Noah Pefaur is a Senior Scientist at Abbvie Incorporated, in the Biologics Generation Group. His team focuses on the discovery of IgG, soluble library based bispecific discovery, and biologics engineering at the interface between rational design and throughput. He received BS degrees in Biology and Biochemistry, and a MS in Molecular Biotechnology from Eastern Washington University in 1999. He has worked as a cellular immunologist in target discovery and utilized yeast and phage display libraries for antibody discovery and protein engineering. In his 19 years in industry he has worked on multiple teams which have led to clinical candidates. While at ICOS corporation he was responsible for in-vitro and in-vivo studies of a PI3-kinase inhibitor program which identified the lead eventually marketed as Zydelig®, a CLL treatment. At ZymoGenetics he was part of the team which identified an anti-IL-21 IgG currently under Phase 2 investigation for applications in rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes treatment by Novo Nordisk. At AbbVie he identifies solutions to engineering hurdles in Oncology and Immuno-Oncology programs. He has established high throughput robotics based platform for the cloning of DNA vectors, mammalian expression, purification and assay of proteins.
Jane Seagal is a Principal Research Scientist in Biologics Generation Group at AbbVie Bioresearch Center in Worcester, MA. She joined Abbott/AbbVie in 2010 and has been leading and supporting biologic drug discovery projects in Immunology, Oncology and Neuroscience. Currently, she is leading the In Vivo Antibody Discovery Group and chairs the Biologics Generation Request Team responsible for biologics discovery and screening funnel strategies. Jane’s scientific training is in Immunology focused on B cell biology and antibody responses. She received her PhD in Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and completed her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School.
The speaker is a Project Leader and Senior Scientist at AbbVie Biologics. Before joining AbbVie in 2010, he worked at Pfizer for 6 years as a Project Leader and Lab Head with expertise on protein sciences enabling small molecule discovery. He got his PhD from NYU and postdoctoral training at Harvard University.
|Lisa Hazelwood||AbbVie Inc|
|J Brad Shotwell||AbbVie Inc|
J. Brad Shotwell obtained his PhD from Yale University followed by a postdoctoral appointment from the National Cancer Institute at the University of Michigan. Bradjoined AbbVie in 2015 as the Senior Group Leader for Early Chemistry. Prior to joining AbbVie, Brad filled a series of roles over 10 years within oncology and infectious diseases medicinal chemistry at GlaxoSmithKline. Brad is coauthor of over 40 peer reviewed scientific publications and patents.
Kevin Heyries holds a PhD in biochemistry (Uni. of Lyon, France) where his doctoral work focused on the development of miniaturized technology using microfluidics for antibody analysis. During his postdoctoral work (Uni. of British Columbia), he developed high throughput microfluidics systems for digital PCR and single-cell genomics. Dr. Heyries was instrumental in the development of AbCellera’s technology, where he also led several antibody discovery programs and is now leading business development and strategy.
Dr. Vera Molkenthin earned her PhD in Biology at the University of Mainz, Germany, and has more than ten years of experience in antibody discovery and engineering. Vera was leading the Antibody Discovery group at Affimed Therapeutics AG (now Affimed N.V.) and managed the transfer of the technology to AbCheck in 2009. Since 2010 Vera has a lot of experience in leading partnered projects and is an expert in AbCheck’s expanding technology platforms.
|Christopher Roth||Abilita Bio|
Chris Roth joined Abilita Bio as the Vice President of Innovation in 2016, capping more than two decades of expertise in membrane protein engineering, structural biology and drug discovery. Prior to joining Abilita Bio, Dr. Roth was an early member of the scientific team at Receptos, where he led GPCR protein engineering and technology development efforts from 2009 to 2015. Dr. Roth conducted postdoctoral research in GPCR structural biology in the laboratory of Dr. Raymond Stevens at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), where he also earned his PhD.
|Colby Souders||Abveris Antibody|
Colby Souders graduated with his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from Texas A&M and joined MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School as a Scientist in the Product Discovery department before becoming Assistant Professor of Medicine. At MassBiologics, he worked to advance monoclonal antibodies for the prevention, treatment or diagnosis of various infectious and endogenous diseases, as well as develop related platform technologies to advance and expand the MassBiologics pipeline. In 2016 he joined the Kanyos Bio Protein Engineering team to develop therapeutics based on a novel antigen-specific immune tolerance platform. After completing multiple antibody discovery, affinity maturation and protein engineering campaigns at Kanyos, Colby joined Abveris Antibody in August of 2018 as Chief Technology Officer to usher in a new generation of antibody discovery tools and work to build a premium discovery engine with industry-leading timelines.
|Samantha Cobb||AdAlta Pty Ltd|
Sam Cobb is the founding CEO of AdAlta and ASX listed company focused on the development of its i-body technology and lead candidate AD-214 for the treatment of IPF. As the founding CEO of AdAlta Sam has raised over $25m for AdAlta and has seen AdAlta progress from an idea to a company with an advanced lead ready to enter the clinic next year for the treatment of fibrosis. Sam has a science and law background.
|Rebecca Niles||Adimab LLC|
Rebecca Hurley Niles is a Senior Scientist in the High-Throughput Expression group at Adimab. She holds a BS in Biology from Brandeis University and a PhD in Biochemistry from Dartmouth College. In 2008, Dr. Niles joined Adimab as a postdoc in the Antibody Discovery group where she played an integral role in building and developing the yeast antibody discovery platform. In 2017, she transitioned into the High-Throughput Expression group to further develop and optimize Adimab’s mammalian expression/ production platform. Dr. Niles currently leads the Mammalian Expression group where her team focuses on cell line development and production of antibodies, bispecific molecules and antigens in HEK and CHO cells.
|Peter Traber||Alacrita Consulting|
Dr. Traber is president emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine, where he was chief executive officer from 2003 to 2008. From 2000 to 2003, he was senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs and chief medical officer of GlaxoSmithKline plc. Dr. Traber served as chief executive officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and was chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and chief of gastroenterology for the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Traber has also managed a molecular biology research laboratory and published over 100 articles of original research, reviews and book chapters. Dr. Traber received his MD from Wayne State School of Medicine, a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, and a certificate in medical leadership from Wharton Business School.
|Vishal Toprani||Alexion Pharmaceuticals|
Dr. Vishal Toprani is a Scientist in the Pharmaceutical Development department at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, New Haven, CT. Dr. Toprani received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Macromolecule and Vaccine Stabilization Center at University of Kansas in which his doctoral studies was focused on better understanding of vaccine stability as applied to pharmaceutical development of various recombinant protein vaccine candidates. After his PhD, he subsequently started as a scientist at Alexion Pharmaceuticals. He is currently focused on stabilizing and formulating high concentration antibody drug products using state-of-the-art biophysical technologies and modern high throughput approaches.
I joined Amgen-San Francisco in 2011 after completing graduate and postdoctoral training in protein engineering under Alice Ting (MIT) and David Liu (Harvard, HHMI). Since 2012 I have been part of the Selection and Platform Engineering Group within Biologic Discovery. I relocated to Amgen-Thousand Oaks in 2015 to lead a team that uses display library technologies and next-generation sequencing to advance the pipeline and develop new molecule platforms. My team and I have executed on antibody, protein, and peptide engineering projects within Amgen’s neuroscience, cardiometabolic, and oncology therapeutic portfolio.
Dr. Kielczewska holds a PhD degree from McGill University in Human Molecular Genetics. After her graduate studies she joined a biotechnology company Inimex Pharmaceuticals, where she co-discovered the mechanism of action of the lead molecule (now in Phase 3 clinical trials). Since 2011 she has been holding roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen British Colombia. She is currently in a senior scientist position, heads the Cell Sciences group, and leads a number of therapeutic and reagent antibody discovery programs utilizing in vivo and in vitro discovery technologies.
Dr. Xinchao Yu is a senior scientist and the cryo-EM lab head at Amgen. Xinchao received his PhD in Biophysics from Boston University with systematic training in single particle cryo-EM. During his postdoctoral training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, he used the combination of X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM to study molecular machineries involved in vesicular trafficking, as well as honing his expertise in membrane protein biochemistry. Since 2015, Xinchao has been leading the cryo-EM efforts at Amgen to build up the cryo-EM infrastructure to support drug discovery and has made significant progress to support SAR. Within the last years alone, Xinchao and colleagues determined multiple high-resolution structures of different membrane protein targets with the help of antibodies, to visualize small molecules to facilitate medicinal chemistry. His team also provides support to epitope mapping by solving cryo-EM structures of antibody/antigen complexes that are difficult to crystallize.
|Upendra Dahal||Amgen Inc|
|Kevin Pong||Anima Biotech|
Kevin Pong serves as Anima Biotech’s Vice President of business development. He brings more than 20 years of scientific, strategic, business development, and alliance management experience from large, medium, and small biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He joins Anima from Summit Therapeutics where he served as vice president of business development, licensing, and alliance management. Prior to Summit, he led the identification, evaluation, and negotiation of CNS business development opportunities at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Sunovion, he supported and led business and corporate development efforts for the branded pharma and device business units at Endo Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Endo, he held leadership roles in discovery neuroscience research at Wyeth. Dr. Pong holds a BS in Biological Sciences and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Rutgers University.
|Meizhong Jin||Arrakis Therapeutics|
Meizhong is a passionate drug hunter with >10 years of small molecule drug discovery experience across several therapeutic areas. He started his industry career at OSI Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Astellas in 2011) in 2005, where he successfully contributed to OSI/Astellas’ oncology pipeline in kinase and epigenetic field. Meizhong then transitioned to Arvinas Inc. in early 2014, where he led a team identified a PROTAC development candidate for targeted protein degradation. Later in 2016, inspired by his immense interest in drugging RAS, Meizhong joined Warp Drive Bio (WDB), where he led a team discovered first-in-class, highly potent and selective GTP-RAS inhibitors through a novel small molecule mediated ternary complex formation mechanism. In early 2019, following WDB’ s acquisition, Meizhong took on a new challenge to drug RNA by joining Arrakis Therapeutics. Meizhong earned his PhD in organic chemistry from Lanzhou University in China. He completed post-doctoral training in total synthesis of macrocyclic natural products at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Notre Dame. Meizhong has authored >50 peer-reviewed publications, patents & patent applications.
|Miklos Bekes||Arvinas Inc|
Dr. Bekes is a Research Investigator at Arvinas, Inc in Platform Biology, where he leads biology efforts around ubiquitin E3 ligases. Previously, he worked as part of Lead Discovery at Nurix, Inc. Prior to that he was a Visiting Fellow at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he worked on the structural understanding of ubiquitin chain recognition by viral effector proteins. Dr. Bekes trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the NYU School of Medicine in ubiquitin-dependent DNA repair mechanisms; and received his PhD from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied the biochemistry of SUMO proteases in the lab of Dr. Guy Salvesen.
|Puja Pathuri||Astex Pharmaceuticals|
Puja Pathuri is an Associate Director in the Molecular Sciences Group at Astex Pharmaceuticals, a fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) company in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Previously she received her BS in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2002 and received her PhD in Biological Sciences in 2007 at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Before joining Astex Pharmaceuticals in 2010, she completed a 2-year postdoc at the ETH in Zürich, Switzerland in the Richmond lab.
James studied for his PhD at University College London investigating mechanisms of GPCR signalling and regulation. He then moved to The Scripps Research Institute to undertake a postdoc focussed on mechanistic pharmacology of the Orexin-1 Receptor. He joined AstraZeneca in early 2015, originally in the assay development group, where he developed a broad range of assays for neuroscience, oncology and immuno-oncology projects. In early 2019 he moved into AstraZeneca’s Mechanistic Biology and Profiling department. There he leads a team of scientists with the goal of optimising drug candidates through quantitative mechanistic characterisation and understanding how this modulates cellular systems in cancer.
Trevor is Associate Director in the Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering (ADPE) department of the AstraZeneca BioPharmaceuticals Unit. In this role Trevor is responsible for therapeutic project delivery and the production of purified, high quality, proteins and biologics. Trevor holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Southampton and an MBA from the University of Hertfordshire.
|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.
|Alwin Schuller||AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals|
Alwin Schuller earned his PhD from Erasmus University in the Netherlands. He then came to the US for postdoctoral training and never went back. Schuller’s post-graduate school experience includes about 20 years in Biotech / Pharma (Millennium, Wyeth, Novartis, Merck, AstraZeneca). He is currently a Senior Principal Scientist / Director at AstraZeneca managing a group of approximately 12 in vivo pharmacologists including a team specializing in immuno-oncology models. Schuller is the lead biologist on the A2AR project, as well as an earlier, not yet disclosed IO target.
|Fredrik Edfeldt||AstraZeneca R&D|
Fredrik Edfeldt works at AstraZeneca in Gothenburg, Sweden as a biophysicist specializing mainly in NMR and SPR. He has sixteen years of experience working with fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD), and is now recognized as one of the foremost experts on FBDD within AstraZeneca. Fredrik received his PhD in NMR structure determination from the University of Washington in 2001.
|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.
|Arthur Levin||Avidity Biosciences LLC|
Art Levin serves as Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Avidity Biosciences. Previously, he held that position at miRagen Therapeutics. Prior to that was Chief Development Officer of Santaris Pharma A/S and Senior Vice President of Drug Development at Ionis Pharmaceuticals. He has played key roles in the development of numerous of oligonucleotides including the first approved antisense NDAs, and the first microRNA-targeted therapeutic in clinical trials. He began his career at Hoffmann LaRoche where he made fundamental discoveries in retinoid biology. He has more than 20 years of oligonucleotide drug development experience a combined three decades of experience in all aspects of drug development from discovery through drug registration. Art has published over 70 scientific articles and several of the most cited reviews in the field. He serves as a director of Stoke Therapeutics and advise numerous investment firms and he is an active scientific advisor to a number of companies in North America, Europe and Asia. He received a doctorate in toxicology from the University of Rochester, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Muhlenberg College.
|Pierre Wasnaire||Bayer AG|
Pierre Wasnaire received his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Louvain. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of York, he joined Bayer in 2008. He worked in the Crop Science division where he was involved in the design and synthesis of the fungicide Fluoxapiprolin. Since 2013 at Bayer Pharma, he has worked and led discovery programs in disease areas like ophthalmology, ADC and Cardiovascular.
|Christine Beeton||Baylor College of Medicine|
Dr. Beeton received her PhD in Immunology from the University of the Mediterranean in Marseilles, France, where her research focused on animal models of multiple sclerosis. After graduation she joined Dr. Chandy’s group at the University of California, Irvine, for a postdoctoral fellowship. Through collaborations with chemists and structural biologists, they developed highly potent and selective Kv1.3 channel blockers and tested them on the function of human T lymphocytes and in animal models of autoimmune diseases. Dr. Beeton joined the faculty of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, where she was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2015. Her laboratory’s research focuses on targeting ions and ion channels for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
|Carleton Sage||Beacon Discovery|
Carleton Sage has 23 years of drug discovery experience in the biotech industry where developed and applied novel computational methods to integrate and exploit experimental, structural and bioinformatic data to support internal and partnered drug discovery and design projects. He has spent the last 17 years focusing exclusively on GPCR drug discovery. The projects he supported delivered one drug, Belviq, and 14 additional molecules into preclinical and clinical development in the areas of Metabolism, CNS, Inflammation and Cardiovascular disease. Carleton trained as a post-doctoral fellow in X-Ray crystallography with Robert Stroud at the University of California, San Francisco, and has a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Paola Bronson is the human genetics lead for Multiple Sclerosis at Biogen. As a Senior Scientist in the Human Target Validation Core (Translational Biology, Research & Early Development), Paola leads and interprets genetic studies to identify, validate & prioritize targets. She also collaborates with the Medical group to identify genomic biomarkers for treatment decision-making. Previously Dr. Bronson completed a postdoc in Human Genetics at Genentech. She studied at Duke University (B.S. in Biology), and UC Berkeley (Ph.D. and M.P.H. in Epidemiology). Her current research uses clinical trial data to examine the genetics of MS progression.
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.
Jeff Martin is a research scientist in the Chemical Biology and Proteomics group at Biogen in Cambridge, MA. Jeff uses chemical biology and chemoproteomics to support mechanism of action studies, target identification, and target engagement for multiple programs ranging from exploratory through late-stage research. He received his PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and completed an industrial postdoc at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA, within the Analytical Sciences and Imaging group.
I am a scientist at Biogen in Biologics Drug Discovery, CNS Delivery, where our focus is to develop innovative biotherapeutic technologies to fill unmet need for patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Trained as a biophysicist and biochemist, I am active in the field of blood-brain barrier research with focus on discovery and engineering of antibodies that transport across the BBB. I received my PhD in physics from McGill University, with specialization in cellular mechanics. As a postdoctoral scientist, I trained in membrane biophysics at the University of British Columbia and in single-molecule biochemistry at Brandeis University.
|Shijie Wu||Biosensing Instrument|
Dr Wu is the Application Scientist at Biosensing Instrument. Over 15 years of experience developing applications of award-winning technologies and an author of over 100 peer reviewed publications/application notes and 2 books. He has a PhD in Physical Chemistry from University of Guelph and BS in Chemistry from Nankai University.
|Ajay Yekkirala||Blue Therapeutics|
|Jason Brubaker||Blueprint Medicines|
|Niksa Kastrapeli||Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals |
Nikša Kastrapeli is director of Lead Identification in Biotherapeutics Molecule Discovery department at Boehringer Ingelheim. In this role he is primarily responsible for generating therapeutic antibody leads to support the global therapeutic area pipelines. Prior to Boehringer Ingelheim, Nikša was associate director in Protein and Antibody Engineering group at Shire where he was involved in all antibody discovery efforts, including de novo antibody generation, affinity maturation and engineering of leads prior to IND filing. Before joining Shire, Nikša led the Lead Discovery team at Dyax Corp.
|Andrew Nixon||Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals|
Dr. Nixon is currently Vice President, Biotherapeutics Molecule Discovery. In this role he is globally responsible for biologics lead generation and optimization including internal technology infrastructure. Prior to joining Boehringer Ingelheim Dr. Nixon was Head of Research for Dyax Corp. where he oversaw all early drug discovery programs from evaluation of target proposals to IND filing including most recently DX-2930, a fully human antibody inhibitor of plasma kallikrein. Dr. Nixon was responsible for drug discovery using Dyax’s phage display technology and the subsequent generation of cell lines suitable for antibody manufacturing. Dr. Nixon earned his PhD from the University of London for studies completed at the MRC’s National Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Nixon completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Prof. S.J. Benkovic, in the Department of Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University, where he was involved in the development of techniques to facilitate enzyme engineering.
|Eranthie Weerapana||Boston College|
Eranthie Weerapana is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Boston College. She received her BS in Chemistry from Yale University, and her PhD in Chemistry from MIT, where she worked with Professor Barbara Imperiali, investigating glycosyltransferases involved in N-linked glycosylation in the gram negative bacterium Campylobacter jejuni. She then performed postdoctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla where she worked with Professor Benjamin F. Cravatt to develop chemical-proteomic methods to investigate reactive cysteines in complex proteomes. Her interdisciplinary research program focuses on applying mass-spectrometry methods to identify regulatory cysteine residues in the human proteome, and chemical biology approaches to develop covalent small-molecule modulators for cysteine-mediated protein activities.
|Daniel Oprian||Brandeis Univ|
|Mahmoud Nasr||Brigham and Women’s Hospital|
I received a PhD in pharmaceutical Sciences from Northeastern University, and postdoc fellowship training at Harvard Medical School. Currently, I’m a group leader at Brigham and Women’s hospital in the Engineering in Medicine Division, Department of Medicine.
|Brian Murphy||Bristol Myers Squibb Co|
|Chi Sum||Bristol Myers Squibb Co|
Chi Sum is a Senior Research Investigator in Bristol-Myers Squibb in the Leads Discovery and Optimization Department, where he is responsible for the GPCR lead optimization and in vitro pharmacology studies. He received his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto, Canada. He was a Visiting Fellow in NIDDK of the National Institue of Health in Maryland, and prior to that a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada.
|John Doench||Broad Institute|
Since joining the Broad Institute in 2009, I have engaged in dozens of collaborations centered on functional genomics. As Associate Director of the Genetic Perturbation Platform, my role is to provide expert guidance on the design, execution, and analysis of genetic screens, and have done so with a wide variety of research groups across many areas of biology. Additionally, I have many years of experience in the development and use of functional genomic techniques, first with RNAi and more recently with CRISPR technology for genome-wide loss-of-function screening. As leader of research and development in the Platform, I have stayed on the cutting-edge of newest techniques while also focusing on the reduction-to-practice that is critical for enabling collaboration with a broader community of researchers. Prior to joining the Broad, I received my PhD in biology, training with Phil Sharp, and performed postdoctoral work with Ed Harlow at Harvard Medical School.
|Jen Pan||Broad Institute|
Jen Q. Pan is the director of translational neurobiology at the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where she is an institute scientist. The research of her group focuses on translating emerging genetics into biology and to enable next-generation therapeutics to treat psychiatric illnesses. In the past few years, Pan has been working on genes whose dysfunction has been implicated for psychiatric illnesses using molecular, cellular, and electrophysiological approaches, both in vitro and in animals. Her group has expertise in the physiology of ion channels, part of the large protein family critical to neurons firing and muscles moving. She leads the ICE-T (ion channel electrophysiology and technology) effort enabled by Broadnext10 initiative to utilize state-of-art technologies for studying ion channels and electrogenic transporters, and to find novel ways to modulate these highly specialized membrane proteins. Her work at Broad Institute has been supported by NIH, research foundations, and Broadnext10 initiatives. Before joining the Broad in 2007, Pan worked at Incellico, Scion Pharmaceutical, and Amgen. Much of her work in industry involved drug discovery of sodium and calcium channels and the specific roles they play in neuropathic pain, and other neurological and psychiatric disorders.
|Thomas Sundberg||Broad Institute|
Tom Sundberg has expertise in chemical biology and translational immunology in the Center for Development of Therapeutics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The focus of his work at CDoT is developing approaches to enhance anti-inflammatory functions of immune cells. As part of these efforts, he serves as a project lead for a collaboration with a biopharmaceutical industry partner developing first-in-class therapies for autoimmune/auto-inflammatory disorders. Tom received a PhD in chemical biology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and upon its completion in 2010 was awarded the American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University; in the course of the fellowship, he studied new chemical biology approaches to targeted protein degradation.
|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.
|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.
|Cory Hogaboam||Cedars Sinai Medical Ctr|
Dr. Cory M. Hogaboam is a Professor of Medicine in the Women’s Guild Lung Institute at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Hogaboam is also an Adjunct Professor of Pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School. His research group currently employs genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic approaches to analyze mechanisms contributing to fibrotic and immune system-directed responses in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), lung cancer, sarcoid, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma utilizing tissue-derived fibroblasts and other mesenchymal and immune cells from these pulmonary diseases. His group also uses translational approaches through the development of humanized SCID mouse models of IPF, cancer, and asthma. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Calgary, AB, Canada in 1989. He also holds a Doctorate in Pharmacology (1993) from the same institution. Dr. Hogaboam then engaged in Postdoctoral training in Immunology at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada from 1993 to 1996. In 1996, Dr. Hogaboam joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School as a Visiting Scholar. He became a faculty member of the Department at the rank of Research Investigator in 1998, Assistant Professor in 2002, Associate Professor in 2004, and full Professor in 2008. Dr. Hogaboam joined the faculty at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in September of 2013. Hogaboam is a member of several professional organizations including the American Association of Immunologists, the American Thoracic Society, and the American Association of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. He is presently serving on the editorial board of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. Dr. Hogaboam has authored or co-authored approximately 275 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 31 book chapters. He has authored or co-authored 11 patents on therapeutic interventions for lung and liver. Dr. Hogaboam has received financial research support from the National Institutes of Health, American Lung Association, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and many Industry sponsors.
|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.
|Weilin Xie||Celgene Corp|
|Paul Diehl||Cellecta, Inc|
Dr. Paul Diehl joined Cellecta, Inc. in 2010 where he applies over two decades of experience in commercial biotechnology and a formal background in biochemistry and molecular biology to developing and expanding the company’s commercial partnerships. Prior to joining Cellecta, Paul held various marketing and business development positions at B-Bridge International, Agilent Technologies, Clontech Laboratories and other companies. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Washington State University, Pullman, WA.
|John Montana||Charles River|
John Montana came to Charles River from Argenta, where he was Managing Director. Prior to that, he was Director of Research at Chiroscience, then, following the merger of Chiroscience and Celltech, he became Director of NCE Research, with overall responsibility for the company's small molecule portfolio. Dr. Montana is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and his research has appeared in excess of 150 peer-reviewed papers and patents.
|Michael Drummond||Chemical Computing Group|
Michael Drummond received his PhD from The Ohio State University, followed by postdoctoral appointments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of North Texas. His current research interests include modeling PROTAC-mediated protein degradation, enzyme engineering, and QSPR for antibody developability. He is currently the Scientific Applications Manager for Chemical Computing Group.
|Noriyuki Takahashi||Chugai Pharmabody Research |
Noriyuki Takahashi is a unit leader of Lead Identification unit at Chugai Pharmabody Research in Singapore and he has experienced plenty of therapeutic antibody projects. He is in charge of antibody screening assay setup and automation system for single B cell screening. Prior to joining drug discovery, he led Cell Line Development unit in CMC at Chugai Pharmaceutical in Japan.
|Sylvie Pucheu ||CILcare|
Before co-founding CILcare, Dr. Pucheu led an in-vivo pharmacology group working on tinnitus and hearing loss, alongside highly-regarded academic experts in hearing disorders. She also led scientific teams at Sanofi, in the fields of cardiology, oncology, aging and hearing, as well as being deeply involved in their Ethics Committee.
|Jason Sheltzer||Cold Spring Harbor Lab|
Dr. Sheltzer is an independent fellow and PI at CSHL, where his lab uses a variety of techniques to investigate chromosomal alterations and other changes found in cancer cells.
|Robert Thorn||Collaborative Drug Discovery Inc.|
|Matthew DeLisa||Cornell Univ|
Matthew P. DeLisa is the William L. Lewis Professor of Engineering in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University. His research focuses on understanding and controlling the molecular mechanisms underlying protein biogenesis -- folding and assembly, membrane translocation and post-translational modifications -- in the complex environment of a living cell. His contributions to science and engineering include the invention of numerous commercially important technologies for facilitating the discovery, design and manufacturing of human drugs and seminal discoveries in the areas of cellular protein folding and protein translocation. Professor DeLisa received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1996; a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 2001; and did postdoctoral work at the University of Texas-Austin, Department of Chemical Engineering. DeLisa joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University in 2003. He has also served as a Gastprofessur at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) in the Institut für Mikrobiologie.
|Ismail Moarefi||Crelux GmbH - a WuXi AppTec company|
Ismail Moarefi served as the CSO for Crelux for 14 years. At the WuXiAppTec subsidiary Crelux, he is responsible for science and new technologies and together with his team of experts supports a global network of customers in the fields of structural biology and biophysical assays for hit-finding and optimization.
|Guodong Zhang||Crown Bioscience|
Dr Guodong Zhang is the Director of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease at Crown Bioscience. He specializes in the development of animal models of obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, NAFLD/NASH, and CVD. He holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, has over 10 years of metabolic disease research experience, and holds three patents.
|Kuan-Fu Ding||Cubismi Inc|
Kuan-Fu Ding is currently the Chief Science Officer and Chief Technology Officer at Cubismi Inc. Until recently as the Chief Science Officer of Sapiens Data Science, Kuan led all aspects of the company’s science-related research, development, and solutions, including product strategy, bioinformatic and data analysis workflows, and technical support for commercial and operational functions. He worked closely with other company leaders to ensure effective use of diverse data sources, cost-effectiveness, and continuous improvement to achieve overall company success. Prior to joining Sapiens, Kuan was a Senior Data Scientist at Intrexon, where he pioneered data science and computational biology efforts in the health therapeutics division. He successfully created a scientific team dedicated to the application of bioinformatics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence algorithms in health. Kuan received a PhD in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology from the University of California, San Diego, a MSc in Biostatistics from the University of Virginia, and a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Plewe has over 20 years of drug discovery experience in biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Before joining Cullgen in 2018 as Vice President of Medicinal Chemistry he was the Head of Chemistry at Arisan Therapeutics, a start-up focused on developing novel treatments for neglected viral diseases. Prior to Arisan, he was an Associate Research Fellow and project leader at Pfizer Inc. working in multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, ophthalmology, antivirals, and diabetes. He was a medicinal chemist at Agouron and Vical. Dr. Plewe completed his postdoctoral training at the University of California in Irvine, and earned his Ph. D. and Diploma in organic chemistry from the University of Konstanz in Germany.
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.
|Nathanael Gray||Dana Farber Cancer Institute|
Nathanael Gray spent his childhood in Zambia, Yemen, India and Sudan before returning to the US to attend high school at Berkeley High in California. During his PhD at University of California at Berkeley, he discovered Purvalanol, one of the first selective inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases. After receiving the PhD in 1999, Dr. Gray moved to the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation in San Diego, where he was named Director of Biological Chemistry in 2001. Dr. Gray’s research team was responsible for the development of several clinical candidates, including BAF312 which is currently undergoing Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. Dr. Gray joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2006 to continue his research using synthetic chemistry and functional small molecule discovery to modulate biological pathways important in cancer. His research group has been responsible for the discovery of novel inhibitors of wild-type and mutant forms of EGFR (WZ4002), mTor (Torin1 and Torin 2), Bcr-Abl (GNF-2, GNF-5, HG-7-85-01), Mps1 (Mps1-IN-1 Mps1-IN-2), Erk5 (XMD8-92), b-Raf, LRRK2 (LRRK2-IN-1), Jnk1,2,3 (JNK-IN-7) and Ephrin kinases which have become widely used research tools and have inspired several drug discovery programs.
|Radoslaw Nowak||Dana Farber Cancer Institute|
Dr. Nowak is currently a scientist in the laboratory of Eric Fischer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His research interests revolve around transforming structural, biophysical, biochemical and proteomic insights surrounding PROTACs and other degrader molecules into predictive computational framework to accelerate degrader discovery and validation. Dr. Nowak received his DPhil from University of Oxford based on his work to develop inhibitors for histone lysine demethylases, a class of epigenetic readers.
|H James Harwood Jr||Delphi BioMedical Consultants, LLC|
Dr. Harwood is a former Principal Research Investigator at Pfizer. Currently, he is the Founder and Chief Consultant at Delphi BioMedical Consultants LLC, Adjunct Professor Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and Health Professions Advisory Committee Member at the University of Rhode Island, and Adjunct Professor Department of Pathology at Wake Forest University. Jim brings more than 30-year experience in drug R&D in the pharmaceutical industry, especially in physiology and pharmacology of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
|Valerie Chiou||Distributed Bio Inc|
|David Maurer||Distributed Bio Inc|
|John Irwin||Domain Therapeutics|
John Irwin is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Dpt of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California San Francisco. John works on methods to discover new reagents for biological targets using target- and ligand-based methods. John develops the ZINC database of commercially available compounds for virtual screening, the DUDE database for benchmarking virtual screening methods, the DOCK Blaster family of products for web-based virtual screening, and the SEA method of comparing proteins by the ligands they bind
|Olivier Lichtarge||Domain Therapeutics|
Olivier Lichtarge is Director of the Computational and Integrative Biomedical Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. His computational Laboratory is at the interface between bioinformatics, machine learning and evolutionary theory and works on applications from bacterial to cancer biology. An early contribution was the Evolutionary Trace (ET) method to predict protein functional sites and associated studies of the allosteric mechanism of signal transduction in GPCRs.
|Paul Shapiro||Eurofins DiscoverX|
Dr. Shapiro is a pharma/biotechnology scientist with more than 15 years of industry experience in assay development for drug discovery and pharmacology, across multiple therapeutic areas and target classes.
|Alpana Prasad||Eurofins Discovery|
Alpana Prasad, Ph.D. is responsible for Eurofins DiscoverX’s portfolio of cell-based assays, supporting biologics and small molecule therapeutics development from discovery to lot release, as well as custom production and bioassay cell banking. Alpana has extensive experience in marketing of life sciences research products & biosimilars drugs. She has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford.
|Suzanne Rzuczek||Expansion Therapeutics|
Dr. Rzuczek received a PharmD and PhD in medicinal chemistry from Rutgers University where her doctoral research focused on the design and synthesis of DNA G-quadruplex stabilizers. She joined Prof. Matthew Disney’s lab at Scripps Florida for her postdoctoral research where she worked to identify small molecule RNA binders and develop chemical tools to probe their selectivity. This work was primarily related to the toxic RNA repeat that causes Myotonic Dystrophy Type I (DM1). Dr. Rzuczek received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation which enabled her to interact with DM1 patients and increased her motivation to try to develop therapies for them. Dr. Rzuczek started working for Expansion Therapeutics in 2018 and is currently an Associate Scientific Director.
|Madhu Lal-Nag||FDA CDER|
Until recently Madhu Lal-Nag served as the head of the Trans NIH RNAi Facility at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) which is responsible for developing and conducting genome wide physiologically relevant phenotypic assays for Intramural researchers. Madhu joined NCATS in 2013, where she worked as a research scientist primarily to develop an assay platform of 3 Dimensional physiologically relevant, multi-cell-type disease models that are amenable to high-throughput screening. Prior to joining NCATS, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute on Aging. Her PhD is from the George Washington University in Molecular and Cellular Oncology. She has extensive experience in the miniaturization and optimization of physiologically relevant cell-based 2D and 3D assays to make them amenable for the screening of high-impact small molecule and functional genomics libraries with the goal of identifying unique receptor/ligand interaction and efficacy in various disease pathologies especially as they relate to the epigenetic modulation of cancer and stem cell biology.
|Bryan Fuchs||Ferring Research Institute|
Dr. Fuchs received his PhD in Biology from Saint Louis University examining the role of glutamine transporters in the metabolism of hepatocellular carcinoma. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Surgical Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center studying the role of epidermal growth factor in the development of liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. As an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, he led a lab focused on the identification of the molecular pathways leading to liver fibrosis and the analysis of therapeutics to inhibit these processes. A major focus of his lab was examining the role of liver fibrosis as a pre-cancerous state and determining if anti-fibrotic therapies can prevent hepatocellular carcinoma development. He also helped develop novel molecular imaging strategies to quantify collagen and collagen cross-linking as a non-invasive means to monitor fibrosis progression, predict disease outcomes, and analyze response to therapy. He is currently the Research Therapeutic Area Head for GI & Liver Diseases at Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
|Enkelejda Miho||FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland|
Enkelejda Miho is a Professor for Digital Life Sciences at School of Life Sciences, FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. Prof. Enkelejda Miho holds a MS in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology from the University of Bologna (2011) and a DAS in Pharmaceutical Medicine from the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine (ECPM), University of Basel (2016). Prof. Miho obtained her doctorate degree in Biotechnology from ETH Zurich (2017). As a Pioneer Fellow at the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Lab (ETH ieLab), she founded aiNET, the immuno-informatics ETH spin-off for therapeutic antibody and T-cell discovery.
|Katrin Rittinger||Francis Crick Institute|
Katrin Rittinger is a senior group leader at the Francis Crick Institute in London. After a PhD at the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg she came to the MRC-National Institute for Medical Research in London to do a postdoc, focussing on the structural characterisation of 14-3-3/ligand complexes and the regulation of Rho family GTPases. She established her independent group at the NIMR in 2000 and became a member of the Francis Crick Institute in 2015. Research in her group is focussed on the protein machinery and regulatory mechanisms that mediate protein ubiquitination.
Steven Rutherford, PhD, is a Scientist in the Infectious Diseases Department at Genentech. His group aims to identify potential antibacterial targets in Gram-negative bacteria, validate these targets in vitro and in vivo, and discover inhibitors of these targets to potentially develop as novel antibiotics. His group focusses on the processes involved in assembling the outer membrane, a distinct permeability barrier in Gram-negative bacteria, and is exploring the use of non-traditional inhibitors, such as antibodies. Dr. Rutherford received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin studying the regulation of ribosomal RNA transcription initiation in the laboratory of Professor Richard Gourse. Before joining the Infectious Diseases Department at Genentech, Dr. Rutherford pursued postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Bonnie Bassler at Princeton University investigating the mechanisms of bacterial cell-cell communication.
I have a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and have been working in antibody discovery for ~18 years with 13 years at Genentech as a Senior Scientific Researcher. My main research/discovery interests are monoclonal antibodies, hybridoma technology, high throughput screening, Phage display technology and automation.
|Willem Den Besten||Genentech Inc|
|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).
|Suneil Hosmane||GENFIT Corp|
|Nathan Thomsen||Gilead Sciences|
Nathan joined Gilead in 2014 and has played a leading role in establishing antibody engineering capabilities at Gilead Sciences. Nathan's research group supports project teams across therapeutic areas, and since 2016 he has served as both a research and development project team lead for Gilead's HIV broadly neutralizing antibody program. Before joining Gilead, Nathan was a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow with Jim Wells at UC San Francisco and earned a PhD in structural biology with James Berger at UC Berkeley.
|Archana Vijayakumar||Gilead Sciences Inc|
Brad Geddes has spent the last 20+ years in the biotech/pharma industry, leading preclinical development programs in metabolic, neuroscience and other indications. He has worked in a number of Boston-area companies, including Millennium, Elixir, and Proteostasis and was co-founder of Resilience Therapeutics. Currently, Brad is a Senior Director in the Innate Immunity Research Unit at GlaxoSmithKline where his team is developing novel therapeutics for autoimmune and other indications. Brad received a BSc and MSc in Neuroscience from the University of Guelph (Canada). He obtained his PhD in Molecular Neurobiology from the University of Bristol (UK). He is the author of over 30 papers and book chapters.
Beth Knapp-Reed completed her BS in Chemistry at Alma College in Michigan. She then moved to University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to earn her PhD in the labs of Bill Roush (polyketide natural product total synthesis) before completing a postdoc with John Montgomery (nickel-catalyzed synthetic methodology). Beth joined GSK in 2006 and spent the first part of her career in the Cardiovascular medicinal chemistry group. In 2009, she moved to Fragment Based Drug Discovery Group, helping to build that platform within GSK, delivering leads for multiple programs, while embedding FBDD principles (LE, LLE, and PFI to track property space) within GSK. In 2013, she became a team leader in the hit to lead area where she led chemistry efforts for 6 programs and served as program co-lead for 2. She is currently the medicinal chemistry lead for an oncology program. Beth is very active in the chemistry community, serving as Chair of the Philadelphia Chemistry Day and the Cool Chemistry Award. More recently she has developed and championed High Velocity Learning as a new way of working in GSK chemistry. As an East Lansing, MI native, Beth is an avid Michigan State basketball fan, but finds it much more difficult to watch their games now that she has to compete for TV time with her 6 and 10 year old daughters.
Dr. Scott Pesiridis is a Scientific Leader and Associate Fellow at GSK where he leads pre-clinical drug discovery projects in the Innate Immunity Research Unit. Scott joined GSK in 2011 leading small molecule screening campaigns as part of GSK’s Platform Technologies Sciences team. In 2014, Scott followed the discovery of STING ligands into the therapeutic area and led development of GSK’s STING agonist for oncology. Scott’s ongoing research focuses on discovery and development of medicines targeting innate immune receptor pathways with an agonistic therapeutic approach to treating diverse diseases like cancer, infectious disease, neurodegeneration, and autoinflammatory diseases.
|Andrew Kruse||Harvard Medical School|
Andrew Kruse an Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard, he completed doctoral training with Brian Kobilka at Stanford University where he studied neurotransmitter receptor structure and pharmacology. The Kruse lab focuses on structure and mechanism of transmembrane signaling, with a particular emphasis on the development and application of antibody fragments as tools to study signaling proteins. Dr. Kruse is the recipient of a Smith Family Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, a Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship, a Vallee scholar award, and an NIH Director’s Early Independence Award.
|Debora Marks||Harvard Medical School|
Debora Marks received her BSc in Mathematics from the University of Manchester. After a career in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to research and obtained her PhD in Mathematical Biology from Humbolt University where she was the first to define and quantify the potential targeting scope of microRNAs and their combinatorial regulation of protein expression. Marks conducted her postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School where she developed an evolutionary approach to accurately predict large pharmaceutically relevant membrane proteins (600 amino acids), and the 3D structures of multi-protein complexes. While performing this work, she initiated an extensive network of collaborations to investigate the structures of proteins of specific biological and medical importance. Marks joined the Systems Biology Department as an Assistant Professor in 2014. She is the Inaugural Director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. In 2018, she achieved the rank of Associate Professor.
|Raghuvir Ram Viswanatha||Harvard Medical School|
|David Liu||Harvard Univ|
David R. Liu is the Richard Merkin Professor, Director of the Merkin Institute of Transformative Technologies in Healthcare, and Vice-Chair of the Faculty at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT; Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University; and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Liu graduated first in his class at Harvard in 1994. He performed organic and bioorganic chemistry research on sterol biosynthesis under Professor E. J. Corey’s guidance as an undergraduate. During his PhD research with Professor Peter Schultz at UC Berkeley, Liu initiated the first general effort to expand the genetic code in living cells. He earned his PhD in 1999 and became Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University in the same year. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2003 and to Full Professor in 2005. Liu became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2005 and joined the JASONs, academic science advisors to the U.S. government, in 2009. Liu has earned several university-wide distinctions for teaching at Harvard, including the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, the Roslyn Abramson Award, and a Harvard College Professorship. Liu has published ≥170 papers and is the inventor of ≥65 issued U.S. patents. His research accomplishments have earned distinctions including the Ronald Breslow Award for Biomimetic Chemistry, the American Chemical Society Pure Chemistry Award, the Arthur C. Cope Young Scholar Award, and awards from the Sloan Foundation, Beckman Foundation, NSF CAREER Program, and Searle Scholars Program. In 2016 he was named one of the Top 20 Translational Researchers in the world by Nature Biotechnology, and in 2017 was named to the “Nature’s 10” researchers in the world and to the Foreign Policy Leading Global Thinkers. Professor Liu’s research integrates chemistry and evolution to illuminate biology and enable next-generation therapeutics. His major research interests include the engineering, evolution, and in vivo delivery of genome editing proteins such as base editors to study and treat genetic diseases; the evolution of proteins with novel therapeutic potential using phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE); and the discovery of bioactive synthetic small molecules and synthetic polymers using DNA-templated organic synthesis and DNA-encoded libraries. Base editing (named one of four 2017 Breakthrough of the Year finalists by Science), PACE, and DNA-templated synthesis are three examples of technologies pioneered in his laboratory. He is the scientific founder or co-founder of six biotechnology and therapeutics companies, including Editas Medicine, Pairwise Plants, Exo Therapeutics, and Beam Therapeutics.
|Guillaume Canaud||Hospital Necker des Enfants Malades|
Guillaume Canaud is a MD, PhD working in the Renal Division of Necker Hospital. He did his medical school in Montpellier and moved to Paris in 2002 to perform his Residency in Nephrology (2002 to 2007). He became Senior Resident in the Renal Division of Necker (Prof. Legendre) from 2007 to 2012. Concurrently, he spent four years from to 2008 to 2012 in the laboratory of Dr. Fabiola Terzi (INSERM U1151, Necker Hospital) to achieve his PhD degree in molecular and cellular biology. Then, he joined the Joseph Bonventre’s Laboratory (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA) from 2012 to the end of 2013 to achieve a postdoc. He came back to Christophe Legendre’s team with a Faculty position (Associate Professor) and is building now his own group of research dedicated to podocyte biology and translational medicine. He obtained this year the highly prestigious and very competitive European Research Council starting grant in 2015 for his podocyte research project and a European Research Council Proof of Concept grant in 2016 for his translational research.
|Mariana Lemos-Duarte||Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai|
Dr. Mariana Lemos-Duarte, working with Dr. Lakshmi Devi at the Department of Pharmacological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is investigating the role of protein kinases in modulating desensitization by G protein coupled receptors and identifying small molecule ligands targeting orphan G protein coupled receptors. Dr. Lemos-Duarte holds a bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Rio de Janeiro Federal University and master's degree in Cell Biology from the National Cancer Institute in Brazil and a PhD degree from the Institute of Chemistry at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Lemos-Duarte obtained part of her first postdoctoral training at the Small Molecule Discovery Lab with Dr. Andrew Shiau at the Ludwig Cancer Institute, San Diego, CA. Throughout her career, she acquired experience in biochemistry, genomic editing using CRISPR/Cas9 system, 3D cell culture, proteomics, microscopy, antibody validation, and Protein Kinase and GPCR signaling.
Yann is co-founder and CEO of Iktos, a start-up focused on the development of AI solutions for new drug design. Yann has 20+ years of experience in pharma R&D (Servier, Ipsen), molecular diagnostics (IntegraGen) and strategy consulting (Capgemini, BearingPoint, Cepton). He holds MS Degrees from Ecole Polytechnique Paris and AgroParisTech.
|Karl Kossen||Indalo Therapeutics|
Karl Kossen is an expert in the characterization of antifibrotic drugs and biomarkers of fibrotic disease, and is currently Senior Vice President of Translational Science at Indalo. Dr. Kossen was previously Vice President of Disease Biology at InterMune, which successfully developed pirfenidone for the treatment of IPF. Following the acquisition of InterMune by Roche in 2014, Dr. Kossen co-founded Blade Therapeutics and served as Senior Vice President of Biology. He received his BS in Chemistry and Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan and his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado.
|Catherine Hutchings||Independent Consultant|
Catherine has spent over 22 years acquiring significant depth of experience in antibody drug discovery and platform applications, working for cutting edge biotech and pharma companies, such as Cambridge Antibody Technology and Heptares Therapeutics. In 2015, Catherine reverted to providing independent scientific and strategic consultancy to biotechnology companies with particular focus on GPCRs, ion channels, immune-oncology, platform positioning and target/product evaluation. Catherine graduated with BSc Hons in Genetics and Cell Biology from University of Manchester, UK, and a PhD in Biochemistry and Applied Molecular Biology from UMIST, UK
|Jeffrey Kutok||Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc|
Jeffery Kutok, MD, PhD serves as Infinity’s Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to joining Infinity in 2010, Dr. Kutok was an associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His laboratory focused on translational medicine research and biomarker identification in cancer, and he is an author on over 190 journal articles, reviews and book chapters. Dr. Kutok is board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Hematology and had clinical duties in Hematopathology and Molecular Diagnostics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Kutok received his BS in biology and his MD, PhD in medicine and molecular pathology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His PhD was earned working in the laboratory of Dr. Barry Coller, MD in the field of platelet pathobiology. He was also a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University in the laboratory of Dr. Gary Gilliland, MD, PhD
|Christopher Bahl||Institute for Protein Innovation|
Chris Bahl is a biochemist and protein engineer who focuses on understanding and designing protein function. As a graduate student with Dean Madden at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Chris studied the mechanisms of bacterial host-pathogen interaction. During his postdoctoral studies with David Baker at the University of Washington, Chris developed computational design methods and laboratory tools to create hyperstable, constrained peptides de novo; these molecules represent a family of biologic drug scaffolds with enormous potential. Chris now leads the Protein Design Laboratory at the Institute for Protein Innovation where his group is leveraging computational design methodologies and high-throughput laboratory automation to accelerate the discovery of new protein-based research tools, diagnostics, and therapeutics.
|Ross Chambers||Integral Molecular|
Ross Chambers is Vice President of Antibody Discovery at Integral Molecular. He pioneered the use of DNA immunization for antibody production and developed Integral Molecular’s B-cell cloning system for antibody isolation. Before joining Integral Molecular, Dr. Chambers was Director of R&D at SDIX, where he directed the discovery of thousands of commercial antibodies.
|Benjamin Doranz||Integral Molecular|
Ben Doranz (President and CEO, Integral Molecular) has expertise in membrane proteins and antibodies, with 80+ publications, in journals including Cell, Science, and Nature. Dr. Doranz cofounded the company and has led all aspects of the company’s growth since its inception, bringing five different technologies from research to market.
Dr. Martin Ostermaier is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors at InterAx Biotech AG since 2016. He has co-founded InterAx, raised more than 6 million euros to develop and commercialize cutting-edge technology, and has built a high-profile interdisciplinary team. He has attracted renown biotech and pharma companies as partners as well as an outstanding Scientific Advisory Board of Key Opinion Leaders.
|Erin Morgan||Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc|
Erin Morgan has been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 25 years working in clinical trial research. Prior to joining Ionis Pharmaceuticals in 2000 she held positions at Purdue Pharma and PAREXEL. She is currently Executive Director, Clinical Development and as a Project Team Leader in the CardioMetabolic Franchise she oversees the strategic plan for several Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials in diabetes, hypertension, rare diseases and NASH.
|Guy Hermans||Isogenica Ltd|
Guy joined Isogenica as CSO in 2016, bringing in over a decade of experience in antibody fragment discovery and early development, as well as antibody discovery technology development at Ablynx. At Isogenica, he drives corporate strategy and technology development, and leads partner interactions. Prior to joining industry, he performed research into the pathogenesis and immunotherapy of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, ranging from immunotherapy trials to target discovery and validation work at Stanford University Medical School.
|Michael Finley||Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc|
Michael Finley earned a BS in Biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University in 1993 and a PhD in Neuroscience in 1998 from Washington University in St. Louis. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in 2002 at Stanford University, Michael transitioned to small molecule drug discovery, initially working in neuroscience-focused therapeutic areas such as epilepsy and analgesia. However, over the past 9 years, Michael has overseen dozens of small-molecule high-throughput screens on biochemical and cell-based targets, ranging from ion channels and transporters to enzymes and pathways. He is currently a Principal Scientist and an assay development team leader in the global Screening group at Janssen R&D.
|Marie-Laure Rives||Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc|
Marie-Laure Rives received her PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from the University of Montpellier II, France - where she extensively studied the molecular mechanisms of activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). She then moved to New York City to complete her post-doctoral training at Columbia University, where she worked on the development of biased ligands as well as new chemotypes for the study of the KOR receptor in the etiology of drug addiction, depression, and pain, and which led to 2 US patents (US patents US 10183919 and US 9868730). She gained expertise in functional selectivity and allostery, a process allowing fine-tuning the activity of signaling molecules and that can be applied to many different target types. Then she joined Pfizer Inc. where she primarily focused on GPCR drug discovery, target identification/validation, target engagement and MoA elucidation in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Research Unit. She has now joined the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology group in Lead Discovery at Janssen, where she is expanding her expertise to other membrane targets families and contributes to the delivery of high-quality chemical leads needed for the generation of small molecule clinical compounds in all five Janssen therapeutic area discovery teams, including Metabolism, Immunology and Neurosciences.
|Mark Player||Janssen R&D LLC|
Mark R. Player received his doctorate in medicinal chemistry from the University of South Carolina and the MD degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1986. During postdoctoral training with Paul Torrence at the National Institutes of Health he worked on synthetic approaches to catalytic RNA/DNA chimeras directed against viral targets. In 1998 he accepted a position at 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, and after the acquisition and merger of 3DP into Janssen in 2003, he began leading a medicinal chemistry team at the Spring House research site. He has delivered NMEs in the anti-inflammatory, analgesics, and cardiovascular/metabolic therapeutic areas into development at Janssen.
|John Erve||Jerve Scientific Consulting|
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.
|Masha Poyurovsky||Kadmon Holdings Inc|
Dr. Poyurovsky leads the Discovery Biology group at Kadmon, bridging early discovery studies and nonclinical development of small molecules and biologics, with emphasis on fibrosis and inflammation. She is the leading scientist on the ROCK inhibitor program and multiple other early stage discovery programs. Along with drug discovery efforts, Dr. Poyurovsky works closely with Kadmon’s Business Development team as a scientific liaison. She has authored numerous patents, papers and reviews, along with several book chapters on cellular metabolism and cancer. Prior to joining Kadmon 8 years ago, Dr. Poyurovsky spent more than ten years studying cellular and molecular mechanisms of cancer in an academic setting. Dr. Poyurovsky received her BS in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and her PhD in biochemistry from Columbia University. Dr. Poyurovsky continued her postgraduate work at Columbia, first as a postdoctoral fellow and then independently, as a staff scientist.
|Nan Ji||Kymera Therapeutics|
Nan Ji, Ph.D., is Executive Director and Head of Chemistry at Kymera Therapeutics. Nan has more than 10 years of drug discovery experience. Before Kymera, he spent 2 years at Mitobridge (now part of Astellas), where he was responsible for its NAD+-boosting portfolio with multiple approaches to modulate mitochondrial functions. Prior to that, Nan spent 7+ years at Novartis, where he contributed to and delivered multiple clinical and preclinical development candidates. Nan obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry with Prof. Andy Myers and conducted his postdoc with Prof. Eric Jacobsen at Harvard University.
|Nello Mainolfi||Kymera Therapeutics|
Before founding Kymera, Nello was head of drug discovery at Raze Therapeutics (an Atlas portfolio company) where he helped develop first in class molecules against novel cancer metabolism targets with implications in both oncology and immuno-metabolism. Nello started his drug discovery career in the global discovery chemistry group at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he contributed and in most cases led teams to the identification of more than 10 compounds that have entered preclinical and clinical development across a series of disease areas. Notably first in class small molecules inhibitors of several complement proteins for inflammation and ocular diseases. While at Novartis he also championed new technologies such as using fragment-based drug discovery as a core strategy to deliver multiple development candidates. Nello has authored >40 papers and patents and has written reviews in the areas of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Nello was trained at Imperial College, University of London and The Scripps Research Institute in California.
|Nicolas Bocquet||leadXpro AG|
Nicolas holds a PhD degree in Neuroscience from the University Pierre et Marie Curie (Pasteur Institute) in Paris. After a postdoc at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, he joined Roche to work on the development of biophysical methods for membrane proteins. At leadXpro, he combines his expertise and experience to gather structural information and decipher ligand-binding mechanisms on membrane protein targets using grating-coupled interferometry.
|Laura Heitman||Leiden Univ|
Laura H. Heitman, PhD is a tenured associate professor of Receptor Pharmacology at the Division of Drug Discovery and Safety at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR, Leiden University), after being appointed as ‘tenure track’ assistant professor in January 2009. Her research interests are mainly focused on understanding and improving drug-receptor interactions, and more specifically, target binding kinetics and allosteric modulation of GPCRs. She has obtained several competitive research grants, all allowing her to study these novel, clinically relevant and highly translational concepts for drug action (e.g. IMI-K4DD and IMI-RESOLUTE, VENI and VIDI grants from Dutch Scientific Council for personal excellence). Her research activities have currently led to an authorship on over 80 papers in this field, including one in Science (2012) and one in Nature (2016). She is the recipient of the ‘2017 MedChemComm Emerging Investigator’-award, runner up for the ‘2018 EFMC Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia’-award and runner up for the ‘2018 Prix Galien Research’-award.
|Rebecca Taub||Madrigal Pharmaceuticals|
Rebecca Taub, MD has served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, Research & Development, and as a member of Madrigal’s Board of Directors, since July 2016. Previously, Dr. Taub served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors of privately-held Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from inception through its merger with Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. Prior to joining Madrigal, Dr. Taub served as Senior Vice President, Research and Development of VIA Pharmaceuticals from 2008 to 2011 and as Vice President, Research, Metabolic Diseases at Hoffmann-La Roche from 2004 to 2008. In those positions, Dr. Taub oversaw clinical development and drug discovery programs in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases including the conduct of a series of Phase I and II proof of conduct clinical trials. Dr. Taub led drug discovery including target identification, lead optimization and advancement of preclinical candidates into clinical development. From 2000 through 2003, Dr. Taub worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and DuPont Pharmaceutical Company, in a variety of positions, including Executive Director of CNS and metabolic diseases research. Before becoming a pharmaceutical executive, Dr. Taub was a tenured Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Taub is the author of more than 120 research articles. Before joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Taub served as an Assistant Professor at the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard Medical School, Harvard University and an associate investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Taub received her MD from Yale University School of Medicine and BA from Yale College.
|Sandro Goruppi||Massachusetts General Hospital|
Dr. Goruppi obtained his PhD in Cell Biology at the University of Trieste (Italy) working toward the development of T-cell receptor blocking antibodies. While a fellow of the National Research Council (CNR, Italy) he identified the growth arrest 6 (gas6) receptor, AXL, its biological function and signaling-dependent network at growth arrest. As a post doctoral fellow at the Diabetes Research Laboratories, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), he identified the transcriptional signature -including the transcriptional regulator p8/nupr1- linked to mesangial diabetic nephropathy. His investigations on stress signaling and inflammatory gene networks continued at Tufts Medical Center, were he identified the crucial role of p8 in two key events in heart failure: cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. He also unveiled a role for p8 in the transcriptional regulation of cellular autophagy. Currently as an Instructor in Dermatology at MGH/HMS, he is tackling the mechanisms of cancer associated fibroblasts activation, with particular focus to the role of autophagy in pre-cancerous and cancerous stroma-epithelial interactions.
|Stephen Haggarty||Massachusetts General Hospital|
Dr. Stephen J. Haggarty is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, an Associate Neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Director of the MGH Chemical Neurobiology Laboratory within the Center for Genomic Medicine. Dr. Haggarty completed his PhD at Harvard University working in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology and joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School/MGH in 2006. A major emphasis of his research program is to combine the use of chemical biology and reprogramming technology to create patient-specific, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as ex vivo models of neurogenetic disorders in order to address the challenge of discovering novel targets and next-generation, disease-modifying therapies using the principles of precision medicine. Central to these efforts is the emerging strategy of targeted protein degradation that Dr. Haggarty has pioneered in the context of tauopathy.
|Jack Rogers||Massachusetts General Hospital|
Jack Rogers has a track record in neurotherapeutics related to the translational control circuits of the iron storage protein ferritin, the Alzheimer’s amyloid precursor protein and alphasynuclein of Parkinson’s disease (PD). His Neurochemistry laboratory excels in the biology of RNA secondary structures in iron homeostasis with therapeutic impacts for AD and PD.
|Moritz Horn||Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing|
|Terence Hebert||McGill Univ|
Terry Hébert is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He has a long-standing track record in identification of molecular mechanisms involved in the function of GPCRs publishing more than 150 papers. He is interested in 1) basic mechanisms of how signalling systems are wired in the cell, 2) novel signalling complexes and pathways associated with alternative subcellular localization of GPCRs and G proteins, 3) the roles that these architectural features of signalling complex design might play in cardiovascular diseases, cancer, rare developmental disorders and pre-term labour and 4) development of biosensors that track GPCR and G protein signalling and conformational dynamics in living cells with a focus on using biosensors in inducible pluripotent stem cell-based models of disease for drug discovery.
|Geoffrey Bartholomeusz||MD Anderson Cancer Ctr|
Geoffrey Bartholomeusz has worked extensively as a cancer biologist with expertise in both molecular biology and drug development. A goal of his research is to utilize high throughput siRNA screens in a 3D cell culture assay to identify novel targets regulating the tumor architecture. His hypothesis driven study proposes that altering the tumor architecture will lower the levels of hypoxia within solid tumors sensitizing these tumors to irradiation and/or chemotherapy. In an attempt to confirm this hypothesis his team has developed a 3D spheroid cell culture model that has similarities to hypoxic regions of solid tumors. They have performed a high throughput siRNA screen and identified and validated potential targets whose silencing reduced the levels of hypoxia within the spheroid, and inhibited HIF1a activity. Studies are currently ongoing to confirm the hypothesis and test small molecules developed against these targets as potential anticancer agents. As a member of a multi-investigator group within MD Anderson Cancer Center Dr. Bartholomeusz is also involved in developing a technology that will permit them to regenerate tumors in the lab utilizing biopsy tissue with the goal of developing cancer patient specific drug cocktails.
|Muhammad Bilal Abid||Medical College of Wisconsin|
Dr. M. Bilal Abid is a clinician-scientist at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He received his medical degree from the Aga Khan University School of Medicine (Pakistan) and further clinical training in Hematology/Oncology, advanced and immune-based cancer therapeutics and Infectious Diseases at reputable institutions internationally. Dr. Abid is currently exploring microbiome’s potential impact on immune-based cancer treatments, including immunotherapy and CAR T-cells. Abid also serves on the editorial board of several international journals and is frequently invited to speak at international scientific conferences related to hematology, cell therapy, and infectious diseases.
|Elliott Nickbarg||Merck & Co|
Elliott Nickbarg received a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in Chemistry from Harvard University, studying enzymology in the laboratory of Prof. Jeremy Knowles. After completing a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined Genetics Institute, Inc. of Cambridge MA (later part of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals) and worked on applications of proteomics technology. He then joined Neogenesis Pharmaceuticals (later part of Schering-Plough) and helped to develop applications for the ALIS screening system, and has continued to apply ALIS and related technologies as part of the Pharmacology department at Merck Research Laboratories in Boston MA. He has approximately 25+ years of experience doing drug discovery in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical 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.
|Robert Mazzola||Merck Research Labs|
|Ji Zhang||Merck Research Labs|
|Chen-Ni Chin||Mersana Therapeutics|
In 2018, Chen-Ni Chin joined Mersana Therapeutics, an innovative biotech company with a focus on antibody-drug conjugates, with over 12 years’ industry experience in Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering. Prior to joining Mersana, from 2009-2017 she worked at Janssen R&D as the lead scientist in Target Identification and Validation, Gene and Cell Therapy, and later served as the head of Molecular Biology in the Department of Biologics Discovery. Her work on therapeutic antibodies and recombinant proteins has led to several high-quality publications including a study published in 2017 Nature Medicine where Chen-Ni and co-workers elucidated the MOA of the metabolic activities of GDF15 mediated by its cognate ligand. From 2006-2009, she worked at Merck Research Laboratories in Biologics Research where she led several antibody discovery programs for different therapeutic areas. She received her PhD degree in Biochemistry at University of Connection with the subsequent postdoctoral training in the field of membrane protein folding and assembly at Stockholm University and Yale University.
|Kari Wong||Metabolon, Inc.|
Dr. Wong is a Senior Study Director at Metabolon, working with clients across the pharmaceutical and biotechnology landscape. Kari received her PhD from The University of Chicago in Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition. She did her postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University. Kari joined Metabolon in 2016 where she has analyzed metabolomic data from both pre-clinical and clinical studies. One of her focuses is on understanding the metabolic changes associated with NASH.
|Liangsu Wang||Morphic Therapeutic|
Liangsu Wang, PhD has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years in both biotech companies and big pharma environment. Liangsu joined biotech start-up Morphic Therapeutic as Vice President and Head of Biology in 2016, where she built the biology team and has been overseeing drug discovery efforts in the areas of fibrosis, autoimmune diseases, and immuno-oncology. Prior to Morphic Therapeutic, Liangsu Wang spent nearly 13 years at Merck and worked on drug discovery programs across several therapeutic areas. She was an Executive Director in Cardiometabolic Diseases, where she led a large team and was accountable for the Diabetes & NASH drug discovery portfolio across all stages, as well as discovery support of clinical development programs. She spearheaded the scientific strategy and established research capabilities for NASH and liver fibrosis at Merck. Prior to joining Merck, Liangsu worked in two biotech companies, Elitra Pharmaceuticals and Digital Gene Technologies Inc., on target discovery between 1997-2004.
|Christian Kunz||MorphoSys AG|
For over 10 years, Dr. Kunz is working as Project Team Leader at MorphoSys in early discovery projects. He has been developing therapeutic antibodies for various indications with a strong focus on oncology. In his team he currently emphasizes the work on immuno-modulatory agents that improve therapeutic responses through bispecific compounds. Throughout the years, he and his team successfully identified, characterized and engineered multiple antibody lead candidates, handed them over to preclinical departments where they further progressed into clinical studies.
|Lisa Minor ||Multispan, Inc.|
Dr. Minor is a well recognized scientific expert with 25 years of experience in drug discovery encompassing several therapeutic areas, high throughput screening and safety profiling through her tenure at Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals. She has been consulting for Multispan since January, 2012. Dr. Minor received her postdoctoral training at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and obtained her PhD in Biological Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University.
|Barrett Thornhill||NASH Alliance|
Barrett Thornhill is the Executive Director of the NASH Alliance, a coalition of clinical experts, patients, life sciences innovator and other stakeholders to designed to: Educate the public and policymakers regarding the disease, its causes, and treatments; Advocate for responsible policies to improve access to diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic services; and Create a NASH Community for providers and patients. For the past 13 years, Barrett has advised life sciences companies and provider clients on legislative issues before the U.S. Congress and on regulatory matters before HHS. He began his career on Capitol Hill, serving as a healthcare policy advisor to members of the Energy & Commerce and Finance Committees. He received his BA from Dartmouth College and JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
|Jamshid Tanha||National Research Council, Canada|
Dr. Jamshid Tanha is a Senior Research Officer and Team Leader at National Research Council Canada (NRC), Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa. He obtained his BSc and PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Immunology from University of Saskatchewan, Canada. His PhD thesis focused on development and characterization of IgGs, Fabs and scFvs to duplex DNAs. He joined NRC Institute for Biological Sciences in 1997 where he initiated research in the field of single domain antibodies. He has been a Research Officer since 2001 in the Antibody Engineering Group and more recently in the Antibody Libraries Team carrying out research on the generation and optimization of camelid and human single domain antibodies for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Dr. Tanha has authored/co-authored 70 articles in refereed journals and books and is inventor/co-inventor on more than a dozen patents.
|Roderick Beijersbergen||Netherlands Cancer Institute|
Roderick Beijersbergen is group leader at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and heads the NKI Robotics and Screening Center. His work evolves around the development and application of large-scale functional genomic technologies with the goal to identify more effective cancer treatments. His group pioneered the pooled shRNA screening technology which has been extended to CRIPSR/CAS9 genome editing based screening including CRISPRi and CRISPRa. These large-scale functional genomic screens have led to the identification of novel targets for cancer therapy, to the understanding of the mechanisms of action of novel drugs and the identification of novel mechanisms of acquired resistance to pathway targeted therapeutics. Based on these results treatment combinations have been identified currently in several clinical trials with promising results.
|Dietrich Stephan||NeuBase Therapeutics|
Dietrich A. Stephan, PhD is founder and CEO of NeuBase Therapeutics, a publicly-traded therapeutics company with a novel technology platform allowing gene silencing. Prior to founding NeuBase, Dr. Stephan was professor and chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. In his academic career, Stephan has published extensively in journals such as Science, Nature Genetics, PNAS and the New England Journal and Medicine. His teams have identified the genetic causes on many Mendelian and complex genetic diseases. Stephan has helped bring to the clinic or the market many new clinical solutions over the past two decades, often first-in-class modalities. These include multivariate genetic risk assessment for chronic disease and the first wallet card for pharmacogenomics (Navigenics), powerful cognitive enhancers for memory and learning disorders (Amnestix), single molecule long read nanopore sequencing technology (Genia Technologies, acquired by Roche), microbiome modulation across clinical indications (Whole Biome), immune-therapy for autoimmune diseases (DiaVacs), a novel class of broad spectrum antibiotics refractory to inducing resistance addressing multi-drug resistant bacterial infections (Peptilogics), and others. Stephan trained as a fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute of NIH, received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, and obtained a BSc from Carnegie Mellon University.
|Dirk Trauner||New York University|
Dirk Trauner was born and raised in Linz, Austria, studied biology and chemistry at the University of Vienna, and received his Master’s degree in chemistry from the Free University, Berlin. He then pursued a PhD in chemistry under the direction of Prof. Johann Mulzer, with whom he moved to the University of Frankfurt and then back to Vienna. Subsequently, he became a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Samuel J. Danishefsky at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. After two years in New York City, Dr. Trauner joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where he rose through the ranks to become an Associate Professor of chemistry and a member of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In the summer of 2008, he moved to the University of Munich, where he served as a Professor of Chemical Biology and Chemical Genetics. In March of 2017 he returned to the U.S. to become the Janice Cutler Chair of Chemistry at New York University. He also holds a position as an Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience at the NYU Langone Medical School. He is a member of the Leopoldina Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Academia of Sciences, and a recipient of the Otto Bayer Award, the Emil Fischer Medal, and a Sloan Fellowship. The broad objective of Prof. Trauner’s research is to demonstrate the awesome power of chemical synthesis and to use it toward the precision control of biological pathways.
|John Schneekloth Jr||NIH NCI|
Dr. John S. Schneekloth, Jr. (Jay) received an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Dartmouth College. He then moved to Yale University, where he received a PhD with Craig Crews. In the Crews laboratory, he developed the first cell permeable PROTAC molecule. He then moved to Princeton University where he pursued an NIH postdoctoral fellowship with Erik Sorensen. In 2011 Dr. Schneekloth was recruited to the newly formed Chemical Biology Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute. Since arriving at NCI, Dr. Schneekloth has developed an internationally recognized research program aimed toward developing RNA- and DNA-binding small molecules. His laboratory utilizes a Small Molecule Microarray (SMM) high throughput discovery platform to identify small molecules that bind to diverse structured oligonucleotide. Research focuses on synthetic chemistry, biophysics of small molecule-RNA interactions, and the molecular basis and functional consequences of targeting RNA and DNA.
|Aaron Beach||Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research|
Aaron Beach is an Investigator II focused on Characterization and Formulation of novel Biologics in the Novartis Biologics Center at Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research. Aaron leverages a wide range of recombinant biologics production and characterization experience to guide the analytical strategies for biologics from early discovery research efforts through developability assessments and pre-formulation studies.
|John Blankenship||Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research|
John got his Bachelor’s in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in 1997 and his PhD from the Scripps Research Institute in 2003. Since then, John’s research has focused on using display technologies and an array of protein engineering approaches for antibody discovery and bi and multispecific antibody engineering. John leads the synthetic antibody discovery group at NIBR in Cambridge, where they use phage and yeast display coupled with high throughput screening to find and optimize antibodies for a variety of applications.
|Jonas Schaefer||Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research|
|Daniela Cipolletta||Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc|
|Tyler Longmire||Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc|
Tyler Longmire obtained his BS degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and PhD from Boston University School of Medicine. After postdoctoral training at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, he joined the Oncology Translational Medicine group at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. In 2015 he transferred to the Exploratory ImmunoOncology group within the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he focuses on translational research of IO programs.
|Razvan Nutiu||Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc|
Razvan Nutiu is a Research Investigator in the Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, Novartis, Cambridge, USA, where he currently coordinates a research group focused on modulating RNA biology with small molecules. At Novartis, Razvan has built expertise in integrated small molecule lead discovery, from target validation to assay development, high throughput screening, and identification of compound mechanism of action. Razvan’s background is a hybrid of wet lab and computational biology. Razvan obtained his PhD at McMaster University, Canada and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working on nucleic acid recognition of proteins and small molecules.
|Marcos Pedrosa||Novartis Pharma AG|
|Karin Conde-Knape||Novo Nordisk AS|
Dr. Conde-Knape is responsible for setting up and driving the research and translational strategy in the areas of Cardiovascular and Liver disease within Novo Nordisk Global Drug Discovery. She has experience in the pharmaceutical industry for the last 16 years with different areas of responsibility, including project leadership, line management, strategic planning and execution as well as business development. Karin spent 11 years at Hoffmann-La Roche in the Cardiovascular and Metabolism Discovery and early development areas, responsible for pharmacology teams as well as discovery and biomarker teams. The last 4 years she was at Johnson and Johnson, responsible for external innovation in Europe and Asia Pacific in the area of Cardiovascular and Metabolism. During these years she lead cross functional teams responsible for evaluating external opportunities and creating the business case to support deal making for different opportunities.
Paul Rohricht, MS MBA, is Chief Business Officer-Pharma, for Dublin-based AI drug discovery company Nuritas, and is based in Philadelphia. Prior to Nuritas, Mr. Rohricht has held senior business development positions with early-stage med tech firms including ChemImage and Symphogen, and is the co-founder of Revivicor, which was sold to United Therapeutics, and held the position of Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is a US and EU patent holder, with several others pending. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College and the Wharton School of Business.
|Bill Harriman||OmniAb, a Ligand technology|
Bill received his graduate training in immunology at UCSF and has held research director positions in biotech and pharma companies. His primary focus has been the invention, development, and use of new technology for antibody discovery. In 2008 Bill co-founded Crystal Bioscience and became its CSO with the goal of creating the most diverse and effective antibody repertoires possible from wild-type and transgenic animal systems. Ligand acquired Crystal Biosciences in October 2017.
Yuxing Cheng is a principal scientist in the department of BioMedicine Design at Pfizer, working on antibody discovery and novel antibody platform development. Before joining Pfizer, Yuxing had been working at Dana Farber Cancer Institute on HIV vaccine development and antibody discovery against HIV vaccine candidate immunogens.
Dr. Zhenwei Su obtained his PhD at University of Wisconsin-Madison working on functional characterization of ion channels. He performed his postdoctoral training with Roderick MacKinnon at The Rockefeller University working on biochemical assay development and drug screening for ion channels. Currently, he is a Senior Scientist of BioMedicine Design at Pfizer working on developing antibody therapeutics against various membrane protein targets.
More than twenty years of experience in bioinformatics. He is a recognized pioneer in next generation sequencing, big data analysis, cloud computing and machine learning. In the past five years, he published more than 25 papers in the field of RNA sequencing and was invited to speak at more than 30 national and international meetings. Shanrong has led multiple cross-functional teams to successfully implement pipelines for large-scale genomic data analysis to support drug discovery.
|Thomas Chappie||Pfizer Global R&D|
Tom Chappie is a medicinal chemist with 25 years of drug discovery experience in Neuroscience and Metabolic Diseases. He has led multidisciplinary teams that have delivered multiple small molecules into clinical development. A major focus of his is on the identification, assessment, and hit identification strategies of novel, next-generation targets to positively impact human disease
|David Griffith||Pfizer Global R&D|
Dave Griffith received his undergraduate degree from Harvey Mudd College and his PhD in Chemistry from Yale University in the laboratory of Professor Sam Danishesky. Following postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, with Professor Clayton Heathcock, he joined Pfizer in 1995. There he has led Medicinal Chemistry efforts and broader Project Teams against targets for Obesity, Osteoperosis, and Diabetes resulting in multiple candidates advanced for clinical testing including the Ph3 CB-1 antagonist Otenabant. He is an author on more than 45 publications and is an inventor on 34 patents.
|Ye Che||Pfizer Global R&D Groton Labs|
Ye Che has been working at Pfizer for the last 11 years and is currently leading the computational design lab at Pfizer. Ye is a co-inventor of five clinical drugs and vaccines and has contributed to drug discovery in multiple therapeutics areas, including inflammation & immunology, internal medicine, oncology, rare diseases and vaccines.
|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 at Purdue University where he worked on crystallographic studies of dioxygenase. Following this, Seungil joined 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 last 5 years, Seungil has expanded his research into single-particle cryo-electron microscopy and is a currently a lab head in the cryo-EM lab and have been studying several challenging targets.
|Kristin Rockwell||Pfizer Global R&D Groton Labs|
|Raman Sharma||Pfizer Global R&D Groton Labs|
Raman Sharma is a Senior Scientist in the biotransformation group within the Medicine Design Department at Pfizer in Groton, Connecticut. He received his undergraduate (B.S) degree in Biochemistry from Tufts University and graduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Rhode Island. He has over 16 years of experience in drug metabolism with expertise in mass spectrometry and NMR. He currently supports multiple therapeutic areas throughout the Pfizer portfolio spanning from early discovery to development. His research interests include mechanistic elucidation of biotransformation pathways, application of NMR to drug metabolism studies and computational P450 modelling. Raman is an author on over 40 publications and a number of book chapters in the field of drug metabolism.
|Kendra Bence||Pfizer Inc|
Dr. Bence leads research and discovery efforts in the NAFLD/NASH and metabolic disease therapeutic areas for the Pfizer Internal Medicine Research Unit. She leads a talented team of scientists focused on developing a deep understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying metabolic dysfunction and fatty liver disease, with the goal of identifying novel ways to treat and eventually prevent these metabolic diseases. She is also the Internal Medicine representative to the Pfizer WRD Post-Doctoral Program and has a strong commitment to training and mentoring the next generation of scientists. Dr. Bence has a long-standing interest in the pathogenesis of metabolic disease. She received her BA in Biology from Colgate University, and her PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Bence conducted her post-doctoral work at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School in Boston, where she became interested in the role of cellular signaling in the regulation of metabolism. Following her post-doctoral fellowship, she joined the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor and was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. While at Penn she served as the Director of Academic Enrichment for the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (IDOM), and served on the American Diabetes Association and NIH grant review panels. She continues to serve on the SBIR-NIH study section panel.
|Jaimeen Majmudar||Pfizer Inc|
|Martin Pettersson Lee||Pfizer Inc|
Martin Pettersson received his BS in chemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1998 where he did undergraduate research in the laboratory of Professor David R. Williams. He then joined Pfizer as a medicinal chemistry research associate and contributed to projects in therapeutic areas such as inflammation, allergy & respiratory, and antibacterials. In 2002, he began his graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin under the guidance of Professor Stephen F. Martin. After receiving his PhD in 2007, he joined Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development as a medicinal chemist, and he is currently a Research Fellow in the Internal Medicine chemistry group in Cambridge, MA. At Pfizer he has made significant contributions as a medicinal chemistry team leader for programs such as Gamma Secretase Modulators and Apolipoprotein E, and these efforts have led to a strong interest in property-based drug design. He is actively involved in the area of phenotypic drug discovery including phenotypic screening hit triage, safety strategies, and de-convolution of mechanisms of action. Martin’s research interests also include targeting RNA using small molecules, and he organized a symposium on this topic at the New York Academy of Sciences. He is a co-author of 36 publications and patents/patent applications.
|Fabien Vincent||Pfizer Inc|
Fabien Vincent, PhD, is an Associate Research Fellow in the Hit Discovery and Lead Profiling Group at Pfizer. His laboratory provides molecular pharmacology support for the small molecule project portfolios of the Immunology & Inflammation research unit and the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation. This work includes designing hit identification strategies and screening funnels, developing assays for high throughput screening as well as additional assays to elucidate the structure activity relationship of active compounds, understand their mechanism of action and facilitate translation to pre-clinical models. His main research interests are centered on improving the translation of discovery research to patients and specifically include phenotypic screening and atypical molecular mechanisms of action. Fabien Vincent recently led a team of Pfizer scientists in an analysis of how best to approach phenotypic screening, and specifically how to design the optimal phenotypic assays, those which can best predict compounds and mechanisms that will be effective in patients. Fabien Vincent received a Diplôme d’Ingénieur in organic chemistry from CPE Lyon (France) before conducting graduate research in the fields of chemical biology and enzymology in the laboratory of Pr. Harold Kohn at the University of Houston. He later became a post-doctoral fellow in chemical biology at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation in San Diego. He entered the field of drug discovery as both a drug discovery research project leader and molecular pharmacology-biochemistry group leader. He has authored 30 peer-reviewed research articles, review articles and book chapters and has been invited to present his research at more than 20 conferences and other events. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Chemical Probes Initiative and has been a NIH study section reviewer on HTS and molecular probe identification. He was recently a guest editor for a special issue in Med. Chem. Comm. surveying progress and advances in the field of phenotypic drug discovery.
|Huixian Wu||Pfizer Inc|
Dr. Huixian Wu received her PhD in Structural Biology and Chemistry from the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA) in the laboratory of Prof. Raymond C. Stevens. While in Stevens lab, Dr. Wu focused on G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) crystallography where she determined the crystal structures of several important human GPCRs, including the k-opioid receptor, metabotropic glutamate receptor, and smoothened receptor. After completing her PhD, Dr. Wu joined Prof. Stuart L. Schreiber’s laboratory in the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT (Cambridge, MA) for postdoctoral research, working on structure-based drug development (SBDD) targeting inflammatory bowel diseases. Currently, Dr. Wu is a Principal Scientist leading a Crystallography lab at Pfizer (Groton, CT). Her lab is supporting SBDD of diverse therapeutic targets across multiple disease areas in Pfizer.
|Hua Xu||Pfizer Inc|
Hua Xu received his PhD in Chemistry from Stony Brook University. After conducting his post-doctoral research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he joined Pfizer as a chemical biologist in 2013, and later received ACS Young Investigator Award in 2016. Hua is currently leading the chemical biology efforts for a number of Pfizer’s research programs in therapeutic areas, such as immunology and inflammation, rare diseases, and cardiovascular & metabolic diseases. His research interests are developing and applying novel chemical tools and technologies to investigate mode of action of drugs and understand compound selectivity in physiologically relevant systems.
|Jonathan Foot||Pharmaxis Ltd|
Jonathan completed his PhD at the University of York in 2005 and has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Toronto (2009) and the Australian National University (2006). Jonathan is a Senior Research Scientist at Pharmaxis Ltd in Sydney Australia where he works in the Drug Discovery department with roles in medicinal chemistry, computer-aided drug design and project management.
|Thomas Hoffmann||PheneX Pharmaceuticals AG|
Thomas is co-founder and CFO of Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG from Heidelberg since the inception of the company in 2002. Thomas started his career in the biotech sector in 1997. He has more than 20 years industry experience and was involved in this time in numerous transactions including major licensing and asset deals, trade sales and public offerings.
|Claus Kremoser||PheneX Pharmaceuticals AG|
Dr. Kremoser received a master and a PhD from the University of Tubingen and the Max-Planck Institute, respectively. He spent 2 years at Ernst & Young authoring the European and the first German biotech reports before the joined LION bioscience, a startup bioinformatics company, as VP Corporate Development. He was deeply involved in LION´s IPO in 2000 before he founded Phenex AG in 2002. Since then, he acts as CEO and chief scientist of this nuclear receptor drug discovery company. Phenex became succesful by selling two major projects, RORg and FXR to Janssen and Gilead, respectively in deals valued at 135 and 470 M USD. Phenex now focusses on developing the ultimate small molecule NASH treatment and has established a new focus on small molecule cancer therapeutics.
|Eric Lefebvre||Pliant Therapeutics|
As Pliant’s chief medical officer, Éric Lefebvre, MD is responsible for leading the company’s clinical development strategy and clinical operations for its portfolio of product candidates. Prior to joining Pliant, Dr. Lefebvre was head of clinical research and development for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) at Allergan, where he advanced cenicriviroc for the treatment of patients with NASH into Phase 3 trials. Previously, he was chief medical officer at Tobira Therapeutics, whose focus was the development and commercialization of therapies to treat liver disease, inflammation, fibrosis and HIV, prior to the company being acquired by Allergan in 2016. Dr. Lefebvre also led global clinical development, global medical affairs and commercialization of novel treatments for HIV and hepatitis C at Janssen Pharmaceuticals for 10 years prior to starting his pharmaceutical career at GSK Canada. This was preceded by 15 years of providing primary care and conducting clinical research in HIV and hepatitis at Clinique Medicale L’Actuel in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Lefebvre earned a BS from Edouard-Montpetit College and an MD from the University of Montreal.
|Scott Turner||Pliant Therapeutics|
Scott Turner, PhD is a leader in the field of stable isotope research and development of novel tools for drug discovery and development. Prior to joining Pliant as senior director of technology, Dr. Turner was the vice president of research and development at KineMed Inc. where he led the technology development and biomarker discovery efforts in fibrosis, atherosclerosis and metabolic disease. He has co-authored more than 50 publications and holds several patents in the areas of metabolic fluxes and stable isotopes methods. Dr. Turner has been awarded three NIH grants to fund his research into novel in vivo biomarker discovery and serves on the editorial board of Biomarker Insights. Dr. Turner received his PhD in 2002 in Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology from the University of California at Berkeley. His graduate research focused on the development and application of stable isotope methodology to the study of adipose tissue dynamics in the ob/ob mouse.
|Tauseef Butt||Progenra Inc|
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 Smith Kline. He also served as Adjunct Professor Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia (1989-2000). He has published about 100 papers in life sciences research. Dr. Butt serves as an Adjunct Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University, Philadelphia and is active in several national and regional professional organizations, including several dedicated to biotechnology.
|Suresh Kumar||Progenra Inc|
|Marla Weetall||PTC Therapeutics Inc|
I joined PTC Therapeutics, Inc. in 2002, and in my role as Vice President of Pharmacology, I am responsible for preclinical efficacy in animal models of disease, exploratory non-GLP in vitro and in vivo safety and ADME/T studies. I have been responsible for studies contributing to the selection of a 9 development compounds, including 5 that went to the clinic. My lab is also responsible for establishing PK/PD relationships of test compounds and for the identification and characterization of biomarkers for their validation in clinical trials. This work is important for understanding the natural history of disease and for the evaluation of drug efficacy. Prior to joining PTC, I worked at Novartis (formerly Sandoz), where I was responsible for a program focused on the identification and development of small-molecule inhibitors of integrin VLA-4. I have authored or co-authored more than 50 publications and patents pertaining to identification and development of lead candidate compounds for genetic disorders, oncology, infectious, and inflammatory diseases. I received the BS degree in biochemistry and the PhD degree in biophysical chemistry from Cornell University.
|Vijaya Tirunagaru||Rain Therapeutics|
Vijaya Tirunagaru is currently vice president, head of biology and non-clinical development at Rain Therapeutics. Vijaya brings more than 18 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry across multiple therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Rain, she was associate vice president and head of discovery biology at GVK Biosciences, where she was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of 10 discovery programs across oncology, metabolic disorders and pain therapeutic areas. She began her pharmaceutical career at AstraZeneca where she was biology leader for project teams from concept to Phase 2, project leader for discovery programs and was a member of psychiatry disease area strategy team for a decade.
|Rebecca Eells||Reaction Biology Corporation|
|Daniel Anderson||Recursion Pharmaceuticals Inc|
Dan earned his PhD in cell biology and biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He then went on to start his biotech career at Genentech. During this period, he led a group responsible for developing novel cellular and advance microscopy assays to report on drug activity and mechanism of action. Dan then joined Cleave Biosciences, a company newly formed to discover and develop drugs for novel targets in protein homeostasis. As head of biology, he contributed to various aspects of the p97 program from early screening efforts through clinical development. Dan now lead the Innovation Biology Team at Recursion. Recursion is a clinical-stage biotechnology company combining experimental biology and automation with artificial intelligence in a massively parallel system to efficiently discover potential drugs for diverse indications, including genetic disease, inflammation, immunology, and infectious disease. Recursion applies causative perturbations to human cells to generate disease models and associated biological image data. Recursion’s rich, relatable database of more than a petabyte of biological images generated in-house on the company’s robotics platform enables advanced machine learning approaches to reveal drug candidates, mechanisms of action, and potential toxicity, with the eventual goal of decoding biology and advancing new therapeutics to radically improve lives.
|Tom Van Loy||Rega Institute For Medical Research|
Tom Van Loy received his PhD in Biology from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven, Belgium) where he investigated the biological role and pharmacology of peptide and protein hormone G protein-coupled receptors in insect models. He switch to study human GPCRs during a postdoctoral stay at the Free University of Brussels, in the lab of Prof. Gilbert Vassart. As a scientist, he then worked for several years at Johnson & Johnson focusing on molecular and cell-based assay development as well as biomarker research in the field of infectious diseases and oncology. Currently, he is a senior research scientist at the Rega Institute (KU Leuven) where he develops in vitro cell-based assays for GPCR drug discovery.
|Mary Mader||Relay Therapeutics Inc|
Mary is currently vice president of chemistry at Relay Therapeutics. She joined Relay after 18 yr at Eli Lilly and Company, where she contributed to the delivery of multiple clinical candidates in her role as a research fellow and group leader. Her project experiences spanned kinase and epigenetic targets from hit identification through lead optimization resulting in development candidates. Prior to Eli Lilly, Dr. Mader was a visiting research scientist at the Bayer Research Center and an associate professor of organic chemistry at Grinnell College. Dr. Mader received her PhD from the University of Notre Dame and her Bachelor of Science from the Ohio State University and was an NIH fellow at UC Berkeley.
|Alex Kelly ||Retrogenix Limited|
Alex is responsible for growing Retrogenix’s North American business portfolio and is based at Retrogenix's UK headquarters in the Peak District. Prior to joining the company, Alex spent two years at specialist pharmacogenomics service provider Epistem. Uncovering novel receptor targets and assessing target specificity against human membrane and secreted proteins Here he built successful relationships with major pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide as part of his business development and lead generation role.
|Georg Fertig||Roche Pharmaceuticals|
Dr. Fertig is heading the department of Screening & Functional Assays at Roche’s Pharma Research and Early Development, with focus on identification and characterization of protein based therapeutics. He graduated from the Technical University of Darmstadt with a Diploma Degree in Biology and received his PhD also from TU Darmstadt in Cell Biology in 1990. He did his Postdoc at the German Cancer Center in Heidelberg in the unit of Experimental Histopathology and then proceeded to industry (Boehringer Mannheim) in 1992. At Roche, he worked as a group leader in Professional Diagnostics, Biochemicals, Pharma Research Oncology and finally took over the responsibilities as a department head at Large Molecule Research.
Eliud Oloo is a Senior Principal Scientist at Schrödinger working on computational design and optimization of Biologics. Before joining Schrödinger, he was a research scientist at Sanofi for over ten years, leading structure-based vaccine design initiatives on a variety of infectious disease targets. Eliud completed his Ph.D. in Biomolecular Simulations at the University of Calgary, Canada.
|Andres Hernandez||Scripps Research Institute|
|Katie Lyons||SGI-DNA Inc|
Katie Lyons is a molecular and synthetic biologist at SGI-DNA. She was responsible for adapting the synthetic gene assembly process onto the BioXp™ 3200 System, the first instrument capable of “printing” genes. Katie has worked in protein and RNA vaccine engineering, molecular diagnostics at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and is currently a Senior Scientist at SGI-DNA.
|Jeff Behrens||Siamab Therapeutics|
Jeff is President and CEO of Siamab Therapeutics, a biotech company focused on developing antibodies targeting glycan targets in cancer. Jeff is also founder and CEO of LabShares Newton, a biotech incubator and co-working/co-experimenting space. Previously, Jeff served as Senior Director, Business Development and Operations at Edimer Pharmaceuticals and also worked at Alnylam and Biogen Idec. In 2003 Jeff sold his healthcare IT company, The Telluride Group, to mindSHIFT Technologies, a Fidelity-funded rollup. Jeff has an MS from the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), an MBA from MIT Sloan, and graduated from Harvard College. He lives in Newton, MA.
|Andrew Bradbury||Specifica Inc|
Andrew Bradbury is one of the founders of Specifica, a member of the Board of Directors, and serves as the Chief Scientific Officer. Andrew has almost 30 years of experience in the field of recombinant antibodies and display technologies. Throughout his career, he has developed and employed novel technologies, including the use of lox recombination to dramatically increase antibody library diversity. Andrew is a vocal proponent for the use of sequenced recombinant antibodies in research to improve reproducibility. He has frequently served as an expert witness in antibody patent cases involving some of the world’s bestselling antibody drugs. Andrew has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers and is the inventor on numerous patents and patent applications. Andrew holds a PhD from Cambridge University, where he studied under Nobel Laureate Cesar Milstein, the inventor of monoclonal antibodies, and holds an MB BS (medical degree) from the University of London as well as a BA and MA from Oxford University.
|RP Kris Iyer||Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals Inc|
Dr. R. P. Iyer, (Kris) is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals. He has more than 25 years’ experience in drug discovery and development in diverse fields including antivirals, inflammation, and immune-oncology. Kris is internationally recognized as an innovator in the fields of nucleic acid chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences with over 100 publications and 200 issued and filed US and international patents. Prior to Spring Bank, Kris was the co-founder and VP of Discovery at Origenix Technologies.
|Ryan Potts||St Jude Childrens Research Hospital|
|Dara Leto||Stanford Univ|
|Shoji Maeda||Stanford Univ|
Shoji Maeda is a Basic Life Science Research Scientist in the Kobilka lab, Stanford University. Dr. Maeda is a structural biologist focusing on membrane proteins and solved structures of multiple challenging protein complexes including GPCR/G protein complexes, which provides important insights into the G protein subtype selectivity of GPCRs. He is also interested in protein engineering and pharmacology to contribute to basic as well as application research.
|Matthieu Schapira||Structural Genomics Consortium|
Matthieu holds a PhD in biochemistry from Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris. After graduating in 1995, he completed a couple post-docs in protein crystallography and computational chemistry at New York University Medical Center, and held various positions in academia and in biotechs in San Diego and in France. He joined the Structural Genomics Consortium in Toronto in 2007 as PI, research informatics and is an Associate Professor with the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at University of Toronto. His work focuses on the structural and chemical biology of chromatin and ubiquitin signaling pathways.
|Guangqing Xiao||Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc|
Guangqing Xiao received his B.S and M.S. from Peking University, and Ph.D. from Boston University. After completing his postdoctoral research at University of California at San Francisco, he worked at BD Bioscience, Biogen and Takeda, and currently Dr. Xiao is a Director of DMPK at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. His areas of expertise in DMPK include drug transporters, drug-drug interactions, human PK projection, and PBPK modeling.
Anjan holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad and has done his masters in Organic Chemistry from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He has over 20 years of global experience in drug discovery and been associated with organizations like Affymax and Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI). Prior to joining Syngene, Anjan was a Senior Director and Head of Operations (Singapore) at AMRI. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and an Affiliate member of the American Association of Cancer Research and has authored or coauthored over thirty publications.
|Narender Gavva||Takeda California Inc|
Dr. Narender Gavva is the Head of Early Target Discovery at Takeda (supporting GI, IO, & Neuro indications). He has over 20 years of experience in drug discovery leading innovative groups of scientists and projects covering molecular biology, human genetics target ID & validation (TIDVAL). He is also serving as Takeda Scientific Lead for Open Targets consortium https://www.opentargets.org/people/
|Saurabh Gupta||Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd|
I got my PhD in Immunology from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2005, followed by postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School exploring mechanisms of autoimmunity. My first stint in industry was at Constellation Pharmaceuticals, working in immuno-oncology discovery research on epigenetic modulators impacting T cell activation and their applications for cancer immunotherapy. My current position is Director, Translational strategy and research at TESARO (recently a GSK company), overseeing translational strategy for both our TIM-3 and LAG-3 programs.
|Ted Clark ||TetraGenetics, Inc|
Ted Clark is the founder and CSO of Tetragenetics Inc. Ted received his PhD from SUNY/Stony Brook and postdoctoral training at Yale and University of Georgia where he began exploring Tetrahymena as an expression platform. He is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Cornell.
|Arthur Laganowsky||Texas A&M University|
Dr. Arthur Laganowsky is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, Texas. He received his PhD from University of California, Los Angeles under the mentorship of Professor David Eisenberg. He then pioneered novel ion mobility mass spectrometry approaches and methods to study membrane proteins and their interactions with lipid molecules as a Nicholas Kurti Junior Research Fellow at Brasenose College in the laboratory of Professor Dame Carol V. Robinson at the University of Oxford. The long-term research goal of his group is to determine the molecular basis behind protein lipid interactions and how these interactions can modulate the structure and function of membrane proteins, including their interactions with lipids, drugs, and other molecules.
|Ian James||Trevena Inc|
Ian James, PhD, joined Trevena in January 2009 as a member of the Biology group, working on several early phase targets, a post he held until moving to the Clinical Operations group in 2012. Dr James has 27 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Trevena, he spent almost 11 years at SmithKline Beecham/GSK in the musculoskeletal department working on various bone and cartilage targets with special emphasis on osteoclast antiresorptives such as cathepsin K inhibitors and vitronectin receptor antagonists. He moved to Centocor in 2003 and worked on multiple metabolic targets as a senior member of the Biology group. Prior to his industry career, Dr James gained a Master’s degree from Bath University in the UK and a PhD as a member of Dr Maxine Gowen’s Bone Research group at Bath University. Dr James has published over 60 articles, book chapters and reviews on numerous subjects, including Trevena’s GPCR assets.
|Qiang Liu||Twist Bioscience|
Dr. Qiang Liu, is Director of Antibody Engineering at Twist Biopharma, is highly experienced in advancing biotherapeutics, including monoclonal antibodies, ADCs and protein therapeutics, from early discovery to clinical trials. Dr. Liu worked at Amgen as a Principle Scientist and later joined Takeda California as Director of Antibody Technologies, where he had built a fully functional antibody discovery and development team. Before joining Twist, Qiang served as Vice President and CTO at Immune-Onc Therapeutics.
|Helen Horsley||UCB Pharma|
Helen Horsley is a Senior Scientist in the Medicinal Chemistry department at UCB, Slough, UK. She received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in 2005 working on the total synthesis of the histrionicotoxin alkaloids with Professor Andrew Holmes. In 2005 she joined UCB, working in Biological Chemistry, and in 2006 transferred to the Medicinal Chemistry. Since then she has worked across multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, kinases and PPI’s, to successfully deliver multiple candidates into development. In 2012 she became involved with the PI4K program in a joint venture with KUL and UCB (the subject of this presentation) and is currently working as a Principal Investigator on a late stage cytokine program.
Jonny Finlay is the CEO of UltraHuman, an antibody drug discovery biotech in the UK that is developing a series of therapeutics for inflammation and oncology. Prior to co-founding UltraHuman, Jonny led research teams in Biologics Discovery at Pfizer and Wyeth, and carried out postdoctoral research in recombinant protein engineering at several institutes, including the Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA.
|Victor Thannickal||Univ of Alabama Birmingham|
Dr. Thannickal is Professor of Medicine and the Ben Vaughan Branscomb Chair of Medicine in Respiratory Disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Thannickal’s research is focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms of lung repair and regeneration. This work has advanced fundamental understanding of myofibroblast origins, differentiation, and survival in pulmonary fibrosis. The clinical impact of his work is evidenced by current and emerging anti-fibrotic therapies in pre-clinical/clinical development; this includes inhibitors of FAK/Akt, MRTF-A/ROCK and NADPH oxidase-4 (Nox4). His laboratory was the first to identify an essential role for Nox4 in organ fibrosis, and has elucidated mechanisms by which redox imbalance and metabolic alterations contribute to age-dependent susceptibility to fibrosis. Active studies are focused on elucidating mechanisms of cellular senescence, oxidative stress and aging in the context of chronic lung diseases, in concert with the development of therapeutics and biomarkers for complex lung diseases.
|Carles Galdeano||Univ of Barcelona|
Dr. Carles Galdeano is currently a Serra Hunter Professor at the University of Barcelona. His current main project aims at the identification and characterization of chemical probes to validate specific and medical relevant E3 ligases that can be also employed for PROTAC construction. He is also involved in several drug discovery programs to find new molecules for the treatment of cancer and Alzheimer. Carles has been working in several interdisciplinary research groups around Europe and USA and he has learned new and broad range of concepts and ideas in the drug discovery field. He obtained his PhD in medicinal chemistry at University of Barcelona with two visiting stays at Virginia Tech (USA) and ICSN-CNRS (France). After that, he spent three years post-doc in the Alessio Ciulli’s lab (University of Cambridge, University of Dundee). In 2015, he returned to the University of Barcelona to work in collaboration with Prof Barril with a Beatriu de Pinos position.
|Wei Zhang||Univ Of Guelph|
I obtained my PhD in Daniel Durocher lab at the Lunenfeld Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, and Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. With Dan I learned about using molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology to understand genome stability, DNA repair, and telomere biology. Meanwhile I graduated from a two-year radiation medicine program (EIRR21, now STARS21) in the Department of Radiation Oncology at University of Toronto and held a Certificate in Project Management from University of Toronto. With a CIHR fellowship and later a Mitacs Elevate Fellowship I further conducted postdoctoral work in the labs of Sachdev Sidhu and Jason Moffat in the Donnelly Centre at the University of Toronto. I learned from Dev and Jason how to “modulate” cell signalling using protein engineering, synthetic biology, and systems biology approaches. Here in my own lab, I combine the expertise gained from PhD and postdoc studies to further understand and modulate DNA damage responses for novel cancer therapeutics.
|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 vdegradation pathways such as ubiquitin proteasome system and autophagy. He is an author of 22 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, and novel probes UbFluor to conduct HTS screens to discover E3 ligase inhibitors.
|Patrick Eyers||Univ of Liverpool|
Patrick Eyers is The Professor of Cell Signalling at the University of Liverpool, where he runs a multidisciplinary research lab. He completed his PhD with Sir Philip Cohen at the University of Dundee in 2000, and set up his laboratory in the UK with an MRC Career Development Fellowship. His current interests include protein phosphorylation and sulfation, pseudokinases and pseudoenzymes and kinome-wide mechanisms of acquired drug-resistance in human cells. One of the major goals of his work is to understand the evolution, and biological significance, of pseudoenzymes, focusing on the 50 or so human pseudokinases encoded in the human genome.
|Arvind Rao||Univ of Michigan|
Arvind Rao is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. His group uses image analysis and machine learning methods to link image-derived phenotypes with genetic data, across biological scale (i.e. single cell, tissue and radiology data). Such methods have found application in radiogenomics and drug repurposing based on phenotypic screens. Arvind received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Bioinformatics from the University of Michigan, specializing in transcriptional genomics, and was a Lane Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in bioimage informatics.
|Shaomeng Wang||Univ of Michigan|
|Michel Bouvier||Univ of Montreal|
|Terrence Kenakin||Univ of North Carolina Chapel Hill|
Beginning his career as a synthetic chemist, Terry Kenakin received a PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Alberta in Canada. After a postdoctoral fellowship at University College London, UK, he joined Burroughs-Wellcome as an associate scientist (7 years). From there, he continued working in drug discovery for 25 years first at Glaxo, Inc., then GlaxoWellcome and finally as a Director at GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development laboratories at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. Dr. Kenakin is now a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. Currently he is engaged in studies aimed at the optimal design of drug activity assays systems, the discovery and testing of allosteric molecules for therapeutic application and the quantitative modeling of drug effects. In addition, he is Director of the Pharmacology graduate courses at the UNC School of Medicine. He is a member of numerous editorial boards as well as editor in Chief of the Journal of Receptors and Signal Transduction. He has authored numerous articles and has written 10 books on Pharmacology.
|Kevin Weeks||Univ of North Carolina Chapel Hill|
Dr. Kevin Weeks is a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Founder of Ribometrix. The vision of his laboratory is to use chemical principles to explore the central role of RNA in biology with a focus on real-world problems and understanding human disease. RNA SHAPE technologies, invented in his laboratory, are used worldwide. The Weeks laboratory is applying SHAPE and other chemical technologies to challenging problems in biology, including the RNA-mediated reactions central to functions of mRNAs, lncRNAs, and viral RNAs. Dr. Weeks is a Fulbright and a Searle Scholar, an NIH EUREKA awardee, a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has taught many hundreds of undergraduates first year chemistry.
|Christine Lavoie||Univ of Sherbrooke|
|Ariella Hanker||Univ of Texas Dallas|
Dr. Hanker received her BSc in biochemistry from the University of Virginia in 2004 and PhD in genetics and molecular biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. Dr. Hanker pursued postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Carlos Arteaga at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her postdoctoral studies focused on understanding mechanisms of resistance to HER2-targeted therapy in HER2+ breast cancer. More recently, Dr. Hanker identified the HER2 T798I gatekeeper mutation as a mechanism of resistance to HER2-targeted therapy in HER2-mutant breast cancer. Dr. Hanker joined the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2018. Her current work focuses on understanding and targeting activating HER2 mutations found in breast and other cancers.
|Sebastian Raschka||Univ of Wisconsin Madison|
Sebastian Raschka is an Assistant Professor of Statistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison focusing on deep learning and machine learning research and its application to computational biology, including the prediction of GPCR active states from structural rigidity motifs. Before joining UW-Madison, Dr. Raschka conducted his PhD research under the guidance of Dr. Leslie Kuhn in Protein Structure and Analysis lab at Michigan State University. His recent projects include the Screenlamp virtual screening toolkit for hypothesis-driven ligand discovery, which led to the discovery of a potent small-molecule GPCR inhibitor, a computational procedure for 3D-based epitope screening, and the PRI-index for characterizing the hydrogen-bond polarity of protein-ligand interfaces for identifying near-native docking poses.
|Pawel Sledz||Univ of Zurich|
Dr Pawel Sledz is a Senior Scientist and Preclinical Project Manager at University of Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland), where he is responsible for several FBDD/SBDD projects targeting protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions relevant in oncology. Since 2018 he is a holder of University Bioentrepreneur Fellowship. He completed his PhD studies at the University of Cambridge (2011), and held EMBO Long-term Postdoctoral Fellowship at Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany in 2012-2014.
|Friedrich Koch-Nolte||University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf|
Friedrich Koch-Nolte is professor of Immunology and Molecular Biology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg (Germany). Work in his lab focuses on extracellular ATP and NAD+ as a danger signals in the immune system and on the ecto-enzymes and receptors that respond to these nucleotides. In addition, his group engineers nanobodies as anti-tumor therapeutics and as tools to modulate the function of enzymes and ion channels.
|Heike Wulff||University of California, Davis|
Heike Wulff received her MS degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and her approbation as Apothecary in 1994 from the Pharmaceutical Institute at the Christian Albrecht’s University of Kiel, Germany. In 1998 she obtained her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry in Kiel and then joined the laboratory of Dr. K. George Chandy at the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of California, Irvine, in 1999 as a postdoctoral researcher. After training in molecular biology, electrophysiology and immunology, Dr. Wulff obtained a position as Assistant Professor at the University of California, Davis in 2003. She was tenured in 2008 and is now a Professor of Pharmacology at UC Davis, where she serves as Instructor of Record for the Medical School Pharmacology course and is teaching basic pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, drug development and medicinal chemistry to medical students, chemistry undergraduates and graduate students. Dr. Wulff’s research is focused on potassium channel pharmacology and the design of new ion channel modulating drugs and tool compounds. She has authored 160 peer-reviewed publications on voltage- and Ca2+-activated K+ channels and was ranked in the top 1% of highly cited researchers in her field in the 2018 Clarivate Analysis.
|Paul Insel||University of California, San Diego|
Dr. Insel received an MD from the University of Michigan and post-MD training at Boston City Hospital/Harvard Medical Service, NIH and UC San Francisco (UCSF). He is currently Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine and Co-Director of the MD/PhD Training Program at UC San Diego. His research has focused on GPCRs, including their signaling, compartmentation in caveolae and expression in health and disease. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of numerous scientific journals (currently Editor, Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology; co-Head of Faculty, Faculty of 1000Prime in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery). He holds a Doc. Hon Causa from the University of Paris and is a Fellow, Am. Assn. for the Advancement of Science.
|Erik Procko||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
Dr. Erik Procko completed his PhD with Rachelle Gaudet at Harvard University, using biochemistry and crystallography to investigate MHC class I processing and an ion channel associated with pain. He changed research directions as a postdoc under the mentorship of David Baker at the University of Washington, and was one of the first to computationally design a protein de novo that had function. The designed protein, with no natural sequence homologues, specifically bound and inhibited a viral factor associated with lymphoma. He began his independent research program at the University of Illinois in November 2014, where he explores the relationship between protein sequence and conformation in dynamic membrane proteins, primarily through the use of directed evolution and computational modeling. His group is particularly interested in understanding neurotransmitter receptors and transporters associated with mental health disorders, and receptors and chaperones with important roles in immunity. His work is funded through the National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
|Peter Tessier||University of Michigan|
Peter Tessier is the Albert M. Mattocks (Endowed) Professor in the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, and a member of the Biointerfaces Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maine (1998, Co-Valedictorian), and his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware (2003, NASA Graduate Fellow). Tessier performed his postdoctoral studies at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT (2003-2007, American Cancer Society Fellow). Tessier started his independent career as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007, and he was an endowed full professor at Rensselaer (Richard Baruch MD Career Development Professor) prior to moving to the University of Michigan in 2017. Tessier’s research focuses on designing, optimizing, characterizing and formulating a class of large therapeutic proteins (antibodies) that hold great potential for detecting and treating human disorders ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. He has received a number of awards and fellowships in recognition of his pioneering work: Pew Scholar Award in Biomedical Sciences (2010-2014), Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (2014-2015), Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2018), Young Scientist Award from the World Economic Forum (2014), Biochemical Engineering Journal Young Investigator Award (2016), Young Investigator Award from the Biochemical Technology division of the American Chemical Society (2015), National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2010-2015), Rensselaer Early Career Award (2012), and Rensselaer School of Engineering Research (2012) and Teaching (2013) Awards.
|Zhiqiang An||University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston|
Dr. Zhiqiang An is Professor of Molecular Medicine, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry, and Director of the Texas Therapeutics Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. His laboratory focuses on cancer antibody drug resistance mechanisms, biomarkers for cancer therapeutic antibodies, and antibody drug discovery targeting cancer and infectious diseases. Dr. An also directs the Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibody Lead Optimization and Development Core Facility funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Previously, he served as Chief Scientific Officer at Epitomics, Inc. and was Director of Biologics Research at Merck Research Laboratories. He started his biotech career at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Dr. An received his PhD degree from the University of Kentucky and his postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an elected fellow of Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. He is also an elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.
|Pascal Egloff||University of Zurich|
Pascal Egloff obtained his PhD at the Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Zurich (UZH) in the group of Prof. A. Plückthun. His doctoral work focused on protein engineering and crystallographic structure determination of stabilized G protein-coupled receptor variants. In the group of Prof. G. Wagner at Harvard Medical School he studied G protein/GPCR interactions. Pascal Egloff co-invented the NestLink principle in the group of Prof. M. Seeger at the Institute of Medical Microbiology (UZH). Acting as the platform leader, he supervises NestLink applications in various research projects and he is responsible for further technology developments.
Ernest S. Smith, Ph.D. has served as senior Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Vaccinex since December 2008. Dr. Smith previously served as Vaccinex’s Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer from April 2003 to December 2008 and as Research Director from June 2001 to April 2003. Prior to joining us, Dr. Smith was a research scientist at the University of Rochester.
Brian has 12 years of experience in antibody drug discovery working at MassBiologics, AbVitro, and Visterra, where he is currently a Senior Scientist on the research team. His research is focused on combining computational and experimental tools to engineer antibodies to challenging targets.
Luke Robinson, PhD, is currently a Director of Research at Visterra, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. He has over 10 years of experience in biotechnology and protein engineering research. At Visterra, Dr. Robinson leads a research team developing new protein engineering tools and discovering novel therapeutic mAbs. Prior to Visterra, Dr. Robinson's PhD thesis at MIT involved developing a novel structure-based method to engineer a broad-spectrum neutralizing mAb to dengue virus, the results of which were patented, licensed by Visterra and further developed, with initiation of clinical trials anticipated soon. Dr. Robinson is an inventor on multiple patents and has authored publications in top-tiered journals, including Cell and New England Journal of Medicine.
|Richard Williams||WuXi NextCODE|
Dr. Richard Williams is Global Head of Medicine (CMO) at WuXiNextCODE. He is responsible for driving the science and commercialization of large common disease and oncology cohort programs for drug target and biomarker discovery, and leads engagement with biopharma companies to drive utilization of population genetics and cancer genomics to support their own clinical development programs. Dr. Williams received both his B.Med.Sc. (with Distinction) and his Ph.D. from the Department of Pathology at the University of Queensland, Australia. He received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (with Honors) from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Queensland, which is equivalent to an MD degree.
|Rachael Jetson||X-Chem Pharmaceuticals|
Rachael Jetson is a Senior Scientist in Lead Discovery at X-Chem Pharmaceuticals, where she collaborates with pharmaceutical partners for early-stage drug discovery using DNA-encoded libraries. Rachael has six years of experience in DNA-encoded technologies, following her education focusing on organic chemistry and nanotechnology (PhD Medicinal Chemistry and MS Material Science).
|Craig Crews||Yale Univ|
Dr. Crews is the American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and holds joint appointments in the departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology at Yale University. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Chemistry and received his PhD from Harvard University in Biochemistry. Dr. Crews has a foothold in both the academic and biotech arenas; on the faculty at Yale since 1995, his laboratory pioneered the use of small molecules to control intracellular protein levels. His first company, Proteolix, developed the proteasome inhibitor, Kyprolis™ for the treatment of multiple myeloma. His second venture, Arvinas, applies his lab’s PROTAC ‘induced protein degradation’ technology to drug development. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the CURE Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2013), Ehrlich Award for Medicinal Chemistry (2014), Yale Cancer Center Translational Research Prize (2015), a NIH R35 Outstanding Investigator Award (2015), the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research (2017), the Khorana Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2018), the Pierre Fabre Award for Therapeutic Innovation (2018), the Pharmacia-ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics (2019) and was named an American Cancer Society Professor in 2018.