Interactive Breakout Discussions

Join a virtual breakout discussion group. These are informal, moderated discussions with brainstorming and interactive problem solving, allowing participants from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas and experiences and develop future collaborations around a focused topic.

This year’s breakouts will take place on Wednesday, September 16, 3:00 - 3:35 pm and – bring your own lunch! – Friday, September 18, 1:25 - 2:00 pm.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 | 3:00 - 3:35 PM

How Can Chemoproteomics Technologies and Assays be Exploited for Target ID and Validation?

Daniel Nomura, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, University of California Berkeley

Uwe Rix, PhD, Associate Member, Department of Drug Discovery, Moffitt Cancer Center

  • What are persistent chemoproteomics bottlenecks and how can we overcome them?
  • What makes chemoproteomics approaches complementary to other technologies (e.g. functional genomics) and what can it provide that these don’t?

Using Diverse Modalities to Effectively Target RNA

Marla Weetall, PhD, Vice President, Pharmacology and Biomarkers, PTC Therapeutics

Daniel Fernandes, PhD, DSc, CSO, CharlestonPharma, LLC

Isabel Aznarez, PhD, Co-Founder, Vice President & Head, Biology, Stoke Therapeutics

  • Opportunities and challenges using small molecules to target RNA
  • Use of antibodies to target RNA
  • Advantages of using antisense oligonucleotides for modulating RNA pathways

Characterization of Antibodies Against Membrane Proteins

Joseph Rucker, PhD, Vice President, Research and Development, Integral Molecular, Inc.

  • Affinity and Kinetics: Useful approaches for characterizing antibody binding
  • Epitopes: Different techniques for epitope mapping; binning versus mapping; why do epitopes matter?
  • Specificity: Understanding off-target binding
  • Cell Function: Integrating functional assays into antibody discovery and development

Drug Development Challenges for NASH Therapies

Bryan C Fuchs, PhD, Senior Director & Research Therapeutic Area Head, GI & Liver Disease, Ferring Research Institute

  • Animal models for NASH
  • Surrogate markers for NASH
  • Predicting the medical landscape (combination therapies?)

Translational Strategies in CNS Drug Development

Dario Doller, PhD, Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Alcyoneus ScienceWorks, LLC.

  • What is the most translationally influential technology developed in the last 5 years? (overall, and specifically for brain diseases)
  • What is the biggest translational challenge within CNS drug discovery and development?
  • What it the next translational breakthrough you see coming in the horizon?

iPSC Disease Modelling

Stefan Braam, PhD, CEO & CSO, Ncardia BV

  • Where can iPSC based disease models be best applied in the drug discovery funnel?
  • Are drug responses affected by the genetic background of iPSCs?
  • What is needed for successful implementation of iPSC disease models in drug discovery?
  • What are the benefits of using iPSCs for drug discovery?

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 | 1:25 - 2:00 PM

Role of Structural Biology and Molecular Modeling during Drug Lead Generation

Maricel Torrent, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, Molecular Modeling, AbbVie Inc.

  • What key questions can be answered by early protein models and structures to help triage and advance hits?
  • Crystal structures vs. 3D protein homology models? Multiple domains, protein partners? Medchem strategy selection?
  • Early assessment of binding site(s) and projected growth/potential of each chemotype/series?

What Are Some of the Challenges in Bringing Protein-Degrader Drugs to the Clinic?

Jian Jin, PhD, Mount Sinai Endowed Professor in Therapeutics Discovery; Professor, Departments of Pharmacological Sciences & Oncological Sciences; Director, Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutics Discovery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Daohong Zhou, MD, Professor, Department of Pharmacodynamics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida at Gainesville

  • Improving degrader efficacy
  • Minimizing on-target drug toxicity
  • Translational challenges

Structural and Biophysical Tools for GPCRs

Huixian Wu, PhD, Structural Biology Lab Head, Discovery Sciences, Medicine Design, Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development

  • GPCR crystallography innovations and applications
  • CryoEM insights
  • NMR for GPCRs
  • GPCRs and Nanodiscs

New Fibrosis Targets & Establishing Proof of Concept

Katerina Leftheris, PhD, VP & Head, Chemistry, Pliant Therapeutics

  • Renal fibrosis targets
  • Inflammation/Immune targets
  • Current and novel biomarkers
  • Imaging techniques in discovery

Preclinical Strategies for T Cell Therapy

Lindsay King, PhD, Associate Research Fellow, Biomedicines Design, Pfizer Inc.

  • Preclinical challenges in CAR T Cell therapy development in solid tumors
  • Exploratory assays for T Cell therapy development
  • Major translational challenges
  • Therapy breakthroughs

Imaging in Drug Target Research and Preclinical Studies

Tapan Nayak, PhD, Director, Translational Imaging Biomarkers, Merck & Co., Inc.

  • Technology update
  • Novel applications
  • Immuno-oncology insights

Integrated Biomarker Approaches

Katherine M. Call, PhD, Senior Director & Head, Proteogenomics, Sanofi Genzyme R&D Center

  • Integrating genomics, genetics, proteomics, post-translational modifications, molecular histology, and other data for biomarker discovery
  • Informatics tools and data requirements for biomarker identification
  • Translational approaches for biomarker discovery, qualification, and clinical development
  • High-throughput biomarker analysis and data generation
  • Integrated biomarker approaches for disease progression monitoring and predicting response to therapy

Advances in Structural Biology for Drug Discovery and Development

Tyler Beyett, PhD, Research Fellow, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School

  • Emergence of cryo-electron microscopy
  • Advances in membrane protein crystallography
  • Application of computational methods to challenging targets

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