Plenary Keynote Program

Join colleagues from around the world for the Discovery on Target Plenary Keynote Program. Bridging both halves of the event, it's the only time our whole community of drug discovery professionals assembles together to learn about big-picture perspectives, innovative technologies, and thought-provoking trends from luminaries in the field.

This year’s program runs on Wednesday, October 2. Please revisit this page in April/May for additional content and timing details.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2

Discovery of Transformative Rx to Treat Obesity and Related Diseases
Richard DimarchiRichard DiMarchi, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chair, Biomolecular Sciences, Indiana University; former Executive, Lilly and Novo Research Labs
Obesity represents a medicinal challenge that warrants broad molecular diversity. We have pioneered the recruitment of endogenous hormones and physiological mechanisms optimized for pharmacological purposes to address it. The discovery of single-molecule, multi-mechanism incretins enables breakthrough efficacy in lowering body weight. The integrated pharmacology of these peptides, with endocrine proteins and nuclear hormones, is providing a library of drug candidates that promises even greater clinical outcomes and therapy for associated diseases that have historically proven as intractable to treat as obesity once constituted.

Talk Title to be Announced
Stephen FesikStephen W. Fesik, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology & Chemistry; Orrin H. Ingram II Chair in Cancer Research, Vanderbilt University


PLENARY KEYNOTE BIOGRAPHIES

Richard DiMarchi, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chair, Biomolecular Sciences, Indiana University; former Executive, Lilly and Novo Research Labs
Professor DiMarchi is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He is a former Group Vice President at Lilly and later Novo. His contributions pertain to the discovery and development of Humalog®, rGlucagon®, Forteo®, and Evista®. His research includes discovery of peptides transforming the treatment of diabetes and obesity. He is co-inventor on >100 U.S. patents and co-author to >250 scientific publications. He was identified as a top-five translation researcher by Nature Biotechnology. Since 2003, he has co-founded eight successful biotech companies.

Stephen W. Fesik, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology & Chemistry; Orrin H. Ingram II Chair in Cancer Research, Vanderbilt University
Stephen W. Fesik, PhD is the Orrin H. Ingram II Chair in Cancer Research and a Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology (VICB), and the Center for Structural Biology (CSB). The focus of his research is on cancer drug discovery using fragment-based approaches and structure-based drug design. Prior to joining Vanderbilt in May 2009, Dr. Fesik was the Divisional Vice President of Cancer Research at Abbott (2000-2009) where he built a pipeline of compounds that are showing promising anti-cancer activities in early-stage clinical trials. In addition, while he was at Abbott, he developed several new NMR methods, determined the three-dimensional structures of several proteins and protein/ligand complexes, pioneered a fragment-based method for drug discovery called SAR by NMR, and applied this method to identify and optimize ligands for binding to many protein drug targets. Dr. Fesik has published more than 295 papers, trained 68 postdoctoral fellows, and has served as a member of the Editorial Boards of many scientific journals, scientific advisory boards, and the Keystone and Bruker Board of Directors. He has also obtained several awards, such as the Lifetime Achievement Award in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance from EAS (2003), the SBS Technology Innovation Award (2010), the NIH Director's Pioneer Award (2010), the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research (2012), and 2021 Chester Stock Award from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.