Finding novel, druggable targets for therapeutic intervention remains a top priority for the pharma/biotech industry, especially when it comes to building a robust drug discovery pipeline. It also remains a formidable challenge and companies continue to invest a lot of time and resources in identifying and validating good drug targets to pursue. What are the challenges in target discovery? What tools and strategies are being used and how well are they working? What’s being done to ensure that validated targets lead to better and safer therapies? Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s conference on Target Identification and Validation will bring together leading experts to discuss some of these critical questions. The conference will help attendees meet and interact with experts and peers from around the world to share ideas and hear about new strategies and technologies helping target discovery.

 

Part 2: Focus on Chemical Biology and Phenotypic Screening

This part of the Target Identification and Validation conference will describe how phenotypic screening and chemical biology can be used to find new drug targets, validate existing targets for new indications, and better understand how inhibiting or activating these targets could impact other cellular pathways.

Preliminary Agenda

EXPLORING VARIOUS MODELS, ASSAYS & PLATFORMS FOR HIGH-THROUGHPUT SCREENING

Strategies for the Development of Quantitative HTS Assays Targeting Rare Diseases

James Inglese, PhD, Head, Assay Development & Screening Technologies, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH

Identification of Essential Genes for Cancer Immunotherapy Using High-Throughput Genome Engineering

Neville Sanjana, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Biology, Neuroscience and Physiology, New York University and Core Faculty Member, New York Genome Center

Talk Title to be Announced

Geoffrey Bartholomeusz, PhD, Associate Professor and Director, Target Identification and Validation Program, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Talk Title to be Announced

Madhu Lal-Nag, PhD, Team Leader, RNAi Screening, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health

CHEMICAL BIOLOGY & CHEMOPROTEOMICS FOR TARGET DISCOVERY AND MECHANISM-OF-ACTION STUDIES

Understanding the Mechanism of Kinase Inhibitors

Lyn Jones, PhD, Vice President, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Jnana Therapeutics

YOUNG INVESTIGATORS FORUM:

This session will feature short talks given by students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty, offering them an opportunity to showcase their findings and receive feedback from experts. The investigators also will discuss some of the challenges they faced with experimental design and/or data analysis, and the feedback they receive will hopefully help them, and others, tackle these issues in the lab.

CASE STUDIES ON HOW TO DECONVOLUTE EXISTING TARGETS & TACKLE CHALLENGING ONES

Chemical Probes in Target Discovery

Paul Brennan, PhD, Associate Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Oxford; Principal Investigator, Target Discovery Institute, Structural Genomics Consortium

Target Validation in the IL17 Signaling Pathway: Challenges and Opportunities

Alex Lipovsky, PhD, Senior Scientist, Foundational Immunology, AbbVie

Small Molecule Modulators of Inflammation

Sinu John, PhD, Staff Scientist, Signaling Systems Section, Laboratory of Immune System Biology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Small Molecule Modulators of Conformationally Dynamic Protein Targets

Evripidis (Evris) Gavathiotis, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine