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University of California, San Diego

Ruben Abagyan, PhD, Professor, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego

Dr. Ruben Abagyan is a Professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, which he joined in 2009. He received his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in molecular physics at MPTI and MSU. At the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg he developed internal coordinate mechanics and structural docking approach (ICM) for modeling and docking. He received his tenure at New York University and Courant Institute of Mathematics and continued at Novartis Institute and the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. Dr. Abagyan serves on international review panels for Institutes in Switzerland, UK, EU, and Hong Kong. He received CapCure awards, Princess Diana Award and medal in Sydney, Australia, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year award, and UCSD-SSPPS 'Faculty of the Year' awards. R.A. authored and co-authored 340 research papers and book chapters, with over 40,000 citations and H-index of 96. His research interests include computational structural biology, methods for structure prediction, docking screens, and cheminformatics, with a particular focus on computer-aided drug and target discovery. In addition to molecular profiles, he also studies the FDA clinical records and unexpected post-marketing side effects of therapeutics.

Differentiated Therapeutics

Bryce Allen, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, Differentiated Therapeutics

Bryce Allen, Ph.D. was the founding Head of Integrated Data Sciences at Silicon Therapeutics and played a key role in building the company from three employees to over one hundred, culminating in its acquisition by Roivant Sciences in 2021, driven in large part by the cutting edge computational platform. During that period he spearheaded the development and application of the computational platform to drug discovery projects. He played a leading role in the discovery and optimization of SNX281, a first-in-class small molecule STING agonist currently in phase I clinical trials, taking the program from an initial AI discovered hit to a clinical candidate in <3 years. Starting his career at the bench, Bryce has accumulated domain expertise across biology, medicinal chemistry, physics, and computer science enabling the development of practical computer-aided discovery to drive data-driven decision making in drug development programs. He holds an Adjunct Faculty appointment in The Institute for Experiential AI at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and is the author of >30 publications and patents. Bryce was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School and holds a Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

XtalPi Inc.

Nathan Allen, PhD, Research Fellow and Director of Business Development, Automated Synthetic Chemistry, XtalPi Inc.

After finishing his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at UC-Irvine under Prof. W.J. Evans, Dr. Allen joined Rohm and Haas Company (Dow Chemical Company) working in synthetic chemistry roles from sodium borohydride synthesis to macromolecule synthesis.  He moved to Millipore-Sigma as Head of New Product R & D organic chemistry, then as Principal Scientist at Ascensus Specialties.  He is now the Director of Business Development for XtalPi, covering Synthetic and Automated Chemistry.

Anima Biotech Inc

Iris Alroy, PhD, Co-Founder & CSO, Anima Biotech

Dr. Iris Alroy has broad background and more than 19 years of experience in small molecule drug discovery, preclinical development, and development of IND-enabling studies. Dr. Alroy was VP of Discovery at Proteologics, where she established several research programs for the identification of small molecules inhibiting the activity of E3 ubiquitin ligases in HIV-1 and Cancer. Subsequently, she was VP R&D at Pharmos Corp., in which she managed organic and medicinal chemistry, biology and pharmacology groups. Under her guidance, efficacy animal models were set up, validated and used for testing lead molecules in pain and inflammation up to Phase I study in inflammatory pain. Dr. Alroy was entrepreneur and CEO of startup biotech companies, Fusimab, Ltd., ProMining Therapeutics Ltd., developing bispecific antibodies and small molecules, respectively. Dr. Alroy successfully managed drug discovery and development projects (e.g., staffing, patent protections, budget), collaborated with researchers in academia and large pharmaceutical companies, and produced peer-reviewed publications.

University of California, San Francisco

Michelle Arkin, PhD, Chair and Distinguished Professor, Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Director, Small Molecule Discovery Center, University of California, San Francisco

Michelle Arkin is Professor and Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco, and co-director of the Small Molecule Discovery Center. Her lab focuses on developing chemical probes and drug leads for novel targets, with a particular interest in protein-protein interactions and protein-degradation networks. Prior to UCSF, Michelle worked at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, where she helped discover protein-protein interaction inhibitors for IL-2 and LFA-1 (lifitigrast, marketed by Novartis). She is a co-founder of Ambagon and Elgia Therapeutics.

Brian Atwood, PhD, Application Scientist, Iktos

Brian Atwood is a synthetic organic chemist by training. He completed his PhD in 2018 with Chris Vanderwal at UCI, working on the total synthesis of two natural products: a polychlorinated marine metabolite and a pyrrole-containing alkaloid. He moved to UCLA to conduct postdoctoral work with Mike Jung, contributing to a variety of medicinal chemistry projects. Brian joined Iktos in 2020 to support US operations, research collaborations, R&D, and software deployments.


Natalia J. Reszka-Blanco, PhD, Principal Scientist, Morphic Therapeutic

Natalia J. Reszka-Blanco is the Principal Scientist at Morphic Therapeutic Inc. and part of the biology group since 2016. She leads the immuno-oncology drug discovery program targeting integrins as modulators of anti-tumor immunity. Natalia has over 15 years of experience in research across immuno-oncology, inflammatory and viral diseases, and vaccine development. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and the University of North Carolina before joining the pharmaceutical industry.

Plexium Inc

Simon Bailey, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President & Head of Drug Discovery, Plexium, Inc.

As the Head of Drug Discovery at Plexium, Simon oversees the company’s efforts to identify novel protein degrader drugs that address significant unmet medical needs. Simon joined Plexium in 2019, bringing more than 25 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and small molecule drug discovery leadership. From 1995-2016, Simon had leadership roles in medicinal chemistry at Pfizer and subsequently he was the Head of Research and Global Pipeline Leader for Intercept Pharmaceuticals. Simon gained his Ph.D. and was the Hibbert Prize winner in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Manchester and completed postdoctoral studies under Prof. Leo Paquette. He earned an MBA from the University of California, San Diego. Simon is a 2021 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Hero of Chemistry award for his role in the discovery of Lorbrena.

University of Washington

David A. Baker, PhD, Henrietta & Aubrey David Endowed Professor, Biochemistry, University of Washington

David Baker, Ph.D. is the director of the Institute for Protein Design, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Henrietta and Aubrey Davis Endowed Professor in Biochemistry, and an adjunct professor of genome sciences, bioengineering, chemical engineering, computer science, and physics at the University of Washington. His research group is a world leader in protein design and protein structure prediction. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry with Randy Schekman at the University of California, Berkeley, and did postdoctoral work in biophysics with David Agard at UCSF. Dr. Baker is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Baker is a recipient of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, Irving Sigal and Hans Neurath awards from the Protein Society, the Overton Prize from the ISCB, the Feynman Prize from the Foresight Institute, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the Sackler prize in biophysics, and the Centenary Award from the Biochemical society. He has also received awards from the National Science Foundation, the Beckman Foundation, and the Packard Foundation. Dr. Baker has published over 500 research papers, been granted over 100 patents, and co-founded 11 companies. Seventy-five of his mentees have gone on to independent faculty positions.

University of California, San Diego

Carlo Ballatore, PhD, Professor, Pharmaceutical Science, University of California San Diego

Dr. Ballatore is a Professor at University of California San Diego (UCSD) Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. His training and expertise are in medicinal chemistry, with >20 years of experience in drug discovery in both the biotechnology (~3 years) and academic drug discovery settings. Over the past several years, the Ballatore laboratory has been engaged in several NIH-funded multidisciplinary drug/probe discovery programs by providing expertise in medicinal chemistry and drug design. Such collaborations include ongoing programs directed towards the discovery and development of candidate treatments for: (a) neurodegenerative tauopathies (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease), in collaboration with the Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research at University of Pennsylvania; and (b) parasitic infections, such as trypanosomiasis and schistosomiasis, in collaboration with the Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases at UCSD. In addition, the Ballatore laboratory has also been actively involved in the investigation of basic, fundamental principles in medicinal chemistry, such as in the area of isosteric replacements.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Surajit Banerjee, Dr., Sr. Product Specialist, Life Sciences, Materials & Structural Analysis Division, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Over two decades in the field of structural biology, Dr. Surajit Banerjee has touched all the major methods - crystallography, NMR and Cryo-EM. During his involvement in the macromolecular crystallography beamline, NE-CAT at APS, he has collaborated with a wide range of challenging projects, namely DNA damage, HIV protease, several membrane protein families, and method developments in crystallography, to name a few. He later moved to Columbia University to maintain and develop user base of the electron microscopy facility under the guidance of Dr. Joachim Frank. He is currently involved as a Sr. Product Specialist in the Life Sciences group of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Svetlana Belyanskaya, PhD, Vice President, Biology, Anagenex

Dr. Belyanskaya is accomplished scientific leader in the field of small molecule drug discovery and an expert in DNA encoded library platform. She was involved in the development of DEL platform for 20 years. Svetlana has made significant contributions to the design and development of the DEL technology at Praecis Pharmaceuticals and, later, at GlaxoSmithKline. She was instrumental in discovering first DEL-sourced molecule to progress into clinical trials, a potent and selective inhibitor for enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (hsEH). At GSK, Svetlana successfully led team of scientists on multiple scientific programs. Svetlana has deep expertise in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and very passionate about future development of DEL technology with goal to find novel quality leads that bring value for the treatment of diseases with unmet medical needs

Denovicon Therapeutics

Scott Bembenek, PhD, Founder, CEO & CSO, Denovicon Therapeutics

Dr. Scott Bembenek earned his PhD in Theoretical Chemical Physics, was a National Research Council Fellow, and has 17 years of big pharma experience where he worked in numerous therapeutic areas (oncology, immunology, neuroscience, pain, cardiovascular & metabolic diseases, and infectious disease). He has been a leader on multiple high-profile projects and a core member of the teams that discovered several clinical candidates. Overall, he has made substantial scientific contributions culminating in 33 peer-reviewed publications and 20 patents. Currently, he is the Founder and CEO of Denovicon Therapeutics, which uses their AI-molecular modeling platform to accelerate and improve the development of small-molecule therapeutics for various indications (cancers, neurodegenerative conditions, and cardiovascular diseases) with particular focus on targets for immuno-oncology and those in the DNA damage response (DDR) pathways.

Eurofins Discovery

Jean Bernatchez, PhD, Senior Scientist and San Diego R&D Group Leader, Eurofins Discovery

Jean Bernatchez is a Senior Scientist and the San Diego R&D Group Leader at Eurofins Discovery, where he is leading assay development efforts in the targeted protein degradation space. Prior to joining Eurofins, Jean was a postdoctoral scholar at UC San Diego, where he developed high-throughput screening assays for infectious diseases and cancer. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Chemical Biology from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Protagonist Therapeutics

Ashok Bhandari, PhD, Senior Vice President, Discovery Chemistry & Process Research, Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc.

Ashok Bhandari is Executive Vice President, Chief Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development officer at Protagonist Therapeutics with over 25 years of experience and drug discovery of peptide therapeutics. Dr. Bhandari has served as SVP/VP of Chemistry and Process Research in prior roles at Protagonist. Ashok Joined Protagonist in 2011 and focused on the discovery of novel peptide therapeutics leading to Protagonist's clinical pipeline. Dr. Bhandari received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) and conducted his post-doctoral work also at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

University of Washington

Gaurav Bhardwaj, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington

Gaurav Bhardwaj is an Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Washington and the Institute for Protein Design. He received his doctoral degree from the Pennsylvania State University. He did his postdoc with Dr. Kit Lam at the University of California, Davis, and Dr. David Baker at the University of Washington, Seattle. His lab focuses on developing computational and experimental methods to design peptides for therapeutic applications.

Polina Binder, Senior Machine Learning Scientist, Compute Team, Anagenex

Polina is a skilled machine learning scientist with endless curiosity and a drive to apply cutting-edge methods to new problems. She previously performed computational biology research and used machine learning to interpret disease subtypes from medical images. Prior to joining Anagenex, Polina was an AI Resident at Uber AI Labs.

Circle Pharma Inc

Andrew T. Bockus, PhD, Associate Director, Chemistry, Circle Pharma, Inc.

Andrew T. Bockus, PhD, is a chemist with over a decade of experience in the field of passively-permeable peptidic macrocycles. He currently leads the solid-phase peptide discovery team at Circle Pharma. Prior to joining Circle Pharma, Andrew worked in the lab of Prof. Scott Lokey, a co-founder of Circle, where he synthesized natural product-like cyclic peptides and identified drivers of structure-permeability relationships in diverse peptidic scaffolds. He then developed applications for synthetic receptors and taught undergraduate courses in organic chemistry as a postdoc for Prof. Adam Urbach at Trinity University. Andrew holds a B.A. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Skidmore College and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

University of Oxford

Paul Brennan, PhD, Professor, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

Paul Brennan received his PhD in organic chemistry from UC Berkeley. Following post-doctoral research at Cambridge University, Paul spent eight years working in the pharmaceutical industry at Amgen and Pfizer. In 2011, Paul joined the Structural Genomics Consortium at the University of Oxford. Over the course of his career, Paul has worked on most major drug classes of drug targets: kinases, GPCRs, ion-channels, metabolic enzymes, and epigenetic proteins. Paul is currently Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and CSO of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute in the Centre for Medicines Discovery at the University of Oxford. His research is focused on finding new treatments for dementia.

Nimbus Therapeutics

Debra Brennan, Executive Director, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Nimbus Therapeutics

Debra Brennan has dedicated over 25 years to bringing challenging protein targets into the drug discovery portfolio through protein design, production, and crystallization to support structural elucidation to help drive Structure Based Drug Design (SBDD). She has led programs from early exploratory through LO, leading in-house teams and CROs worldwide. She earned degrees from both the University of California, Irvine and Johns Hopkins University after a career working in ophthalmology. She has had the pleasure of working at IRBM in Italy, Vertex, Boehringer-Ingelheim, TESARO, GSK and is currently Executive Director Structural Biology and Biophysics at Nimbus Therapeutics.

Boehringer Ingelheim RCV GmbH & Co KG

Joachim Broeker, PhD, Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Boehringer Ingelheim RCV GmbH & Co. KG

Joachim obtained his PhD at the Vienna University of Technology in the group of Peter Gaertner working on asymmetric syntheses. In 2004, he joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department of Boehringer Ingelheim in Vienna as a bench chemist. Joachim spent several months as a visiting scientist at the Boehringer Ingelheim virology research site in Laval, Canada in 2009 and gained experience in the field of PROTACS in the group of Alessio Ciulli at University of Dundee in 2019. He is a Principal Scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim since 2012 and has been working on a diverse set of oncology targets. Joachim has 10 years of experience leading medicinal chemistry projects in hit finding, H2L, and LO.

Jnana Therapeutics

Dean G. Brown, PhD, Vice President & Head, Chemistry, Jnana Therapeutics

Dean Brown is VP and Head of Chemistry at Jnana Therapeutics. Prior to Jnana, he was Director of Chemistry at AstraZeneca within the Hit Discovery Department, Discovery Science IMED Biotech Unit. He obtained a B.S in chemistry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX) and a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) in organic chemistry. He has over 20 years of experience in industry with AstraZeneca. Dean has been responsible for building many new scientific programs in both neuroscience and infection, several which have resulted in successful transition to clinical trials. His scientific interests are in lead generation, library design, DNA-encoded library screening, synthetic chemistry and applications of computational chemistry. Dean is listed as an author or co-author on more than 60 publications and patent applications in medicinal chemistry and drug design, including granted patents on clinical candidates.

Pfizer Global R&D Groton Labs

Matthew Calabrese, PhD, Senior Director & Head, Structural & Molecular Sciences, Pfizer Global R&D

Matt Calabrese earned his PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University before joining the lab of Dr. Brenda Schulman at St. Jude Children's Hospital for a postdoctoral fellowship on the structure and function of E3 ligases. He then joined the Structural and Molecular Sciences group at Pfizer in Groton CT which he presently leads as Senior Director.

NanoTemper Technologies

Mariano Cardenas, PhD., Product Manager, Product, NanoTemper Technologies

Mariano Cardenas has been at NanoTemper since 2019 as an Application Specialist for Dianthus and recently as a Product Manager. Mariano has extensive experience in drug discovery, high-throughput screening, pharmacology, targeted therapies, and biochemistry/biophysics. Previous to joining NTT, he was a Research Support Specialist at the Rockefeller University HTSRC developing HTS assays with HTRF, FP, AlphaLISA, etc. Before that, he was a Research Associate at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he participated in 5 drug discovery projects that aimed to identify small molecule inhibitors of selectively expressed proteins in different cancers.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc

Artiom Cernijenko, PhD, Principal Scientist II, Global Discovery Chemistry, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.

Artiom Cernijenko, originally from Lithuania, obtained his BS degree at the University of Oxford. He obtained his MS degree working in the Lab of Prof. Martin Smith at the University of Oxford, exploring enantioselective phase-transfer catalyzed synthesis of nitrogen heterocycles. Artiom pursued his PhD degree in the Lab of Prof. Phil Baran at Scripps Research Institute where he worked on enantioselective synthesis of ent-kaurane diterpene (-)-maoecrystal V. Artiom then joined Global Discovery Chemistry (GDC) group at Novartis in Cambridge, MA, where he has been involved in multiple Targeted Protein Degradation (TPD) projects for oncology, immunology, and hematology indications.

C4 Therapeutics Inc

Prasoon Chaturvedi, PhD, Vice President & Head, DMPK, C4 Therapeutics, Inc.

Prasoon Chaturvedi, Ph.D., currently leads the DMPK efforts in the protein degrader space as Vice President, DMPK, at C4 Therapeutics in Watertown, MA. Over the last two decades, Prasoon has worked with numerous cutting-edge technologies to drive drug development endeavors in multiple therapeutic areas including infectious disease, oncology, hematology, cardiovascular, inflammation, and rare diseases leading to multiple successful IND, CTA, and NDA filings and has made key DMPK contributions for several marketed drugs including NUZYRA and ONPATTRO. Prasoon holds a Ph.D. from IIT, Roorkee (India), and did his postdoctoral training at E.K. Shriver Center of Harvard Medical School, MA.

Triana Biomedicines Inc

Jesse Chen, PhD, Co-Founder & CTO, Triana Biomedicines, Inc.

Jesse Chen is the Chief Technology Officer at Triana Biomedicines. He joined TRIANA in January of 2021. Jesse has more than a decade of discovery research and management experience, from early discovery through preclinical development. He joined RA Capital Management in 2019 as an entrepreneur-in-residence and co-founded TRIANA Biomedicines and Avilar Therapeutics. Prior to joining RA Capital, Jesse was Senior Director of Discovery at Kymera Therapeutics, responsible for building the company’s industry-leading targeted protein degradation platform and pipeline. Jesse also held various roles at Moderna Therapeutics and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for developing novel platforms and leading discovery programs. Jesse received his Ph.D. from MIT and was a Harvard Origins Research Fellow.

Stanford University

Gerald Crabtree, MD, David Korn Professor of Experimental Pathology & Developmental Biology, Stanford University

Promega Corporation

Ellen Crummy, PhD, Sr Research Scientist, Research & Development, Promega Corporation

Ellen Crummy is a Senior Research Scientist at Promega Corporation. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she characterized protein interactions required in the regulated exocytic pathway. Her postdoctoral work at Promega involved designing and evolving a far-red bioluminescent protein complementation system, and as a senior research scientist she has worked to develop biochemical assays to characterize protein interactions using Lumit. 


Amgen Inc

Upendra Dahal, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Amgen, Inc.

Upendra is a Sr. Principal Scientist at Amgen, Inc. His current role involves representing PKDM (pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism) in multi-disciplinary project teams in discovery to development stages, designing in vitro and in vivo studies to understand PKDM properties of the project compounds, provide recommendation to the team to design better compounds with low metabolic and DDI liabilities. He spends time interpreting the results from in vitro and in vivo studies and making conclusions based on the data and proposing further studies to understand PKDM-related challenges and mitigate the risks. He routinely involves in preparing the documents for regulatory filings. Before joining Amgen Upendra worked at Celgene and Pfizer. Upendra has diverse research interests and has demonstrated a good track record of peer-reviewed publications in various areas.

Vernalis (R&D) Ltd.

Ben J. Davis, PhD, Research Fellow, Biology, Vernalis R&D Ltd.

Dr. Ben Davis is a Research Fellow at Vernalis Research, a biotech company based in Cambridge UK which has been at the forefront of fragment-based approaches since 1998. An NMR spectroscopist and biophysicist by training, his current research focus is the development of biophysics and FBLD methods for challenging therapeutic targets and systems. Dr Davis studied for his PhD in protein folding and molecular interactions with Professor Alan Fersht at Cambridge University, and then studied the interactions of small molecules with proteins and RNA. He has over 20 years’ experience in the drug discovery industry. He has contributed to seven books over the last decade and is an author on more than forty scientific publications. He is a frequent speaker at scientific conferences and has been running FBLD training workshops since 2007.

X-Chem, Inc

Paige Dickson, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Lead Discovery and Biochemistry, X-Chem, Inc

Paige Dickson is a chemical biologist with 10 years of experience in encoded library technologies and small-molecule hit identification. At X-Chem, Paige is responsible for designing, performing, and analyzing DNA-Encoded Library selection experiments to ensure successful project outcomes. She earned her Bachelors of Chemistry from Northeastern University, and her PhD in Chemical and Biological Sciences at Scripps Research in the laboratory of Thomas Kodadek.

Dengfeng Dou, Vice President, Lead Generation Unit, HitGen

Dr. Dengfeng Dou received his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at Wichita State University and finished his postdoc at Mayo Clinic. He has 7 years' experience in peptide research and manufacture. Dr. Dou joined HitGen in 2012 and has led PM Dept. till 2016; since then, he leads Lead Generation Unit (LGU) to provide DEL screening services. LGU now also provides novel E3 ligase discovery and DEL-driven protein degrader discovery and optimization. 

Genentech Inc

Peter S. Dragovich, PhD, Senior Fellow, Discovery Chemistry, Genentech, Inc.

Peter Dragovich received a B.S. in chemistry from UC Berkeley and subsequently obtained a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Caltech under the direction of Professor Andrew Myers. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 28 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 Senior Fellow in the Discovery Chemistry Department. Since arriving at Genentech, he has worked on multiple projects in both the immunology and oncology therapeutic areas. His current research interests include the identification of novel payloads and linkers that can be used to create new antibody-drug conjugates.

Blueprint Medicines

Guangyan Du, PhD, Scientist II, Department of Chemistry, Blueprint Medicines

Guangyan Du earned his Ph.D. at Peking University in 2015. There, he worked on total synthesis of natural products and development of synthetic methodology. Guangyan Du then joined Gray lab in Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School as a postdoc, there he focused on developing novel inhibitors and degraders for kinases, IMiDs glue library as well as exploring new E3 ligases. Guangyan joined Blueprint Medicines in 2021 and keep contributing on drug discovery.

Chemical Computing Group

Michael Dummond, Scientific Applications Manager, Chemical Computing Group

Michael Drummond received his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from The Ohio State University.  During postdoctoral appointments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of North Texas, his research spanned diverse topics such as carbon capture, materials science, organometallic catalysis, and computer-aided drug design. His areas of CADD expertise are wide-ranging and include PROTACs, Cytochrome P450s, enzyme engineering, and QSAR in biologics design. He is currently a Scientific Applications Manager at Chemical Computing Group.

University of Florida Gainesville

Matthew T. Eddy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville

Matthew Eddy received his PhD in physical chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the laboratory of Professor Robert Griffin. During his PhD, Dr. Eddy developed new approaches for using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in the solid state to determine structures of membrane proteins in cellular-like environments. Following his PhD, Dr. Eddy joined the laboratories of Professors Raymond Stevens and Kurt Wuthrich at The Scripps Research Institute as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, applying an integrative structural biology approach to study human G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and focusing on applications of nuclear magnetic resonance to improve our understanding of GPCR allosteric functions. Dr. Eddy is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Florida and affiliated faculty of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. His group continues to study human GPCRs to understand the role of the cellular environment in regulating GPCR dynamics, structure, and function.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals Inc

Sean Ekins, PhD, Founder & CEO, Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Sean is founder and CEO of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is focused on using machine learning approaches for rare and neglected disease drug discovery. Sean graduated from the University of Aberdeen; receiving his MSc, PhD, in clinical pharmacology and DSc in science. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Lilly Research Laboratories, before working as a senior scientist at Pfizer and then Eli Lilly. He went on to join several startup companies at increasingly senior levels. Since 2005, he has been awarded over 20 NIH and DOD grants (STTR/SBIR grants, R21, UH2 and R01) as well as performing as a consultant on many others. He has authored or co-authored >340 peer reviewed papers, book chapters, edited 5 books on different aspects of drug discovery research and using computational approaches. He has a passion for finding new collaborators and developing new treatments for neglected and rare diseases as well as advancing new technologies for drug discovery.

Nathaniel L. Elsen, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, Discovery, AbbVie, Inc.

Nathaniel Elsen Principal Research Scientist II Drug Discovery Science and Technology - High Throughput Screening Ph.D. in 2008 from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Biochemistry/Enzymology 2009-2015: Protein Biochemist at Merck 2015-present: Assay development and screening at AbbVie

Frontier Medicines Corporation

Daniel A. Erlanson, PhD, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Discovery, Frontier Medicines Corporation

Dr. Daniel A. Erlanson is the VP of Chemistry for Frontier Medicines, which is using covalent fragments, machine learning, and chemoproteomics to target proteins often thought undruggable. Prior to Frontier he co-founded Carmot Therapeutics, where he contributed to two clinical-stage molecules. Before Carmot, Dr. Erlanson spent a decade developing fragment-based discovery technologies and leading medicinal chemistry projects at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Erlanson was an NIH postdoctoral fellow with James A. Wells at Genentech, earned his PhD in chemistry from Harvard University in the laboratory of Gregory L. Verdine, and his BA in chemistry from Carleton College. He has co-edited two books on fragment-based drug discovery and is an inventor on more than a dozen issued patents and an author of more than forty scientific publications. He also runs a blog devoted to fragment-based drug discovery, Practical Fragments (http://practicalfragments.blogspot.com/).

Individual Consultant

John Erve, PhD, President, Jerve Scientific Consulting

John Erve is from Chicago and studied Chemistry (BS, MS) at the University of Chicago and earned a PhD in Toxicology at Oregon State University. 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 characterized reactive metabolites. In 2004 he joined Wyeth (Collegeville, PA) as a Principal Scientist responsible for metabolite identification. In 2010, John joined Novartis (Cambridge, MA) as a Lab Head in Analytical Sciences. John returned to drug metabolism at Elan Pharmaceuticals (San Francisco, CA) in 2012 and later formed Jerve Scientific Consulting, Inc to help small biotech companies in the Bay area with their drug discovery efforts. John was a certified D.A.B.T. from 2004 to 2019.

Ghotas Evindar, PhD, Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery, 1859 Inc.

Before recently joining 1859 Inc, Ghotas was VP and head of drug discovery at Exo Therapeutics in Watertown, MA. He has authored well over 50 publications and patents in the area of drug discovery and is committed to education surrounding DNA-encoded library (DEL) technology, leading a number of DEL roundtable discussions and courses over the last several years. He was born and raised in the Kurdish mountains before migrating to Canada. He completed his undergraduate and MSc degrees at the University of Waterloo, concentrating on synthesis and structure-activity studies of aureobasidins. He then joined Vertex Pharmaceuticals, in Cambridge, as a medicinal chemist. While at Vertex, he was instrumental in the success of P38 MAP Kinase (first and second generation), ICE-1 inhibitors (second generation), and early ZAP-70 programs. After four years at Vertex, and four clinical candidates, he moved to the University of Toronto to pursue a PhD degree in organic chemistry with focus on “Novel Approaches to Synthesis of Nitrogen Containing Heterocycles”. After completing his PhD with Dr. Robert Batey, he moved back to the Boston area to join Praecis Pharmaceuticals as a staff scientist. There he led the medicinal chemistry sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor agonist discovery program and contributed to the inception of the novel DEL platform. Praecis was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007 and Ghotas began a 12-year journey with DNA-encoded library technology (ELT) platforms, including portfolio, library and selection design, data analysis, Hit ID, and H2L medicinal chemistry. In early 2019, Ghotas moved to Exo Therapeutics where he continues his adventures in small molecule drug discovery.

Ghotas Evindar, PhD, Senior Vice President, Discovery, Discovery, 1859 Inc.

Ghotas is a pioneering leader in the DNA-encoded library and drug discovery community. His career includes roles at Vertex as a medicinal chemist, at Praecis/GSK leading teams in the Encoded Library Technology (ELT), and Exo Therapeutics as head of discovery. Ghotas is currently SVP of Discovery at 1859, where he guides R&D and implementation of OBOC DEL and ML platforms in the rapid discovery of small molecule leads.

Vanderbilt University

Stephen W. Fesik, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, & Chemistry; Orrin H. Ingram II Chair in Cancer Research, Vanderbilt University

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

Arrakis Therapeutics

Anton Filikov, PhD, Associate Director, Computational Drug Discovery, Arrakis Therapeutics

Dr. Anton Filikov is a principal scientist at the Computational Chemistry group at Arrakis Therapeutics, supporting teams across the portfolio pipeline and working on the development of computational methods for the company discovery platform. He gained extensive experience in computational chemistry, chem-, and bio-informatics working at startups and large companies (Xencor, Syrrx, NCI, AbbVie, Sanofi). He also accumulated domain expertise across machine learning and data science while developing methods of predictive modeling on healthcare data at IBM Watson Health. He is the author of >25 papers and 15 patents. He received his Master’s and PhD degrees in molecular physics at MPTI and KIAE.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Eric Fischer, PhD, Associate Professor, Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School; Director Center for Protein Degradation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Eric Fischer, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and a Principal Investigator in the Department of Cancer Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His research focuses on understanding the complex mechanisms that underlie signaling through the ubiquitin proteasome system, and function and regulation of multi-component ubiquitin ligases and their role in disease. Leveraging the in depth understanding for therapeutic intervention through novel small molecule modalities is a second focus of his research, and has significantly contributed to our understanding of small molecule mediated protein degradation. Eric has been recognized for his pioneering work on the structure of cereblon and the mechanism of action of thalidomide, which continues to guide the development of IMiDs and related future drugs. His work has been instrumental for the growing field of small molecule protein degradation therapeutics. Eric also co-directs the newly formed Center for Protein Degradation, a unique collaboration between Dana-Farber and Deerfield Management. Eric completed his undergraduate training at the Universities of Hamburg (Germany) and Basel (Switzerland). His doctoral training was at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and the University of Basel in the laboratory of Dr. Nicholas Thoma, culminating in a PhD in structural biology conferred summa cum laude. As a part of his graduate research, Eric also spent time in the laboratory of Prof. Kaoru Sugasawa at Kobe University (Kobe, Japan) and with the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Eric was recruited to Dana-Farber and Harvard in 2015 to establish his research group. Eric has received numerous honors recognizing his research achievements and promise, including a 2015 Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research Team Award winner, a 2018 Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and an Emerging Leader Award from the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research.


Sean Gardner, MS, Scientific Program Manager, Office of Special Initiatives, NCATS, National Institutes of Health

Sean Gardner is a scientific program manager in NCATS’ Office of Special Initiatives, where he supports A Specialized Platform for Innovative Research Exploration (ASPIRE). The goal of ASPIRE is to transform the way medicinal chemistry currently is performed into a modern, information-based science that will greatly accelerate the design-synthesize-test cycle in early-stage drug development. Incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques coupled with the automation of chemical synthesis and biological testing, the aim is to bring therapeutic candidates into in vivo and clinical testing in a far more efficient manner. Before joining NCATS, Gardner most recently served as a medicinal chemist with the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, supporting the Army’s global efforts to combat drug-resistant malaria. He received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Drexel University and performed graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus on synthetic organic chemistry, including natural product synthesis, main group chemistry, synthetic methodology, and new reaction development.

Genentech Inc

Thomas P. Garner, PhD, Principal Scientist, Biophysics, Genentech, Inc.

Thomas Garner joined Genentech in 2020. He is a Principal Scientist in the Biochemical and Cellular Pharmacology (BCP) department. Thomas is the BCP and biophysics representative on several key pipeline projects at Genentech, developing SPR and other biophysics assays to facilitate hit finding and hit-to-lead development at Genentech. Thomas earned his MSci. in Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Thomas continued his studies at the University of Nottingham to earn a PhD in the Biological Chemistry Department, with a focus on NMR-based structural biology and biophysics of protein-protein and DNA-drug interactions. In 2010, he moved to the United States as a postdoctoral fellow at Louisiana State University. In 2012, he joined the Gavathiotis lab at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM). While at AECOM, he studied the regulation and inhibition of Bcl-2 family proteins and became faculty in 2017.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Evris Gavathiotis, PhD, Professor, Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Dr. Evripidis (Evris) Gavathiotis is a Professor of Biochemistry and Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a Co-Leader in the Cancer Therapeutics Program at Albert Einstein Cancer Center, and an Investigator in the Institute for Aging Research, and the Wilf Family Cardiovascular Research Institute. He received his BSc in Chemistry at the University of Crete, Greece and his PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, UK. He completed postdoctoral research at Rockefeller University and at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and he was junior faculty at Harvard Medical School. In 2011, he started his lab at Einstein and became tenured full professor in 2019. His research focuses on mechanisms and protein interactions in cell death and cell survival signaling and their role in diseases and the discovery and optimization of small molecule modulators towards novel chemical tools and therapeutics. He has pioneered mechanistic insights of BCL-2 family proteins and other key signaling proteins and has developed strategies and methodologies that enabled the discovery of several first-in-class small molecules for several targets. He has been honored with numerous prestigious awards including the Sidney Kimmel Scholar Award for Cancer Research, the Pershing Square Sohn Prize in Cancer Research and the Young Chemical Biologist Award by the International Chemical Biology Society. He is Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor of biotechnology companies BAKX Therapeutics, Life Biosciences (Selphagy Therapeutics) and Stelexis Therapeutics.

University of Basel

Dennis Gillingham, PhD, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Basel

Dennis Gillingham is a Newfie from eastern Canada. He completed PhD work at Boston College (2001-2007) studying olefin metathesis, stereoselective methods, and total synthesis. After a Marie-Curie fellowship with Donald Hilvert at ETH Zurich (2007-2010) in enzymology he moved to the University of Basel where he is now associate professor of organic chemistry. He studies chemical biology broadly speaking with a particular interest in DNA encoding of chemical information and induced protein degradation.

BigHat Biosciences

Peyton Greenside, PhD, Co-Founder & CSO, BigHat Biosciences

Peyton Greenside is the co-founder and CSO of BigHat Biosciences, an early-stage Bay Area startup developing an AI-first experimental platform to radically reduce the difficulty of designing antibodies and other therapeutic proteins. Before BigHat, Peyton was an inaugural Schmidt Science Fellow, a computational biologist at the Broad Institute, a scientific founder of Valis, and holds a PhD from Stanford University, an MPhil in Computational Biology from Cambridge University, and a BA in Applied Math from Harvard.

SpringWorks Therapeutics

Stephen Gwaltney, PhD, Head, Drug Discovery, SpringWorks Therapeutics

Steve Gwaltney is a seasoned drug hunter with over 25 years of experience in biotech and pharma. He has worked in multiple therapeutic areas (oncology, metabolic disease, anti-infectives, CNS, etc.) and directed cross-functional activities in the areas of target selection, lead generation, lead optimization, & pre-clinical development. His work in drug discovery and development has led to three marketed drugs. He is a co-author on more than 80 publications and patents. In 2021, Steve joined SpringWorks Therapeutics where he serves as Head of Drug Discovery.

Q State Biosciences

Benjamin Harwood, PhD, Senior Scientist, Q State Biosciences

EMD Serono

Timo Heinrich, PhD, Associate Scientific Director, Oncology, EMD Serono

Timo Heinrich studied chemistry at the Goethe university in Frankfurt/Main until 1998. In his PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Michael Reggelin he investigated the application of chiral sulfoximines in the asymmetric synthesis of Neurkinine antagonists. From 1998 until 2001 he worked with Solvay Pharmaceuticals in Hannover. There, ‘orphan-receptors‘ and cardio-vascular targets were in focus, also the adenosine A1-antagonist SLV320 - Derenofylline. Since 2001 he is working with Merck KGaA in Darmstadt. He supported CNS projects like the 5-HT2A-antagonist Pruvanserin and the anti-depressant Vilazodon. Later, targets from oncologic indications were progressed. His MetAP2 inhibitor M8891 was well tolerated in clinical Phase I testing and out licensed to Cureteq for further development. He contributed significantly to the discovery and submission of probe molecules like the selective lactate transporter MCT4 inhibitor MSC-4381 and kinase SRPK inhibitor MSC-1186 to the Structural Genomics Consortium. Most recent activities were focused on Hippo pathway modulators like MSC-4106.

University of California, San Diego

Thomas Hermann, PhD, Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego

Thomas Hermann is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California San Diego. Prior, he worked at a biotech company where he participated in drug discovery against bacterial and viral infections. Research in his lab at UCSD is guided by RNA structure as prologue to function and targeting.

Bristol Myers Squibb Co

Matthew Hoffmann, PhD, Senior Director, Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics, Bristol Myers Squibb Co.

Matt Hoffmann is from the Northeast, earning an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a PhD in Toxicology from Rutgers University. After completing his graduate work in 2000, Matt joined Wyeth (Collegeville, PA) as a Senior Research Scientist in the drug metabolism department. In 2009, he moved to Celgene (Summit, NJ) as a Senior Principal Scientist, overseeing the biotransformation laboratories. Matt currently works as a Senior Director at Bristol Myers Squibb (Lawrenceville, NJ), and is responsible for coordinating all nonclinical drug metabolism activities for the developmental small molecule pipeline. During his 20+ year career in the pharmaceutical industry, Matt has worked to achieve marketing approval for multiple programs including tigecycline, desvenlafaxine, apremilast and pomalidomide.

University of Texas

Ken Hsu, PhD, Stephen F. and Fay Evans Martin Endowed Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, The University of Texas at Austin

Prof. Hsu earned his PhD in Chemistry and Biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin and completed his postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute. The Hsu Laboratory focuses on the discovery of bioactive molecules. A central theme of the group is the development of covalent probes and inhibitors for investigating protein and lipid activity. Research in the group is multidisciplinary and uses a combination of organic synthesis, bioanalytical chemistry, and bioorganic chemistry. Current efforts include identifying new reactive chemistry, quantifying ligandability of proteins on a proteomic scale, and deciphering structure and function of membrane signals in living systems. Ultimately, the goal is to develop new molecules to enable chemical biology and therapeutic discovery. Prof. Hsu’s research program has been recognized by several awards including the highly competitive NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, Department of Defense CDMRP Career Development Award, Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Emerging Leader Award from The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, and CPRIT Recruitment of Rising Stars Award.

Oloren AI

David Huang, CEO, Oloren AI

David is the CEO of Oloren AI, a company providing accessible, accurate and effective AI for drug discovery. He has a background working at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. He’s published his work at SDSC in two papers: one on using AI transfer-learning techniques to study the receptor of advanced glycation endproducts for treatment of Alzheimer’s, and another on using docking and pharmacophore techniques to study the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. At Takeda, he worked to characterize the applicability domain and robustness of machine learning models, as well as the initial development of a de novo molecular design tool.

Vernalis (R&D) Ltd.

Rod Hubbard, Professor, Founding Scientist, Director of Research Collaborations, Vernalis (R&D) Ltd.

Rod Hubbard has been developing methods for analysis and exploitation of protein structure for over 40 years. In the 1980s, he pioneered modelling software commercialized by Accelrys.  In the 1990s, he determined the structure of important drug targets and developed ideas in structure-based drug discovery. Since 2001 he has divided his time between chemical biology at York and innovation in drug discovery research at Vernalis, where he coordinates external research collaborations. 



Liverpool ChiroChem Ltd.

Tony Huxley, Head of Business Development, Business Development, Liverpool ChiroChem Ltd.

No bio available.

RIGImmune Inc

Radhakrishnan Iyer, PhD, CSO, RIGImmunce, Inc.

Radhakrishnan Iyer, (Kris) is the Chief Scientific Officer of RIGImmune, Inc., and has more than 30 years’ experience in the Biopharmaceutical industry in drug discovery and development. Kris is considered a leading innovator in the fields of nucleic acid chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences with over 100 publications and 250 issued as well as filed U.S. and international patents. Prior to RIGImmune, Kris was the co-founder and CSO of Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc., co-founder, and CSO of Origenix Technologies, Inc., and was the associate director of Antisense Discovery group at Hybridon, Inc. He has led multidisciplinary teams in the advancement of several small molecule and oligonucleotide drug candidates from discovery into clinical development in diverse therapeutic areas including antivirals, immuno-oncology, and inflammation.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Pravin S. Iyer, PhD, Senior Vice President & Head of NCE Research, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Dr. Pravin S. Iyer is the Head of Research for Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, India. He leads a team of multi-disciplinary scientists in pursuit of differentiated therapies in oncology and inflammation. His education started with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy in India followed by a Doctorate in Organic Chemistry in the USA. He learned the ropes of drug discovery under the tutelage of some intrepid scientists at Roche Palo Alto, CA. Later, he held positions of increasing scientific and leadership responsibilities in world-class R&D organizations such as AstraZeneca & Zydus Cadila. He is an inventor of clinical-stage molecules in therapeutic areas, including oncology and infection, that are well on their way to becoming medicines for humanity.

Scorpion Therapeutics

Erica Jackson, PhD, Executive Vice President, Target Biology, Scorpion Therapeutics

Pin Therapeutics Inc

Firoz Jaipuri, PhD, Director, Platform Chemistry, Pin Therapeutics Inc.

I earned my undergraduate degree from IIT Kharagpur and my PhD in Organic Chemistry from Iowa State University followed this with postdoctoral experience at the Broad Institute. I have15 plus years of experience in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery having worked for several companies including NewLink Genetics, IDEAYA Biosciences, and Nura Bio. During my time at NewLink Genetics, I co-led a program that resulted in the discovery of NLG-0919 (GDC-0919), a potent and selective IDO inhibitor that was progressed into human clinical trials and was out-licensed to Genentech. At IDEAYA, as a chemistry lead for PARG program, I was instrumental in the discovery and nomination of the development candidate slated to enter clinical trial in early 2023. In my current role as a Director of Platform Chemistry, I am tasked with advancing Pin Therapeutics' work in molecular glue degraders and discovery of novel ligands for therapeutically relevant E3 ligases.

Tazi Jamal, Professor, research, ABIVAX

Jamal Tazi born in 1959 in Rabat, Morocco is professor at the University of Montpellier, Senior Member at IUF and deputy director of the health center biology, Presently he is Vice-President research at Abivax. Over 30 years, Jamal Tazi has made seminal contribution in RNA field  with over 120 publications, 30 patents and earned four prizes: French Academy of Sciences (1999), French Academy of Medicine (2006), ARRI (2010), and CNRS Medal of Innovation (2017)

Moran Jerabek-Willemsen, Head of Biophysics & Screening, WuXi HitS, WuXi AppTec

Moran studied Biology in Dusseldorf,Germany and did his PhD in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (CCHMC) in Cincinnati, Ohio focused on the development of gen therapeutic application involving MGMT protein and studying DNA damage repair of alkylating agents in hematopoetic stem cells.

After receiving his PhD in he has joined NanoTemper Technology and was involved in the development of MicroScale Thermophoresis as a powerful technology for studying biomolecular interactions.

Since 2017 He is leading the biophysics & Screening department in HitS supporting many WuXi Clients in biophysical and screening services to enable their drug discovery programs.

Valo Health Inc

Rachael Jetson, PhD, Senior Director, Lead Discovery, Valo Health

Rachael Jetson is the Senior Director of Lead Discovery at Valo Health. Valo is a technology company that uses human-centric data and artificial intelligence to enable more rapid, lower-risk drug discovery. Rachael’s role at Valo is to oversee protein sciences, in vitro pharmacology, and DEL in order to support drug discovery programs from hit identification to lead optimization. Rachael has ten years of DEL experience encompassing numerous methods for library generation and selection. Rachael is continually working on growing capabilities within the DEL field using the Valo platform.

Charles W. Johannes, PhD, Vice President, Exploratory Chemistry, FogPharma

Dr. Charlie Johannes is Vice President of Exploratory Chemistry for Fog Pharmaceuticals underpinning the discovery and development of Helicons. Dr. Johannes has more than 20 years of experience in chemistry-driven platform technologies and the development of new modalities. Dr. Johannes has worked at the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Forma Therapeutics, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, and Eisai. Dr. Johannes earned his PhD at Boston College with Professor Amir Hoveyda.

Insilico Medicine, Canada

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine, Canada

Petrina Kamya, PhD, is the Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine, Canada an end-to-end artificial intelligence-driven drug discovery company. Before joining Insilico, Dr. Kamya spent eight years in various roles at Chemical Computing Group that involved scientific and business-related aspects of preclinical drug discovery. In addition to establishing the corporate strategy for the sales and business development of molecular modeling software for academia, she also played an active role as an application scientist working on real-world discovery projects and finally in a senior role in strategy and business development for pharma and biotech companies. Following her time at CCG, Petrina moved to Certara as a Market Access Manager, where she learned first-hand the challenges of getting drugs to market. Petrina has been with Insilico Medicine since August 2020. She holds a PhD in Chemistry (specializing in computational chemistry) from Concordia University.

Vividion Therapeutics

Stefan Kathman, PhD, Scientist, Early Discovery, Vividion Therapeutics

Stefan was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and went to Harvard University for a BA in Chemistry. After working for two years at Cubist Pharmaceuticals in Discovery Chemistry, he went to Northwestern University for a PhD in Chemistry, where he worked on chemical probes for E3 ubiquitin ligases with Alexander Statsyuk. He then did a postdoctoral fellowship with Ben Cravatt at Scripps Research, where he used chemical proteomic tools to characterize compounds that target the RNA-binding protein NONO. Since 2022, he has been a scientist in the oncology early discovery group at Vividion Therapeutics.

ATAI Life Sciences US Inc

Tanweer A. Khan, PhD, Director & Head, Discovery Chemistry, ATAI Life Sciences

Tanweer Khan, Ph.D., is Director, Head of Discovery Chemistry, and joined Atai Life Sciences in 2021. Prior to Atai, Dr. Khan spent five years at Tri-Institutional Therapeutic Discovery Institute (Tri-TDI) as a Director, Medicinal Chemistry. He oversees and prosecutes a highly diverse portfolio of small molecule drug discovery programs in collaboration with academic institutions. In addition, he led an epigenetic oncology program and developed novel inhibitors of ENL-YEATS for the treatment of acute leukemias and solid tumors and licensing it to Bridge Medicines. Before TDI, he was Program Lead/Associate Principal Scientist at Merck/Schering-Plough for nine years. He led multidisciplinary drug discovery programs targeting diseases in the CNC, cardiovascular, metabolic, and infectious diseases areas, advancing multiple drug candidates into clinical development. He recognized the potential of re-purposing the Merck small molecules aspartyl protease inhibitors for a novel treatment for malaria. He contributed significantly to developing and defending proposals for Wellcome Trust funding to support collaborative malaria-focused research efforts. He earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, UK, and conducted postdoctoral research with Prof. Robert A. Holton at Florida State University, USA. He worked with anti-cancer drug Taxol’s SAR studies and total synthesis of polyether antibiotics Lonomycin A. Dr. Khan is an active member of the Red Cross and has engaged in many volunteers works with the Greater New York Region.

Serna Bio

Rabia Khan, PhD, MBA, CEO, Serna Bio

Rabia Khan, Ph.D., MBA, is the founder and CEO of Serna Bio. Trained in immunology and genetics, Dr. Khan was previously an executive at Sensyne Health. As Managing Director of Discovery Sciences, she established the scientific strategy, built the data science and discovery teams of over 50 in machine learning and clinical research, and transacted partnerships with Bayer, BMS, Roche, Alexion, and others. Dr. Khan has also held senior roles at BenevolentAI and Meta (acquired by Chan Zuckerberg BioHub). Born in Pakistan, educated in Canada, and has led multinational teams spanning the UK, Canada, and the US, Dr. Khan is passionate about diversity in science. She was named one of 50 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness and 30 Rising Leaders in Biotech 2020.


Someina Khor, BSc, Associate Director, Computational Drug Design, Exscientia

Someina Khor is a Senior Computational Drug Designer at Exscientia. Someina gained her BSc in Chemistry at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. She joined Evotec for 13 years, starting out as a medicinal chemist. Subsequently Someina discovered her interest in computational approaches to drug design and made the transition to Computational Chemistry. Her passion is to encode Medicinal Chemistry principles and utilize Artificial Intelligence so that drug discovery can be executed in a more efficient manner.

University of Florida Scripps Biomedical Research

Thomas Kodadek, PhD, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Scripps Biomedical Research

Prof. Thomas Kodadek received his B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Miami (FL) in 1981 and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University in 1985. He then pursued postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Prof. Bruce Alberts at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School from 1985-1987. In the fall of 1987, he joined the faculty of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, rising to the rank of full professor. In 1998, he moved to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas where he served as Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology, as well as the Director of the Division of Translational Research. In June 2009, Prof. Kodadek moved to the Scripps Research Institute campus in Jupiter, FL (now UF Scripps Biomedical Research) where he is Professor of Chemistry. Prof. Kodadek works in the field of chemical biology, which involves the development of chemical tools to monitor and manipulate important processes in biology and medicine. He co-founded Deluge Biotechnologies in 2017 and Triana Biosciences in 2022.

Servier Research Institute of Medicinal Chemistry

Andras Kotschy, PhD, Managing Director, Servier Research Institute of Medicinal Chemistry

Andras Kotschy is the director of the Servier Research Institute of Medicinal Chemistry in Budapest, Hungary and since 2020 he also oversees the Medicinal Chemistry activities globally within Servier Research. After completing his PhD degree in organic chemistry in 1995 he joined the staff of Eotvos Lorand University where he rose through the ranks to associate professor also completing his habilitation and obtaining a DSc degree. In 2007 he moved to the newly established Servier Research Institute of Medicinal Chemistry as director of the Discovery Chemistry division and in 2015 became director of the institute. He is the author of over 70 refereed publications and inventor of 20 patents. He is also the recipient of multiple scientific awards and fellowships.

Meghan Lawler, PhD, Director Affinity Technology, Biology, Anagenex

Meghan is a biochemist with experience ranging from peptide synthesis to SELEX to lncRNA footprinting. While pursuing her PhD at Duke University, she employed each of these in parallel with protein biochemistry to explore dynamic interactions of epigenetic complexes. After graduating in 2019, Meghan joined the DEL selections team at GSK where she learned to translate her experiences to the DEL world. Late 2021, she joined the team at Anagenex and was integral in the establishment of selections and ASMS in-house. Currently, as Director of Affinity Technology, she and her team are working to develop new approaches to a wide variety of biochemical limitations in the DEL space.

Eurofins Discovery

Celine Legros, PhD, Drug Discovery Partnership Director, Eurofins Discovery

Celine Legros is a Drug Discovery Partnership Director. She is deeply involved in the design of complex projects, such as HTS, Hit-to-Lead and Lead-Op programs.  Celine holds a Ph.D. in Animal Physiology from the University of Tours, France, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship within the Blood Brain Barrier Group at King's College London, UK.

Purdue University

Tonglei Li, PhD, Allen Chao Chair & Professor, Industrial & Physical Pharmacy, Purdue University

Dr. Tonglei Li is a Professor and Allen Chao Endowed Chair in the Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy at Purdue University. He received BS and MS in Chemistry and Computational Chemistry, respectively, from Nankai University, China. He obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutics, as well as MS in Computer Science, from Purdue University. He joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky and became Associate Professor before returning to his alma mater and holding his current title. His research interests include solid-state organic chemistry, formulation and drug delivery, multiscale modeling and simulation, and computational chemistry. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Pharmaceutical Research.

Maria Lindgren, Scientist, R&D, Cytiva

Maria Lindgren is a scientist at Cytiva R&D working with Biacore™ SPR applications since six years. Maria holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Uppsala University in Sweden and has more than fifteen years of experience from the biotech industry. She previously worked with drug discovery at Resistentia Pharmaceuticals and Beactica Therapeutics.





Koliber Biosciences

Ewa Lis, PhD, Founder & CTO, Koliber Biosciences

Ewa Lis Ph.D. is currently CTO of Koliber Biosciences, a San Diego based start-up developing an Artificial Intelligence Platform for Peptide Drug Discovery. Dr. Lis leads technology development at Koliber and is responsible for architecting machine learning solutions for new projects. She specializes in deep learning, graph data science and data augmentation strategies for biological datasets. Prior to founding Koliber in 2014, Ewa held leadership positions at several companies including Life Technologies, Genomatica and Reveal Biosciences, where she developed innovative technologies from algorithms for pathology tissue classification to genome engineering research tools and microbially derived renewable chemicals. Ewa holds a BA in Chemistry from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from The Scripps Research Institute.

CHDI Foundation Inc

Longbin Liu, PhD, Science Director, Medicinal Chemistry, CHDI Foundation, Inc.

Longbin Liu completed his PhD in organic chemistry in 1991 (Columbia University) and subsequently worked on the total synthesis of FK506 (Virginia) and the synthesis of Paclitaxel (Columbia) during his postdoctoral work. He joined Amgen in 1996, where he was involved in hit-to-lead optimization in the areas of oncology, metabolic disorders, and neurodegeneration diseases. His effort and insight contributed to the discovery of seven clinical candidates, including the first KRAS inhibitor sotorasib. He joined Huntington's disease research at CHDI in 2017, and has led efforts on imaging biomarkers (PET ligands) and therapeutics targeting the huntingtin (HTT) protein and RNA.

Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore

Bee Hui Liu, PhD, Senior Scientist, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore

Dr. Bee Hui Liu is a Senior Research Scientist at the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI), who devoted her time to performing translational research and spearheading drug development efforts to look for therapeutic inhibitors. She won the prestigious Presidential Award from The Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver for her work on a therapeutic peptide. She is also the lead inventor of several patents for degraders.

Guansai Liu, Vice President and Head of Discovery Chemistry, HitGen

Dr. Guansai Liu is currently vice president at HitGen Inc. He is responsible for overseeing and leading activities of research and management conducted at Discovery Chemistry Unit, delivering services of DNA-encoded library, small molecule drug discovery and optimization, nucleotide and oligonucleotide. Prior to joining HitGen, Liu worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at Georgia State University, USA. 


Liu Liu, Dr., Vice President, Drug Discovery Business Unit, PharmaBlock

Liu Liu, PhD, VP at Pharmablock


Obtained his PhD on Photochemistry at Bowling Green State University. After finishing postdoc training on neurovegetative pharmacology at University of Pennsylvania, he joined the Rogel Cancer Center at University Michigan, from which 8 NCE drug candidates were licensed to various pharma and biotechs, currently at different stages of clinical trials. He has more than 50 peer reviewed publications and more than 10 authorized patents.

University of California, Santa Cruz

Scott Lokey, PhD, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Cruz

Scott Lokey received his PhD at the University of Texas, Austin in Organic Chemistry, where his research centered on the synthesis of molecules that fold into protein-like shapes in water and bind to specific DNA sequences. He did post-doctoral research at Genentech, where he worked on the synthesis of bioactive cyclic peptides, and then at Harvard Medical School, on the synthesis of molecules designed to disrupt cellular processes related to motility. He joined the faculty at UCSC in 2002 in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where his research group focuses on the relationship between molecular structure and drug-like properties, especially cell permeability. Professor Lokey is also Director of the UCSC Chemical Screening Center, a high-throughput screening facility dedicated to early-stage lead discovery, especially against infectious agents and neglected disease targets.

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Xiaojie Bruce Lu, PhD, Professor & Principal Investigator, Chemical Biology Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Dr. Xiaojie Lu received his PhD at Brandeis University working on the organocatalytic asymmetric peroxidation reaction of electronic deficient olefins in 2010, then, he joined GlaxoSmithKline for early-stage drug discovery at molecular research department in Boston. As a research investigator, he has been working on the design and synthesis of DNA encoded chemical libraries to identify small molecule ligands for biologically interesting targets. In 2016, Dr. Lu was awarded GSK associate fellow. Since July 2017, he has joined the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, CAS as the principal investigator. His current research interest focused on the design and synthesis of DNA encoded focused library for the lead generation of challenge drug targets.

Avilar Therapeutics

Kevin Lumb, DPhil, Vice President, Biology, Avilar Therapeutics

Dr. Lumb is Vice President, Biology, at Avilar Therapeutics. He previously held roles at Bayer, Merck and Janssen leading groups performing preclinical small molecule and peptide drug discovery. He obtained a B.Sc. in Chemistry at University College London and a D.Phil. at the University of Oxford under the tutelage of Sir Christopher M. Dobson, followed by postdoctoral studies at the Whitehead Institute at MIT with Professor Peter S. Kim.

Pelago Bioscience AB

Stina Lundgren, PhD, Head of Commercial Operations, Pelago Bioscience AB

Stina Lundgren, PhD is a Principal Project Advisor and Head of Commercial Operations at Pelago Bioscience. Stina is a medicinal chemist by training and has a long experience working as a project leader on multiple small molecule preclinical programs. Prior to joining Pelago Bioscience, she was a Principal Scientist at Medivir responsible for establishing a DUBs research platform and managing projects in lead generation and optimization.


Pliant Therapeutics

Timothy Machajewski, PhD, Vice President, Head of Chemistry, Pliant Therapeutics

Tim brings over 20 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and small molecule drug discovery across multiple therapeutic areas including fibrosis, metabolic disease, anti-infectives, and oncology. He joined Pliant in 2018 and during his tenure of roles of increasing responsibility he effectively led cross-functional project teams from target validation to Phase 1 including work on Pliant’s NASH and aVß8/1 oncology programs. In his current role, Dr. Machajewski leads the medicinal, analytical, chemical informatics, structural biology, and computational chemistry teams in support of Pliant’s strategic initiatives. Prior to joining Pliant, Tim held leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Chiron, Novartis, and Achaogen where he led and managed teams advancing the companies’ early-stage portfolios into the clinic. Tim received his BS in chemistry (highest honors) from the University of Texas at Austin, his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Stanford University, and completed postdoctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute.

Merck & Co Inc

Mihir Mandal, PhD, Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Merck

Mihir Mandal, PhD, is a passionate and accomplished drug hunter with a strong record for solving complex medicinal chemistry puzzles. He currently leads multiple FBLD projects with novel mechanisms of action. He is a core team member of the FBLD department at Merck and is responsible for devising and implementing strategies for rapid progress of the hits in the FBLD portfolio. Prior to his current role, he was involved in lead identification and optimization that led to multiple clinical candidates. During his industrial career that started at Schering Plough and continued at Merck upon merger, he impacted all the projects spanning from CNS, CVD, antibacterial, and antiviral utilizing structure-based drug design, in silico design and high-throughput experimentation. Mihir earned his PhD in synthetic organic and fluorine chemistry from University of Southern California with Professor Surya Prakash and George Olah and was an US Army post-doctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with Professor Sam Danishefsky. He received his MSc. in chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology. He is an inventor on 28 issued US patents and a co-author of more than 31 publications.

Scorpion Therapeutics

Brent Martin, PhD, Vice President, Chemical Biology, Scorpion Therapeutics

Brent Martin received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of California in San Diego developing new chemical strategies for correlated fluorescence and electron microscopy. He then carried out postdoctoral studies at the Scripps Research Institute developing new strategies for activity-based profiling, high-throughput screening, and chemical proteomics. As faculty member at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he continued expanding the scope of activity-based profiling methods, while also establishing new bioconjugation reactions to detect and profile protein lipidation, redox modifications, and cysteine occupancy. Brent is the recipient of the NCI Howard Temin K99/R00 award in Cancer Research, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and the NIGMS MIRA Established Investigator Award. He then moved to industry to lead the Chemical Biology at Janssen and is currently Vice President and Head of Chemical Biology at Scorpion Therapeutics.

Jeffrey Martin, PhD, Scientist II, Drug Discovery, Biogen

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 Ph.D. 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.

University of Pennsylvania

Megan L. Matthews, PhD, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania

Megan received her BA in Chemistry from Miami University and her PhD from Penn State University under Marty Bollinger and Carsten Krebs. Her PhD work led to an understanding for how iron- and 2-oxoglutarate dependent oxygenases suppress hydroxylation to allow for halogenation and other outcomes important in natural product biosynthesis. Upon graduation, she performed postdoctoral studies at Scripps Research in the chemical biology laboratory of Ben Cravatt as a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow. Matthews investigated the prevalence of undiscovered protein-bound electrophiles and the (dys)functions that the unknown electrophiles impart, uncovering evidence for their involvement in cancer and diseases of the central nervous system. Her program is tracking down these and a host of other leads to novel disease biology and therapeutics.

Neomorph Inc

Mary Matyskiela, PhD, Vice President, Molecular Sciences, Neomorph, Inc.

Mary Matyskiela, Ph.D. is Vice President of Molecular Sciences at Neomorph, Inc. Mary received her B.S. in Chemistry from Yale University, where she performed undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Craig Crews. She then moved to the University of California San Francisco for graduate work on ubiquitin ligase mechanism in the lab of Dr. David Morgan, and went on to perform postdoctoral research at the University of California Berkeley, studying the structure and function of the 26S proteasome with Dr. Andreas Martin, HHMI. Most recently, Mary served as Associate Director of Structural Biology and Proteomics at Bristol Myers Squibb. Prior to that, Mary spent 6 years at Celgene working to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of thalidomide analogs and expand the horizons of molecular glue targeting through cereblon-CRL4.

Massachusetts General Hospital

Ralph Mazitschek, PhD, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Co-Director of the Chemical Biology Platform, Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Mazitschek is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of the Chemical Biology Platform at the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Dr. Mazitschek is also Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Associate Member of The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.Dr. Mazitschek graduated from the University of Leipzig in 2002 with a PhD in Organic Chemistry. He continued his research at the Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology (ICCB) at Harvard Medical School first as postdoc and later as Institute Fellow, from which he joined the Chemical Biology Program at the newly founded Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. In 2008 he joined the faculty of the Center for Systems Biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital to continue his independent research.

AbbVie Inc

Ryan McClure, PhD, Senior Scientist, Drug Discovery Science & Technology, AbbVie

Ryan McClure obtained his BS in Chemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2011. He then earned his PhD in Chemistry from Northwestern University in 2016 under the joint mentorship of Prof. Neil Kelleher and Prof. Regan Thomson as an NIH NIGMS T32 Predoctoral Fellow. At Northwestern University, he worked on the discovery, synthesis, and bioactivity evaluation of seven natural products as well as the development of the metabologenomics platform-now used by the biotech startup MicroMGX. In 2017, Ryan joined AbbVie in the Chemical Biology and Proteomics group. At AbbVie, he has used proteomics to study target engagement and mechanisms of action. Since 2020, Ryan has focused on targeted protein degradation as well as the use of R programming language for creating custom data analysis tools and data repositories.


John McGee, Vice President & Scientific Co-Founder, FogPharma

John McGee leads the De Novo Discovery group at FogPharma, where he and his team develop and implement ultra-high-throughput screening platforms to discover and optimize helical binders to undruggable target proteins.

Arrakis Therapeutics

Kathleen McGinness, PhD, Head of Platform Biology, Arrakis Therapeutics

Kathleen McGinness is the Head of Platform Biology at Arrakis Therapeutics. Arrakis is building an end-to-end RNA-targeted small molecule (rSM) drug discovery platform to identify small molecules that bind to and modulate RNA to predictably impact the RNA lifecycle and the downstream disease-related biology. Prior to Arrakis, Kathleen served in leadership roles at Unum Therapeutics, the Broad Institute, Baxter Healthcare, and Archemix Corp. focused on target validation, drug discovery, and therapeutic platform development across a variety of therapeutic modalities and disease areas. She holds B.S. degrees in chemistry and psychology from the University of Maryland, a doctoral degree in chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute and completed postdoctoral training in the department of biology at MIT.

Bristol Myers Squibb Co

Nicholas A. Meanwell, PhD, Vice President (recently retired), Small Molecule Drug Discovery, Bristol Myers Squibb Co.

Dr. Nicholas Meanwell, who retired in October 2022, was a Scientific Vice President in the Department of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Bristol Myers Squibb. Over his 40-year career at BMS, he has led drug discovery programs in the cardiovascular, neurosciences, and virology therapeutic areas, research that has resulted in the advancement of 33 clinical candidates for the prevention of thrombosis, the treatment of stroke (MaxiPost), and therapy for viral infections, including RSV, HIV-1 (Rukobia), and HCV (Daklinza, Sunvepra, Xymency). He is the author of more than 300 publications and is named as an inventor on more than 140 issued U.S. Patents. Among his many contributions to the medicinal chemistry community and awards received, he is the current Perspectives Editor for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, he was inducted into the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2015, was the recipient of the 2015 Philip S. Portoghese Medicinal Chemistry Lectureship Award and the 2022 Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society.

Indiana University

Samy O. Meroueh, PhD, Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Indiana University

I received a PhD from the Department of Chemistry at Wayne State University in the laboratory of William Hase. There, I explored and developed methods to model intermolecular forces that drive molecular recognition and ensuing chemical reactions. As a postdoc, I joined the bioorganic laboratory of Dr. Shahriar Mobashery first at Wayne State University and then at the University of Notre Dame. I worked on understanding the mechanism by which ß-lactamases hydrolyze ß-lactam antibiotics. I was also involved in the development of mechanism-based (covalent) small-molecule inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases, cathepsins, and ß-lactamases. In my lab at Indiana University, we develop small molecules to modulate the function of proteins involved in promoting tumor growth and metastasis. We are currently developing small-molecule modulators of protein interactions of Ras-like and Rho GTPases, the TEAD-Yap transcription factor complex, and the urokinase receptor uPAR. We investigate compounds and their targets in breast, pancreatic, lung and brain cancer cells and animal models. Some of these small molecules are used to probe their targets in spinal cord and traumatic brain injury as well as neurodegenerative diseases through collaborations. In addition to my funding from the National Institutes of Health, I am a recipient of a Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society. I am a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Stark Neurosciences Institute.

Jeff A. Messer, Director, Analytics, Encoded Libraries Technology, GlaxoSmithKline

MS of Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire. 20+ years with a foot in the lab and a foot on the carpet doing computation work in support of HTS, Biomarkers and encoded libraries. Currently at GSK in Cambridge, MA where he leads the Biophysics and Analytics groups in support of GSK’s Encoded Library Technology.

Maria Miteva, PhD, Research Director, Medicinal Chemistry and Translational Research, Inserm

Dr. Miteva has completed her PhD in 2000 in the Institute of Organic Chemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Science. She has been working in the fields of bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, drug discovery and toxicity prediction in Bulgaria, Sweden and France. Currently she is a Research Director at the Inserm Institute in France and co-director of the Inserm lab U1268 “Medicinal chemistry and translational research” at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Paris. She published more than 100 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, and she edited a book “In silico lead discovery” (Bentham Sci 2011). She is an appointed member of the editorial board of five international journals in the field of bioinformatics and drug design, and Associated Editor for BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc

Lauren G. Monovich, PhD, Director, Global Discovery Chemistry, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.

Lauren Monovich received a B.A. in Chemistry from Kalamazoo College before completing her doctoral studies with Professor Gary Molander on the total synthesis of 8-membered ring-containing natural products. After joining Novartis in 1998, Lauren has been privileged to lead drug discovery projects across multiple disease areas, project stages, and modalities and to invent a marketed therapeutic agent (Isturisa?/osilodrostat for Cushing’s Disease). In 2018, she received the Novartis Leading Scientist award for her work on orally exposed macrocyclic peptides and is the Novartis recipient of the 2021 YWCA Union County’s Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) Award. She specializes in ligands for especially challenging protein surfaces across the Novartis portfolio and advancing chemical diversity within hit and lead generation projects. She established and co-leads the Integrated Library Team of experts on library technology, design and strategy and serves as the global leader of Novartis’ Lead Generation group. She is an active recruiter, founding member of Novartis’ Women in Chemistry Group, co-lead of Novartis’ Inclusion Council, and long-standing contributor to educational community outreach.


Rusty Montgomery, PhD, Vice President, Biology, BioAge Labs

Rusty leads novel target discovery efforts for BIOAGE’s pipeline of therapies that target aging. Rusty brings over 12 years of experience in target discovery efforts across myriad therapeutic areas. Prior to joining BIOAGE, Rusty was the Director of Research at miRagen Therapeutics leading preclinical efforts and alliance management in cardiovascular and fibrotic diseases. He has 25 publications and 9 patents covering RNA and epigenetic modifiers as therapeutics across cardiovascular, fibrosis, and neurological diseases. Rusty received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma and his Ph.D. and postdoctoral training in Genetics from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center with Eric Olson.

Xavier Morelli, PhD, Director of Research, Cancer Research Center of Marseille, CNRS

Dr. Xavier Morelli is a Director of Research from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France), group leader at the Cancer Research Center of Marseille (CRCM), and director of ‘HiTS’, a platform dedicated to Drug Discovery at the Hospital Institut Paoli-Calmettes. The main project of his team is focused on the identification, understanding, and targeting of protein-protein interaction in cancer signaling using structural and chemical biology technologies. He has published >75 publications and patented 6 applications related to the inhibition of protein-protein interactions. He is the actual President of the scientific committee of the ‘Canceropole PACA’, scientific committee member of the ‘Fondation ARC’, and has acted as secretary of the French Society of Chemoinformatics (SFCi). He is a regular consultant for pharmaceutical companies and was a member of the PhD program committee of the School of Chemistry at the Aix-Marseille University.

Genentech Inc

Mela Mulvihill, PhD, Director and Senior Principal Scientist, Biochemical & Cellular Pharmacology, Genentech, Inc.

Mela Mulvihill is a Director and Senior Principal Scientist in the Biochemical and Cellular Pharmacology department at Genentech leading the biophysics group. Mela has been instrumental in expanding the application of information-rich biophysical techniques such as SPR and MS to small molecule lead finding, characterization, and optimization. She is a project team leader and has significantly contributed to Genentech’s fragment, covalent, and degrader drug discovery strategies. Mela earned her B.S. in Chemistry at Sonoma State University, PhD in Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

Baylor College of Medicine

Anthony Mustoe, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine

Anthony Mustoe is an Assistant Professor in the Therapeutic Innovation Center, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Mustoe has been a pioneer in developing and applying single molecule chemical probing technologies to define RNA structure and dynamics in living cells. The overall goal of the Mustoe Lab is to combine chemical biology and computation to understand how RNA sequences program cellular function, and ultimately exploit this understanding to therapeutically target RNA. Dr. Mustoe received his PhD in biophysics in 2014 from the University of Michigan and completed a postdoc in chemical biology at the University of North Carolina in 2019. Dr. Mustoe’s awards include a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research and Beckman Young Investigator award.

ReviR Therapeutics

Sridhar Narayan, PhD, Vice President, ReviR Therapeutics

Sridhar Narayan is a scientist and entrepreneur with extensive experience in the life sciences industry. Prior to ReviR, he was VP of Drug Discovery and Program Leadership at Satellos Bioscience, which he helped launch in 2018. In 2015, he was involved in starting Appili Therapeutics where he served as Project Director and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board until 2020. Previously, Sridhar held scientific leadership positions at AstraZeneca and Eisai, where he led projects from early discovery through IND and FIH studies. He has a track record of moving several compounds into clinical development and his expertise spans oncology, immunology/inflammation, metabolic disorders, CNS, and infectious diseases. Sridhar received his PhD from the University of Michigan and carried out postdoctoral research at the Scripps Research Institute. He holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management


Patrick Neal, PhD, Analyst, Chemoinformatics, GlaxoSmithKline

Patrick Neal is a Cheminformatics Analyst working for GSK on DNA Encoded Library (DEL) technologies. During his undergraduate degree, he worked in computational chemistry with Professor Steven Lopez at Northeastern University doing materials photo-pharmacology research using quantum chemistry. Patrick now works on building efficient and scalable drug discovery pipelines that leverage big data systems combined with novel cheminformatic tools to impact effective hit calling on DEL screens.

Foghorn Therapeutics

Matthew Netherton, PhD, Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Foghorn Therapeutics

Matt is a native of Canada and completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Western Ontario. After completing his graduate studies in organic chemistry at the University of British Columbia, he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Greg Fu, where he developed novel cross-coupling techniques for non-aromatic substrates. Matt spent 15 years as a medicinal chemist at Boehringer Ingelheim working in the areas of inflammation, immunology and cardiometabolic diseases. In 2018 he joined Foghorn Therapeutics where he helped develop the company's degrader platform, and was an integral member in the discovery of the first-in-class BRD9 clinical degrader.

University of California, Berkeley

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

Dan Nomura is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley and an adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF. He is also the director of the Novartis-Berkeley Center for Proteomics and Chemistry Technologies and an Investigator in the Innovative Genomics Institute. He earned his B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Toxicology at UC Berkeley with Professor John Casida and was a postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute with Professor Ben Cravatt before returning to Berkeley as a faculty member in 2011. Among his honors are selection as a Searle Scholar, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, the Department of Defense Breakthroughs Award, and the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research ASPIRE award. The Nomura Research Group is focused on redefining druggability using chemoproteomic platforms to tackle the undruggable proteome.

Genentech Inc

Jim Nonomiya, Scientist IV, Biochemical and Cellular Pharmacology, Genentech, Inc.

Jim Nonomiya is a Scientist 4 in the Biochemical and Cellular Pharmacology department at Genentech. His primary interest is in the application of mass spectrometry toward solving challenging problems in enzymology and cell biology that are otherwise insurmountable using other techniques. He has extensive experience developing a wide variety of pharmacological assays to support small molecule drug discovery, including covalents, antibody-drug conjugates, and mass spectrometry-based screening techniques. Jim earned his B.S at the University of California, San Diego.

Nurix Therapeutics Inc

Mark Noviski, PhD, Principal Scientist, Discovery Biology, Nurix Therapeutics, Inc.

Mark Noviski is a Principal Scientist in the Discovery Biology group at Nurix Therapeutics. His research focuses on the discovery and optimization of new small molecule agents for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, and how targeted protein degradation overcomes limitations of small molecule inhibitors. Prior to joining Nurix, he earned his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, where he researched IgM and IgD B cell receptor signaling and how BCR signals shape B cell development and function.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Radoslaw P. Nowak, PhD, Senior Scientist, Center for Protein Degradation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Radoslaw Nowak is part of Biochemistry and Structural Biology Group at the Center for Protein Degradation as well as 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 in the group of Prof. Udo Oppermann working on development of inhibitors for histone lysine demethylases, a class of epigenetic readers.

Roivant Discovery

Tudor Oprea, PhD, Vice President, Translational Informatics, Roivant Discovery

C4 Therapeutics Inc

Douglas Orsi, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, C4 Therapeutics, Inc.

Doug Orsi is a synthetic medicinal chemist, who obtained his PhD from the University of Kansas on the development of methods in organofluorine chemistry. He joined C4 Therapeutics in 2022 as a Senior Research Scientist, working on developing mono- and bifunctional degraders for oncology targets. Previously he worked at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, developing small molecule therapeutics targeting a variety of protein targets in oncology, including kinase inhibitors and transcription factor inverse agonists, and at the Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery at Vanderbilt University, developing small molecule modulators of GPCRs in the CNS.

ETH Zurich

Julien Orts, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physical Chemistry Lab, ETH Zurich

Julien Orts studied Physics and Biophysics and graduated in 2010 jointly from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory under the guidance of Professor Carlogmano and Professor Griesinger. During that time, he developed the INPHARMA method that can experimentally assess, by NMR, the quality of docking poses of fragments in the receptor binding site using only unlabeled protein (ug) from cell extra. In 2010, Julien, joined the ETH in Zurich in the laboratory of Physical Chemistry. He was appointed in 2016 “oberassistent” and then group leader. He also develops methods for fast protein-ligand complex structures determination. He demonstrates for the first time that 3D structure determination of a protein-ligand complex can be achieved from solution NMR data fully automatically. He is currently investigating protein dynamics and allosteric communications within proteins and protein complexes.

InduPro Therapeutics

Rob Oslund, PhD, Vice President, Platform Technologies, InduPro, Inc.

Rob Oslund is InduPro’s Vice President of Platform Technology leading chemical biology and proximity labeling platform technology functions at the Company. Prior to joining InduPro, Rob was a founding member of the Merck Exploratory Science Center co-leading a cellular chemistry team focused on developing novel platform technologies to enable therapeutic development. He co-invented photocatalytic-based proximity labeling and led efforts to profile surface protein environments and explore cell-cell interaction biology. Also while at Merck, Rob developed novel covalent labeling technologies for target identification and was involved in multiple modality-agnostic drug discovery programs. Rob is a co-founder of the STEM Hub for Industry Networking and Exchange (S.H.I.N.E.) program for underrepresented STEM students with over 400 mentee/mentor pairs participating across 25 biotech/pharma companies. Prior to Merck, Rob was a peptide chemist and biochemist at Neon Therapeutics (now BioNTech) developing high-throughput peptide synthesis platforms and proteomic workflows to investigate HLA peptide ligandomes for cancer vaccine development. Rob did his postdoc in the lab of Tom Muir at Princeton University where he developed a pan-specific antibody to phosphorylated histidine and applied this to biological systems to investigate the role of bisphosphoglycerate mutase in serine pathway flux. Rob earned his PhD from the University of Washington in Seattle with Professor Mike Gelb where he studied phospholipase enzymes through design and synthesis of selective phospholipase small molecule inhibitors. Rob received his B.S. in Chemistry from Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. He is originally from Henderson, NV.

Amgen Inc

Shu-Ching Ou, PhD, Scientist, Center for Research Acceleration by Digital Innovation, Amgen, Inc.

Shu-Ching Ou is a computational chemist at Amgen. He received his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Delaware. Shu-Ching gained expertise in molecular modeling with the development of polarizable force field during his PhD studies. His postdoc at the University of Texas Medical Branch focused on applying pre-computed quantities in free energy calculations in biological systems. At Amgen, his work focuses on applying molecular modeling and machine learning techniques in induced proximity and drug discovery.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Fiona Pachl, PhD, Senior Scientist, Chemical Biology and Proteomics, AstraZeneca

Fiona Pachl is a Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca, whose focus is on utilizing chemical biology and proteomics methods to investigate the selectivity and mechanism of small molecule protein degraders. Prior to joining AstraZeneca in 2017, she did a postdoctoral fellowship at Biogen and received her PhD from Technical University Munich, working in the lab of Prof. Dr. Bernhard Kuster.

University of California, Irvine

Brian M. Paegel, PhD, Professor, Pharmaceuticals Sciences, University of California, Irvine

Brian M. Paegel earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Duke University and his Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Berkeley as a student of Richard Mathies working on miniaturized and integrated DNA sequencing technology development in collaboration with the Human Genome Project. He pursued postdoctoral studies in chemical biology and molecular evolution under the mentorship of Gerald Joyce at Scripps Research. He was the recipient of both a NIH National Research Service Award (F32) and a Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00). In 2008, Paegel was appointed to the Scripps Research chemistry faculty and received the NIH Director’s New Innovator award and an NSF CAREER award in recognition of his contributions in reaction miniaturization. In 2019, Paegel rejoined the University of California System where he is Professor in the Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemistry, and Biomedical Engineering at Irvine. His laboratory develops chemical synthesis methodology for the preparation of solid-phase DNA-encoded libraries and engineers accompanying analytical instrumentation to conduct activity-based "off-DNA" library screens. Looking forward, Paegel is exploring droplet-compatible assay concepts that could render the entire proteome "druggable" and fulfill the long-standing vision of the Genome Project to translate DNA sequence into drugs.

Vigil Neuroscience

Bhaumik A. Pandya, PhD, Director, Chemistry Vigil Neuroscience

I was born in Bombay, raised in New Jersey, and trained in Boston. I'm a medicinal chemist and neuroscience enthusiast. Currently, I'm with working on advancing Vigil Neuro's small molecule TREM2 agonists. Prior to Vigil, I've been in the Boston area biotech and pharma ecosystem for 15 years working in small molecule drug discovery. These experiences have been at large companies such as Amgen, Alnylam, and Cubist as well as biotechs like Yumanity and Concert. My projects have been in neuroscience, ion channels, and antibiotics. They have spanned novel target identification, hit generation, lead optimization and development candidate nomination. I’ve been fortunate to work with many talented scientists as a collaborator, mentor, group leader or manager. I obtained my PhD in 2007 from Boston College and my B.S. in 2000 from The College of New Jersey.

Seoul National University

Seung Bum Park, PhD, Professor & Associate Dean, Chemistry Department, Seoul National University, Korea (CEO & Founder of SPARK Biopharma)

Seung Bum Park is a Professor of the Chemistry Department and Director of the CRI Center for Chemical Proteomics at Seoul National University. He received his BS (1993) and MS (1997) in Chemistry from Yonsei University, Korea, and his Ph.D. (2001) in Bioorganic Chemistry from Texas A&M University. After three years of postdoctoral training at Harvard University under the guidance of Prof. Stuart L. Schreiber, he was appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Chemistry Department at Seoul National University (2004) and promoted to the tenured Associate Professor (2008) and full Professor (2013). He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was a visiting Professor at the Scripps Research Institute with Prof. Peter G. Schultz in 2009. His research interests are in the fields of chemical biology including molecular diversity, fluorescent bioprobe, phenotypic screening, and target identification for drug discovery targeting protein-protein interaction. Seung Bum serves as a grant committee and scientific advisory board member for various journals and research organizations. He won a number of awards and founded bio-venture SPARK Biopharma, Inc. (2016) for the phenotypic discovery of first-in-class therapeutics. His team at SPARK Biopharma focuses on small-molecule-based immune-modulating agents for cancer, fibrosis, and neurodegeneration.

University of California, Riverside

Maurizio Pellecchia, PhD, Professor, Biomedical Sciences Division, University of California, Riverside

Our laboratory focuses on the design, synthesis and evaluation of novel pharmacological tools in the areas of cancer, neurodegeneration, and potentially other disease areas, using innovative drug discovery approaches. The overall goal of the laboratory is to bring together basic sciences including modern nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) techniques, X-ray crystallography, computer modeling, traditional medicinal synthetic chemistry, and cell biology to elucidate the molecular basis of disease and to design novel pharmacological tools that serve for target validation and to develop novel therapeutic agents. A central theme of our laboratory is the development of novel methodologies to tackle protein-protein interactions (PPIs) as targets for drug discovery, and to further advance our most promising agents into potential therapeutics.

Nurix Therapeutics Inc

Christopher B. Phelps, PhD, Vice President and Head, Early Discovery, Nurix Therapeutics, Inc.

I currently head the early discovery group at Nurix Therapeutics, where we leverage our internal DEL collection to identify ligands to target proteins for degradation by harnessing E3 ligases and the Ubiquitin/Proteasome pathway. Prior to joining Nurix I worked at GSK, helping build their internal DEL platform, and leading the team screening the GSK DEL collection by affinity selection.

Weak Affinity Chromatography WAC

Kirill Popov, PhD, Head of FBLD, Weak Affinity Chromatography WAC

No bio available.

NstructuredesignS, LLC

Ponni Rajagopal, PhD, Founder & President, NstructuredesignS, LLC

Ponni Rajagopal has 20-plus years of experience in biophysical studies of proteins. She has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of WA, Seattle. Ponni founded NstructuredesignS, LLC, a biotech consulting firm in 2019. Prior to that, Ponni worked as a Senior Scientist at the University of Washington. Her company’s mission is to popularize structural biology tools and empower drug discovery with AI.

Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd

Murali Ramachandra, PhD, CEO, Aurigene Discovery Technologies, Ltd.

Dr. Murali Ramachandra is the CEO at Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited, a biotech company engaged in drug discovery for cancer and inflammatory diseases. He received his PhD from University of Idaho (USA), and postdoctoral training from University of Kansas Medical Center and DuPont Experimental Station. Prior to his current role, he has held the position of the Chief Scientific Officer at Aurigene, and positions of increasing responsibility at Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals and US National Cancer Institute. He has contributed to the identification of 16 novel drug candidates, co-authored 60 publications in international peer-reviewed journals and is an inventor of 18 granted US patents.


Sandeep Rana, PhD, Research Scientist, Early Translation, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health

Sandeep Rana is a research scientist in the Early Translation Branch within NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation. His research focuses on developing novel and selective probes to investigate biological processes and optimizing them to become potential drug candidates to treat rare and neglected targets. Before joining NCATS in 2019, Rana worked as a research assistant professor at the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Sandeep received his Ph.D. training in organic and medicinal chemistry at Kansas State University and postdoctoral training at the Mayo Clinic.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Zoran Rankovic, PhD, Director, CBT Chemistry Centers, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Prior to joining St. Jude in late 2016, Zoran was medicinal chemistry director and research fellow in Schering-Plough, Merck and most recently Eli Lilly. During his two decades long industry career he was fortunate to be able to contribute and direct teams that delivered multiple clinical candidates over a range of therapeutic areas including neurooncology, neurodegeneration, psychiatry and cardiovascular disorders. Since joining St. Jude Zoran’s research interests focus on the development of small molecule epigenetic modulators and protein degraders for the treatment of pediatric cancers such as medulloblastoma and acute leukemia.

Pfizer Global R&D Groton Labs

Anokha S. Ratnayake, PhD, Principal Scientist, Design and Synthesis Sciences, DNA Encoded Library Technology Group, Pfizer Global R&D Groton Laboratories

I am a Principal Scientist at Pfizer Groton, CT. I received my MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College-University of London and PhD in Natural Products and Organic Synthesis from University of Hawaii at Manoa (2003). I received academic and industrial postdoctoral training from University of Utah and Wyeth Research, respectively. I worked in natural products and medicinal chemistry-based programs for about 4 years before entering the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) field in 2010. In 2017, I moved to the DNA-Encoded Library Technology (DELT) group where I currently work on validating on-DNA chemistries and developing and optimizing analytical methods for monitoring on-DNA chemical transformations.

Bristol Myers Squibb Co

Alicia Regueiro-Ren, PhD, Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Bristol Myers Squibb Co.

Alicia obtained her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of La Laguna in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain under the guidance of Prof. J. D. Martin. As a Fulbright Scholar, she then joined Prof. Gilbert Stork’s lab at Columbia University for her postdoctoral work. In 1998, Alicia joined BMS where she is currently a Director of Medicinal Chemistry in the Fibrosis Department. Alicia previously worked on anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents. Alicia’s team discovered BMS-955176, a second-generation HIV-1 maturation inhibitor, which demonstrated proof of concept in humans and two next-generation HIV maturation candidates currently being evaluated in the clinic.

Jnana Therapeutics

Justin Rettenmaier, PhD, Senior Director, Head of Early Discovery, Jnana Therapeutics

Justin Rettenmaier is Senior Director and Head of Early Discovery at the Boston-based biotech Jnana Therapeutics, where he co-leads the Technology Development and Immunology groups. While at Jnana, Justin co-invented a ligand discovery technology called RAPID, which is a novel chemoproteomics platform that enables the identification of lead-like small molecule binders to any target of interest inside of a living cell. Jnana is leveraging RAPID to unlock historically difficult-to-drug targets, including the solute carrier (SLC) family of metabolite transporters. Prior to Jnana, Justin completed postdoctoral training in discovery Biology at the Whitehead Institute with Susan Lindquist. He obtained his PhD in chemical biology working with Jim Wells at UCSF to discover small molecules targeting allosteric sites and protein-protein interfaces.

RAPT Therapeutics

Omar Robles, PhD, Senior Scientist, Drug Discovery, RAPT Therapeutics

Omar Robles is a Senior Scientist and Project Team Leader at RAPT Therapeutics. Since joining RAPT (previously known as FLX Bio) in early 2015, Omar has contributed to multiple discovery programs in immuno-oncology and inflammation, two of which - FLX475 and RPT193 - are in Phase 2 clinical trials. Omar received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. He earned his PhD from Emory University under the mentorship of Prof. Frank E. McDonald where he focused his research on the synthesis of polyketide natural products. He conducted postdoctoral studies at Texas A&M University with Prof. Daniel Romo and worked on the selective derivatization of natural products for SAR studies and molecular probes synthesis. He then became a Research Associate at the Natural Products LINCHPIN Laboratory at Texas A&M University and developed novel translation inhibitors to target pro-survival Oncoproteins in collaboration with Prof. William Plunkett at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Arcus Biosciences

Brandon Rosen, PhD, Senior Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Arcus Biosciences

Brandon Rosen is a Research Fellow Medicinal Chemistry department at Arcus Biosciences, where he has worked since January 2015. At Arcus, he has worked on multiple clinical programs, including the HIF-2a inhibitor AB521, the dual A2aR/A2bR antagonist etrumadenant, and the CD73 inhibitor quemliclustat. Prior to joining Arcus, Brandon completed his PhD at The Scripps Research Institute under the direction of Professor Phil Baran, where he studied the total synthesis of terpenes of mixed biosynthetic origin and developed new methods for electro-organic chemistry.

Sylvie K. Sakata, PhD, Executive Director & Head, External Research Solutions, Pfizer Inc.

Sylvie received her BS with Honors at the University of California Irvine in 1993. She continued her studies organic chemistry and natural product synthesis with Professor Larry Overman and obtained her PhD at UCI in the fall of 1998. She started her career in industry at Agouron Pharmaceutical in the Chemical Research and Development as a research scientist and had the opportunity to lead a number of key projects within Pharmaceutical Sciences. Over a three-year period, while in Process Research, she worked on the development of the Rhino Virus (common cold) and HIV NNRTI programs. In 2001, she redirected her career to move to Medicinal Chemistry as a Senior Principal Scientist where she had the opportunity to continue to work in many antiviral programs at Warner Lambert now Pfizer. During the same period, she led the entire chemistry-sourcing strategy for Pfizer La Jolla. She held the Associate Director of Chemistry Sourcing leading all chemistry services for both Pfizer La Jolla (2006-2008) and in 2006-2007 expanded this role to manage Pfizer Nagoya Research Site chemistry sourcing needs. In mid-2008 to December 2018, she expanded her role as the West Regional Lead as Senior Director of (ERS) External Research Solutions based in Pfizer La Jolla in charge of Chemistry, Biology, Reagent Provision, and DMPK services in the pre-clinical sourcing area for many Pfizer Research Units. With re-alignment of focus in early 2018, she became the Head of ERS. Her responsibilities expanded to setting strategies/operation enablement for sourcing of Phase 1 API/Process enablement, global Pfizer solid inventory management, File Equity/Building Block, chemistry synthesis, analytical chemistry, and new technologies including DNA-encoded libraries/Degrader Platform, and RSC (reference standard commercialization). She is also leading multiple consortiums such as the BBXC (Building Block Exchange) and DNA-Encoded Library with multi-pharma companies. Her team’s work has led has impact on project like Paxlovid where ERS has been a key line contributor to support API/integrated sourcing research support to advance the discovery and enabling Phase 1 start. She has experiences in setting up innovative strategies and implementation of different working business models, evaluation of novel technologies in support of research, operations and integrative research, logistics, development of IT tools to support external collaborations for Pfizer with Asia/EU/North America partners. She works globally across matrix/multidisciplinary teams and working with Pfizer leaders to implement sourcing strategies to bring capacity, efficiency, and novel capabilities. She has been recognized in the area of research externalization with expertise in CRO management and integrated collaborations. She is current Executive Director and Head of ERS with a global team support all of Pfizer Medicine Design Sourcing.

Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd

Susanta Samajdar, PhD, Senior Vice President & Head, Drug Discovery, Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd.

Dr. Susanta Samajdar is a medicinal chemist by training and has over 20 years of experience in Indian Biotech Industries. Dr. Samajdar has led multifunctional drug discovery teams producing many drug candidates across various target classes focused in oncology and inflammation therapeutic areas. Precision oncology and immuno-oncology remained two major area of interest for Dr. Samajdar over last few years. At present Dr. Samajdar is leading the drug discovery research at Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited, Bangalore, INDIA as Senior Vice President and Head of Discovery.

WuXi AppTec

Alex Satz, PhD, Senior Director DEL Strategy and Operations, WuXi Biology, WuXi AppTec

Alex Satz has 17+ years experience building DNA encoded library (DEL) platforms, and is currently the senior director of DEL strategy and operations at WuXi AppTec. Prior to WuXi AppTec, Alex led the Roche DEL platform in Basel Switzerland, and helped to develop the first industrial-scale DEL platform at Praecis Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline. 

Structural Genomics Consortium

Matthieu Schapira, PhD, Principal Investigator, Structural Genomics Consortium

Matthieu holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris. After graduating in 1995, he completed a couple of post-docs in protein crystallography and computational chemistry at New York University Medical Center. After working in biotechs in San Diego and in France, he joined in 2007 the Structural Genomics Consortium in Toronto as head of research informatics. He holds an Associate Professor cross-appointment with the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at University of Toronto.

Joerg Scheuermann, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Chemistry & Applied Biosciences, ETH Zurich

Jo¨rg Scheuermann (born in Mannheim, Germany) studied Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and at the ETH Zurich (Switzerland). During his Ph.D. studies at the ETH Zurich he worked on the identification of novel binding molecules to markers of angiogenesis. Since 2002, together with Dario Neri he developed DNA-encoded library technology in different implementations. He has published 59 peer-reviewed articles on DEL technology and wrote his habilitation on "DNA-Encoded Chemical Library Technology for Drug Discovery”, He has been appointed Privatdozent (Senior lecturer) at ETH Zurich. His research interests lie in the identification of specific high-affinity small molecule ligands for biochemical research and their therapeutic application. Together with Dario Neri he set-up and organized the “International Symposium on DNA-Encoded Chemical Libraries”, a yearly alternating event between Zurich/Swiitzerland, Boston/US and China.

Jay Schneekloth Jr., PhD, Principal Investigator, Chemical Biology Laboratory, NIH NCI

John Schneekloth Jr., (Jay) received his undergraduate training at Dartmouth College. After receiving a Ph.D. with Craig Crews at Yale University, he pursued a postdoctoral fellowship with Erik Sorensen at Princeton University. He began his independent career at the NIH, where he is a Senior Investigator and Head of the Chemical Genetics Section in the Chemical Biology Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute. Jay's laboratory studies nucleic acids as targets for small molecules, with an emphasis on understanding RNA as a target.

Phillip Schwartz, PhD, Director, Biophysics, Septerna

After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Virginia Tech, Dr. Schwartz joined the Enzyme Institute in the Biochemistry department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a doctoral student. In the laboratory of Perry Frey, he studied enzymology, where he specialized in spectroscopy and radical cofactor chemistry. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Schwartz did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he characterized the transition states of ribosyl transfer enzymes by solving multiple kinetic isotope effects. Following Einstein, he took a postdoctoral fellowship at Pfizer-San Diego, where he investigated protein oxidation and its effect on irreversible inhibition kinetics. Subsequently, he joined Takeda California, where he studied mechanistic enzymology and biophysics with a specialization in SPR spectroscopy. Dr. Schwartz has recently joined Septerna, where he applies his expertise in Biophysics to assess drug-target interactions of GPCRs.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D

Mark Seierstad, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Computer Aided Drug Discovery, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D

Mark received his BS in Chemistry from the Univ. of Wisconsin in 1994. In 2000 he earned his PhD from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Prof. Scott Denmark, studying the stereochemistry of tandem nitroalkene cycloadditions. He furthered his training as a theoretical physical-organic chemist under Prof. Christopher Cramer at the Univ. of Minnesota, modeling high-spin organic compounds and reactions. As a CADD scientist at Janssen Research & Development since 2002 he has supported many drug discovery programs, developed cheminformatics/modeling tools and helped coordinate the design of HTS libraries. He leads an extremely talented group of San Diego scientists who push the limits of how computers can accelerate drug discovery.

AbbVie Inc

Yu Shen, PhD, Director, Cancer Biology, AbbVie, Inc.

Dr. Shen is a leader in oncology drug discovery with greater than 20 years of industry experience. He joined Abbott Laboratories/AbbVie in 2001, was inducted as a member of Abbott’s prestigious Volwiler society in 2010, and ascended in managerial and scientific ranks to Director of Cancer Biology and Research Fellow of ACoS, AbbVie’s Volwiler equivalence, in 2019. Dr. Shen had assumed increasing responsibilities during his tenure at Abbott/AbbVie, and led the advancement of multiple drug discovery programs through stages ranging from target identification/validation, HTS, lead generation, lead optimization, clinical candidate selection, translational biomarker studies, up to IND filing and translational support of clinical assets. Dr. Shen has a deep understanding of drug discovery and oncology translational studies, broad knowledge of multiple areas of cancer biology such as immuno-oncology, epigenetics, signal transduction, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, tumor microenvironment, and extensive experience in diverse therapeutic modalities, including small molecules, antibody-drug conjugates, nucleic acids, and more recently protein degraders. Prior to joining Abbott, Dr. Shen received his BS and MS degrees from Nanjing University in China and earned his doctorate in Cell Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Merck & Co Inc

Justyna Sikorska, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, Mass Spectrometry & Biophysics, Merck

Justyna Sikorska is an NMR spectroscopist with her research interests comprising different aspects of the drug discovery process. Justyna completed her MS in the Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Warsaw (2007), and her PhD in the Kerry McPhail group at the College of Pharmacy, Oregon State University (2012). During this time, her research was centered around natural product drug discovery and application of numerous spectroscopic techniques to screening, isolation, structure elucidation of natural products. In 2012 Justyna moved to EMBL Heidelberg to join Teresa Carlomagno group and worked on the application of Intermolecular NOEs for Pharmacophore Mapping (INPHARMA) method enabling determination of the ligand-binding mode. Since 2016, she is a member of the BioNMR group at Merck, where her research focuses on the implementation of NMR to various aspects of the drug discovery process.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc

Nicholas Simmons, Chemisty Leader, DNA Encoded Library DEL, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc

Nick Simmons is an organic chemist and specialist in DNA-encoded library (DEL) technologies. Nick received his doctorate from Scripps Research in synthetic chemistry and performed postdoctoral studies at the Baylor College of Medicine using DEL screening technologies. Since joining Janssen R&D in 2019, he has worked as the DEL chemistry lead and is based at Janssen’s San Diego site. In addition to supporting the Janssen pipeline, Nick’s research focus has been on developing new on-DNA chemical reactions for novel DEL chemical space and improved workflows for DEL design, screening, analysis, resynthesis, and early hit triage.

Mirati Therapeutics

Chris Smith, PhD, Executive Director, Drug Discovery, Mirati Therapeutics

Dr. Christopher R. Smith is the Executive Director for Drug Discovery at Mirati Therapeutics. Mirati is a targeted oncology company focused on targeted solutions for genetic and immunological drivers of cancer. Prior to Mirati, Christopher spent over a decade developing fragment-based approaches coupled with medicinal chemistry to discover development candidates across a range of therapeutic areas. For example MRTX1719 and SGX523 for cancer and TAK-020 for inflammation. Christopher co-led the FBLD conference in San Diego in 2018 and is a strong advocate for fragment-based approaches in drug discovery. Christopher obtained his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Glasgow and started his medicinal chemistry career at Pfizer, Sandwich in 1999.

Maria Soloveychik, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, SyntheX

Dr. Maria Soloveychik is the Co-Founder and CEO of SyntheX, a therapeutics company focused on accelerating drug discovery using synthetic biology. The company’s core technologies, ToRPPIDO and ToRNeDO, rely on genetic engineering and evolutionary selection to synthesize and identify compounds that disrupt protein-protein interactions or lead to selective target degradation. SyntheX was founded in 2016 and is located in San Francisco. Maria has obtained her PhD from the department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, where she discovered novel pathways linking metabolism and epigenetic signaling. Maria was previously a research scientist at a structural genomics consortium at the University Health Network, where her work led to the determination of numerous structures and identification of several drug candidates.

Parthiban Srinivasan, PhD, Professor, Data Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research

Parthiban Srinivasan, an experienced data scientist, earned his PhD from Indian Institute of Science, specializing in Computational Chemistry. After his PhD, he continued the research at NASA Ames Research Center (USA) and Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel). Then he worked at AstraZeneca in the area of Computer Aided Drug Design for Tuberculosis. Later, he headed informatics business units in Jubilant Biosys and then in GvkBio before he floated the company, Parthys Reverse Informatics and later an AI consultancy, Vingyani. Currently, he is a Professor at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal, teaching Data Science.

Paul Scherrer Institut

Michel O Steinmetz, PhD, Lab Head, Biology & Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institut

I am a Professor of Biochemistry at the Biocenter, University of Basel, Switzerland. In addition, I head the Laboratory of Biomolecular Research and serve as the Deputy Head of the Division of Biology and Chemistry at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Villigen, Switzerland. The PSI is part of the ETH Zurich domain in Switzerland. I have extensive experience leading molecular biology labs and have received several awards for my scientific contributions. My work is currently focused on the use of interdisciplinary structural biology, computational, biophysical, biochemical, and cell biology approaches to investigate how proteins and drugs regulate the microtubule cytoskeleton. I have distributed my findings in more than 180 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in leading journals including Nature, Science, and Cell.

Applied BioMath

Kas Subramanian, PhD, Executive Director, Modeling, Applied BioMath

Kas is the Executive Director of Modeling at Applied BioMath with over 25 years of industry experience. He has a strong interest in the role of mathematical methods to aid decision support in drug discovery and development. Prior to joining Applied Biomath, Kas led the Bioinformatics group at Syngene International which integrated data and created models to support programs across the drug discovery pipeline; from target identification and validation through lead optimization and clinical trial design.

University of Tokyo

Hiroaki Suga, PhD, Professor Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Biotechnology, University of Tokyo

Hiroaki Suga is a Professor of the Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science in the University of Tokyo. He received Ph.D. at MIT (1994) followed by post-doctoral fellow in MGH (1997). He was Assistant and tenured Associate Professor in the State University of New York, University at Buffalo (1997-2003) and Professor in the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology in the University of Tokyo (2003-2010). Since 2010, he has the present position. He is the recipient of Akabori Memorial Award 2014, Max-Bergmann Medal 2016, Nagoya Medal Silver 2017, Vincent du Vigneaud Award 2019, Bohlmann Lecture 2019, MIT TY She Lecureship 2020, ETHZ Prelog Lecture 2020, Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2020, and HIsayuki Matsuo Award 2022. He is the 121st President of Chemical Society of Japan, and a member of Council of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Cabinet Office of Japan. His research interests are in the field of peptides/proteins/RNAs and drug discovery. He is also a founder of PeptiDream and MiraBiologics in Japan, serve as the Chair of Editorial Board of the RSC Chemical Biology.

AbbVie Inc

Chaohong Sun, PhD, Senior Director, Lead Discovery, AbbVie, Inc.

Chaohong Sun is a Sr. Research Fellow and Sr. Director in Discovery Research organization at Abbvie, where she leads an organization including protein sciences, different screening platforms, and structural biology to support Abbvie small molecule projects. She also heads up the lead discovery strategy team that is responsible to set and execute integrated lead generation strategies (including fragment-based approach, DEL and HTS) for Abbvie’s early portfolio targets. She received her Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in biophysical chemistry and then joined Abbott as a postdoctoral research fellow to study structures and functions of proteins involved in apoptosis pathway before becoming a staff scientist. She is coauthor of over 50 peer reviewed scientific publications and patents.

Foghorn Therapeutics

Asad M. Taherbhoy, PhD, Director, Drug Discovery, Foghorn Therapeutics

Asad Taherbhoy is Director, Drug Discovery at Foghorn Therapeutics where he leads Foghorn’s efforts on targeting transcription factors. Prior to joining Foghorn, he worked on understanding and drugging ubiquitin E3 ligases at Nurix and Genentech. Asad carried out his PhD research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the lab of Brenda Schulman studying ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like protein pathways.

Orum Therapeutics

Khuloud Takrouri, PhD, Director of Chemistry & Bioconjugation, Orum Therapeutics

Khuloud Takrouri, PhD, Director of Chemistry and bioconjugation at Orum Therapeutics based in Cambridge, MA and Daejeon, KR. She has over 15 years of experience in the small molecule drug discovery in multiple therapeutic areas with recent focus on oncology, immunology, and immune-oncology drug discovery employing both small molecule and antibody drug conjugate modalities. At Orum she is leading medicinal and synthetic chemistry efforts on the discovery and optimization of antibody drug conjugates and small molecule payloads and linker payloads. Prior to Orum, Khuloud held multiple roles in early-stage drug discovery in academic research labs and industrial settings, including an Investigator and Outsourcing Manager roles at GSK, a Research Scientist role at NEU, as well as two Post-doctoral positions at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard Medical School. Khuloud earned her PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Natural Products from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Weiping Tang, PhD, Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director, Medicinal Chemistry Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Weiping Tang received his PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University and completed his postdoctoral training in Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at Harvard University and Broad Institute as a HHMI postdoctoral fellow. He joined the faculty of UW-Madison as an Assistant Professor in the School of Pharmacy in 2007. He is currently Janis Apinis Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of UW-Madison. He also holds a joint faculty appointment at the Department of Chemistry since 2013. His group currently focuses on targeted protein degradation by developing small molecule and antibody-based degraders for various disease associated proteins.

Peggy Thompson, PhD, VP and Head of Biology, Plexium Inc.

Peggy joined Plexium in 2020 to lead the targeted protein degradation drug discovery efforts. She has more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery and development in the biotechnology industry. Prior to Plexium, Peggy was a co-founder and Executive Director of Biology at eFFECTOR Therapeutics where she established their technology platform for targeting dysregulated mRNA translation for supporting oncology drug development and lead their eIF4A program (Zotatifin, Phase II) from concept to clinical development in solid tumor malignancies. She previously served as Director of Biology at Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. She held positions of increasing responsibility during her tenure including leading the drug discovery biology efforts as well as supporting the development of Setrobuvir until the company was acquired by Roche Pharmaceuticals.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Collin Tokheim, PhD, Senior Scientist, Early Oncology Data Science, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Collin Tokheim is a Senior Bioinformatic Scientist at AstraZeneca. Previously, he received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2018, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the Shirley Liu lab. Dr. Tokheim's research focus is to use computational methods to understand how protein degradation is dysregulated in cancer and how this informs an emerging therapeutic paradigm of Targeted Protein Degradation (TPD) drugs. Dr. Tokheim has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Martin & Carol Macht award, Emerging Leaders in Computational Oncology Award, an NCI NRSA fellowship, and the inaugural Damon Runyon fellowship in Quantitative Biology.

Audrey E. Tolbert, PhD, Investigator, Encoded Library Technology Biology, GSK

Audrey Tolbert received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Michigan. Her work focused on the de novo design of metalloproteins. She has now worked with Encoded Library Technologies at GSK for two years. She is responsible for screening portfolio candidates with DNA-encoded libraries (DELs), improving DEL screening capabilities through library pooling advancements, and expanding platform capabilities for molecular glue screens.

Maricel Torrent, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, Computational Drug Discovery, AbbVie, Inc.

Accomplished Molecular Modeler with 20+ years of experience in Drug Discovery. Primary strengths in Computer-Aided Drug Design - both structure-based and ligand-based - as well as data mining and analysis. An inspiring leader, sought mentor & coach, fun team player, and creative co-inventor with proven results across various top 10 pharmaceutical companies - Merck, Abbott, AbbVie. Dynamic international speaker and presenter at numerous scientific conferences across the globe. Co-author of more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific articles; two book chapters.

Raphael Townshend, PhD, Founder & CEO, Atomic AI

Raphael Townshend is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Atomic AI, a drug discovery company using artificial intelligence to enable the rational design of small molecules against human and viral transcriptomes. Prior to founding Atomic AI, Dr. Townshend was a PhD fellow at Stanford University, where he wrote his thesis on Geometric Learning of Biomolecular Structure and taught in Stanford’s machine learning and computational biology programs. His work has been featured on the cover of Science, was recognized by a Best Paper award at the premiere machine learning conference NeurIPS, and has been published in other top venues such as Nature, Cell, and ICLR. During his PhD program, Dr. Townshend also held positions at DeepMind (AlphaFold) and Google (Search) on their artificial intelligence and software engineering teams. Dr. Townshend holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California - Berkeley and a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Ching-Hsuan Tsai, PhD, Director, Relay Therapeutics, Inc.

I am currently Director of Discovery Technologies at Relay Therapeutics, where I lead a group focused on advancing DNA Encoded Library screening to enable the discovery of novel chemical matter via Machine Learning. Prior to joining Relay, I worked at GlaxoSmithKline, where I spearheaded efforts to enable functional DEL screening, DEL screens for lead discovery programs, and the application of DEL for targeted delivery.

Merck & Co Inc

Thomas J Tucker, Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Merck & Co Inc

After completing my education, I joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department at Rorer Pharmaceutical in 1984, and worked there for 5 years. In 1989, I moved to the Medicinal Chemistry Department at Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, PA, where I have been for the last 34 years. I spent my early years at Merck working on peptidomimetics, then the next 15 years working on small molecule drug discovery in the antiviral, cardiovascular, neuroscience, and oncology therapeutic areas. I then spent 5 years working on siRNA delivery using a conjugate-based approach. For the past 10 years, I have been involved in the design and synthesis of novel peptide therapeutics as a charter member of the reborn Merck Modalities Chemistry team. Highlights of my career include being a key inventor for the first-generation HIV NNRTI Efavirenz, followed by major contributions to the discovery of the second-generation NNRTI Doravirine. More recently, I have been focused on the design and synthesis of novel, orally bioavailable cyclic peptide PCSK9 inhibitors, which I will be discussing in today's talk.

Janssen La Jolla

Jennifer D. Venable, PhD, Senior Scientific Director, Discovery Chemistry, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Jennifer Venable is a Senior Scientific Director in Medicinal Chemistry at Janssen Research & Development, based in San Diego, CA where she is a member of the site leadership team. Her current primary responsibility is to drive the Targeted Protein Degradation Platform within Janssen across therapeutic areas. Her team also focuses on the discovery of small molecule drug candidates in the immunology therapeutic area. She received her PhD in organic chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin under the direction of Professor Phil Magnus in 2001. Subsequently, she joined the Janssen immunology group in La Jolla as a medicinal chemist in 2002 focusing on the discovery of small molecule ligands for kinases, GPCR, transporter, and protein-protein interaction targets. With over 15 years of industrial experience, Jennifer is a successful drug discovery leader with a track record of delivering development candidates that have entered the clinic. As a project leader across immunology programs, she has developed broad drug design knowledge targeting oral, inhaled, GI-targeting and irreversible therapies. She has leveraged her expertise in medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis, SBDD, PK/PD relationships, and ADME optimization in working with multi-disciplinary cross-functional teams both internally and externally.

Aligos Therapeutics

Sandrine Vendeville, PhD, Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Aligos Therapeutics

Sandrine Vendeville is a Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Aligos Therapeutics. Over 20 years she has contributed to multiple lead optimization projects in the antiviral field. She is co-inventor of the HCV protease inhibitor Simeprevir (FDA approved in 2013), the RSV fusion inhibitor Rilematovir (JNJ-53718678, Ph.3), the HCV polymerase inhibitor TMC-647055 (Ph.2 full development), and the HBV capsid assembly modulator ALG-184 (Ph.1). She obtained a PhD in medicinal and organic chemistry from the University of Pharmacy of Lille (France) in 1999 and a master in pharmaceutical sciences from the School of Pharmacy of UCL (Belgium, 2010). She also carried out a postdoc at University College London with Prof. Karl Hale, on the total synthesis of the natural compound bryostatin 1. She is author/co-author of more than 70 publications, patents, and book chapters.

Astex Pharmaceuticals

Marcel Verdonk, PhD, Senior Director, Computational Chemistry & Informatics, Astex Pharmaceuticals

Marcel Verdonk received his PhD from Utrecht University in 1995. He then spent four and a half years at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC), where he was responsible for the development of a number of structure-based design tools. Since November 2000, Marcel has been at Astex Pharmaceuticals, where he heads up a group developing informatics and structure-based design software applications.

Baylor College of Medicine

Jin Wang, PhD, Professor, Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Wang received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Peking University and Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from the Ohio State University. As a postdoc at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he worked in the field of drug delivery and nanomedicine. Starting as a tenure-track assistant professor in 2011 at Baylor College of Medicine, he has built a research group from scratch to 18 members in ten years and is ranked 18th among all the principal investigators in the U.S. Pharmacology Departments based on NIH funding received in 2020. His research centers on chemistry and serves biology, spanning from chemical biology tools and method development to rational design of therapeutics, including small molecule inhibitors, protein degraders, and antibody-drug conjugates. His scientific contribution has been recognized by multiple awards including the Distinguished Faculty Award from Chinese-American Chemistry & Chemical Biology Professors Association and Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Professorship in Pharmacology.

Genentech Inc

Wenyi Wang, PhD, Principal Scientist, DMPK Department, Genentech, Inc.

Wenyi Wang is a principal scientist in DMPK department, Genentech. Her role at Genentech involves building, maintaining, and advocating a suite of in silico ADME tools including matched molecular pairs application, machine learning QSAR models, early mechanistic PBPK models, etc. She also supported projects as in silico ADME experts for IVIVc analysis, etc., as well as bridging data systems and overseeing informatics support for DMPK.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc

Charles A. Wartchow, PhD, Associate Director, Global Discovery Chemistry, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Charles Wartchow is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary scientist with expertise in protein biochemistry (post-doctoral studies, The University of California, Berkeley), organic chemistry (PhD, The Ohio State University), and analytical methods. He developed his extensive drug discovery experience at Roche and Novartis, working in areas ranging from fragment-based screening and DNA-encoded library work to high-throughput biochemical and phenotypic screening campaigns. His current focus is the application of biophysical methods including SPR, BLI, and SHG to the validation and discovery of small molecule starting points for complex protein targets in oncology, virology, bacteriology, and inflammation. Dr. Wartchow is an enthusiastic project leader and frequent collaborator with members of the disease biology, protein sciences, CADD, and chemistry groups.

Bristol Myers Squibb Co

Edmond Watson, PhD, Senior Scientist, Bristol Myers Squibb Co.

Edmond received his graduate training in the lab of Brenda Schulman at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis TN studying ubiquitination mechanisms of the Anaphase Promoting Complex and its transient partners. In 2016, he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich Germany and began early training in cryo-electron microscopy. In late 2018, he started a postdoctoral fellowship in Gabe Lander's lab at Scripps Research, working directly with Bristol Myers Squibb to understand mechanistic consequences of liganding cereblon, and in 2022 he joined BMS directly to continue this and related work.

PTC Therapeutics Inc

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

Dr. M. Weetall has worked in the pharmaceutical/ biotechnology industry for more than 25 years, first at Sandoz/ Novartis and now at PTC Therapeutics, Inc. She is the Vice President of Pharmacology and Biomarkers at PTC Therapeutics and has contributed to the discovery and development of a range of compounds that have gone into the clinic including risdiplam. With a strong-interest in PK-PD she has worked to utilize PK-PD early in discovery to shorten the time for the drug discovery process. This also includes the identification of potential clinical biomarkers in the preclinical drug discovery process than can be utilized early in Clinical Development to demonstrate proof-of-concept. She is the author of more than 60 peer-reviewed papers and included as a contributor on more than 30 patents.

Boston University

Adrian Whitty, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Boston University

Dr. Whitty is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Boston University, where he joined the faculty in 2008. He spent the previous 14 years at the biopharmaceutical company Biogen, most recently as Director of Physical Biochemistry, where he led a group responsible for the structural, biophysical and mechanistic study of drug targets and of protein and small molecule drug candidates. He obtained a BSc in Chemistry at King’s College, University of London, and a PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, after which he performed postdoctoral work at Brandeis University with Professor William P. Jencks FRS before joining Biogen in 1993. A major focus of his current research is the development of approaches for the discovery of small molecule inhibitors that block protein-protein interactions, and especially the use of synthetic macrocycles and covalent inhibitors for this purpose. A second area of research is the quantitative analysis of activation and signaling mechanism of growth factor receptors, primarily using as a model system the receptor tyrosine kinase RET.

Psivant Therapeutics

Rafal Wiewiora, PhD, Principal, Computational Biophysics, Psivant Therapeutics

Edward Will, PhD Candidate, LPPT, Professor Christian Heinis, EPFL

Edward is a third-year PhD candidate at EPFL in Switzerland, where he is working on new methods for the high-throughput synthesis and screening of peptidic macrocycles in the lab of Prof. Christian Heinis. He graduated from Imperial College (London, UK) before completing the med chem internship program at Roche (Basel, CH).

AbbVie Inc

Jon D. Williams, PhD, Senior Principal Research Scientist, Discovery Research, Abbvie, Inc.

Jon is currently a Senior Principal Scientist and co-leads the Chemical Biology and Emerging Therapeutics team at AbbVie. Prior to joining Abbvie, Jon was the leader of the Biological Mass Spectrometry team at GSK’s Research Triangle Park facility. Jon obtained his PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University under the guidance of R. Graham Cooks. Jon has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers and is interested in finding new ways to accelerate drug discovery using mass spectrometry-based techniques for the analysis of both small and large molecules.

AbbVie Inc

Haihong Wu, PhD, Senior Scientist II, Global Protein Sciences, AbbVie, Inc.

Dr. Haihong Wu, is a Principal Research Scientist I at Abbvie, North Chicago, IL (USA). He received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Nanjing University, China and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. At ULCA, he studied protein and nucleic acid structures using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) in Juli Feigon’s laboratory. After postdoctoral studies at Pfizer, he joined Takeda, San Diego in 2007, where he focused on NMR-based fragment screening, structure elucidation and analytical chemistry. In 2017, Dr. Wu moved to Abbive, North Chicago and continued his passion in NMR and FBDD to discover novel therapeutic compounds targeting challenging targets.


Yue Xiong, PhD, Co-Founder & CSO, Cullgen

Dr. Xiong is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cullgen, Inc. He was faculty at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1993 to 2020, where he held the William R. Kenan Distinguished Professorship of Biochemistry and served as the leader for the Cancer Cell Biology Program at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center. His academic research focused on the cell cycle control, cancer metabolism and the ubiquitin-proteosome system (UPS). He has extensively studied the cullin-RING family E3 ubiquitin ligases (CRLs) and discovered the catalytic subunits (ROC1 and ROC2), assembly mechanisms for CRL3 and CRL4, a key regulator (CAND1) of the CRLs and multiple disease-linked CRL substrates. These findings helped to establish CRLs as the largest family of E3 ligases (estimated to be ~300) that regulate many cellular processes. They also provided the insights for exploiting the UPS, CRL in particular, for the targeted protein degradation in drug discovery. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed research articles and invited reviews. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pew Scholar Award, AACR Gertrude Elion Cancer Research Award, UNC Battle Distinguished Cancer Research Award and elected AAAS fellow.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Hua Xu, PhD, Director, Mechanistic Biology & Profiling, AstraZeneca

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 in 2013, and later received ACS Young Investigator Award in 2016. He led the chemical biology efforts for a number of Pfizer’s drug discovery programs in several therapeutic areas, such as immunology and inflammation, rare diseases, and cardiovascular & metabolic diseases. Hua then worked as Associate Director of Chemical Biology at Cygnal Therapeutics from 2020 to 2021, and built the chemical biology platform to support small molecule drug discovery programs and facilitate target discovery. Hua currently leads a group at AstraZeneca that is responsible for mechanism of action studies and compound profiling for potency and selectivity in support of the oncology portfolio.

WuXi AppTec

Zhifeng Yu, PhD, Director, WuXi Biology, WuXi AppTec

7+ years of experience on DEL, prior experience at Baylor College of Medicine, 15+ years of research experience in molecular biology and drug discovery

University of Toronto

Andrei K. Yudin, PhD, Professor, Chemistry, University of Toronto

Professor Yudin holds the Canada Research Chair in Medicine by Design at the University of Toronto. He started his independent career at the University of Toronto in 1998. He received early tenure, becoming an Associate Professor in 2002, which was followed by promotion to the rank of a Full Professor in 2007. Professor Yudin also serves as an Associate Editor for Chemical Science. He is known for fundamental discoveries in the area of chemical synthesis and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK).

ReviR Therapeutics

Peng Yue, PhD, CoFounder & CEO, ReviR Therapeutics, ReviR Therapeutics

Co-founder and CEO of ReviR Therapeutics -- a RNA-targeting small molecule drug discovery company. A computational biologist with a strong interest in improving human health through engineering drug discovery processes. Over two decades of hands-on biotech experiences (GeneLogic, Genentech, Gilead, Abbvie, and 23andme) in target and biomarker discovery for cancer and genetic diseases. Expertise in multivariate regression, machine learning, and bioinformatics analysis of large scale genomic and genetics data.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Andrew Zhang, PhD, Director, Chemical Biology, AstraZeneca

Andrew Zhang is a Team Leader in the Chemical Biology Department at AstraZeneca. He joined AstraZeneca in 2013 with research interests in target deconvolution, particularly using chemical proteomics and orthogonal methods for identifying target engagement events and profiling selectivity. He is now leading the proteomics efforts around profiling the selectivity and mechanism of small molecule protein degraders. Andrew trained at the interface of chemistry and molecular and cell biology, obtaining a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, followed by Ph.D. studies with Professor David Spiegel at Yale University around small molecule immunomodulators. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Andrew carried out postdoctoral trainings with the Drug Discovery Group at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (Toronto, Canada) with Dr. Rima Al-awar.

Northwestern University

Xiaoyu Zhang, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University

Xiaoyu Zhang received his B.S. and M.S. at Zhejiang University. In 2017, he completed his Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, where he studied with Professor Hening Lin and demonstrated lysine fatty-acylation as an abundant and physiologically relevant protein posttranslational modification. As a Damon Runyon fellow at The Scripps Research Institute, he conducted his postdoctoral research with Professor Benjamin Cravatt and developed a generalizable proteomic platform to discover novel E3 ligase systems that support small molecule-mediated protein degradation. In 2022, Xiaoyu Zhang started his independent career as an assistant professor at Northwestern University. His research group integrates chemical proteomics, functional genomics and chemical genetics to discover small molecules that modulate protein functions through novel mechanisms.

Pfizer Inc

Hongyao Zhu, PhD, Associate Research Fellow, Machine Learning and Computational Sciences, Pfizer Inc.

Hongyao Zhu received his Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry at Jilin University in China. After carrying out postdoctoral studies at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas Medical Branch, he started his career in biotech companies working in molecular modeling and cheminformatics fields. He joined Pfizer in 2008 and has been supporting the DNA-encoded library platform development since 2017.