
|Zoran Rankovic||St Jude Childrens 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). 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, book books and chapters.
|Hasane Ratni||F Hoffmann La Roche AG|
|Christopher Reynolds||Univ Of Essex|
Chris Reynolds is a Royal Society Industry Fellow at the University of Essex (UK) with links to Sosei Heptares (Cambridge, UK), funded to study new computational methods to study GPCRs. Chris studied Chemistry at St Andrews University and then completed his PhD in computational chemistry after a short time in industry. He became interested in drug design while doing a Postdoc under Graham Richards FRS in the Physical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford, and then became a lecturer in Chemistry and then a full professor in Biological sciences, both at the University Of Essex, UK. He has a long standing interest in GPCRs, which was developed through collaboration with a number of groups worldwide. His interests in class B GPCRs arose through development of a sequence alignment method that works in the twilight zone, but he is now enjoying access to cryo-EM structures through collaboration with the Sexton group, Monash.
|Aurelien Rizk||InterAx Biotech AG|
Dr. Aurélien Rizk studied mathematics and physics in Paris, France. He was admitted to Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan where he studied computer science. He worked on the reverse engineering problem of genetic networks during internships in Grenoble, France in 2005 and at Brandeis University, USA in 2006. In 2007 Aurélien Rizk started his PhD studies at INRIA, a French national research institution focusing on computer science. He worked on developing novel analysis methods for complex biological networks using temporal logic as a specification language. Under the supervision of Prof. François Fages, he authored or co-authored ten peer-reviewed publications and obtained his PhD in 2011 from Paris Diderot University. Aurélien Rizk co-founded Algorizk in 2011, a company developing real-time interactive physics simulation apps for mobile devices which attracted more than one million users. Aurélien Rizk is now chief technology officer of InterAx Biotech AG which he co-founded in 2016. At InterAx he is developing mathematical models of signaling pathways activated by GPCRs to enable a better prediction of the action of drug candidates both in vitro and in vivo.
|Marianne Sadar||BC Cancer Agcy|
Dr. Sadar is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia and Distinguished Scientist in the Department of Genome Sciences at BC Cancer. Dr. Sadar’s research has focused on identifying mechanisms of transactivating the androgen receptor which is a therapeutic target for prostate cancer and other diseases. Uniquely her research has focused on developing therapies to the intrinsically disordered N-terminal domain of the androgen receptor which acts as a hub for essential protein-protein interactions required for its transcriptional activity. She has identified the first small molecule inhibitors that directly bind to the N-terminal domain of androgen receptor that has yielded compounds that have been taken into clinical trials. Her first-in-class compounds were granted a new stem class from the USAN council “-aniten”. Related work includes developing imaging agents with small molecules that bind to unique regions of the N-terminal domain of androgen receptor. Her current areas of research interest are concentrated predominantly on indications for prostate cancer and breast cancer. Dr. Sadar is a co-founder, Director and Chief Scientific Officer of ESSA Pharma Inc. (EPIX, NASDAQ). She has served in lead ship positions such as President of the Society of Basic Urologic Research and the Y2017 Chair of the USA Army’s Department of Defence’s Programmatic Panel for their Prostate Cancer Research Program. Dr. Sadar has served on over 50 grant panels including 5 years on the NIH study session for Drug Discovery & Molecular Pharmacology.
|Tomi Sawyer||Merck Research Labs|
At Merck, Dr. Sawyer leads a Peptide Drug Hunter Network of more than 300 scientists who are actively engaged in peptide drug discovery programs, core capabilities and a knowledge engine. Prior to joining Merck & Company, Inc., Tomi was the founding Chief Scientific Officer at Aileron Therapeutics and Senior Vice-President of Drug Discovery at Ariad Pharmaceuticals (recently acquired by Takeda). He is credited with pioneering work across receptors, proteases, kinases and protein–protein interaction target space that has resulted in novel peptides, peptidomimetics, small-molecules and natural products that have advanced into the clinic and are now marketed drugs. Tomi is credited with more than 550 scientific publications, patents, and presentations. He holds Adjunct Professorship and Scientific Advisory Board appointments at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Northeastern University Center for Drug Discovery. Tomi is past-President of the American Peptide Society, was co-Chair of the Eighteenth American Peptide Symposium and is a recipient of the DuVigneud Award for his peptide scientific achievements.
|Erik Schaefer||AssayQuant Technologies|
Dr. Schaefer has over 20 years of experience at Life Science tool companies integrating innovative technologies to create new products that accelerate discovery and drug development. He has led high-performing teams with increasing responsibility and commercialized over 400 new products. His expertise is workflow solutions to elucidate the role of protein kinases and phosphatases in regulating intracellular signaling pathways in normal and disease states. Dr. Schaefer has 63 peer-reviewed publications and 4 patents.
|Avner Schlessinger||Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai|
Dr. Avner Schlessinger is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacological Sciences and an Associate Director of the Center for Therapeutics Discovery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. 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 pharmacogenomics. Dr. Schlessinger graduated from Tel Aviv University with a BSc in Biology and Chemistry and completed his PhD from Columbia University in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. As a PhD student, he developed programs predicting protein structure and function using various machine-learning approaches such as artificial neural networks. 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 rationally design tool compounds for various membrane proteins and protein kinases. Dr. Schlessinger serves on the editorial boards of PLOS Computational Biology and Journal of General Physiology.
|Gisbert Schneider||ETH Zurich|
Gisbert Schneider is a full professor at ETH Zurich, holding the Chair for Computer-Assisted Drug Design, and the Associate Vice President for ETH Global. His research focuses on the integration of artificial intelligence into practical medicinal chemistry. His career has led him from the Pharmaceuticals Division at Roche, Basel, to academia, initially to the Goethe-University in Frankfurt where he held the Beilstein Endowed Chair for Chem- and Bioinformatics. He is an elected Fellow of the University of Tokyo, and has co-founded several start-up companies.
|Gottfried Schroeder||Merck & Co|
Dr. Gottfried Schroeder joined the Biochemistry and Biophysics group at Merck-Boston in 2012. Since that time Gottfried has applied a wide range of biophysical techniques coupled with automation to projects in multiple disease areas from the early discovery through pre-clinical candidate space. These efforts encompassed small scale screening to in-depth mechanism of action studies, including several clinical assets. In 2015, Gottfried assumed a leadership role in surface plasmon resonance (SPR) at the Boston site providing continued support for multiple pre-clinical and clinical programs spanning small molecule, peptide, and oligonucleotide modalities. Dr. Schroeder received his doctorate (UNC-Chapel Hill) under Richard Wolfenden with a focus on enzymology and biophysics. His post-doctoral work at UT-Austin with Chris Whitman and Kenneth Johnson (collaboration) centered on advanced transient state kinetics methods and enzyme mechanism. Gottfried’s current interests include further integration and application of SPR data to the drug discovery process.
|Sachdev Sidhu||Univ of Toronto|
Dr Sidhu is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and the Donnelly Centre at the University of Toronto. Dr Sidhu is also the founder of the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre (TRAC) and the Centre for Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (CCAB). Dr. Sidhu joined the Donnelly Centre for Cellular & Biomolecular Research in 2008 after ten years as a Principal Investigator in the Department of Protein Engineering at Genentech. He returned to academia after a distinguished career at Genentech where he led the development of its phage display technology. Dr. Sidhu's research is primarily focused in the field of protein engineering and technologies that explore and shape protein and antibody structure and function, with the aim of crafting better therapies for cancer and other diseases. He has a wealth of experience in commercial antibody discovery. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and is a co-inventor on more than 50 patents granted or filed with the US patent office. Dr. Sidhu was the recipient of the 2015 Christian B. Anfinsen Award of the Protein Society for significant technological achievements in protein research.
|Gregg Siegal||ZoBio BV|
|Kyle Simonetta||Nurix Inc|
Kyle Simonetta earned his PhD in 2010 from the University of California, Berkeley, in the laboratory of John Kuriyan, studying the structural mechanisms underlying the recognition of primer-template DNA junctions and release of sliding clamps onto DNA by the pentameric AAA+ clamp loader complexes. Following his graduate work, Kyle moved on to a postdoc in the laboratory of Michael Rape at U.C. Berkeley, studying the druggability of ubiquitin E3 ligases using high-throughput screening. At its inception in 2012, Kyle moved to Nurix where he has played a role in various discovery programs identifying, characterizing, and progressing small molecule modulators of E3 ligases.
|Pawel Sledz||Univ of Zurich|
|Quentin Smith||Texas Tech Univ|
Quentin Smith’s primary research interests are focused on assessing and ultimately improving drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier for the treatment of brain tumors, stroke, and neurodegenerative disease. He has established highly sensitive, regio-specific methods to map the distribution of low levels of bound and free drug in brain and brain metastases of breast cancer following systemic drug administration in animals. His lab is dissecting the roles of key BBB transporters in controlling brain and brain metastasis exposure of drugs. Also, he is working on developing and evaluating modified drugs that are specifically designed to circumvent the BBB. Both novel carrier vectors to deliver conventional drugs and rational design of drug modifications that retain chemotherapeutic activity while circumventing the transporters that limit brain access are being investigated. Research is funded by the Cancer Prevention Research Incentive of Texas (CPRIT), DoD, NIH, and numerous collaborations with industry.
|Whitney Smith||Collaborative Drug Discovery Inc|
|David Spellmeyer||Circle Pharma Inc|
David Spellmeyer serves as CSO at Circle Pharma. Prior to Circle, David served in senior positions at several drug development and life science services companies. He was involved in the development of peptoids and peptides as therapeutics at Chiron. David received his PhD in theoretical organic chemistry from UCLA and completed postdoctoral training in pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF, where he is an adjunct Associate Professor.
|Paul Sprengeler||eFFECTOR Therapeutics Inc|
|Alexander Statsyuk||Univ 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 32 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, novel probes UbFluor to conduct HTS screens to discover E3 ligase inhibitors and hijackers, and E3-Substrate crosslinkers useful to study E3-Substrate interactions in vitro and to validate E3-Substrate hijackers in vitro.
|Vicky Steadman||Eurofins Pharma Discovery Serivices|
Vicky carried out a PhD and post-doc in total synthesis of macrocyclic natural products at Cambridge University with Prof Ian Paterson and at U Penn with Prof Amos B. Smith, III. Her industrial career initiated at Merck (Terling’s Park) working on neuroscience targets. She then moved to GlaxoSmithKline (Harlow) focussing on anti-infectives and anti-inflammatories. Upon joining Selcia in 2008, she rose from Senior Scientist to Director of Discovery. Upon Selcia’s acquisition by Eurofins in 2017, she has taken on a global role as Business Line Leader of Integrated Drug Discovery Services at Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services. Vicky has a strong track record in innovative medicinal chemistry, and has delivered multiple pre-clinical candidates for customers. She is named on around 30 papers and patents and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
|Terry Stouch||Science for Solutions LLC|
Dr. Terry Richard Stouch has 30 years’ experience in drug discovery research in large pharmaceuticals and biotech. His specializations are drug design, molecular property prediction, molecular and biomolecular structure, computational sciences, pharmaceutical data evaluation and modeling, and scientific software design. He has participated in placing 8 compounds into human clinical trials. He has worked in most therapeutic areas including metabolic diseases, cardiovascular, oncology, anti-infective, immunology, and osteology. He consults for large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, biomolecular and chemical database organizations, and chemical and biomolecular software companies, among others. He is president of Science For Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in molecular and computational sciences; Senior Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design; and Adjunct Professor Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). Previously he was Director, Computational Chemistry and Structural Biology at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals; Consultant at the Protein Data Bank; Adjunct Professor Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky; Principal Scientist in Macromolecular Structure and Computer-Aided Drug Design at Bristol-Myers Squibb; and an Office of Naval Technology Postdoctoral Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory. Both his PhD in chemistry with Professor Peters Jurs and BS in biochemistry were earned at the Pennsylvania State University. He is author of over 70 publications and has presented over 140 invited lectures.
|Hiroaki Suga||Univ 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.
|Hao Sun||Seattle Genetics Inc|
Hao Sun is a Principal Pharmacokineticist at Seattle Genetics. He earned his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Utah in 2007 studying cytochrome P450 catalysis, enzyme kinetics, and molecular modeling under the supervision of Prof. Garold S. Yost, before joining Pfizer (Groton, Connecticut). At Pfizer, his research interests included application of structure-based modeling approaches for drug metabolism and drug design, using in vitro, in vivo and in silico approaches to predict human pharmacokinetics and drug interactions. In 2015, he joined Covance (Madison, Wisconsin), where he was responsible for all development DMPK studies and contributed to numerous IND and NDA studies. In 2018, he joined Seattle Genetics (Bothell, Washington) and is currently focused on support of Seattle Genetics’ late stage portfolio including both small molecules and ADCs. He has coauthored 30 publications in the field of drug metabolism.
|Roger Sunahara||Univ of California San Diego|
The Sunahara lab utilizes biochemical, biophysical and pharmacological methodologies to study ligand binding and mechanism of activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). The diversity of GPCRs and the physiological importance of this superfamily of cell surface receptors make them excellent therapeutic targets. While approximately 30% of all drugs currently on the market target GPCRs directly, off-target effects leading to adverse events, as with many drug and drug targets, remain an obstacle. Our goal is to take advantage of structural and pharmacological approaches to understand the mechanism and structural bases for ligand efficacy and to apply our knowledge to the design and engineering of safer and more efficacious therapeutics.
|S Joshua Swamidass||Washington Univ|
S. Joshua Swamidass MD PhD is a physician scientist and professor at Washington University in Saint Louis. His group is funded by the NIH to model bioactivation pathways in order to understand drug toxicity, and how alterations these pathways increase the risk of children to some medicines. http://swami.wustl.edu/
|Gregory Tall||Univ of Michigan|
|Jack Taunton||Univ of California San Francisco|
Jack Taunton’s research at UCSF focuses on structure-based design of reversible and irreversible covalent inhibitors, as well as mechanistic studies of cyclic peptide natural products. Jack is a co-founder of Principia BioPharma, Global Blood Therapeutics, Kezar Life Sciences, and Cedilla Therapeutics. Jack earned his graduate degree in the laboratory of Stuart Schreiber at Harvard University and completed postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Tim Mitchison at Harvard Medical School. He has been on the faculty at UCSF since 2000 and was a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator from 2008-2015.
|Raymond Tesi||INmuneBio Inc|
Dr. Tesi is President, Chief Executive Officer and acting Chief Medical Officer of INmune Bio (NASDAQ: INMB) since formation of the company in September 2015. Dr. Tesi has a long-history of industry employment focused on developing therapies to manipulate the immune system. Prior to joining industry, Dr. Tesi was an academic transplant surgeon transplanting liver, kidney, pancreas and small intestine. Dr. Tesi received his MD degree from Washington University School of Medicine in 1982. Dr. Tesi has been a licensed physician since 1982 and Fellow of the American College of Surgery.
|Scott Thacher||Upsher Smith Labs Inc|
Scott Thacher founded Orphagen in 2001. He has 30 years of experience in life sciences research and pharmaceutical R&D. Scott led Orphagen to its first partnership in 2008 with JT Pharma and created first-in-class discovery programs for two other orphan nuclear receptors, steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) and ROR-beta. Scott has been awarded 15 SBIR and other grants to support drug discovery at Orphagen. Prior to founding Orphagen, Scott directed programs in acne, psoriasis, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes at Allergan, focusing on nuclear receptor-based therapeutics, served on management teams for strategic collaborations in dermatology and diabetes, and supported the successful NDA filing for Tazorac® (tazarotene), a topical retinoid for psoriasis and acne. He is author on 30 publications in cell biology and pharmacology, including the discovery of transglutaminase type 1 (TGase1). Scott was previously on the biochemistry faculty at the Texas A&M College of Medicine (1986-1993) and holds a PhD in biophysics from Harvard University and a BS in physics (Stanford). Scott is also a co-founder of Io Therapeutics and co-founder and first President of the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange.
Eric Therrien is an experienced medicinal and computational chemist leading computational efforts in the Drug Discovery Group. Prior to joining Schrödinger, he worked as a scientist in various therapeutic areas within the biotech and CRO industry. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Université de Montréal and post-doctoral training from McGill University.
|Alex Thomsen||Columbia Univ|
Dr. Alex Rojas Bie Thomsen is a Danish Scientist who holds a BSc in Biochemistry, MSc in Human Biology, and PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The majority of Alex’ research has been focused on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and how this family of cell membrane proteins may be used as drug targets to treat a variety of diseases. Dr. Thomsen has performed research in several different world-leading laboratories including Edward M. Brown’s lab at Harvard Medical School, which Alex visited during his PhD studies, and Nobel Laureate Professor Robert J. Lefkowitz’ lab at Duke University where Alex was a postdoctoral fellow. Alex also has research experience outside of academia from employment in the biotech startup company INAGEN Aps, as well as in the pharmaceutical company LEO Pharma A/S with which he collaborated with during his PhD studies. Very recently, Alex was recruited by Columbia University as an assistant professor where he will continue his research on endosomal GPCR signaling, which is a phenomenon he discovered and characterized during his postdoctoral training at Duke University. During his short career, Alex has published several papers in world leading scientific journals such as PNAS and Cell, and has been the recipient of several awards including the Sapere Aude: Young Elite Researcher Award.
|Maricel Torrent||AbbVie Inc|
Dr. Torrent has been working in the field of Molecular Modeling/Computational Chemistry for the last 15+ years, in the context of the pharma/biopharma industry (Merck, Abbott, and now AbbVie), with special emphasis on research in drug discovery and the early pipeline across multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Torrent is sought by her colleagues both in biology and in medicinal chemistry for her expertise in target exploration and druggability assessment as well as her proven record of finding hits, turning hits into tools, advancing tools into leads, and ultimately optimizing the best leads into preclinical candidate molecules using a variety of in silico methods. Dr. Torrent deeply understands the value of education and scientific knowledge dissemination, both nationally and internationally. She has been part of the Distinguished Faculty at Cambridge Healthtech Institute since 2011, teaching annual workshops in the U.S. She is also part of the AbbVie Faculty in partnership with AUW (Asian University for Women).
|Maxim Totrov||MolSoft LLC|
|Sree Vadlamudi||e therapeutics PLC|
Dr. Sree Vadlamudi is a medicinal and computational chemist by training with over 14 years’ experience in the Biotechnology industry. He has a track record in leading projects from inception to lead generation and optimisation and is a named author on multiple patents and publications. Sree joined e-therapeutics in 2013 as a Programme Manager to help in the implementation of the network-driven approach to drug discovery. He is responsible for overseeing chemistry and programme management activities to enable delivery of multiple projects. Sree has also gained commercial experience in managing alliances, collaborations and business development activities in biotech and CRO environments.
|Steven Van der Plas||Galapagos NV|
Dr. Steven Van der Plas is currently a Group Leader at Galapagos. Steven received his Master’s degree (2004) in Chemistry and PhD (2009) in Organic Chemistry from Ghent University under the supervision of Professor Annemieke Madder. During his PhD, Steven was looking for artificial estrogen receptors by building short peptide strands on a pre-organized scaffold. After his PhD, Steven joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department of Galapagos in 2008. At Galapagos, Steven has worked on different targets in inflammation, fibrosis and cystic fibrosis. In his role as lead chemist, Steven led the team that discovered several clinical compounds for cystic fibrosis: GLPG1837, GLPG2451, GLPG2737 and GLPG3067.
|Jo Varshney||VeriSIM Life|
Dr. Jo Varshney, DVM, PhD, is Founder and CEO of VeriSIM Life and serves on the advisory boards for several companies that leverage AI tools for biotechnological solutions. During her Ph.D. in Comparative Oncology/Genomics/CS, she identified and developed a novel therapeutic candidate for Osteosarcoma that is currently in Phase 1 trial. She also led the winning team of data scientists and engineers at the Google NF2 Research Hackathon.
|Marcel Verdonk||Astex Pharmaceuticals|
Marcel Verdonk received his PhD from Utrecht University in 1995. He then spent four and a half years at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC), where he was responsible for the development of a number of structure-based design tools. Since November 2000, Marcel has been at Astex Pharmaceuticals, where he heads up a group developing informatics and structure-based design software applications.
|Domagoj Vucic||Genentech Inc|
Domagoj Vucic, PhD, is a Principal Scientist at Genentech in South San Francisco, USA. He obtained BS from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and PhD from the University of Georgia, USA. He completed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Vishva Dixit. Domagoj’s laboratory investigates the biological role of modulators of signaling pathways mediated by ubiquitination, and their involvement in cellular processes triggered by TNF family ligands and other pro-inflammatory stimuli. At Genentech, he leads an effort to develop compounds that target select kinases and ubiquitin ligases for blocking uncontrolled inflammatory responses and/or enhancement of the survival of damaged cells and tissues.
|Michal Walczak||Captor Therapeutics Ltd|
|Björn Walse||SARomics Biostructures/Red Glead Discovery|
Dr. Björn Walse is co-founder and CEO of SARomics Biostructures with over 20 years of drug discovery experience. He has a deep interest in hit finding strategies and especially for inhibiting PPIs. He performed postdoctoral research at UC Berkeley and received his doctorate in physical chemistry from Lund University, Sweden.
|Charles Wartchow||Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research|
My current area of focus is early-stage LMW drug discovery, including fragment-based screening, hit validation, and hit profiling by biophysical methods including SPR, BLI, DSF, and Biodesy’s SHG platform. I have experience with screening DNA-encoded libraries, assay development, and the development of biosensor-based instrumentation platforms. These areas are supported by an emphasis in multiple life science disciplines including organic chemistry (PhD, The Ohio State University), biochemistry and molecular biology (post-doctoral studies, University of California, Berkeley), and in analytical chemistry in a clinical diagnostics setting.
|Adrian Whitty||Boston Univ|
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 BSc in Chemistry at King’s College, University of London, and a PhD 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.
|Alan Wickenden||Janssen R&D|
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.
|David Wustrow||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.
Dr. Xiong received his PhD from University of Rochester in 1989. After completing a PhD Postdoctoral fellowship at Cold Spring Harbor Lab, from 1993 up to now, Dr. Xiong joined Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a William R. Kenan Professor. He was awarded Pew Scholar Award (1995), American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Research Award (1995), AACR-Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Awards (1999), UNC Hettleman Award for Scholarly Achievement (1999), UNC Battle Distinguished Cancer Research Award (2011), Elected Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science (2012). To date, Dr. Xiong has published more than 160 research papers on ubiquitin ligase system and cell cycle control. In 2018, he co-foudned Cullgen.
|Fei Xu||Shanghai Univ of Science & Technology|
Professor Fei Xu obtained her PhD degree from The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, California, USA) and spent two years in a start-up biotech company developing GPCR-targeted therapeutic biologics after graduation (Shanghai, China/USA). She was appointed as an Associate Research Professor at iHuman Institute, ShanghaiTech University (Shanghai, China) since 2013. The research interests of her lab include deciphering the signaling pathways of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in human cells, with an emphasis on GPCR signaling in developmental biology. One of the focus is on the Frizzled family GPCRs – a non-canonical class of receptors – to uncover their structures, ligands, and regulation in the cells. Recently, her lab made some interesting discoveries on the full-length Smoothened and the first Frizzled receptor structures.
|Shinji Yamazaki||Pfizer Global R&D|
Shinji Yamazaki is an associate research fellow in the department of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics & Metabolism (PDM) at La Jolla Laboratories of Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development (San Diego, CA). He has over 30 years of international experience in pharmaceutical industry to provide leaderships in drug discovery and development. His current research activities are mainly devoted to investigation of physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling, prediction of drug-drug interactions and translational pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling. He has authored and co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in these fields, and serves on the editorial board of Drug Metabolism & Disposition.
|Zhengyin Yan||Genentech Inc|
Zhengyin Yan is currently leading the in vitro DMPK group to support small molecule drug discovery at Genentech. Previously, he had been responsible for in vitro ADME support for nearly 17 years at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Discovery in Spring House, PA. His main scientific interest includes in vitro assay development, drug metabolism, and ADME-guided lead optimization in drug discovery.
|Yao Yao||Univ of Georgia|
Dr. Yao Yao is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Georgia. His research interest lies in Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) and Stroke with a focus on the basement membrane (BM), the non-cellular component of the BBB. Specifically, the Yao Lab has been studying how the BM regulates Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) integrity in both physiological and pathological (stroke) conditions. The goals of the Yao Lab are to fully understand the biological function of the BM in BBB maintenance, generate novel models/tools for BBB research, and develop innovative therapeutics for neurological disorders with BBB disruption.
|Andrei Yudin||Univ of Toronto|
Dr. Yudin received his undergraduate degree at Moscow State University in 1992. He subsequently worked in the laboratories of G. K. S. Prakash and the Nobel Laureate George A. Olah at USC, where he obtained his PhD in 1996. In 1998, following postdoctoral training in the laboratory of the Nobel Laureate K. Barry Sharpless at the Scripps Research Institute, Yudin started his independent career at the University of Toronto. He became an associate professor in 2002, which was followed by promotion to the rank of a full professor in 2007. Since January 2015, Professor Yudin has served as the Chair of the Board for Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry (a publication of the Royal Society of Chemistry, U.K.). Over the years, Yudin has examined diverse research areas, ranging from the use of electrochemical energy to activate organic molecules to the use of catalysts to accelerate chemical transformations. Yudin’s recent awards include 2017 world-wide Novartis Chemistry Lectureship, 2017 Alfred Bader Award, 2015 Bernard Belleau Award (CSC), 2015 Chambers Lectureship (University of Rochester), 2011 Inaugural Inventor of the Year Award (University of Toronto), 2010 Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Memorial Medal. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
|Tomoya Yukawa||Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc|
Tomoya Yukawa is Associate Scientific Fellow at Takeda pharmaceutical company. I work now focuses on chemical toxicology to reduce portfolio attrition in Discovery toxicology group. Before working here, I was a medicinal chemist and contributed the discovery of TAK-828, which is RORgt inverse agonist.
|Takeshi Yura||Jubilant Biosys Ltd.|
• Expertise: Medicinal chemistry, Drug discovery
• Education: Ph.D. in Chemistry (Organic Synthesis); University of Tokyo, Department of Chemistry; Ph.D. thesis: “Development of Stereoselective Aldol Type Reactions and Michael Type Reactions Utilizing Divalent Tin Enolates” University of Tokyo, Department of Chemistry M.B.A. from Temple University Tokyo
• Publications: 15 Patents; 16 papers
|Donglu Zhang||Genentech Inc|
Donglu Zhang received a PhD in Organic Chemistry from University of Utah. His current studies focus on soft-spot metabolite identification to support drug designs and to discovery ADCs. He previously worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals. He edited two books ‘Drug metabolism in drug design and development’, and ‘ADME-enabling technologies in drug design and development’. The mass defect filter (MDF) methodologies he co-invented have been widely used in high resolution mass spectrometry for metabolite identification.