Filter by:

Clear Filters
Bayer Pharmaceuticals US

Gizem Akcay, PhD, Head, Chemical Biology, Bayer Research and Innovation Center Cambridge

Dr. Akcay received her PhD in Chemistry at Tufts University where she developed convergent synthesis approaches for stereospecific preparation of fluorinated glycans, enabling studies towards understanding the role of glycocalyx fluorination in selectin mediated cell-cell adhesion. Her first postdoctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on harnessing a two-component delivery system composed of non-toxic variants of proteins secreted by Bacilus anthracis. She combined synthetic chemistry, protein expression and enzyme-mediated bioconjugation to successfully transport cytotoxic drugs to the cytosol of specific cell types via anthrax delivery platform. Dr. Akcay pursued a second postdoctoral appointment at AstraZeneca R&D Waltham USA, where she worked on expanding the repertoire of amino acid side chains that can be targeted by covalent inhibitors. She demonstrated that a boronic acid carbonyl warhead can be rationally designed into small molecules to generate ligands capable of forming a reversible covalent bond with a desired lysine side chain. This work ultimately led to discovery of first covalent Mcl-1 inhibitors and highlighted as a seminal report in the field of covalent drug discovery. In her current role as head of Chemical Biology at BAYER (Boston) Research and Innovation Center, Dr. Akcay and her team is responsible for supporting early research and development through technology platforms focusing on Phenotypic Screens, Target Deconvolution, Chemoproteomics and new Modalities for Drug Discovery.

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Rima Al-Awar, PhD, Head, Therapeutic Innovation & Drug Discovery, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Dr. Rima Al-awar is the Head of Therapeutic Innovation and Drug Discovery at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR; https://oicr.on.ca/) and Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. With over 10-years’ progressive experience at Eli Lilly, she joined OICR in 2008 to focus on building a drug discovery program to help efficiently translate discoveries made in Ontario’s laboratories into novel oncology therapies. Under her leadership, the OICR Drug Discovery Program has played a major role in bridging the gap between academia and industry in Ontario by providing drug discovery capabilities. Today, the program is one of the largest of its kind in Canada, with a team of more than 35 researchers whose collective expertise spans the entire drug discovery process, from target identification and validation, to clinical candidate selection. Dr. Al-awar has published over 90 peer-reviewed publications and patent applications in the field of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery.

Gain Therapeutics, Inc.

Matthias Alder, PhD, CEO, Gain Therapeutics Inc.

Matthias Alder serves as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Gain Therapeutics. He joined the Company in 2021 as Chief Operating Officer with more than 25 years of transactional, operational, and business development experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Previously, Mr. Alder was Chief Business Officer at Autolus Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on developing CAR T-cell therapies for hematological and solid tumors, where he led the corporate development, legal, IP and HR functions. Prior to joining Autolus, he served as EVP of Business Development & Licensing and General Counsel of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals. During his tenure there, Mr. Alder established a late-stage development pipeline in orphan and rare CNS and oncology indications through acquisitions and strategic alliances. He has also held executive management positions at Cytos Biotechnology AG as EVP Corporate Development and General Counsel, and Micromet, Inc. as SVP Administration and General Counsel. Earlier in his career, Matthias was a partner in the Life Sciences Transactions Practice at Cooley LLP and in-house counsel for Novartis’ pharmaceutical business. Matthias earned his LL.M. in Comparative Law from Miami University, his lic. Iur. from the University of Basel and is a member of the Virginia, California, New York and Zurich bar associations.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc

Bernard B. Allan, PhD, Senior Director & Head, Liver Research & GI Drug Discovery, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

No bio available.

University of California, San Francisco

Andrew J Ambrose, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Michelle Arkin, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco

Andrew is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Michelle Arkin at UCSF. His research focuses on the development of caspase-6 inhibitors as well as studying the role of capase-6 in various diseases including NASH, tauopathies, and SARS-CoV2 replication. Before joining Dr. Arkin's lab, Andrew completed his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Arizona in the lab of Eli Chapman. In Dr. Chapman's lab Andrew's research focused on the discovery of isoform selective Hsp70 inhibitors as cancer therapeutics and targeting Hsp60 for antibiotic development.

University of Texas Houston

Zhiqiang An, PhD, Professor, Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Dr. Zhiqiang An is Professor of Molecular Medicine, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry, and Director of the Texas Therapeutics Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. His laboratory focuses on cancer antibody drug resistance mechanisms, biomarkers for cancer therapeutic antibodies, and antibody drug discovery targeting human diseases. Dr. An also directs the Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibody Lead Optimization and Development Core Facility funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Previously, he served as Chief Scientific Officer at Epitomics, Inc. and was Director of Biologics Research at Merck Research Laboratories. He started his biotech career at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Dr. An received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Kentucky and his postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. An is well published in the field of antibody drug discovery including the award-winning book “Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies: from Bench to Clinic”. He started his biotech career at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. He is an elected fellow of Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB), an elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (ASM), an elected fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and an elected fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

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.

Lyterian Therapeutics

Jonathan B. Baell, PhD, Executive Director, Early Leads Chemistry, Lyterian Therapeutics

Jonathan Baell is Executive Director, Early Leads Chemistry at Lyterian Therapeutics in South San Francisco. Prior to 2023, he was Research Professor and Director of the Australian Translational Medicinal Chemistry Facility, which he established and grew over a decade. He has more than 25 years of experience in medicinal chemistry-led drug discovery and development, with more than 150 publications and 9000 citations, including first author Nature 2018, and several dozen granted patents, outcomes for which include licensing deals and clinically trialed drug candidates. His translational efforts have resulted in major awards. He holds significant editorial and societal positions and is Senior Editor of Future Medicinal Chemistry and Chair of the International Chemical Biology Society. His passion is HTS library design, hit triage, and hit-to-lead and lead optimization. He is perhaps best known as the inaugural architect of the field of PAINS.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc

Jeffrey Bagdanoff, PhD, Investigator III, Medicinal Chemistry & Oncology, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.

Jeff received his PhD from Caltech in 2005, developing new enantioselective reactions and applying them towards the total synthesis of natural products. After 6 years in Princeton, NJ, at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, he moved back to California when he joined Novartis in 2011, before transferring to the Cambridge site in 2014. Over his career, Jeff has contributed to multiple drug discovery programs in immunology, oncology, and neuroscience.

University of Michigan

Longchuan Bai, PhD, Associate Research Scientist, Laboratory of Dr. Shaomeng Wang, University of Michigan

Dr. Longchuan Bai is a cancer biologist who earned his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Peking Union Medical College. Since 2007, he has been a member of Dr. Shaomeng Wang's group at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, where he has been working on developing new small-molecule drugs. His recent work has focused on developing PROTAC and molecular glues as cancer drugs and chemical biology tools. Dr. Bai is also interested in understanding the mechanisms of drug action, biomarker discovery, and combination therapy studies.

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.

Bekim Bajrami, PhD, Senior Scientist, Chemical Biology and Proteomics, Biogen, Inc.

Bekim Bajrami is a Senior Scientist within Chemical Biology and Proteomics group at Biogen. His work evolves around the development of proteomics and chemoproteomics assays with a goal to support mechanism of action studies, target identification, and target engagement for multiple kinase programs. Bekim received a BS in Biomolecular sciences from Central Connecticut State university and subsequently obtained a PhD in Chemistry from University of Connecticut.

Vrije University Brussels

Steven Ballet, PhD, Professor, Research Group of Organic Chemistry, Bioengineering Sciences & Chemistry, Vrije University Brussels

Prof. Steven Ballet has served as the head of the Research Group of Organic Chemistry (ORGC) of the VUB since 2010. During this time, he has been able to consolidate various funding streams to reach a steady-state team of more than twenty persons - including an assistant professor, a lab manager, a valorization officer, and an administrative assistant - alongside multiple post-doctoral, pre-doctoral, and undergraduate researchers. The research team is self-sufficient allowing it to be active on many fronts, including both fundamental and applied studies and numerous industrial collaborations in Flanders, Europe, and beyond. The laboratory is equipped with all relevant facilities required for both solution and solid phase chemistry. Prof. Ballet’s research interests are varied, including synthetic methodology (heterocyclic chemistry), the design and synthesis of peptides, and peptidomimetics and their eventual practical application (e.g., as actives themselves or as vehicles for drug delivery). Since 2017, ORGC has been a “Group of Expertise in Applied Research” for which Prof. Ballet serves as coordinator. In addition, Prof. Ballet serves as the lead researcher/spokesperson in both a Strategic Research Program (SRP) and an Interdisciplinary Research Program (IRP) - each being a consortium of several interdisciplinary VUB research teams - which aim to better understand and manipulate the interaction surfaces seen in various physiologically important protein-protein interactions as well as to develop new ligands that target GPCRs. Moving forward, the group’s principal ambition is to expand the knowledge that has been amassed in the development of both small molecule-based and advanced peptide-based ligands in order to bring about the (allosteric) modulation of protein-protein interactions.

Anita Bansal, PhD, US Translational Bioinformatics Lead, UCB

Takeda San Diego

Elisa Barile, PhD, Principal Scientist, Structural Biology & Biophysics, Takeda, San Diego

Dr. Elisa Barile obtained a M.S. cum laude in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Naples (Italy) with a focus on Natural Products Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. After her doctoral studies, she joined Prof. M. Pellecchia’s laboratory at the Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, in San Diego. At SBPMDI, Elisa applied NMR-based FBDD and structure-based drug design approaches and implemented a variety of biophysical, biochemical and cellular assays. Her research focused on the discovery of novel therapeutic compounds targeting protein-protein interactions in cancer, infectious diseases, and neurological disorders. In 2015 Elisa joined AnCoreX Therapeutics and in 2017 moved to Takeda Pharmaceuticals to apply NMR methods to drug discovery. Dr. Barile is currently leading Takeda’s Biophysics group and is passionate about developing new strategies to modulate protein and RNA targets with small molecules in the GI, Neuroscience, Oncology and rare diseases therapeutic areas. Dr. Barile has published over 40 peer-review articles to date and led multiple drug discovery programs.

Scale Biosciences, Inc.

Jeff Barnes, Director, NA Sales and Support, Scale Biosciences, Inc.

No bio available.

PTC Therapeutics Inc

Scott Barraza, PhD, Group Leader, Discovery Chemistry, PTC Therapeutics Inc.

No bio available.

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

Open University of Israel

Yair Ben-Chaim, PhD, Senior Lecturer & Head, Natural Sciences, Open University of Israel

I am a Senior lecturer at the Open University of Israel. I received my PhD from the Hebrew University and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical School where I studied signal transduction in the olfactory system. My research is focused on studying mechanisms involved in GPCRs regulation and specifically their regulation by membrane potential, a field in which I was one of the pioneers.

Shruthi Bharadwaj, PhD, Global Lead, Digital & Analytics, R&D Global Operations, Sanofi

Shruthi Bharadwaj is Global Lead, Digital & Analytics, R&D Global Operations at Sanofi. Until recently she served as the Technical Advisor to the Chief Data and Digital Officer at Novartis. She received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Florida and continued her research as a post-doctoral fellow at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Shruthi has been interested and involved in utilizing AI and machine learning approaches in Pharma. She has a patent that involves machine-learning approach to predict the onset of colon cancer in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. She has won several NIH grants that supported her research in leveraging AI approaches in healthcare. She has published several research articles, book chapters and abstracts that focus on AI approaches in diagnosis and drug development.

Hans-Peter N. Biemann, PhD, Distinguished Scientist, Integrated Drug Discovery, Sanofi

Hans-Peter Biemann has originated innovative discovery programs and applied emerging small molecule technologies during tenures in Genzyme’s and Sanofi’s Drug Discovery units. Contributions on preclinical and clinical agents have included partnerships with academic leaders and start-ups. Working across various disciplines (protein biochemistry, cell biology, structural biology, biophysics), Hans has conducted and led phenotypic, fragment-based, and HTS-based drug discovery. He established successful FBDD, high-res Cryo EM drug design, Affinity Selection_Mass Spectrometry over the past 15 years at Sanofi/Genzyme. Prior to joining Genzyme in the 1990s, he completed a post doc in Daniel Koshland’s U.C. Berkeley group and trained in Raymond Erikson’s Harvard group (Ph.D). His B.S. was earned at Yale.

Harvard Medical School

Stephen C. Blacklow, Professor & Head, Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Blacklow is currently the Gustavus Adolphus Pfeiffer Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, and a member of the Department of Cancer Biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Blacklow received his MD and PhD degrees from Harvard University in 1991, completed his residency in Clinical Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and carried out postdoctoral research at the Whitehead Institute with Dr. Peter S. Kim. His initial faculty appointment was at Stanford University in 1996, where he remained until rejoining the HMS faculty at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 1998. Research led by Dr. Blacklow’s team has shown how cell surface receptors can convey a developmental signal directly from one contacting cell surface to the next and then from the membrane to the nucleus. He has elucidated key molecular events in Notch signal transduction, a conserved cell-cell communication system that influences cell fate decisions in all metazoan organisms, and that is frequently hijacked as an oncogenic driver in human leukemia. His laboratory uncovered how activating mutations of the Notch1 receptor frequently found in human T cell acute lymphocytic leukemia/lymphoma overcome normal restraints on signaling resulting in autonomous gain-of-function, and spurred the development of inhibitory antibodies that suppress normal and oncogenic Notch signaling as candidates for further clinical development. Dr. Blacklow was named a Pfizer Scholar in 1997, a Pew Scholar in 1999, and an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association in 2002. He was a recipient of the National Cancer Institute’s prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award in 2017, and elected to the Association of American Physicians in 2018. Dr. Blacklow directed the MD-PhD Program in Basic and Translational Sciences at Harvard Medical School from 2007-2012, and has served on Advisory Committees for pre-clinical departments, graduate programs, and MD-PhD programs at several major research universities and institutions, including Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Josip Blonder, Scientist Emeritus, Cancer Research Technology Program, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Over twenty years of experience in biological mass spectrometry and clinical proteomics. Extensive experience in cell surface and membrane proteomics. Extensive experience in cancer biomarker and drug target research/discovery using MS-based proteomics. Method development for qualitative and quantitative proteomics utilizing LC-ESI-MS. Involved in cell surface analysis within the NCI’s Ras initiative, leading the MS-group focused on identification proteins enriched in or unique to the surfaces of cells expressing oncogenic RAS as potential immuno-therapeutic targets. Special interest in drug target and biomarker discovery using simultaneous proteomic profiling of malignant/normal human tissue and body fluids for tumor marker screening.

Galectin Therapeutics

Pol F. Boudes, CMO, Galectin Therapeutics

Dr. Boudes has more than 25 years of experience in clinical drug development in immunology, endocrine, metabolic, orphan, and liver-related diseases, and he has contributed to the approval of multiple drugs, both in the U.S. and globally, across a variety of therapeutic indications. Before joining Galectin Therapeutics, Dr. Boudes was the Chief Medical Officer at CymaBay Therapeutics - where he worked on the company’s proprietary NASH compound and was instrumental in inventing and launching programs in rare liver diseases. Prior to CymaBay, Dr. Boudes was CMO at Amicus Therapeutics, a company focusing on rare lysosomal storage disorders. His prior positions include clinical development at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Research, Hoffman-La Roche, and Pasteur Merieux. A dual citizen of the U.S. and France, Dr. Boudes earned his MD at the University of Marseilles, France. He completed his internship and residency in Marseilles and Paris, was an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Paris, and also participated in multiple clinical research programs as an investigator. He is certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (U.S.) and board-specialized in endocrinology and metabolic diseases, internal medicine, as well as in geriatric diseases (Paris). Dr. Boudes holds several records of invention and has contributed to multiple peer-reviewed publications, notably on improving the clinical development process, and has served on the editorial review board for La Revue Prescrire - a leading European Drug Therapeutic Bulletin - as well as several scientific advisory boards for drug development. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, the European Association for the Study of Liver (Geneva, Switzerland), the American Diabetes Association, the Royal Society of Medicine (London, U.K.), and the American Medical Association.

Exscientia Ltd

Anthony Bradley, PhD, Director of Design Development, Exscientia Ltd.

Dr. Bradley is multi-disciplinary scientist in computer-aided compound design using structural data. He completed a first-class MChem in Chemistry from the University of Oxford in 2010. He carried out an interdisciplinary DPhil also at the University of Oxford on the SABS-IDC programme. During this he developed computational tools (OOMMPPAA and WONKA) for structure-based drug design - working with the SGC Oxford and GlaxoSmithKline. Subsequent to his DPhil he carried out a post-doc at the RCSB PDB (UC San Diego) where he worked on novel compression algorithms for macromolecules, including the MMTF file format (http://mmtf.rcsb.org/). He then worked as a Project Leader between the Oxford Chemistry department, Diamond Light Source and the SGC Oxford on the XChem project (High-throughput X-ray screening of fragments). Here he generated tools (https://fragalysis.diamond.ac.uk/) and future funding for fragment-based compound optimisation leveraging the XChem platform. Since October 2018 he has worked at Exscientia, now as Director of Design Development, where he leverages Exscientia’s Centaur Platform for compound design and develops novel methods that will further improve the platform.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc

Jay E. Bradner, MD, Physician Scientist, Former President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.

Dr. James (Jay) Bradner, MD, served as President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) and Member of the Executive Committee of Novartis Inc. 2016-2022. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Bradner was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the United States from 2005 through 2015. He is a co-founder of five biotechnology companies and has authored more than 180 scientific publications and 30 US patent applications. Dr. Bradner is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Medical School. He completed his residency in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He has been honored with many awards and was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2011 and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society in 2013.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc

Christopher Brain, PhD, Director, Global Discovery Chemistry, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.

Chris received a BA in chemistry from the University of Oxford and gained a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Manchester in the group of Professor EJ Thomas. In 1996, he joined the Novartis Institute for Medical Science (NIMS) at University College London to work as a medicinal chemist on drug discovery programs in the neuroscience disease area, specifically chronic pain. In 2005, he moved across the Atlantic to the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as a member of the Global Discovery Chemistry group. Here, he co-led the Novartis CDK4/6 drug discovery program from its inception. This program resulted in the discovery of ribociclib (Kisqali), which was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in March 2017, for the treatment of HR+ve/HER2-ve advanced breast cancer. In addition to neuroscience and oncology, Chris has led and contributed broadly to the science of drug discovery across NIBR including ophthalmology, immunology, and metabolic disease areas, as well as with external academic and commercial collaborators.

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, Medicinal Chemistry, 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.

John Brognard, PhD, Earl Stadtman Investigator, Laboratory of Cellular & Developmental Signaling, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

John obtained his PhD from University of California, San Diego in Dr. Alexandra Newton’s laboratory, where he discovered a novel class of phosphatases that directly regulate AKT. John then trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Tony Hunter’s laboratory at the Salk Institute. He joined the CRUK Manchester Institute as a group leader where his lab focused on identifying mechanisms to promote lung tumorigenesis. John then moved to the NCI and his research is focused on defining novel enzymes that act to suppress or promote tumorigenesis and in some cases can serve as novel targets for therapeutic intervention. The lab has several ongoing collaborations with pharmaceutical companies to investigate novel inhibitors targeting newly identified kinases implicated in cancer.

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.

Recursion Pharmaceuticals Inc

Joseph Carpenter, PhD, Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry, Recursion Pharmaceuticals

Joseph obtained a BA in chemistry from Southern Utah University in 2005 and then initiated graduate studies at The California Institute of Technology. After a year at CalTech, he followed his research advisor, David MacMillan, across the country to Princeton University where he earned his MA and Ph.D. in organic chemistry, studying the application of asymmetric organocatalysis in complex natural product total synthesis. After graduating in 2010, Joseph worked as a medicinal chemist for Bristol-Myers Squibb in the therapeutic areas of obesity, metabolic diseases, and fibrosis. During this time, he led cross-functional teams in early discovery efforts and helped advance multiple research projects from screening hit to lead series and through the lead optimization process. Joseph discovered the FXR agonist BMS-986318 that was advanced to clinical studies for the treatment of NASH. Joseph joined the team at Recursion Pharmaceuticals in 2019 where he has played an instrumental role in building the medicinal chemistry team, NCE discovery pipeline, and Recursion's industrialized approach to drug discovery. Joseph led the C. difficile discovery project team and discovered Recursion’s first NCE clinical candidate REC-3964 for the treatment of recurrent C. difficile infections. He is currently the Vice President of Medicinal Chemistry.

Broad Institute

Anne E. Carpenter, PhD, Senior Director, Imaging Platform & Institute Scientist, Broad Institute

Dr. Anne E. Carpenter is an Institute Scientist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Her research group develops algorithms and strategies for large-scale experiments involving images. The team’s open-source CellProfiler software is used by thousands of biologists worldwide and their Cell Painting assay has been adopted throughout the pharma industry to accelerate drug discovery. Her PhD is in cell biology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and her postdoc in high-throughput image analysis was at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT’s CSAIL (Computer Sciences/Artificial Intelligence Laboratory). Dr. Carpenter has been named an NSF CAREER awardee, an NIH MIRA awardee, a Massachusetts Academy of Sciences fellow (its youngest at the time), and is listed in Deep Knowledge Analytics’ top-100 AI Leaders in Drug Discovery and Advanced Healthcare.

Integral Molecular

Ross Chambers, PhD, Vice President Antibody Discovery, Antibody Discovery, Integral Molecular, Inc.

Ross Chambers is the Vice President of Antibody Discovery at Integral Molecular. He pioneered the use of DNA immunization for antibody production and developed Integral Molecular’s MPS system for isolating antibodies. Dr. Chambers earned his PhD from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and did post-doctoral studies at UC Davis and Berkeley. Before joining Integral Molecular, he was the Director of R&D at SDIX and directed the discovery of thousands of commercial antibodies.

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.

University of South Dakota

William Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota

Dr. Chen is a surgeon, engineer, and multidisciplinary scientist with a career vision to improve human health. Dr. Chen is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of South Dakota (USD). He received his MD degree and medical training (internship and surgical residency) in Taiwan before pursuing an academic path. Dr. Chen obtained his Master’s in Biotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania and PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He finished his first postdoctoral fellowship in Biomaterial and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Chen finished his NIH-sponsored joint postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) under the co-mentorship of Dr. Timothy Lu (MIT) and Dr. Anthony Rosenzweig (MGH). He then served as a Research Scientist at MIT for more than 2 years prior to joining USD. Dr. Chen’s research is focused on the development of platform technologies for cardiovascular regenerative medicine using genetic engineering and synthetic and systems biology approaches.

Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Fei Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology, Broad Institute

Fei Chen is a core institute member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and an assistant professor in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. During the course of his doctoral research, Chen co-invented Expansion Microscopy, a breakthrough technique that allows for super-resolution imaging of biological samples with conventional light microscopes. As an independent fellow at the Broad Institute, he led a group which bridged microscopy with next generation sequencing through in situ sequencing and Slide-seq technologies. In his current group, he continues to pioneer novel molecular and microscopy tools to uniquely illuminate biological pathways and function. Chen was an Axline scholar at the California Institute of Technology and graduated with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He obtained his PhD in biological engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the MIT Viterbi and Poitras Fellowships. Following his graduate studies, Chen was a fellow in the Schmidt Fellows program at the Broad. His awards include the National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award and the Allen Distinguished Investigator Award.

Claire Chen, PhD, Senior Scientist, Amgen

Dr. Claire Chen is an immunologist and pharmaceutical scientist with extensive experience in the fields of antigen delivery and drug development. She is currently the Immunization Team Lead for Biologics Discovery at Amgen British Columbia. She obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh and continued her postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. Before Dr. Chen joined Amgen in 2015, she held scientific research positions at several top-tier universities, including the University Health Network in Toronto and the University of British Cumbia. Her current research interest includes the generation of diverse immune repertoires for antibody discovery.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, R&D

Charles Chen, PhD, Senior Scientist, Advanced Drug Delivery, Pharmaceutical Sciences, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, R&D

Dr. Charles Chen is a Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca working on designing and synthesizing novel lipids and focusing on non-viral nucleic acid delivery. Before joining AstraZeneca, Charles started his research journey when he was an undergraduate student and found his passion in drug development. Charles got his PhD in Chemistry at King’s College London under the supervision of Professor Martin Ulmschneider. In 2019, Charles moved to Boston in the US and did a 2-year postdoc training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital, co-supervised by Professors Timothy Lu and Joanna Yeh. Charles’ combinational approaches have shown promising outcomes in antibiotics and cancer chemotherapy.

Fox Chase Cancer Center

Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD, Director and Senior VP, Fox Chase Cancer Center

I have devoted my research career to understanding how cells receive and interpret signals, and how this process in corrupted in cancer. In particular, I have focused on the regulation of signal transduction by phosphorylation. My overarching goal is the understanding of mechanisms underlying how signal transduction pathways are rewired in cancer, and their implications for the development, spread, and resistance of solid tumors to therapy. My group has made important discoveries in three signaling pathways: Rho-family small GTPases, Hippo, and Insulin signaling, through discoveries and subsequent work on the STE20 kinases Pak and Mst, and the protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP1B, respectively, as detailed below. I have been continuously funded by the NIH (NCI and/or GM) since 1992, and during this time, our group has developed broad expertise in molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, proteomics, and mouse models of cancer. For the last decade, I have been part of the leadership team at Fox Chase, first as Scientific Director/Deputy Director and now as Cancer Center Director.

X-Chem, Inc.

Matthew Clark, CEO, X-Chem, Inc.

No bio available.

Laetitia D. Comps-Agrar, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Biochemical & Cellular Pharmacology, Genentech, Inc.

Laetitia is Senior Principal Scientist in the department of Biochemical and Cellular Pharmacology at Genentech, where she leads a lab that is instrumental in advancing therapeutic antibodies from early-stage research to IND-enabling studies within different therapeutic areas including ocular, immunology, and oncology. She has been at Genentech for over 12 years and has contributed to numerous pipeline projects, three of them are currently in clinical trials: anti-IL33 MAb for Geographic Atrophy, anti-FGFR1c/KLB MAb for type 2 diabetes, and anti-TIGIT MAb for solid tumors. In addition, Laetitia leverages her expertise in studying protein-protein interactions on live cells to solve complex biology problems. Laetitia initially joined Genentech as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Protein Chemistry, where she designed and performed structure function studies to decipher the molecular organization of FGFR1c:BKlotho complex and elucidated the mechanism of action of several therapeutic candidates. Laetitia obtained a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Montpellier, France, where she studied the pharmacology of G-protein coupled receptors and delineated how their oligomerization influences their physiological function.

Inventiva Pharma

Michael P. Cooreman, MD, CMO, Inventiva Pharma

Dr. Michael P. Cooreman is a gastroenterologist-hepatologist and Chief Medical Officer at Inventiva; before joining Inventiva in 2020 he was Vice President and Global Therapeutic Area Head Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Ferring. He has held R&D leadership roles at Novartis, Merck, Mitsubishi-Tanabe and biotechnology companies, in R&D related to liver and gastrointestinal diseases, immunology, fibrosis, viral diseases and oncology. Before joining R&D in the biopharmaceutical industry, he worked in academia at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam.

Daniela Crespi, PhD, Principal Investigator Proposal, Biological Sciences Department, Axxam

Daniela Crespi has been part of the Cell Biology department at Axxam for many years, as Scientist then Principal Investigator, gaining an extensive experience in cell-based assay development for several therapeutically relevant targets. For the last four years, she has been Principal Investigator of Proposals. Daniela has a Ph.D. in Pharmacological Sciences and, before joining industry, she held Postdoctoral positions in academia, mainly in the immunology and virology fields.

PhoreMost Ltd.

Benedict Cross, PhD, CTO, PhoreMost Ltd.

Ben is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at PhoreMost, a target identification and drug discovery company based in Cambridge, UK. He joined in 2019 to lead the evolution and development of a novel screening platform which uses intracellularly-expressed mini-proteins to discover unprecedented targets and to unlock new drug discovery strategies in targeted protein degradation. Prior to joining PhoreMost, Ben founded and led a CRISPR-based functional genomic screening department at Horizon Discovery, the leading UK gene editing biotech company based in Waterbeach, UK. Ben’s academic training was in chemical genetics, functional genomics and mechanisms of proteostasis, working in Cambridge and Manchester where Ben uncovered new modes of inhibition in the unfolded protein response.

University of Birmingham

Tim Dafforn, PhD, Professor, Biotechnology, University of Birmingham

Tim Dafforn is professor of Biotechnology at the University of Birmingham. He pioneered the use of Styrene Maleic Acid Lipid Particles (SMALPs) for the production of membrane proteins. He has a strong record in collaborating with industry on drug discovery projects. Professor Dafforn also has expertise the development of Process Analytical Technology solutions for downstream bioprocess monitoring.

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.

Linkster Therapeutics AG

Roger Dawson, PhD, CEO, Linkster Therapeutics AG

Roger has over 11 years of experience in research and drug development working at F. Hoffmann-La Roche. He contributed to the advancement of drug molecules as team player and leader of international and cross-functional teams. Inter alia, Roger served as head of translational protein science, project leader and implemented Roche’s ‘membrane protein platform’. As a renowned drug discovery expert, he led-authored numerous publications in the GPCR, ion channel and transporter field. Roger holds a master’s degree in Chemistry from the TUM and obtained his PhD in Biology at the ETH Zurich. He was awarded Roche’s RPF fellowship and the Swiss Federal Center of Technology and Innovation (Innosuisse) program.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Brandon DeKosky, PhD, Phillip and Susan Ragon Career Development Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT Core Member, The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University

Dr. Brandon DeKosky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT and a Core Member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, Harvard, and MIT. Research efforts at the DeKosky lab have developed a suite of high-throughput single-cell platforms for comprehensive analyses of adaptive immunity. These efforts are advancing new approaches in biologic drug discovery, and for the comprehensive analyses of genetic and functional diversity in adaptive immune cells. The group seeks to reveal the quantitative principles that govern effective adaptive immunity and provide molecular design strategies for vaccines and biologics to combat global infectious agents including HIV-1, malaria, and SARS-CoV-2. The DeKosky lab is also investigating quantitative principles of immune regulation and establishing new approaches for targeted and personalized cancer therapies. Dr. DeKosky has been awarded several honors for his research program. His PhD research was supported by a Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship, an NSF Graduate Fellowship, and a Donald. D. Harrington Graduate Fellowship. In 2016, DeKosky was awarded a K99 Pathway to Independence Award and an NIH Early Independence Award and began a joint faculty appointment at the University of Kansas Departments of Chemical Engineering and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. He has also received the Department of Defense Career Development Award, the Biomedical Engineering Society Rising Star Award, and the AIChE Young Faculty Futures award. In 2021, Dr. DeKosky began as an Assistant Professor in a joint appointment at MIT Chemical Engineering and The Ragon Institute.

Pin Therapeutics

Byron DeLaBarre, PhD, Head, Drug Discovery, Pin Therapeutics

Byron DeLaBarre, PhD, is an experienced drug discovery scientist with a successful track record of discovering and developing therapeutic molecules. He is a co-inventor on multiple patents and team member for drugs that advanced into the clinic including three which ultimately became fully approved: Idhifa (oncology), Tibsovo (oncology), and Mitapivat (rare disease). Trained as a biochemist, Byron has held positions at Millennium, Agios, and Nimbus Therapeutics. He has consulted for several dozen biotech companies and currently co-leads the Platform group at Pin Therapeutics.

Caraway Therapeutics

Donato del Camino, PhD, Vice President of Research, Caraway Therapeutics

Donato del Camino is the Vice President of Research at Caraway Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA. He has 18 years of experience in small molecule drug discovery with a focus on ion channel targets. This includes 12 years at Hydra Biosciences, where as Head of Electrophysiology, he was part of the leadership team which advanced multiple small molecules targeting ion channels into clinical trials for pain, pulmonary, renal, and psychiatric diseases. Dr. del Camino holds a PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Oviedo in Spain and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Gottingen, and at the Harvard Medical School in Boston where he performed research focused on biophysics and physiology of ion channels and their role in disease.

Noah Dephoure, PhD, Head of Proteomics, InduPro, Inc.

My work focuses on developing and applying quantitative proteomic methods to study protein expression, modification, and function. I trained as a biochemist and molecular biologist with Erin O’Shea at the University of California, San Francisco and then as a postdoc with Steve Gygi at Harvard Medical School. I then started my own lab in the Biochemistry Department at Weill Cornell Medical College. There, I continued to refine methods for multiplexed quantitative proteomics and phosphoproteomics focusing on a range of biological problems, including: aneuploidy, autophagy, and the epithelial to mesenchymal transition. In 2022, I joined Indupro as the Head of Proteomics.

University of Chicago

Bryan Dickinson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago

Bryan Dickinson earned his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park and his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley for work performed with Professor Christopher Chang. His graduate work focused on the synthesis and application of small molecule fluorescent probes for the detection of hydrogen peroxide in living systems. Then, as a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Liu at Harvard University, he developed new methods to rapidly evolve proteins to perform novel functions. Bryan joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in the Department of Chemistry in the Summer of 2014 and is a member of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019. The Dickinson Group employs synthetic organic chemistry, molecular evolution, and protein design to develop molecular technologies to study chemistry in living systems. The group's current primary research interests include: 1) how lipid modifications on proteins are controlled and regulate cell signaling, 2) developing new evolution technologies to reprogram and control biomolecular interactions, and 3) engineering systems to understand and exploit epitranscriptomic, RNA regulation. The motivating principle of the Dickinson Group is that our ability as chemists to create functional molecules through both rational and evolutionary approaches will lead to new breakthroughs in biology and biotechnology.

Cellecta, Inc

Paul Diehl, PhD, COO, Cellecta, Inc

Dr. Paul Diehl joined Cellecta, Inc. in 2010 where he applies over two decades of experience in biotechnology to developing and expanding the company’s commercial and collaborative activities.  Previously, Dr. Diehl held marketing and business development positions at B-Bridge International, Agilent Technologies, Clontech Laboratories and more.  Dr. Diehl received his B.A. in Biology from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. 


Broad Institute

John Doench, PhD, Director, R&D, Genetic Perturbation Platform, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

John G. Doench is an Institute Scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In that capacity, he provides expert guidance on the design, execution, and analysis of genetic screens. He has contributed to numerous publications in fields such as infectious disease, cancer biology, and immunology, highlighting both his commitment to team-based science and ability to mentor and guide scientists from diverse backgrounds on the critical principles of genetic screens. Additionally, as the Director of R&D in the Genetic Perturbation Platform (GPP), John leads a group focused on the development of functional genomic techniques, first with RNAi and more recently with CRISPR technology. Here, his team demonstrated the potential of genetic screens with CRISPR and has since developed leading bioinformatics tools and screening libraries to enable community-wide usage of this powerful technology. Importantly, their efforts emphasize not only staying on the cutting-edge of newest approaches but also focusing on the reduction-to-practice that is critical for enabling collaboration with a broader community of researchers working in diverse and challenging model systems. Prior to joining the Broad in 2009, John did his postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School, received his PhD from the biology department in Phil Sharp’s lab at MIT, and majored in history at Hamilton College. John lives in Jamaica Plain, MA with his wife and daughter, where he enjoys screaming for the Red Sox and Patriots, playing volleyball, running, and avoiding imminent death while navigating the streets of Boston on a bicycle.

Chemical Computing Group

Michael Drummond, PhD, 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.

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.

Talus Bioscience

Alexander Federation, PhD, CoFounder & CEO, Talus Bioscience

Dr. Federation is the co-founder and CEO of Talus Bio. He received his graduate degree in chemical biology from Harvard University where he trained with Jay Bradner developing chemical probes for gene regulator proteins. He completed a postdoc at the Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences in Seattle with John Stamatoyannopoulos and Mike MacCoss developing genome-wide assays to study gene regulator activity. This work was spun into Talus Bio in 2020.

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.

Jeffrey T. Finer, MD, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder, Septerna

Jeffrey Finer MD, PhD, is CEO and Co-Founder of Septerna and a Venture Partner at Third Rock Ventures. Jeff has focused his career on breakthrough innovations that have included moving several first-in-class drugs into the clinic, developing novel technology platforms which integrate science and engineering, and company creation. Prior to joining Third Rock, Jeff spent several years in R&D leadership positions including Vice President of Research Technology at Theravance Biopharma, Vice President, Discovery at Five Prime Therapeutics, and Director, Drug Discovery Technologies at Cytokinetics. Jeff currently serves on the boards of Strateos and Maze Therapeutics. Jeff obtained his MD and PhD in Biochemistry from Stanford University School of Medicine, he holds BS degrees in Chemistry and Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he completed clinical training in internal medicine at Stanford and in ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School.

AdAlta Pty Ltd

Michael Foley, PhD, CSO, AdAlta

Mick is the founding scientist of AdAlta and a key inventor of AdAlta’s lead i-body candidate AD-214. Mick is an internationally recognized leader in phage display, the technology used to screen the i-body library to identify new drug candidates. He received his PhD from Dundee University in Scotland.

Confo Therapeutics

Thomas Fontaine, Senior Researcher, Confo Therapeutics

Graduate from the engineering biotechnology school ENSTBB in France, I have joined Confo Therapeutics in 2016 after working in Medimmune, Cambridge, UK and UCB, Braine l'Alleud, Belgium. For several years, I have worked on multiple programs in GPCR antibody discovery to help build Confo Therapeutics pipeline. Since 2020, I have started an industrial PhD in collaboration with Ghent University on the development of selective agonist VHH for MC1R to unravel its biology and help the development of new therapy for inflammatory conditions.

Think Bioscience

Jerome M. Fox, PhD, CEO, Think Bioscience

Jerome is the CEO of Think Bioscience, a fully integrated drug discovery company based in Boulder, Colorado. Think spun out of Jerome's lab at the University of Colorado - Boulder (at CU), where he is a member of the faculty of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. At CU, his lab focuses on the development of new methods to engineer biocatalytic networks for the discovery and synthesis of functional molecules (e.g., fuels, dyes, or pharmaceuticals) and the design of new classes of synthetic systems. For this work, he has received an NSF CAREER Award, an ARO Young Investigator Award, an ARO Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and an NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award. Jerome holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley. He completed his post-doctoral training with George Whitesides at Harvard.

Genentech Inc

Jakob Fuhrmann, PhD, Principal, Chemical Biology, Genentech, Inc.

Jakob Fuhrmann is a Principal Scientist at Genentech, where he leads a chemical biology group in the field of peptide and peptidomimetic drug discovery. He received his PhD from the University of Vienna, Austria, where he discovered protein arginine phosphorylation as a new type of post-translational modification. He performed his postdoctoral studies in chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute generating novel small-molecule inhibitors and probes against a variety of targets. He has extensive experience in medicinal chemistry, structural biology (including targeted protein degradation), structure-guided designs, as well as property-based lead optimization. Jakob holds a number of patents, and is author of several high-impact publications across different drug modalities.

XtalPi, Inc.

Fang Gao, PhD, Associate Director, Medicinal Chemistry, XtalPi, Inc.

Fang Gao received his PhD degree in organic chemistry from Boston College under Prof. Amir Hoveyda. He completed his postdoctoral training in organometallic catalysis with Prof. John Hartwig at UC Berkeley. Fang then joined Biogen in the small-molecule drug discovery program targeting debilitating neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, he worked at Arrakis Therapeutics developing RNA binding small molecules for traditionally undruggable proteins. Then joined XtalPi as an associate director in medicinal chemistry.

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.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Brahma Ghosh, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist & Head, Chemical Biology, Global Discovery Chemistry, Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Dr. Brahma Ghosh is currently the Head of Chemical Biology within Global Discovery Chemistry, Janssen R&D, Johnson and Johnson. His team integrates Chemical Biology into discovery-stage projects across therapeutic areas to address diverse questions associated with compound progression, including target and MOA deconvolution from phenotypic screens, proteome-wide selectivity, pathway and interactome mapping, inter alia. At this role, Dr. Ghosh also leads the department’s Irreversible Covalent Inhibitor discovery effort.


Davide Gianni, PhD, Associate Director, Functional Genomics, AstraZeneca

Davide Gianni currently leads the Cellular Assay Development team in Discovery Sciences (AZ) in Cambridge UK. The main focus of the team is to deliver the cellular assay portfolio for key therapeutic areas for AZ. He joined AZ in August 2015 from Boehringer-Ingelheim (Vienna) where he was in charge of leading a team of scientists to identify and validate drug target for oncology drug discovery. Davide got his PhD from University of Naples (Italy) and completed his postdoctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla before relocating to Europe. He has authored >20 peer-reviewed publications and review articles in high impact journals covering several scientific areas including cancer and molecular biology, neurodegeneration and drug discovery.

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan, Director, Research Fellow, Head of HTS & Molecular Characterization, AbbVie

Sujatha Gopalakrishnan is leading the centralized Molecular Screening and Characterization group at Abbvie. Her team supports various therapeutic areas in assay development, screening, and advancing compounds including elucidation of the SAR and mechanistic studies for early-stage drug discovery efforts. She joined Abbott/Abbvie in 1995, and since then has held positions of increasing responsibility leading highly-productive scientific teams. With early Discovery, she has been advancing a range of assay platforms/technologies for target-based and phenotypic screens that impacted Abbvie pipeline. Sujatha is an author of over 45 peer-reviewed manuscripts as well as a co-inventor on two patents.

Massachusetts General Hospital

Sandro Goruppi, PhD, Investigator, Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Dermatology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Goruppi is an Investigator at the Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Instructor in Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. He received his Doctoral education in Cell Biology at the University of Trieste, and completed his postdoctoral training at National Laboratory for Biotechnologies, focusing on cell cycle regulation, and at the Diabetes Research Laboratories, Massachusetts General Hospital, as a Harvard Medical School research fellow studying T2D-related kidney fibrosis. At Tufts New England Medical Center, Tufts University, Boston, he was awarded an American Heart Association Career Development Award for studying the role of stress signaling and autophagy in cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Goruppi is the Director of the Chemical Genetics Program in skin aging and cancer prevention, performing basic and translational research in the field of skin cancer. His recent studies tackle the mechanisms overseeing fibroblast activation in the tumor microenvironment and the transcriptional control of skin tumorigenesis.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Neil P. Grimster, PhD, Director, Oncology Chemistry, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Neil Grimster is currently a Director in the Oncology Chemistry Department at AstraZeneca, Waltham, MA, where he has worked for the past 10 years in small molecule drug discovery. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Neil worked as a Post-Doctoral fellow in the groups of Professor Jeff Kelly and Professor K. Barry Sharpless at the Scripps Research Institute. Originally from the UK, Neil received his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Matthew Gaunt at the University of Cambridge.

Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Nostrum Biodiscovery

Victor Guallar, PhD, Professor, Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Nostrum Biodiscovery

Currently an ICREA Professor at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Dr. Guallar completed his PhD in theoretical Chemistry between the University Autonomous of Barcelona (Spain) and UC Berkeley (USA) in January 2000. After three years as a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University (New York, USA), he was appointed assistant professor at Washington University School of Medicine (St Louis, USA), before moving his group to BSC in 2006. His laboratory (EAPM) has grown considerably since, keeping a productive international character, and developing important contributions in computational biophysics, such as the protein-ligand modeling software PELE, and biochemistry, including computational algorithms for enzyme engineering and the introduction of the first PluriZyme (enzyme with multiple actives sites).As a BSC researcher, Prof. Guallar has been awarded several important research projects, including the award of a prestigious advanced ERC grant (the youngest researcher to receive it in Spain). His research has produced over 140 papers in international journals and directed 16 PhD thesis. In addition to algorithms development (and their application), the group has recently placed importance in adding interdisciplinary fields to our research, such as visualization techniques, data mining and software optimization through machine learning algorithms. Prof. Guallar is also founder of the first spin off from BSC, Nostrum Biodiscovery, a young biotech enterprise created in 2016 which aims to collaborate with pharmaceutical and biotech companies dedicated to the development of drugs and molecules of biotechnological interest. The company currently works with clients in North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.

Nurix Therapeutics Inc

Cristiana Guiducci, PhD, Senior Vice President, Immunology & Oncology Research, Nurix Therapeutics, Inc.

WuXi AppTec

Tao Guo, PhD, Senior Vice President, Head, WuXi Chemistry, WuXi AppTec

Dr. Tao Guo is SVP and Head of WuXi Chemistry - Research Chemistry Services Business Development and Integrated Program Management, WuXi AppTec. He has over 30 years of experience in drug discovery. He was trained as an organic chemist with PhD from Columbia University and PostDoc from UC Berkeley. He is the recipient of 43 issued US patents and an inventor of 10 clinical candidate compounds with 1 approved by FDA.

Dunad Therapeutics

Alex Gutteridge, PhD, Director & Head, Bioinformatics, Dunad Therapeutics

Alex has over twelve years of pharmaceutical, CDMO, and biotech industrial experience with a focus on using omics data, ML, and AI for drug discovery, in particular through proteomics, functional genomics, and statistical genetics. Alex was awarded his PhD in Computational Biology and an MBA from the University of Cambridge which was followed by post-doctoral appointments at the Universities of Kyoto and Cambridge. Alex has managed computational biology teams and drug discovery projects at Pfizer, GSK, and Lonza including the use of iPSC models, statistical genetics, and network machine learning for drug target identification. At GSK Alex was the Scientific Lead for Open Targets, a collaboration between the European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and multiple pharma partners hunting for new drug targets in oncology, immunology, and CNS disorders. After co-founding Enedra Therapeutics, an early-stage biotech start-up focusing on the application of ML and AI to develop novel cancer therapies through functional genomics, Alex is now Head of Bioinformatics at Dunad Therapeutics. Dunad’s Claymor TPD-covalent platform uniquely combines cutting-edge approaches to covalently targeting disease-causing proteins with the body’s natural protein quality-control machinery to selectively delete these proteins and improve disease outcomes.

Harvard Medical School

Steve Gygi, PhD, Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Gygi received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1995 specializing in small molecule mass spectrometry. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Ruedi Aebersold at the University of Washington where he studied large molecule mass spectrometry in a new field termed proteomics. He started his own lab in 2000 at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Cell Biology. Currently, his lab is working to develop technologies around sample multiplexing. A 16plex TMT reagent set is now available. This allows for 16 treatments to be combined into a single experiment including replicates, dose response, time series, and rescue conditions. In this single-experiment format, proteomics becomes a powerful biological assay.

Pfizer Inc

Seungil Han, PhD, Research Fellow, Head of cryo-EM Lab, Structural Biology & Molecular Sciences, Pfizer Inc.

Seungil Han is currently a Research Fellow and a head of cryo-EM lab at Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development at their Groton, Connecticut campus. Seungil’s research interests at Pfizer have been kinases, proteases and hydrolases and have been actively pursuing structure-based drug design. Over last 7 years, Seungil has expanded his research into single-particle cryo-electron microscopy to make impacts on small molecule, biologicals, vaccines, protein degradation and gene therapy.

Pfizer Inc

Kevin Hart, PhD, Associate Research Fellow, Inflammation and Immunology Research Unit, Pfizer Inc.

PhD in Immunology studying cancer immunotherapy at Dartmouth College Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the NIH in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) under the supervision of Thomas Wynn.

Genentech Inc

Meredith Hazen, Senior Scientific Researcher, Genentech

At Genentech, I have been involved in the management of in vivo antibody discovery projects to support research and development with a focus on therapeutic projects, including antibodies that have moved forward to clinical trials, as well as overseeing various aspects of automation and discovery technology/process development within the Antibody Engineering department.

Cedars Sinai Medical Ctr

Cory M. Hogaboam, PhD, Professor, Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; CSO, Lung Therapeutics

Dr. Cory M. Hogaboam is a Professor of Medicine in the Women’s Guild Lung Institute at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Hogaboam is also an Adjunct Professor of Pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School. His research group currently employs genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic approaches to analyze mechanisms contributing to fibrotic and immune system-directed responses in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), lung cancer, sarcoid, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma utilizing human tissue and blood-derived cells including fibroblasts, mesenchymal progenitors and various immune cell types present in abundance in these pulmonary diseases. His group also uses translational approaches through the development of humanized SCID mouse models of IPF, cancer, and asthma. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Calgary, AB, Canada in 1989. He also holds a Doctorate in Pharmacology (1993) from the same institution. Dr. Hogaboam then engaged in Postdoctoral training in Immunology at McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada from 1993 to 1996. In 1996, Dr. Hogaboam joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School as a Visiting Scholar. He became a faculty member of the Department at the rank of Research Investigator in 1998, Assistant Professor in 2002, Associate Professor in 2004, and full Professor in 2008. Dr. Hogaboam joined the faculty at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in September of 2013. Hogaboam is a member of several professional organizations including the American Association of Immunologists, the American Thoracic Society, and the American Association of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. He is presently serving on the editorial board of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. Dr. Hogaboam has authored or co-authored approximately 281 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 31 book chapters. He has authored or co-authored 11 patents on therapeutic interventions for lung and liver. Dr. Hogaboam has received financial research support from the National Institutes of Health, American Lung Association, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and several Industry sponsors.

Galecto Inc

Ian Holyer, PhD, Director, Pharmacology (In Vivo), Galecto

Dr. Ian Holyer is currently working at Galecto Biotech as a Director of Pharmacology. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Sheffield Hallam University (UK) and his following PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham (UK). After completing his PhD, Ian has had multiple positions within large to mid-size pharma and biotech arena with all having a key focus on delivering translational pharmacology data packages. He has contributed to the progression of a variety of therapeutic agents, at all stages throughout the drug discovery and development process, ranging from small molecule to live bacterial products.

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.

Algen Biotechnologies

Chun-Hao Huang, PhD, Co Founder & CEO, Algen Biotechnologies

Dr. Chun-Hao Huang is Co-Founder & CEO of Algen. Dr. Huang is a genetic engineer and drug developer. He received his postdoctoral training at UC Berkeley under the mentorship of Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna, and his Ph.D. at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center/Weill Cornell Medicine under the mentorship of Professors Scott Lowe and Charles Sherr. Dr. Huang pioneered genetically engineered models using CRISPR and RNAi, which led to the discovery of new therapeutic strategies for treating cancer and inflammatory diseases. He also invented methods to identify disease biomarkers that predict drug responses, and applied machine learning to the study of genes. Dr. Huang is UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Talent of the UNLEASH Innovation Lab, Fellow of the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting and AACR Basic Cancer Research. He has authored over 40 scientific papers across top-tier journals including Cell, Science, and Nature Biotechnology.

Independent Consultant

Catherine Hutchings, PhD, Independent Consultant

Catherine has spent over 25 years acquiring significant depth of experience in antibody drug discovery and platform applications, working for cutting-edge biotech and pharma companies, such as Cambridge Antibody Technology and Heptares Therapeutics. She has been engaged as an independent consultant since 2015, providing scientific and strategic consultancy to pharma, biotech and investors, with a particular focus on GPCRs, ion channels, immuno-oncology, platform positioning and target/product evaluation. Catherine graduated with BSc Hons in Genetics and Cell Biology from University of Manchester, UK, and a PhD in Biochemistry and Applied Molecular Biology from UMIST, UK.

Harvard University

Saki Ichikawa, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Dr. Christina Woo, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University

Saki Ichikawa is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Christina M. Woo at Harvard University, where she investigates natural substrate recognition mechanisms of the E3 ligase adapter cereblon (CRBN). She obtained a BS in Chemistry from the University of Tokyo (2014), where she conducted undergraduate research in the laboratory of Professor Eiichi Nakamura. In 2019, Saki received her PhD in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the guidance of Professor Stephen L. Buchwald. While at MIT, she focused on the development of copper-catalyzed asymmetric hydroamination reactions. By integrating chemical biology, organic chemistry, and chemical proteomics, Saki aims to address significant questions in the chemistry and biology of protein modifications.

DJS Antibodies

Joseph Illingworth, PhD, CSO, DJS Antibodies

I completed my PhD in the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute, inducing antibodies against hard-to-express malaria proteins. In 2015, I co-founded DJS Antibodies on the basis of a technology for discovering functional antibodies to GPCRs. I now oversee preclinical development of our two lead programs, DJS-002 and DJS-001.

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.


Andrew Jarnuczak, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, Proteomics, AstraZeneca

PAQ Therapeutics

Nan Ji, PhD, Co-Founder & President & CEO, PAQ Therapeutics

Nan Ji, PhD, is co-Founder, President, and CEO of PAQ Therapeutics, a biotech company focusing on the development of autophagy-based degraders. He has 15 years of drug discovery experience. Before PAQ, he was VP of Chemistry at Kymera Therapeutics, where he led/contributed to 3 protein degrader INDs. Nan started his industry career at Novartis and subsequently spent two years at Mitobridge. Nan obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Harvard University.

Autotac Bio Co Ltd

Chang Hoon Ji, PhD, Executive Director, Bio R&D Center, Autotac Bio Co. Ltd.

Dr. Ji is an Executive Director of Bio R&D Center at AUTOTAC Bio and a Research Associate Professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Seoul National University. His globally-recognized work in both academia and industry encompasses not only basic science research/discovery in the protein degradation space with a specific focus on the N-degron pathway, but also translational/clinical development of small-molecule chemical ligands and heterobifunctional chimeric degrader platform for targeted protein degradation and modulation for development of disease-modifying therapeutics. His experience on both sides of the aisle have contributed to the founding of two protein degradation-modulating bio-startup companies.

Doug Johnson, PhD, Senior Director, Chemical Biology & Proteomics, Biogen

Douglas Johnson is a Senior Director of Chemical Biology & Proteomics at Biogen in Cambridge, MA. Prior to moving to Biogen, Doug was at Pfizer for 18 years where his most recent position was Senior Scientific Director and Head of Chemical Biology in Cambridge, MA. Prior to Pfizer, Doug was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the laboratory of Professor David A. Evans. He obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute under the guidance of Professor Dale L. Boger and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a BS in chemistry. He is an author or inventor on more than 90 publications and patents.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Jared Johnson, PhD, Instructor, Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

Jared is a scientist in Lewis Cantley's laboratory at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from Cornell University (Ithaca) where he studied small G-protein signaling under the mentorship of Richard Cerione. His major research focus is on protein kinase substrate specificity and on the regulation of phosphoinositide kinases. He has developed a discovery platform that enables researchers to identify cellular targets for serine/threonine kinases and decipher their signaling pathways in phosphoproteomics data.

Whitehead Institute

Julia Joung, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Weissman, Whitehead Institute

Julia Joung is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Jonathan Weissman at the Whitehead Institute. She received her B.S. in Bioengineering from Stanford University and Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from MIT working in the lab of Feng Zhang. Her research focuses on advancing forward genetic screens. She developed CRISPR screens to study long non-coding RNAs and tumor resistance to immunotherapy, as well as transcription factor screens for cellular programming. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she developed a CRISPR-based SARS-CoV-2 detection assay that is suited for extending testing outside of clinical labs.

AbbVie Inc

Russell Judge, PhD, Principal Research Scientist II, Structural Biology, AbbVie

Dr. Russell Judge is a structural biologist with 21 years experience in drug discovery. His journey began with Bachelor and PhD degrees through the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland, Australia, which provided him with a broad scientific background and introduced him to protein crystallization. His interests in crystallization and structural biology led to postdoctoral studies with NASA in the microgravity program for protein crystal growth, based at the Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, AL). With a desire to utilize structural biology for drug design, Dr. Judge moved to the Chicago area to work in pharmaceuticals where he is currently working in Structural Biology at AbbVie (formerly Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago, IL). In this he is involved in many aspects of structural biology and structure-based drug design including utilizing Cryo-EM.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Cigall Kadoch, PhD, Associate Professor, Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School; Scientific Founder, Foghorn Therapeutics

Cigall Kadoch, Ph.D., is an academic leader and entrepreneur in the biomedical sciences. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Institute Member and Epigenomics Program Co-Director at the Broad Institute, and a recently-appointed Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Dr. Kadoch established her independent laboratory in 2014, at age 28, one of the youngest scientists ever appointed to the Harvard Medical School faculty, immediately following completion of her Ph.D. studies at Stanford University. She is a leading expert in chromatin and gene regulation and is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking studies in these areas. Specifically, her laboratory studies the structure and function of nuclear protein complexes called chromatin remodeling complexes that govern DNA architecture and gene expression, perturbations in which are implicated in over 50% of human cancers including several in which disruption to these entities represents the driving, causative event. Dr. Kadoch is also the Scientific Founder of Foghorn Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FHTX), a company advancing a new class of medicines based on her seminal work.

University of Toronto

Ran Kafri, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto

Dr. Kafri’s research program lies at the interface of cellular metabolism, organismal longevity, and the prevention of age-dependent disease. Past studies have long recognized the mTORC1/Insulin as the central regulator of both cell size and mammalian longevity: conditions that down-regulate mTORC1 result in animals with smaller cells and longer lifespans. While past studies showed that mTORC1 promotes growth in cell size, these studies did not reveal how mTORC1 is regulated to reproducibly specify a different and specific characteristic cell size for each of the different human cell types. Similarly, how is mTORC1 regulated to specify a different and specific lifespan for different mammals? Over the past years, Dr. Kafri’s lab has revealed that - just as a thermostat maintains fixed room temperature - the metabolic rate of animal cells is maintained by a molecular circuitry whereby: the p38MAPK selectively activates mTORC1 in cells that grow slower than a critical minima; while p53 inhibits mTORC1 in cells that grow too fast. More recently, the Kafri lab has shown that these mechanisms of mTORC1 regulation are responsible for the differences in cancer onset age when comparing individuals in both mouse and human Li Fraumeni patient cohorts. Building on these findings, the Kafri lab is now exploring the possibility that pharmacological manipulation of mTORC1 regulators could be exploited for the pharmacological preventions of cancers in Li Fraumeni patients.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai

H. umit Kaniskan, PhD, Associate Professor, Laboratory of Dr. Jian Jin, Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai

H. umit Kaniskan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacological Sciences and Associate Director of Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutics Discovery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He earned his PhD in organic chemistry at Case Western Reserve University under the supervision of Dr. Philip Garner. During his doctoral study, he completed the formal total synthesis of Bioxalomycin B2 and Cyanocycline A. He then pursued his postdoctoral studies in Dr. Movassaghi's group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), while working on the synthesis of Myrmicarin alkaloids. In January 2013, Dr. Kaniskan joined Dr. Jin's laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Pharmacological Sciences. His research focuses on the targeted protein degradation (TPD), development of inhibitors of protein methyltransferases as well as biased ligands of G protein-coupled receptors, in efforts to discover innovative therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases including cancer and brain disorders. Dr. Kaniskan has published more than 40 peer-reviewed papers is also an inventor of 9 published international patent applications.

Edo Kapetanovic, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Scientist, Synthetic and Systems Immunology, ETH Zurich

I am a medical doctor by training with a PhD from ETH Zurich in immunoengineering. My main research focus is on engineering safe and effective T cells, derived from healthy donors, that have the potential to augment cancer-targeting antibodies, including many that are in clinical development or clinically approved. I am currently leading a subgroup of 4 scientists in the group of Prof. Sai Reddy at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) in Basel, Switzerland. The technology we have developed has been selected in the top 5 innovations at ETH Zurich for this year.

University of Southern California

Vsevolod "Seva" Katritch, PhD, Associate Professor, Quantitative and Computational Biology and Chemistry, University of Southern California

Dr. Vsevolod “Seva” Katritch is a computational biologist and computational chemist focused on deciphering the molecular function of membrane proteins, specifically the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Dr. Katritch received his Ph.D. from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, followed by postdoctoral training at Rutgers University and The Scripps Research Institute. Before joining USC in 2015, he served as a director at SIGA Technologies and held research faculty positions at the University of California, San Diego, and The Scripps Research Institute. His work has led to six patents and more than 110 publications, including ligand-discovery studies and high-impact reviews on GPCR structure and function.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Terrence P. Kenakin, PhD, Professor, Pharmacology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Beginning his career as a synthetic chemist, Terry Kenakin received a PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Alberta in Canada. After a postdoctoral fellowship at University College London, UK, he joined Burroughs-Wellcome as an associate scientist for 7 years. From there, he continued working in drug discovery for 25 years first at Glaxo, Inc., then Glaxo Wellcome, and finally as a Director at GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development laboratories at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. Dr. Kenakin is now a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. Currently he is engaged in studies aimed at the optimal design of drug activity assays systems, the discovery and testing of allosteric molecules for therapeutic application, and the quantitative modeling of drug effects. In addition, he is Director of the Pharmacology graduate courses at the UNC School of Medicine. He is a member of numerous editorial boards, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the “Journal of Receptors and Signal Transduction.” He has authored numerous articles and has written 10 books on pharmacology.

Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz

Christian Kersten, PhD, Assistant Professor, Institute of Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz

Christian is a pharmacist by training who obtained his PhD in medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz and the University of Bergen, Norway under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ruth Brenk for the elucidation of selectivity determining features in proteins with conserved binding sites. Since 2017, he is assistant professor at the University of Mainz in the group of Prof. Tanja Schirmeister. Besides the structure-based inhibitor design for targets of pharmaceutical interest, especially in the field of neglected tropical diseases, his research focusses on the interplay between molecular recognition and ligand binding thermodynamics and kinetics making use of computational and biophysical methods. In the novel field of small molecule RNA-ligand development, his work aims to improve the understanding of molecular interactions and the application of rational structure-based design methods for bacterial riboswitches and viral RNA targets.

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. Dr. Khan 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.

University of Texas Health San Antonio

Sajid Khan, PhD, Assistant Professor/Research, Biochemistry & Structural Biology, University of Texas Health San Antonio

I am an Assistant Professor/Research in the Department of Biochemistry & Structural Biology at the UT Health San Antonio (UTHSA) Long School of Medicine. Prior to joining UTHSA, I was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacodynamics at the University of Florida. I received my PhD degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (India) and completed my postdoc training at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Florida. I have 12+ years of experience in translational cancer and therapeutics research and have published 30+ research articles and book chapters. Lately, my research focuses on understanding the apoptosis mechanisms in cancer cells and tumor-selective targeting of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family proteins (e.g., BCL-XL and BCL-2) by targeted degradation with a goal of developing safer and effective cancer therapeutics. My other research goals include developing synergistic drug combinations using protein degraders to prevent therapy resistance in various cancers.

AbbVie Inc

Hasan Khan, PhD, Senior Scientist II, Global Medicinal Chemistry, AbbVie, Inc.

Hasan Khan, PhD, is a senior scientist at AbbVie in Global Medicinal Chemistry. He received his BSc from the University of Ottawa and his PhD from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Professor Vy Dong (now at UC Irvine). Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University with Professor Jonathan Ellman, he moved to Chicago, IL, in 2015 to begin his career at AbbVie. In the 8 years since, he has worked on early-stage projects in immunology, oncology, and immuno-oncology.

Massachusetts General Hospital

Rachel Knipe, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Knipe is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She works as a physician scientist in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Her clinical works spans the Medical Intensive Care Unit and the Pulmonary Consultation Service. Her research laboratory is focused on the role of vascular dysfunction and endothelial permeability in the development of fibrotic lung disease, both IPF and post-viral pulmonary fibrosis. Her work is centered at the intersection of vascular biology and mechanisms of fibrotic diseases.

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.

Agnieszka Konopacka, PhD, Scientific Leader, Targeted Protein Degradation, GSK

Agnieszka Konopacka is a GSK Fellow and a Scientific Leader in the Protein Degradation Group at GSK. She has a PhD in neurotoxicology from the Mossakowski Medical Research Centre in Warsaw. Following postdoctoral training at Bristol University, she moved to Pfizer Neusentis, where she worked on pain and neurodegenerative disease projects, and later to Horizon Discovery to lead efforts for validation of genetic standards. Currently she works on development and implementation of targeted protein degradation technologies as well as PROTAC projects. She has been leading a number of collaborative initiatives between industry and academia enabling exchange of expertise, training, and mentoring for new generations of drug discovery scientists and was awarded the Wellcome Trust VIP and Strategic grants and GSK Innovation Performance Trust awards.

SUNY Stony Brook

Dima Kozakov, PhD, Associate Professor, Applied Mathematics & Statistics, SUNY Stony Brook

Dima Kozakov received an MS in Applied Mathematics and Physics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. Currently he is the Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at Stony Brook University, Affiliate Member at Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, and Affiliate Member at Institute of Advance Computational Sciences. Before joining Stony Brook he held a research faculty position at Boston University. Dr. Kozakov is interested in method development for modeling of biological macromolecules, with emphasis on molecular interactions and drug design. Dr. Kozakov’s approaches, PIPER for protein docking and FTMap for hotspot identification, are heavily used in the pharmaceutical industry and are consistently top-performing in blind molecular modeling completions.

Merck & Co Inc

Harini Krishnamurthy, PhD, Principal Scientist, Structural Chemistry, Merck & Co., Inc.

Harini Krishnamurthy is a Principal Scientist in the Protein and Structural Chemistry group at Merck. Harini received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from Michigan State University in 2006, employing NMR and MD simulations to study the interplay between dynamics, rigidity, and activity in a hyperthermostable enzyme. She then joined Eric Gouaux's lab at the Vollum Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, where she worked on the SLC family of transporters. Her career path in the industry started in 2011 when she joined Heptares Therapeutics and gained extensive experience with structure-based drug discovery against GPCR targets. In 2014, she joined Merck's Structural Chemistry group to help build Merck's capabilities in the membrane protein structure determination arena. Since then she has lead several projects in different therapeutic areas working with cross-functional teams, helping the group to achieve the aim of structurally-enabling any target regardless of complexity.

AbbVie Inc

Nava Krishnan, PhD, Senior Scientist, Molecular Screening & Characterization, AbbVie, Inc.

Enzymologist with experience in academia and industry with expertise in protein biochemistry and signal transduction. Identified, characterized and validated drug targets in preclinical models for oncology, diabetes, immunology and neurological disorders. Expertise in phenotypic drug discovery and target deconvolution.

Rhushikesh Kulkarni, PhD, Principal Scientist, Oncology Chemical Biology, Pfizer Inc.

Rhushi Kulkarni obtained his graduate training in Dr. Amy Barrios’ lab at the University of Utah. His thesis project focused on developing chemical probes for interrogating biological functions of protein tyrosine phosphatases. Rhushi performed his postdoctoral studies at the National Cancer Institute in Dr. Jordan Meier’s lab. Here he applied chemoproteomics to define the role of intrinsically reactive metabolites in cancer development. Rhushi joined Pfizer Oncology, La Jolla, in 2018, where he currently leads a chemical biology group. The research in his group focuses on enabling chemical engagement of tough targets and understanding in-cell target engagement of small molecules.

Triana Biomedicines

Daniel La, PhD, VP & Head, Medicinal Chemistry, Triana Biomedicines Inc.

Dr. La has twenty years of drug discovery experience and in November 2021, he joined TRIANA Biomedicines as Head of Medicinal Chemistry. Prior to TRIANA, he was Head of Medicinal Chemistry and Structural Biology at FogPharma. While there, he was the scientific program lead for the company’s flagship program. Previously he was at Sage Therapeutics and Amgen Inc. where he held roles of increasing responsibility on program teams that ranged from early discovery to development candidate delivery. He is an inventor on 28 patents and has 27 publications. Before industry, Dr. La was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Evans at Harvard University, and he received his PhD at Boston College from Professor Amir Hoveyda as an American Chemical Society predoctoral fellow.

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Fernanda Laezza, PhD, Graduate Program Director & Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Dr. Fernanda Laezza is a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. She is also the Chair of the Gulf Coast Mental Health Research Consortium within the Texas Medical Center as well as the scientific founder of IonTx, Inc., a start-up company devoted to developing novel neurotherapeutics. Dr. Laezza’s research aims at understanding the biology and advancing the treatment of nervous system disorders focusing on the development of modulators of the voltage-gated Na+ (Nav) channel macromolecular complex. Rich in accessory proteins, signaling molecules, and kinases, the Nav channel macromolecular complex provides unprecedented opportunities for developing targeted neurotherapeutics opening new horizons in precision medicine for nervous system disorders.

Madhu Lal Nag, PhD, CSO, InSphero

No bio available.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Rajan Lamichhane, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Dr. Rajan Lamichhane is an assistant professor in the Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). Dr. Lamichhane received his MS degree in Chemistry from Tribhuvan University Katmandu, Nepal. He then joined the laboratory of Professor David Rueda at Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan, and received his PhD in Biological Chemistry. During his PhD, Dr. Lamichhane used several biochemical and biophysical approaches, including state-of-the-art single-molecule fluorescence to study RNA folding and RNA-protein interactions. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Lamichhane joined the laboratory of Professor David Millar at The Scripps Research Institute as a postdoctoral fellow, where he applied single-molecule fluorescence to study conformational dynamics and interactions of complex biomolecules, including G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). While at Scripps, Dr. Lamichhane received a postdoctoral training fellowship from the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP) to study the role of DEAD-box proteins in HIV-1 Rev-RRE interactions. In his current position at UTK, Dr. Lamichhane investigates the dynamics of GPCRs using single-molecule fluorescence. Dr. Lamichhane has authored over 24 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, including PNAS, JACS, and Structure.

AbCheck s.r.o.

Volker Lang, PhD, Managing Director, AbCheck s.r.o.

Dr. Volker Lang has over 20 years' experience in development and commercialization of biotechnology products, encompassing basic research, R&D, BD & licensing, commercial operations and management. Before joining AbCheck, Volker served as CBO of Affimed Therapeutics AG (now Affimed N.V.), AbCheck’s parent company, and held management positions at Scil Technology GmbH, Pieris AG, Cosmix GmbH and Fresenius Kabi AG. Volker holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Braunschweig, Germany.

Brigham & Womens Hospital

Peter Lansbury, PhD, Founder, Lysosomal Therapeutics; Former Professor Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Peter Lansbury was born in 1958 and grew up in Buffalo, NY. He received his AB (cum laude) in chemistry from Princeton University in 1980 and subsequently received his PhD in organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1985 under the direction of Nobel laureate E. J. Corey. His postdoctoral fellowship was spent at the Rockefeller University, working with the late Tom Kaiser. In 1988, he accepted a position as assistant professor of chemistry at MIT and was promoted to associate professor in 1993. He moved to his current position at the Center of Neurologic Diseases in 1996, and was promoted to Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School in 2004. During this time, he founded the Laboratory for Drug Discovery in Neurodegeneration and the Morris K. Udall NIH Parkinson’s Disease Research Center of Excellence at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which he directed for ten years. He was the founder of Link Medicine and served as its Chief Scientific Officer from 2005 until its sale to AstraZeneca in 2012. At Link, he and his team advanced a small molecule through phase Ib study in Alzheimer’s disease. He served as Chief Scientific Officer of Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc. from its founding in 2013 until its sale in 2021 to Bial Pharma. During this time, he and his team developed a brain-penetrant, safe, and well-tolerated glucocerebrosidase allosteric activator for the treatment of GBA1-PD, a genetic subtype of Parkinson’s disease. This compound is currently in clinical trials for modification of GBA-PD progression. Peter currently serves on the Scientific Advisory boards of Aliada Therapeutics, Lucy Therapeutics, and Vincere.

University of Sherbrooke

Christine L. Lavoie, PhD, Professor, Pharmacology & Physiology, University of Sherbrooke

Christine Lavoie is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology-Physiology at the University of Sherbrooke and a member of the Institute of Pharmacology of Sherbrooke. She is a cell biologist who acquired expertise on intracellular trafficking during her PhD at the University of Montreal and post-doctoral fellow at University of California San Diego. Her interests lie in the molecular determinants involved in GPCR and heterotrimeric G protein trafficking as well as in intracellular G protein signaling from organelles. She has recently made significant contributions on the identification of non-conventional roles and regulation of Galphas.

Arcus Biosciences

Ken Lawson, PhD, Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Arcus Biosciences

Recursion Pharmaceuticals Inc

Nathan Lazar, PhD, Director, Data Science, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Nathan Lazar is a Director of Data Science at Recursion - a clinical-stage biotechnology company primarily focused on combining high-content phenotypic screening with artificial intelligence methods for small-molecule drug discovery. Nathan's background is in mathematics and computational biology and his work spans tensor-factorization methods, evolutionary biology, and machine learning for large phenotypic screens. He's been at Recursion for almost six years where he's helped the company grow from 50 to over 500 employees and led projects to automate compound prioritization, construct genome-wide maps of cellular biology, and mine phenotypic screens of over half a million compounds for a wide variety of indications.

Phil Leighton, PhD, Senior Director, Molecular Biology, OmniAb

Phil Leighton is Senior Director of Molecular Biology at OmniAb. He joined the OmniAb team in 2017 following Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ acquisition of Crystal Bioscience. Dr. Leighton has been responsible for the development and validation of lines of transgenic chickens used for the discovery of human antibodies including OmniChicken®, which has been used for antibody discovery programs by pharmaceutical industry partners since 2016. 

IPQ Analytics LLC

Michael Liebman, PhD, Managing Director, IPQ Analytics, LLC

Michael N. Liebman, PhD (theoretical chemistry and protein crystallography) is Managing Director of IPQ Analytics, LLC and CSO of United Cancer Centers after serving as Executive Director of the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Molecular Medicine. He is Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, Drexel College of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Drug Discovery, Wenzhou Medical University and Fudan University. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Center of Biomedical and Health Research, University of Massachusetts (Lowell). Previously, he was Director, Computational Biology and Biomedical Informatics, University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center. He served as Global Head of Computational Genomics, Roche. He serves on the Board of the Nathaniel Adamczyk Foundation in Pediatric ARDS. Michael chairs Translational Medicine for the PhRMA Foundation and serves on the IUPAC Division on Human Health. His research focuses on computational models of disease that stress complexities of real-world patients and real-world clinical practice utilizing systems-based approaches for representation and analysis for pharma and healthcare.

Cullgen Inc.

Jing Liu, PhD, Executive Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Cullgen, Inc.

Dr. Jing Liu is Executive Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Cullgen, a company dedicated to the development of novel approaches for targeted protein degradation and therapeutics for cancer and immune diseases. Dr. Liu is an experienced medicinal chemist with expertise in small-molecule drug discovery and protein degradation technologies. Prior to joining Cullgen, Dr. Liu was Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacological Sciences at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where his research focused on discovering small-molecule inhibitors and/or degraders targeting kinases, epigenetic modulators and GPCRs, resulting in over 30 journal articles and over 15 issued patents and published patent applications.

University of Dundee

Xingui Liu, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Alessio Cuilli, University of Dundee

Xingui is currently a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow in Prof. Alessio Ciulli’s lab at the Center for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD), where she is focusing her research on developing PROTAC degraders of Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2), a promising target for Parkinson’s disease. Before joining the Ciulli group, she was a Postdoc associate at the University of Florida working with Prof. Guangrong Zheng and Prof. Daohong Zhou. At the University of Florida, she was part of a team that developed very effective BCL-XL/BCL-2 PROTAC degrader molecules. One of which was licensed to the Dialectic Therapeutics and led to the development of one of the first VHL-based PROTACs to enter the clinic and to be dosed in human patients for the treatment of hematological malignancies. She completed her PhD in Guangrong Zheng’s lab at University of Arkansans for Medical Sciences, where she designed, synthesized, and characterized delta-tocotrienol based radio-protectors.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Yingpeng Liu, PhD, Scientist II, Center for Protein Degradation, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Yingpeng Liu is a medicinal chemist in the Center for Protein Degradation (CPD) at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In this role he majorly focuses on the rational design and development of targeted protein degraders and molecular glues, with the goal of modulating compelling therapeutic targets. He obtained his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences at Center for Drug Discovery at Northeastern University under the guidance of Professor Alexandors Makriyannis. Prior to joining CPD, he worked in GlaxoSmithKline as a medicinal chemist and focused on hits identification using DEL platform.

Morphic Therapeutic

Min Lu, PhD, Director & Head, Fibrosis, Morphic Therapeutic

Min received his MD degree in China and his PhD in vascular biology at the University of California, Riverside. He then researched on insulin resistance and obesity in Jerrold Olefsky’s lab at the University of California, San Diego, during his post-doctoral training. In the meantime, Min passed all three steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination to obtain his ECFMG certificate. Prior to joining Morphic Therapeutic, Min worked at Pfizer, Takeda, and Merck on target ID, target validation, and pharmacology for diabetes complications. Currently at Morphic, Min leads a discovery team and manages research activities on pre-clinical research to target integrin proteins for a variety of fibrosis indications, including liver, kidney, and lung fibrosis.

Nurix Therapeutics Inc

Hao Lu, PhD, Executive Director Discovery Technology, Nurix Therapeutics, Inc.

Hao Lu is currently serving as the Executive Director of Discovery Technology at Nurix Therapeutics, a pioneering company focused on developing small-molecule therapies to modulate cellular protein levels for the treatment of cancer and immune disorders. At Nurix, Hao leads a team of experts who leverage cutting-edge technologies in biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, mass spectrometry, cellular pharmacology, and proteomics to support pre-clinical research. Prior to joining Nurix, Hao served as the Director of Discovery Pharmacology at EMD Serono, a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. In this role, he led a team that supported discovery projects in Immuno-Oncology, Immunology, and Oncology, utilizing state-of-the-art techniques such as high-throughput target-based screening, phenotypic screening, target engagement and degradation, and molecular profiling. Hao's earlier career includes a role as Senior Research Investigator at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he focused on developing biochemical and biophysical assays. Hao obtained his PhD from Stony Brook University, where his research focused on understanding the relationship between a drug's residence time (the reciprocal of dissociation rate) and its in vivo efficacy.


Simon Lucas, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, AstraZeneca

Simon is a Medicinal Chemist with experience working on drug discovery projects at all stages. He obtained his PhD from the University of Strathclyde in 2019 through the GSK/Strathclyde Industrial PhD scheme where he worked in the Epigenetics group on the development of chemical tools for Bromodomain targets. He joined AstraZeneca in 2019 as a medicinal chemist in the Hit Discovery group where he has worked extensively on fragment-based lead generation and covalent hit identification projects delivering multiple lead series to project teams.

GRO Biosciences Inc.

Daniel Mandell, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder, GRO Biosciences, Inc.

Dr. Mandell, a scientist and entrepreneur, is a leading expert in synthetic biology, protein engineering, artificial intelligence, and biological and medical informatics. Together with Dr. George Church, he leveraged GROs to produce the first proteins with stability and function dependent on non-standard amino acids. Dr. Mandell completed his research fellowship in genetics at Harvard Medical School where he was Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation. Dr. Mandell completed his PhD at University of California, San Francisco, his MSc at University of Edinburgh, and his undergraduate degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University.?Dr. Mandell currently serves as a member of BIO's (Biotechnology Innovation Organization) Early-Stage Advisory Council and as a mentor for the iGEM and Nucleate programs. Prior to his role at GRObio, Dr. Mandell served as a consultant with WarpDrive Bio.

Scholar Rock, Inc.

Rohan Manohar, PhD, Associate Director, Fibrosis, Scholar Rock

Rohan has a background in liver biology and fibrosis and is currently part of the Discovery Biology team at Scholar Rock leading TGFb discovery efforts as treatment for organ fibrosis. He's previously worked at Gilead Sciences and Pliant Therapeutics, and mostly recently at Takeda Pharmaceuticals as a project leader on preclinical programs, to develop anti-fibrotic therapeutics for NASH.

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.

Mirati Therapeutics

Matthew A. Marx, PhD, Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery, Mirati Therapeutics, Inc.

Matt is the head of Drug Discovery at Mirati Therapeutics, responsible for preclinical advancement of their KRAS portfolio as well as several other targeted cancer therapies. Prior to Mirati, Matt was the head of chemistry at Takeda California, with earlier roles at Pfizer, where he started his career and became head of the oncology chemistry group in their Groton, CT site.

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.

David Maussang-Detaille, PhD, Senior Director, Merus

David Maussang-Detaille is Senior Director Preclinical Research and Portfolio Management at Merus. Through his 9 years at Merus, David held various positions in preclinical research and project-program management. In his current role, David is responsible for a variety of discovery projects to identify novel clinical development candidates.

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.

Tectonic Therapeutic

Peter McNamara, PhD, CSO, Tectonic Therapeutic

Peter brings nearly 20 years of drug discovery experience in Pharma and Biotech to Tectonic. Most recently he was Head of Biotherapeutics and Biotechnology at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), where he was responsible for GNF’s platform technologies in biotherapeutics discovery and optimization, structural biology, functional genomics, HTS, automation and engineering. Prior to this, he was Head of Pharmacology and General Medical Biology and responsible for the scientific strategies and drug discovery activities pertaining to GNF’s programs across a broad range of disease areas with special emphasis on regenerative medicine and tissue repair. Peter led teams and functions that resulted in bringing over 10 molecules into clinical trials including FXR agonists LJN452 and LMB763 and contributing to three FDA approved drugs including Zykadia and Braftovi. Peter earned his PhD in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland at Galway and was a post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania where he became a member of the Faculty at the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics in the School of Medicine.

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 B-lactamases hydrolyze B-lactam antibiotics. I was also involved in the development of mechanism-based (covalent) small-molecule inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases, cathepsins, and B-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.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Adelphe Mfuh, PhD, Senior Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Adelphe M. Mfuh is a Senior Scientist at AstraZeneca. He obtained a BS in Chemistry and Material Science at the University of Buea, Cameroon (2003), then he moved to United States at New Mexico Highlands University and obtained an MS in Applied Chemistry (2006). After a short stint in the food industry (Kerry Sweet Ingredients - 2007), he went on to obtain a PhD (2012) at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Soon after his PhD, he accepted a visiting Lecturer position part-time while continuing research at the same institution in methods development and total synthesis of natural products. In 2016, he accepted a postdoctoral position in Christina Woo's group at the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department-Harvard University, While at the Woo's group, he worked on the development of minimalist photoaffinity tags used to elucidate the interactions of small molecules in the active site of proteins using mass spectrometry. He applied this technique to shed some light on the poly-pharmacology of NSAID. In 2017, he joined the early oncology R&D department at AstraZeneca.

Abilita Bio

Mauro Mileni, PhD, Founder & CEO, Abilita Bio

Mauro is the founder of Abilita Bio, Inc. and inventor of its core EMP™ technology. He has gained significant experience over 20 years of conducting membrane protein research and contributing to industry drug discovery projects. Mauro has authored eighteen peer-reviewed scientific articles, including publications in Cell, Nature, PNAS, and JACS. He received his Ph.D. from the Max Planck Institute under Nobel laureate Prof. Hartmut Michel and carried out his postdoctoral studies as a Pfizer fellow in the Stevens lab at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), widely regarded as the world’s top lab for GPCR structural studies. Prior to founding Abilita Bio in 2014, Mauro worked as a Structural Biologist at Receptos, Inc. and has consulted for Eli Lilly & Company.

University of Chicago

Raymond Moellering, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemistry, University of Chicago

AbbVie Bioresearch Ctr

Vanessa M. Morales-Tirado, PhD, Principal Research Scientist I, Discovery Dermatology, Abbvie Bioresearch Center

Vanessa Morales-Tirado is a principal research scientist in Discovery Dermatology at AbbVie, Inc. For years, Vanessa led the Translational Research Unit at The Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in Memphis, TN. Throughout her time in academia, Vanessa had over 25 peer-reviewed publications, multiple national and international oral presentations in the immune-oncology field, and served as peer reviewer for different top scientific journals. Three years ago she transitioned to AbbVie, focusing on the identification of novel biomarkers of disease and in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease within the dermatology and fibrosis areas. Additionally, Vanessa manages the Biorepository for Immunology in the organization. Besides her passion for science, Vanessa is a strong supporter of EED&I, promoting a Safe to Speak Up and Psychological Safety environment. Outside of work you will find her planning short roads trips or a culinary adventure. She enjoys cooking, dancing, and learning about history and new cultures.

Caraway Therapeutics

Magdalene M. Moran, PhD, President & CSO, Caraway Therapeutics

Magdalene Moran, PhD, is a leading scientific researcher in the discovery and early development projects in multiple disease areas. She is a noted expert in the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) family of ion channels. Prior to joining Caraway Therapeutics, Dr. Moran was the Senior Vice President of biology at Hydra Biosciences, where she was part of the scientific team for over 15 years. She led discovery and early development projects in pain, pulmonary, CNS, and renal diseases, resulting in six development candidates in six years. In addition, Dr. Moran was the scientific representative for business development activities and coordinated the scientific advisory and medical advisory boards. Before Hydra, Dr. Moran served as a researcher in the laboratory of ion channel expert Dr. David Clapham at Children’s Hospital in Boston, where she studied the basal transcription machinery and cloned several novel ion channels. Dr. Moran received her bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in neuroscience from Williams College and earned her doctorate degree in neurobiology from Harvard University.

Deka Biosciences

Charlotte Moser, PhD, MD, MBA, CMO, Deka Biosciences

Dr. Moser is an oncologist who has worked as a clinician and academic researcher for over 25 years and has specialized in drug development for the past 10. She has helped drive the clinical pipeline from early to late stage in larger (Elekta, Roche) and smaller (Augmenix, Kaiku, Artidis, Galera Therapeutics, Nanocan) and currently holds the position of Chief Medical Officer at DEKA Biosciences Inc, using here expertise to drive fast clinical translation of innovative, more effective, and better tolerated immunotherapies.

Astex Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Manjeet Mukherjee, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Astex Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Manjeet is a senior research associate in the Molecular Sciences department of Astex Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, UK. His main focus is using structural biology for drug discovery. He earned his PhD in Structural Biology at the National University of Singapore. He conducted postdoctoral training at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, USA, and the Astbury Centre in Leeds, UK.

Scorpion Therapeutics

Heather Murrey, PhD, Principal Scientist, Scorpion Therapeutics

Heather E. Murrey received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics working with Professor Linda Hsieh-Wilson at the California Institute of Technology, employing chemical biology and chemoproteomics techniques to evaluate the role of fucosyl-oligosaccharides in neuronal signaling. She then completed her postdoctoral studies first in the laboratory of Professor Benjamin Cravatt at the Scripps Research Institute, followed by Pfizer (Cambridge, MA) where she used photoaffinity probes and chemoproteomics to explore inhibitor mechanism-of-action, and developed an imaging platform to investigate bioorthogonal ligations directly in living cells. Heather is currently a Principal Scientist at Scorpion Therapeutics in Chemical Biology, supporting covalent ligand chemoproteomics screens and assay development for target identification, target engagement, and inhibitor selectivity profiling.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Jay K. Nair, PhD, Senior Director Chemistry, Delivery Science & Research, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Jayaprakash (Jay) Nair joined Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in 2005 where he currently serves as Vice President, Research, leading the Medicinal Chemistry group focused on RNAi platform and siRNA delivery. In this role, Dr. Nair has contributed to the development of GalNAc conjugates and lipid nanoparticles, two clinically validated platforms for siRNA delivery, and the advancement of multiple therapeutic programs to development, which culminated in multiple approval of RNAi therapeutics ONPATTROTM, GIVLAARITM, OXLUMO, and AMVUTTRA. His current efforts are focused on developing extra-hepatic platform for CNS, Ocular, Muscle, Kidney, and other tissues. Jay received his PhD in Organic Chemistry in 2000 at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India. He moved to the U.S. for his postdoctoral research at North Carolina State University and Natural Product and Glycotechnology Research (NPG) Institute where he worked novel chemistries, oligosaccharide, lipid synthesis, and characterization. During Jay’s almost 18 years of experience in the field of oligonucleotide therapeutics, he has contributed to siRNA delivery and advancement of RNAi platform. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications, reviews, and inventor on more than 45 issued patents or patent applications.

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

Yale University

Timothy Newhouse, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Yale University

Timothy R. Newhouse was born in New Hampshire and received his B.A. in Chemistry from Colby College (2005) in Waterville, ME, where he was mentored by Prof. Dasan M. Thamattoor. After moving to La Jolla, CA, he completed his PhD at The Scripps Research Institute with Prof. Phil S. Baran (2010). During his time at Scripps, he also worked in the laboratories of Prof. Donna G. Blackmond. He then returned to the east coast for postdoctoral studies with Prof. E.J. Corey at Harvard University. He started at Yale University in 2013, and is a Professor in the Chemistry Department and Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Gisele Nishiguchi, PhD, Group Leader, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Gisele received her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she completed the total synthesis of a natural product in 32 steps applying a novel methodology in C-glycoside chemistry. After her PhD, she joined Novartis in Emeryville, CA, and later Cambridge, MA, as a medicinal chemist, where she worked on several projects, resulting in the identification of two clinical candidates and several chemical probes. In 2018, she transitioned to a new role at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a group leader and assisted in the evaluation and improvement of St. Jude’s compound collection and establishment of a targeted protein degradation platform focused on pediatric indications.

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.

Harvard Medical School

Akos Nyerges, PhD, Research Fellow, Laboratory of Dr. George Church, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

Peptilogics Inc.

Nicholas Nystrom, PhD, CTO, Peptilogics, Inc.

Nicholas Nystrom, PhD, is CTO at Peptilogics, where he leads development of the Nautilus generative AI platform for peptide drug design. Nautilus integrates generative and predictive algorithms, computational biophysics and quantum chemistry, and in-house, custom-designed supercomputing to enable peptide drug design. Nick’s areas of expertise include machine learning, drug discovery, computer architecture, computational science, and quantum chemistry. Prior to joining Peptilogics, Nick was Chief Scientist at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, where he architected the first supercomputer to converge AI and HPC. Nick designed and was PI for national supercomputers including Blacklight, Bridges, and Bridges-2, and he codesigned the Neocortex supercomputer to enable scaling AI on the world’s most powerful accelerators. Nick was PI for the Human BioMolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP), an NIH Common Fund project that is developing a map of the human body at single-cell resolution, spanning genomic, proteomic, and imaging modalities. Nick also led research in AI for breast and lung cancer and causal discovery focusing on cancer driver mutations, lung fibrosis, and the brain causome. His PhD is in quantum chemistry.

Caris Discovery

Heather O'Neill, PhD, Vice President, Precision Medicine, Target & Drug Discovery, Caris Discovery

Expert Systems Inc.

Tudor Oprea, MD, PhD, CSO, Expert Systems, Inc.

Tudor I. Oprea is a digital drug hunter with three decades of experience in knowledge management applied to target and drug discovery. He co-developed ChemGPS, the “lead-like approach,” systems chemical biology, and a knowledge-based classification for human proteins. He co-discovered the first GPER agonist (orphan drug designated, LNS8801), GPER antagonist, and several GLUT transporter inhibitors. His machine-learning models include cheminformatics, drug discovery, disease, and target biology. His team maintains DrugCentral and Pharos, part of an NIH Common Fund project. He co-authored over 300 publications and 10 US patents, and edited 2 books on informatics in drug discovery. He is CSO at Expert Systems, Inc., a San Diego-based i2020 Accelerator company.

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.

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.

Orum Therapeutics

James Palacino, PhD, Vice President, Biology, Orum Therapeutics

James Palacino is an experienced drug-discovery professional, with almost two decades of know-how covering the spectrum of industry research from target discovery to IND-enabling studies. He has contributed to multiple target-based and phenotypic drug discovery projects in oncology, neuroscience, and rare diseases at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, H3 Biomedicine, and - most recently - at Orum Therapeutics, where he leads the Biology team, in partnership with Chemistry, in developing first-in-class ADCs utilizing TPD warheads. While at Orum, James has led the first two projects through lead optimization, to candidate selection, and into IND-enabling studies; with ORM-5029 entering the clinic in 2022 for HER2-positive solid tumors and ORM-6151 progressing towards the clinic for AML.

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.

Adimab LLC

Noel T. Pauli, PhD, Senior Scientist, Antibody Discovery, Adimab LLC

Noel Pauli is a Senior Scientist of Antibody Sciences at Adimab LLC. He joined Adimab in 2015. Working in Dr. Laura Walker’s group, their research focused on the generation of antibodies against integral membrane proteins and other difficult targets using immunization, single-B cell cloning, and immune library development in both murine and camelid systems. He received his PhD training from the University of Chicago under Patrick Wilson studying the human B cell response to Staphylococcus aureus infection at the resolution of monoclonal antibodies.

George Mason University

Emanuel Petricoin, PhD, Professor & Co-Director, Center for Applied Proteomics & Molecular Medicine, George Mason University

Dr. Emanuel F. Petricoin has been the Co-Director of the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) at George Mason University since 2005, where he is a University Professor. Prior to this position, he served as Co-Director of the FDA-NCI Clinical Proteomics Program from 2001-2005, and a Senior Investigator within the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the US Food and Drug Administration from 1993-2005. The focus of the CAPMM is the invention and use of proteomics technologies for personalized therapy, molecular diagnostics, and biomarker discovery. He is a co-founder of 4 life science companies. Dr. Petricoin’s expertise includes precision medicine, development of companion diagnostics, proteomics and protein biomarkers, cell signaling, molecular diagnostic assay development, biologics and cellular therapeutics regulation, as well as artificial intelligence based algorithms. He has co-authored over 490 publications (H-Index 111), and is a co-inventor on over 40 filed and published patents. He has authored over 45 book chapters, is a Senior Editor for Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention and on the editorial board of JCO Precision Oncology, Nature: Precision Oncology, Proteomics, Biomedical Microdevices, Proteomics-Clinical Applications, Proteomics-Protocols, Molecular, Carcinogenesis, Journal of Personalized Medicine, and Dr. Petricoin is a founding member of the Human Proteomic Organization (HUPO). He has received numerous awards including the University Professorship at George Mason University, the NIH Director’s Award, FDA Distinguished Scientist Award, 2015 Innovator of the Year Award, GAP50 Top Virginia Entrepreneurs, Nifty 50 Award, American Society of Cytopathology Basic Research Award, the Roche Diagnostics/CLAS Distinguished Scientist Award, and the Harvard University Leading Edge Award, and is a Kentucky Colonel. He is the recipient of over 60 million dollars in competitive grants and contracts from the NIH, DoD, DTRA, DARPA DOE, as well as a number of philanthropic and non-for-profit foundations and pharmaceutical company contracts. Dr. Petricoin is a member of the Board of Directors for the Gateway for Cancer Research Foundation, serves on the AACR Exploratory IND Clinical Trials Task Force, and has served as the GMU faculty representative to the George Mason Research Foundation, the GMU faculty representative to the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Committee, and faculty representative to the GMU Board of Visitors.

Arrakis Therapeutics

Jennifer Petter, PhD, Founder & CSO, Arrakis Therapeutics

Dr. Petter is the Founder and CSO of Arrakis Therapeutics. Previously she was Vice President of Chemistry at Celgene, Vice President of Drug Discovery at Avila Therapeutics, Vice President of Research at Mersana Therapeutics, Director of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Biogen, Section Head in Oncology Chemistry at Sandoz/Novartis, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Petter graduated from Dartmouth College with an AB in chemistry, earned her PhD in organic chemistry at Duke University with Ned Porter, and was a postdoctoral fellow in Ron Breslow’s group at Columbia University. She has ushered multiple compounds into the clinic for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and sepsis.

AbbVie Inc

Joshua P. Plotnik, PhD, Senior Scientist II, Oncology Discovery, AbbVie, Inc.

Joshua Plotnik, PhD, is a Senior Scientist at AbbVie in the Oncology Discovery Research organization. Since joining AbbVie, he has led early target identification and hit-to-lead efforts in mechanisms driving tumor intrinsic dependencies and biology efforts for ABBV-525. He also serves as the AbbVie representative for the Broad DepMap Consortium. He joined AbbVie in 2017 as a postdoctoral fellow after receiving his PhD from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, in 2016. Prior, he received his BS in Biological Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Anima Biotech

Kevin Pong, PhD, Chief Business Officer, Anima Biotech, Inc.

Kevin Pong serves as Anima Biotech's Chief Business Officer and joined in 2018 as Vice President of Business Development. He brings more than 20 years of scientific, strategic, business development, and alliance management experience from large, medium, and small biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He joins Anima from Summit Therapeutics where he served as vice president of business development, licensing, and alliance management. Prior to Summit, he led the identification, evaluation, and negotiation of CNS business development opportunities at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Sunovion, he supported and led business and corporate development efforts for the branded pharma and device business units at Endo Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Endo, he held leadership roles in discovery neuroscience research at Wyeth. Dr. Pong holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Rutgers University.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Erik Procko, PhD, Director, Discovery, Cyrus Biotechnology; Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana

Dr. Erik Procko completed his PhD in 2008 at Harvard University investigating mechanisms for display of antigens to the immune system and was the first to computationally design a de novo protein with function (for the inhibition of a viral oncogene) under the mentorship of David Baker at the University of Washington during his postdoc. He was appointed as an Assistant Professor and later Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he developed methods for deep mutagenesis of complex glycoproteins in human cells. In 2020, he cofounded Orthogonal Biologics for the development of decoy receptors and later joined Cyrus Biotechnology as part of a merger, where today he directs experimental programs for biologic drug development. He also maintains a small group of students at Illinois where he is an Adjunct Professor.

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.


Rishi Rakhit, PhD, Director, Translational Medicine, Mitokinin

Rishi Rakhit first identified how oxidative damage to proteins can lead to misfolding and generated a number of conformation-specific antibodies to probe protein misfolding in vivo. Several of these are now in late-stage clinical trials for the treatment of SOD1-ALS and TTR-amyloidosis. After completing a postdoc at Stanford working on generalizing small molecule-based protein misfolding correction, Rishi joined Denali Therapeutics, where he led therapeutic discovery of TREM2 agonists. After a brief stint at Achaogen working on pain/oncology, Rishi returned to working in neurodegeneration at Mitokinin. At Mitokinin, Rishi leads the translational team, developing strategy and assays for target engagement, efficacy, and pre-IND studies for PINK1-activating small molecules.

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.

University of Michigan

Arvind Rao, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, University of Michigan

Arvind Rao is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. His group uses image analysis and machine learning methods to link image-derived phenotypes with genetic data, across biological scale (i.e. single cell, tissue and radiology data). Such methods have found application in radiogenomics and drug repurposing based on phenotypic screens. Arvind received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Bioinformatics from the University of Michigan, specializing in transcriptional genomics, and was a Lane Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in bioimage informatics.

North Carolina State University

Balaji M. Rao, PhD, Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University

Bala Rao is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State University, and the Director of Academic Programs at Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) at NC State University. His laboratory at NCSU is engaged in research in two areas: study of early human placental development using in vitro models, and development of high throughput platforms for design and characterization of biomolecular interactions.

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.

Relay Therapeutics Inc.

Patrick Riley, PhD, Senior Vice President, Artificial Intelligence, Computation Department, Relay Therapeutics, Inc.

Patrick Riley leads the artificial intelligence group at Relay Therapeutics, applying learning methods to the discovery process. He has over 15 years of data science and machine learning experience. He came to Relay Therapeutics from Google, where he was a principal software engineer and a lead of the Accelerated Science team. His work spanned areas as diverse as cell imaging, nuclear fusion and materials science. His most important work was on the application of machine learning to small molecules, including foundational work on graph neural networks and their application to DNA encoded small molecule library screening. Patrick holds a Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Proteovant Therapeutics

Helai Mohammad, PhD, Vice President & Head, Biology, Proteovant Therapeutics

Helai Mohammad is currently Vice President, Head of Biology, at Proteovant Therapeutics. Prior to joining Proteovant, Helai was a Senior Scientific Director and Senior Fellow within GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Oncology. In this position, Helai was part of the leadership team involved in establishing the scientific direction and strategy for the unit, led several projects into early clinical development, and was responsible for a team of scientists that supported drug discovery programs from target identification through Phase II clinical investigation. Helai received her Bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, and PhD from Case Western Reserve University. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Stephen Baylin at Johns Hopkins University. Helai has published many peer-reviewed articles including several in top level journals such as Nature Medicine, Cancer Cell, and Nature Immunology.

ImmuNext Inc

Jay Rothstein, PhD, CSO, ImmuNext

Jay is a translational immunobiologist with experience in lead discovery, PK/PD, toxicological assessment, and POC models for immune modulatory drugs. At ImmuNext he and his team were responsible for developing several pre-clinical assets and partnerships with Janssen, Roche, Sanofi and Lilly. Prior to ImmuNext he was Director of Inflammation Research at Amgen where he championed a novel class of immunomodulatory drugs for the treatment of autoimmune disease. He also evaluated several of Amgen's immune-oncology drugs, including novel bispecifics and checkpoint inhibitors. In addition, he developed novel drugs to target immunometabolism. Dr. Rothstein received his Ph.D. in Tumor Immunology from the University of Chicago and was a Professor of Otolaryngology-HNS at the Kimmel Cancer Institute of Thomas Jefferson University for 13 years. At Jefferson, he studied the association between oncogenes and chronic inflammation to gain a better understanding of the tumor microenvironment.

Southwest Research Institute

Courtney Rouse, PhD, Research Engineer, Artificial Intelligence, Southwest Research Institute

Courtney Rouse, PhD, is a research engineer at Southwest Research Institute where she leads a Medical Artificial Intelligence group on projects including, but not limited to, automating cancer diagnostics, mental health applications, and cognitive load assessments. Dr. Rouse received her PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida in 2019, and her thesis focused on human-robot interaction for people with movement disorders using a stationary bicycle with electrical stimulation.

Rockefeller University

Thomas P. Sakmar, MD, Professor, Chemical Biology, Rockefeller University

Thomas Sakmar is the Richard M. and Isabel P. Furlaud Professor at The Rockefeller University where he heads the Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Signal Transduction. Dr. Sakmar uses interdisciplinary approaches to study the molecular mechanism of transmembrane signaling by G protein-coupled receptors. Dr. Sakmar received an A.B. in chemistry from the University of Chicago and his M.D. from Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. He carried out clinical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital before doing postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying DNA chemistry and gene synthesis. He has been an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Senior Scholar of the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Marie Krogh Visiting Professor at University of Copenhagen and Guest Professor at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Adrian Sanborn, PhD, Founding Scientist & Bioscience Lead, Atomic AI

Adrian Sanborn, PhD, is Founding Scientist and Bioscience Lead at Atomic AI. His research expertise brings together functional genomics, structural biology, and machine learning. He earned his PhD at Stanford University in the lab of Roger Kornberg, and authored seminal papers in the field of 3D genome organization.

AssayQuant Technologies

Erik Schaefer, PhD, CEO, CSO, and Co-Founder, AssayQuant Technologies

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.

Pfizer Inc

James Schiemer, PhD, Senior Scientist, Pfizer Inc.

James received his PhD from Tufts University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Cellular and Molecular Physiology, studying the role of GPCR signaling in platelet function. Next, James received a post-doctoral fellowship at Pfizer Inc, in Groton CT. There he studied protein degrader ternary complexes using biophysics and structural biology. This folded into a full-time employment opportunity as a Senior Scientist at Pfizer using Biophysics and X-Ray crystallography as in early drug discovery.

Merck & Co Inc

Gottfried Schroeder, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, Quantitative Biosciences, Merck & Co., Inc.

Dr. Gottfried Schroeder joined the Biochemistry and Biophysics group at MSD (Boston, MA) in 2012. Since that time Gottfried has applied a wide range of biophysical techniques coupled with automation to projects in multiple disease areas from the early discovery through preclinical candidate space. These efforts encompassed small-scale screening to in-depth mechanism of action studies, including several clinical assets. In 2015, Gottfried assumed a leadership role in surface plasmon resonance (SPR) at the Boston site providing continued support for multiple preclinical and clinical programs spanning small molecule, peptide, and oligonucleotide modalities. Dr. Schroeder received his doctorate (UNC-Chapel Hill) under Richard Wolfenden with a focus on enzymology and biophysics. His postdoctoral work at UT-Austin with Chris Whitman and Kenneth Johnson (collaboration) centered on advanced transient state kinetics methods and enzyme mechanism. Gottfried’s current interests include further integration and application of SPR data to the drug discovery process.

Novartis Pharma AG

Holger Sellner, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Global Discovery Chemistry - Oncology, Novartis Pharma AG

Dr. Holger Sellner is a medicinal chemist at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland. He received his PhD from the ETH Zurich in 2001, working in the field of organic methodology. He joined Novartis in Basel in 2003, after a postdoctoral stay in the group of Professor Andrew Myers at Harvard University, contributing to the synthesis of complex natural products. Initially, he had been involved in numerous drug discovery projects centered around protease targets. More recently, he has joined oncology research contributing to the identification of various clinical candidates.

Uthpala Seneviratne, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, AstraZeneca

Uthpala Seneviratne is an Associate Principal Scientist in AstraZeneca. Uthpala received his B.S. in (Chemistry and Biology) in Sri Lanka and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Minnesota. In UMN he studied carcinogenic DNA adducts and their xenobiotic metabolism with Prof. Natalia Tretyakova. He finished his post-doctoral training in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT in Prof. Steven Tannenbaum lab. Where he developed chemoproteomic strategies termed "SNOTRAP" to study protein S-nitrosylation, a redox protein post translational modification to cysteine. In 2015, he joined Pfizer chemical Biology group. Through his six years he has impactful contributions to many projects including, JAK3 inhibitor ritlecitinib - in ph3, oral COVID protease inhibitor and many publications in leading journals. In 2021, he joined AstraZeneca to build high throughput targeted proteomics capabilities in the Mechanistic Structural biology team in US and currently providing key data for project transitions in the oncology PROTAC portfolio.

New York University School of Medicine

Alexander Serganov, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine

Dr. Alexander Serganov graduated from the Moscow State University and completed his PhD study in the Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, by conducting collaborative research on the function and structure of ribosomal proteins in the laboratories in France and Sweden. After a brief postdoctoral study centered on the regulation of gene expression during ribosome biogenesis in CNRS (Strasbourg, France) he joined the Dinshaw Patel laboratory at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, USA), where he was instrumental in deciphering how riboswitches, newly discovered regulatory RNAs responding to cellular metabolites, specifically recognize small molecules and direct expression of associated genes. He joined the faculty of New York University Grossman School of Medicine in 2011, and, in addition to continuing research on the structure and function of riboswitches, focused on the RNA modifications, their impact on RNA stability, and the role of RNA-protein interactions in health and disease.

Pedro Serrano Navarro, PhD, Principal Scientist, Structural Biology & Biophysics, Takeda San Diego

Pedro Serrano leads the RNA and Protein Modulation Unit at Takeda, where he is working on developing novel small-molecule approaches to address hard-to-drug diseases. Previously, he was an assistant professor at the Scripps Research Institute where he used NMR spectroscopy and other biophysics methods to investigate membrane proteins and the interplay between protein and nucleic acids.

Sahil P. Shah, Operations Manager, Biologics Health Science, Health & Nutrition, SGS

Sahil Shah is an Operations Manager at SGS Canada leading the Biologics department’s efforts on method development, method validation, characterization, and GMP testing for a wide range of pre-clinical to commercial phase biotherapeutics. He has 17+ yrs. of experience in analytical development for biologics including biosimilars, novel biologics, cell & gene therapies, and vaccines. Before joining SGS, he worked on several biosimilars and novel biologics product development through discovery to commercial phase.

Yale University

Jason Sheltzer, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Oncology, Yale University School of Medicine

Dr. Jason Sheltzer received his PhD from MIT, where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Angelika Amon in the Koch Institute for Cancer Research. As a graduate student at MIT, Dr. Sheltzer studied the effects of aneuploidy, or chromosome copy number imbalances, on cellular physiology. His work revealed several novel consequences of aneuploidy, including unanticipated effects of aneuploidy on homologous recombination, transcription, and tumor suppression. After completing his PhD, Dr. Sheltzer established his own research group as an Independent Fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The Sheltzer Lab's research is dedicated to understanding the genomic causes of cancer progression and therapeutic vulnerabilities. In 2021, Dr. Sheltzer joined the faculty of the Yale School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor.

Psivant Therapeutics

Woody Sherman, PhD, CEO, Psivant Therapeutics

Woody Sherman is CEO, Psivant Therapeutics and a thought leader in molecular simulations and computer-aided drug design, with over 90 peer-reviewed publications covering novel methods and applications. As Chief Computational Scientist at Roivant, Woody oversaw the computational strategy, implementation, and deployment of computational methods. He received his B.S. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara where he studied nonlinear optical properties of organic polymers using computational quantum mechanics methods. He completed his Ph.D. at MIT working in Professor Bruce Tidor’s lab where he examined the role of electrostatics in protein-ligand binding and implemented a novel method for optimizing ligand binding specificity across a panel of targets. While in graduate school he worked at Biogen where he developed novel methods to enhance antibody affinity via electrostatic charge optimization, resulting in a publication and patent. As Global Head of Applications Science at Schrodinger, led research, product development, methods development, and the deployment of Python-based tools. He also worked closely with Pharma partners on research projects and collaborations. Woody has published on a broad range of topics, including induced-fit docking, ensemble docking, molecular dynamics, free energy simulations, protein design, small molecule optimization, cheminformatics, hybrid ligand/structure-based methods, charge optimization, pharmacophore modeling, and more.

ATAI Life Sciences AG

Glenn F. Short, PhD, Senior Vice President, Early Development, ATAI Life Sciences AG

Glenn Short is Senior Vice President of Early Development at atai Life Sciences, a global biopharmaceutical company builder developing treatments for mental health disorders. Dr. Short has over 18 years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries leading discovery, translational research, and early clinical development programs. Prior to atai, Dr. Short held senior R&D leadership positions at companies from venture-backed startups to vertically-integrated publicly-traded pharmaceutical companies.

Laura Silvian, PhD, Senior Director, Physical Biochemistry, Biogen

Dr. Laura Silvian is a Sr. Director at Biogen and leads an innovative Physical Biochemistry and Molecular Design group within the Biotherapeutic and Medicinal Sciences (BTMS) department. We use structure-based, rational drug design and biophysical assessments to enable us to engineer our therapeutics and decision-making in biologics, small molecule, and gene therapy drug design. Using cutting-edge techniques for protein expression of complexes and structural methods such as CryoEM, Crystallography, NMR, SPR and other Biophysical techniques, we enable improvements in potency, selectivity and developability of therapeutics. We employ structure and sequence-based molecular design strategies for improved biologics efficacy, selectivity and developabilliy. Laura is an inventor or co-author on more than 40 publications and patents on protein and RNA targets.

Broad Institute

Shantanu Singh, PhD, Senior Group Leader, Machine Learning, Imaging Platform, Broad Institute

Dr. Shantanu Singh is a senior group leader in the Imaging Platform at the Broad Institute. He leads a data science group that develops computational and statistical methods to create fingerprints of genes, chemicals, and diseases from microscopy images of cells. Using assays like Cell Painting that capture a broad range of their morphological properties, cellular populations are characterized at single-cell resolution to discover similarities and differences among treatments. This work has the potential to transform how both the targets and therapies for disease are identified. After completing his PhD at Ohio State in computer science, Shantanu joined the Imaging Platform, inspired by the group’s vision to make cell morphology as computable as genomes. He has previously worked in research groups at Mercedes-Benz R&D, GE Global Research, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he applied computer vision and machine learning techniques to a wide range of problems in road safety, cell biology, and geospatial imaging.

C4 Therapeutics

Ritu Singh, PhD, Associate Director, DMPK, C4 Therapeutics Inc.

Ritu Singh is an Associate Director in the Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics group at C4 Therapeutics in Watertown, MA. She earned her Ph.D in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Rutgers University. Prior to joining C4 in 2022, Ritu worked at the Broad Institute, Corning Life Sciences (Gentest), Synta Pharmaceuticals and Merck. Her interests and expertise include ADME optimization of small molecules and targeted protein degraders, drug metabolism, metabolite identification, bio-analysis, and drug-drug interactions.

Galecto Inc

Rob Slack, PhD, Director of Pharmacology, Galecto, Inc.

Rob Slack is currently VP & Head of Pharmacology at Galecto, Inc. in Stevenage, UK where he oversees the company’s research activities. Prior to joining Galecto, Rob served as Head of Translational Pharmacology within the Respiratory Therapy Area at GlaxoSmithKline where he led a number of inhaled and oral programmes through lead optimisation to clinical studies in fibrotic and inflammatory diseases during his 17 years at the company. Rob received his BSc and MSc from the University of Bath, UK and his PhD from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. His research has included a focus on the translational pharmacological characterisation of alpha-v integrins, GPCRs and galectins in the context of lead optimisation and drug discovery for fibrotic and inflammatory diseases.

University of Miami

Vladlen Z. Slepak, PhD, Professor, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami

Vladlen ("Vlad") Slepak received his PhD in bioorganic chemistry from Moscow State University/Shemyakin Institute in Moscow. He then moved to the US for postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) where he contributed to characterization of several G protein subunits cloned in the lab. In 1995, Vlad joined the faculty at the University of Miami, where he is now a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology. His lab conducts mechanistic studies of proteins involved in GPCR signaling pathways in several physiological systems and recently focused on ectopically expressed olfactory receptors (ORs). Dr. Slepak has been a PI on grants funded by NIH, AHA, PhRMA, and other foundations. He is an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Biological Chemistry and a Member of the Molecular Pharmacology Executive Committee of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)

University of Kansas Lawrence

Joanna Slusky, PhD, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas

Joanna graduated magna cum laude in chemistry from Princeton University. While there she synthesized superconductors and geometrically frustrated magnets that resulted in her co-authoring 5 papers in Nature. She then focused on membrane protein design and completed her PhD in Bill DeGrado’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania. As an NSF graduate research fellow, Joanna designed the first peptides to bind to specifically to the transmembrane region of proteins. Following her PhD, Joanna continued to study membrane proteins over the course of two postdoctoral appointments. The first was a Human Frontier Science Program postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Gunnar von Heijne at Stockholm University where she studied membrane protein topology determination. Her second postdoc was with Roland Dunbrack at Fox Chase Cancer Center where she began her studies of outer membrane proteins. She now explores outer membrane protein design, folding and evolution at the University of Kansas. In 2016 she was an inaugural recipient of the Moore Inventor Fellowship. In 2017 she was named an NIH Director’s New Innovator Awardee. In 2020 Joanna was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.

AbbVie Inc

Corey Smith, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, Global Biologics Protein Science, AbbVie

Dr. Corey Smith is a Principal Research Scientist in Cell and Protein Sciences/Biotherapeutics at the AbbVie Bioresearch Center (ABC) in Worcester, MA. He is responsible for protein purification and has specialized in the design, expression, and purification of Virus-Like Particles, enzymes, and protein complexes to advance the Biologics pipeline. Prior to joining AbbVie, he completed his post-doctoral work at UMASS Medical School in Dr. Paul Kaufman’s lab, working on involvement of histone chaperones in replication-coupled chromatin assembly and chromatin association with the nucleolus. His graduate thesis was completed under the guidance of Dr. Craig Peterson, UMASS Medical, where he worked on structural and enzymatic analysis of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes.

Vaccinex Inc

Ernest Smith, PhD, Senior Vice President, Research; CSO, Antibody Discovery, Vaccinex

Ernest S. Smith, PhD, has served as Senior Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Vaccinex since December 2008. Ernest previously served as our Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer from April 2003 to December 2008 and our Research Director from June 2001 to April 2003. Prior to joining us, Dr. Smith was a research scientist at the University of Rochester. Dr. Smith received a BA in Biology from St. John Fisher College, and an MS and a PhD in Immunology from the University of Rochester.

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.

Max Delbruck Ctr for Molecular Medicine

Ulrike Stein, PhD, Professor, Translational Oncology, Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine

Ulrike Stein graduated in biochemistry at the Martin-Luther-University Halle, received her PhD in Biochemistry at the Humboldt-University Berlin, and post-graduated in Biochemical Medicine, Germany. She was Post-Doc as Feodor-Lynen-fellow, Alexander von Humboldt-foundation at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Frederick, MD, USA, and was invited there as visiting scientist from 1996-2011. She received her Habilitation (Assistant Professorship) in Biochemistry in 2003 and was appointed to a professorship in 2009 at the Charite, Universitatsmedizin Berlin. Currently, she is head of the research group “Translational oncology of solid tumors” at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Charite, and Max-Delbruck-Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin, Germany.

Matt Stone, Advanced Workflow Specialist, SCIEX

Matthew Stone received a BA in Chemistry at Carleton College, MN, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of MN developing derivatives of FVIIa with enhanced activity as potential enzyme replacement therapies. He worked on functional proteomics at the NIA, and on collaborative proteomics projects at the University of MN MS and Proteomics core facility. Matt now focuses on life science and biopharma applications (particularly next gen biologics) at SCIEX.

Celsius Therapeutics

Nicolas Stransky, PhD, Vice President & Head, Data Sciences, Celsius Therapeutics

Nicolas Stransky has spent the last 20 years in industry and academia at the forefront of genomics, precision medicine, and translational research. At Celsius, Nico built the computational biology, machine learning, engineering, and IT/informatics groups, and focuses on applying novel computational methods to analyze large-scale single-cell RNAseq data for the purpose of drug discovery and target identification. Previously, Nico built the computational biology and bioinformatics group at Blueprint Medicines, where he led the computational efforts for target discovery and impacted the translational medicine genomics aspects of the company’s ongoing clinical trials. Prior to Blueprint, Nico held a position in the cancer program at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he led the computational team for the Broad-Novartis Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia Project (CCLE) and as well as one of the very first cancer exome sequencing studies. Nico is a recognized researcher in the fields of computational biology and cancer research. He has co-authored or authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, nine granted patents, and has developed widely used methods and algorithms in the field of computational biology. Nico performed his postdoctoral research at the Curie Institute in Paris, France, and obtained his Ph.D. from Paris-Saclay University. He also holds a Master’s degree in oncology and cancer therapeutics from Paris-Saclay University and a M.Sc. in biochemistry from ecole Normale Superieure Paris-Saclay.

WuXi AppTec

Wenji Su, PhD, Senior Director and the Head of Early Discovery Platform, WuXi Biology, WuXi AppTec

Dr. Wenji Su is the Senior Director and the Head of Early Discovery Platform in WuXi Biology, WuXi AppTec. She was trained as a molecular and cell biologist with a PhD from Emory University. Dr. Su leads the DNA-encoded library screening platform at WuXi AppTec, including the development of DELight and DELopen, novel screening methods and hit validation strategies.

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.

Genentech Inc

Dawei Sun, PhD, Scientist, Structural Biology, Genentech

I am a trained biochemist focusing on the structural biology of membrane proteins. My research at Genentech is focused on utilizing biophysical and structural biology methods to understand the structure and function of integral membrane protein targets so as to further facilitate the structure-based drug design.

Rajesh Sundaresan, PhD, Scientific Leader and GSK Fellow, Protein Cell and Structural Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline

Rajesh Sundaresan has a PhD from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan. Carried out over 15 years of academic research at Riken, Japan, and University of Birmingham, UK, developing and applying NMR methods for protein-protein, protein-lipid interactions, and membrane protein signaling. At GSK, Stevenage he has applied his knowledge of membrane protein signaling and interactions to enable biologics discovery for soluble and membrane protein targets, for both standard and bispecific formats.

Aspen Point Consulting, LLC

Susanne Swalley, PhD, Principal, Aspen Point Consulting LLC

Susanne Swalley, Ph.D. led a chemical biology laboratory as a Principal Scientist at Biogen. Trained as a chemist, her research focused on developing and applying methodologies for target deconvolution of small molecule hits from phenotypic screens, particularly genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screening and chemoproteomics. Prior to Biogen, she was a Senior Investigator at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research where she focused on target identification and validation using biophysical approaches, and a Research Scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where she contributed to the evaluation and screening of new targets. Susanne graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and music, and she obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology with Dr. Peter Dervan. Her postdoctoral training was at Harvard University in the laboratories of Dr. Don Wiley and Dr. Stephen Harrison.

Alexander Taguchi, PhD, Director, Machine Learning, Antibody Discovery, iBio, Inc.

Alex has built his career around applying machine learning to problems in biology. He has 13 years of experience in computational biology and 30+ publications spanning work at institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At RubrYc Therapeutics, Alex managed antibody discovery campaigns using machine learning to produce drug molecules with exquisite epitope-selectivity, leading to the company’s acquisition by iBio in 2022. Now, Alex is driving the development of iBio's machine learning branch for epitope-steered antibody discovery.

Foghorn Therapeutics

Asad 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.

BAKX Therapeutics

Dazhi Tan, PhD, Senior Director & Head, Computational Drug Discovery, BAKX Therapeutics

Dazhi Tan is passionate about discovering drugs at the interface of computation and experiment through integrating knowledge spanning structural biology, computational chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and machine learning. He is currently the Head of Computational Drug Discovery at BAKX Therapeutics in Lexington, MA. He previously led the construction of the computational chemistry platforms at Reverie Labs and Silicon Therapeutics (Roivant Discovery), both start-up biotechs in the Greater Boston area. Before moving to MA, Dazhi completed his PhD study in structural biology at Columbia University and later worked at D. E. Shaw Research in New York City. Originally from China and a biologist by training, Dazhi earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Vanderbilt University

William Tansey, PhD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Professor of Cell & Development Biology, Vanderbilt University

William Tansey was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. He earned his B.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Sydney, where he studied processes that regulate human growth hormone gene expression. After completing his doctoral studies in 1992, he moved to the United States to pursue postdoctoral training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. There, his work centered on unraveling the biochemical processes that human cells use to control gene activity. In 1997, he was promoted to the faculty of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and established his independent laboratory focusing on gene regulation and how it goes awry in cancer. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2001 and full Professor in 2005 where he held the title Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Biological Sciences. In 2009, he moved to Vanderbilt University, where he is currently Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, Professor of Biochemistry, and Ingram Professor of Cancer Research. He also serves as Co-Director of the Genome Maintenance Program for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Dr. Tansey’s current research centers on understanding the function of MYC oncoprotein transcription factors, and leveraging this understanding to explore new ways to target MYC in cancer. Dr. Tansey’s research has been continually funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1998. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the University Medal from the University of Sydney, Kimmel Foundation Scholar, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar, and Stohlman Scholar. In 2012 he was named as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2015 an Honorary Fellow of the Boehringer Ingleheim Fonds.

Madrigal Pharmaceuticals

Rebecca A. Taub, MD, CMO, President of R&D, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals

Rebecca Taub, MD has served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, Research & Development, and as a member of Madrigal’s Board of Directors, since July 2016. Previously, Dr. Taub served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors of privately-held Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from inception through its merger with Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. Prior to joining Madrigal, Dr. Taub served as Senior Vice President, Research and Development of VIA Pharmaceuticals from 2008 to 2011 and as Vice President, Research, Metabolic Diseases at Hoffmann-La Roche from 2004 to 2008. In those positions, Dr. Taub oversaw clinical development and drug discovery programs in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases including the conduct of a series of Phase I and II proof of conduct clinical trials. Dr. Taub led drug discovery including target identification, lead optimization and advancement of preclinical candidates into clinical development. From 2000 through 2003, Dr. Taub worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and DuPont Pharmaceutical Company, in a variety of positions, including Executive Director of CNS and metabolic diseases research. Before becoming a pharmaceutical executive, Dr. Taub was a tenured Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Taub is the author of more than 120 research articles. Before joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Taub served as an Assistant Professor at the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard Medical School, Harvard University and an associate investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Taub received her MD from Yale University School of Medicine and BA from Yale College.

Repair Biotechnologies, Inc.

Mourad Topors, CSO, Repair Biotechnologies, Inc.

Mourad Topors is the CSO of Repair Biotechnologies. He has deep experience in leading multi-disciplinary teams in translational medical research with a focus in cardiometabolic disease. Formerly, Dr. Topors was Principal Investigator and Faculty at Harvard Medical School and Team Leader at Pfizer’s Center for Therapeutic Innovations. He holds a PhD in Experimental Medicine from McGill University and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto.

Murat Tunaboylu, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO, Antiverse

Murat is currently the founder and CEO of Antiverse, an AI-biologics company aiming to engineer the future of drug discovery, which he founded alongside CTO Ben Holland in 2017. Murat has a background in software engineering and bioinformatics, where during his mid-career he developed high-frequency trading systems. After shifting into the biotechnology industry, he developed a cell imaging software and lab robots to accelerate cancer research. He also worked with ThermoFisher Scientific, where he established an automated approach to gene synthesis workflows. In addition, he also founded Svarlight - a consultancy company.

Pliant Therapeutics

Scott Turner, PhD, Senior Vice President, Translational Sciences, Pliant Therapeutics

Scott Turner, PhD is a leader in fibrosis research and the development of novel transnational tools for drug discovery and development. Prior to joining Pliant as senior director of technology in 2016, Dr. Turner was the vice president of research and development at KineMed Inc. where he led the technology development and biomarker discovery efforts in fibrosis, atherosclerosis and metabolic disease. He has co-authored more than 50 publications and holds several patents in the areas of metabolic fluxes and stable isotopes methods. Dr. Turner has been awarded three NIH grants to fund his research into novel in vivo biomarker discovery. Dr. Turner received his PhD in 2002 in Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology from the University of California at Berkeley. His graduate research focused on the development and application of stable isotope methodology to the study of adipose tissue dynamics in the ob/ob mouse.

Louisiana State University

Gianluca Veggiani, PhD, Assistant Professor, Research, Louisiana State University

Dr. Gianluca Veggiani is a Research Assistant Professor in nano-immunoengineering at the Department of Pathobiological Sciences of the Louisiana State University, which he joined in 2022. In his postdoctoral work with Prof. Dev Sidhu at the University of Toronto, Dr. Veggiani developed molecular probes for ultra-sensitive detection and modulation of post-translational modifications as well as highly efficient gene editing. During his doctoral work in Prof. Mark Howarth’s laboratory at the University of Oxford, Dr. Veggiani pioneered the development of molecular superglues for controlled protein polymerization, enhanced T-cell activation, sensitive circulating tumor cell isolation. His current work focuses on the development of high-throughput methods for synthetic biology, vaccines and novel cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.

Archana Vijayakumar, PhD, Director, Research Biology, OrsoBio

Before joining OrsoBio, I was a senior research scientist I in the Fibrosis Biology group at Gilead Sciences. I joined Gilead in 2018 after a post doc in Dr. Barbara Kahn's lab at Beth Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, studying the role of adipose tissue de novo lipogenesis in maintaining metabolic homeostasis.

Frontier Medicines Corporation

Patrick Visperas, PhD, Principal Scientist, Discovery Biology, Frontier Medicines

Patrick Visperas is a Principal Scientist at Frontier Medicines Corp. He received his B.S. from UC Davis and completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology with Prof. John Kuriyan at UC Berkeley. Patrick would then go on to focus on discovery of small molecule drugs of kinases and epigenetic targets at Plexxikon Inc. Patrick then moved to Ideaya Biosciences Inc. where he supported drug discover efforts for synthetic lethal targets. His current work at Frontier Medicines includes leading efforts to identify novel ligands of E3 ligases and drugging traditionally "undruggable" oncology targets.

Genentech Inc

Domagoj Vucic, PhD, Staff Scientist, Early Discovery Biology, Genentech

Domagoj Vucic, PhD, is a Staff Scientist and a Project Team Leader at Genentech in South San Francisco, USA. He obtained a BS from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and a PhD from the University of Georgia, USA. He completed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Vishva Dixit. Domagoj’s laboratory investigates the biological role of modulators of signaling pathways, and their involvement in cellular processes triggered by TNF family ligands and other pro-inflammatory stimuli. At Genentech, he leads an effort to develop compounds that target select kinases and ubiquitin ligases for blocking uncontrolled inflammatory responses and/or enhancement of the survival of damaged cells and tissues.


Yuan Wang, PhD, Head of Research Analytics, UCB Pharma

Dr. Wang is heading Research Analytics of UCB Pharma’s Data and Translational Sciences department, based in Cambridge, MA. In her current role she brings computational analytics and data strategy to tackle challenges in novel chemical biology and therapeutic modality in severe diseases. Prior to joining UCB she was working for Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA, and F. Hoffman La Roche in Basel, Switzerland.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc

Charles 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.


Trevor Wattam, PhD, Scientific Leader, Antibody Discovery, GlaxoSmithKline

Since graduating in 1989 I have been working in the field antibody discovery by in-vivo and in-vitro methods. In my current role I am working to produce the next generation of antibody therapeutics for patients and lead a team of dedicated professionals in in-vivo antibody discovery. Together, we run a state of the art human antibody transgenic mouse platform for the generation of antibodies utilising novel immunisation methods that are capable of generating therapeutic grade high affinity (single digit pM), high potency, target specific antibodies. My many years of experience in the field of antibody discovery and characterisation have allowed me to develop novel immunisation methods that speed up the immunisation process leading to better antibodies faster.

PTC Therapeutics Inc

Marla Weetall, PhD, Senior 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.

Massachusetts General Hospital

Marc Wein, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Marc Wein is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. Marc received his BS and MS from Yale University, MD and PhD from Harvard Medical School, and was trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital where he currently runs his research laboratory and clinical practice. He has received research funding and awards from the NIH, American Society of Clinical Investigation, Harrington Discovery Institute, Endocrine Society, Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation, American Society of Bone and Mineral Research, and the Smith Family Foundation.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ron Weiss, PhD, Professor, Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ron Weiss is Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering and in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is the Director of the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT. Professor Weiss is one of the pioneers of synthetic biology. He has been engaged in synthetic biology research since 1996 when he was a graduate student at MIT and where he helped set up a wet-lab in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. After completion of his PhD, Weiss joined the faculty at Princeton University, and then returned to MIT in 2009 to take on a faculty position in the Department of Biological Engineering and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The research pursued by Weiss since those early days has placed him in a position of leadership in the field, as evidenced both by publications from his lab as well as a variety of awards and other forms of recognition. He pursued several aspects of synthetic biology, including synthesis of gene networks engineered to perform in vivo analog and digital logic computation. The Weiss lab also published seminal papers in synthetic biology focused on programming cell aggregates to perform coordinated tasks using engineered cell-cell communication with chemical diffusion mechanisms such as quorum sensing. Several of these manuscripts were featured in a recent Nature special collection of a select number of synthetic biology papers reflecting on the first 10 years of synthetic biology. While work in the Weiss lab began mostly with prokaryotes, during the last 5 years a majority of the research in the lab shifted to mammalian synthetic biology. The lab focuses both on foundational research, e.g., creating general methods to improve our ability to engineering biological systems, as well as pursuing specific health related applications where synthetic biology provides unique capabilities.http://groups.csail.mit.edu/synbio/

Boston University

Wilson Wong, PhD, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University

Wilson Wong is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. He is also a core member of the Biological Design Center. The overarching goal of Wilson’s research for the past decade has been to develop ways to control mammalian cell functions through engineering, biological network design, molecular biology, and chemical biology for medical applications, such as CAR T cell therapy. His work can be broadly characterized into four different levels of regulation: receptor signaling, post-transcription, transcription, and DNA. These tools are developed in immune cells and other tissues for cancer therapeutics, Type 1 Diabetes treatment, or diagnostics applications. Wilson joined Boston University in 2012. His work has been recognized by various awards, such as the Allen Distinguished Investigator Award, ACS Synthetic Biology Young Investigator Award, BU College of Engineering Early Career Research Excellence Award, NSF CAREER Award, and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Wilson is also a scientific co-founder of Senti Biosciences. Wilson holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from UC Los Angeles. At UCLA, he studied synthetic biology and metabolic engineering in bacteria under the guidance of Professor James Liao. He then conducted postdoctoral research in Professor Wendell Lim’s laboratory at UCSF, in collaboration with Profess Arthur Weiss, on engineering human immune cells.


Alec Woosley, PhD, Senior Scientist, Biologics Engineering and Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca

Alec currently contributes technical expertise in protein engineering and molecular biology towards pipeline initiatives / technology development efforts targeting complex membrane proteins of interest in oncology at AstraZeneca. Alec is also a program leader within AZ early oncology and tumor-targeted delivery (TTD).

Pfizer Inc

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

Dr. Huixian Wu received her PhD in Structural Biology and Chemistry from the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA) in the laboratory of Prof. Raymond C. Stevens. While in Stevens lab, Dr. Wu focused on G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) crystallography where she determined the crystal structures of several important human GPCRs, including the k-opioid receptor, metabotropic glutamate receptor, and smoothened receptor. After completing her PhD, Dr. Wu joined Prof. Stuart L. Schreiber’s laboratory in the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT (Cambridge, MA) for postdoctoral research, working on structure-based drug development (SBDD) targeting inflammatory bowel diseases. Currently, Dr. Wu is a Principal Scientist leading a Crystallography lab at Pfizer (Groton, CT). Her lab is supporting SBDD of diverse therapeutic targets across multiple disease areas in Pfizer.

Harvard Medical School

Ming-Ru Wu, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

Ming-Ru Wu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology at Harvard Medical School. Ming-Ru received his M.D. from Tzu Chi University in Taiwan. He obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Dartmouth College in 2015, where he developed several natural killer cell receptor-based chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells, bispecific T cell engagers (BiTEs), and tumor-targeting nanoparticles. He performed postdoctoral research at the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT, where he developed cancer-targeting gene circuits and high-throughput cell state-sensor engineering methods. He joined Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in 2019, where he is primarily focusing on harnessing the tools and design principles of synthetic biology to develop cell- and gene circuit-based cancer immunotherapy.

Scripps Research Institute

Peng Wu, PhD, Professor, Chemical Physiology, Scripps Research Institute

Peng Wu is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine. Before joining the faculty at TSRI, Peng was an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and the Scientific Director of the Chemical Biology Core Facility at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. The research in the Wu laboratory integrates synthetic chemistry with glycobiology to explore the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control immune responses toward cancer and human pathogens. His recent awards include: 2020 Horace S. Isbell Award, Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 2021 Horizon Prize (Robert Robinson Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry), the Royal Society of Chemistry (with the teams of K. Barry Sharpless, Jeff Kelly, John Moses, Jianmei Lu, Dennis Wolan, Bruce Hammock and Han Zuilhof) and 2021 Glycobiology Significant Achievement Award, the Society for Glycobiology.

Fang Xie, PhD, Associate Director, Bioimaging, In Vitro In Vivo Translation, GSK

Dr. Fang Xie is an Associate Director of GSK. Dr. Xie is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (D.A.B.T.). Dr. Xie received her PhD in Toxicology from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany. She has extensive research background in the fields of drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology. Her key research interests include drug cellular disposition, drug-induced toxicities, and application of animal models. Dr. Xie serves on the editorial board for the journals Drug Metabolism and Disposition and Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology. Her current research focuses on application of imaging mass spectrometry/cytometry to investigate spatial omics in support of drug discovery and development. Dr. Xie is a founding member of Imaging Mass Spectrometry Society.

AbbVie Inc

Xiangdong Xu, MS, Senior Scientist II, Global Medicinal Chemistry, AbbVie

Xiangdong Xu, currently Senior Scientist II at AbbVie, is a highly experienced medicinal chemist. With over 30 years of industrial experience, he has worked for numerous pharmaceutical companies, including G. D. Searle, Monsanto, Pharmacia, Pfizer, Abbott, and AbbVie. Xiangdong completed his MS in Organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1993, and since then, he has worked in HTL and LO functions across various therapeutic areas, including metabolic disease, oncology, immunology, and CNS. Notably, he was part of the team that discovered Celecoxib early in his career. Recently, he has joined the AbbVie-Calico collaboration focusing on aging-related targets. He played a critical role in discovering an eIF2B activator, which is now a Phase II candidate for Vanishing White Matter Disease and potential ALS. During his career, Xiangdong has over 60 patents and journal publications.

Biortus Biosciences Co., Ltd.

Jack Yan, PhD, Vice President, CryoEM, Biortus Biosciences Co., Ltd.

Dr. Yan obtained his PhD in CryoEM from Purdue University. He was a faculty member at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) for over a decade and a visiting professor at Xiamen University before joining Biortus in 2018, setting up the state-of-the-art cryoEM platform. Biortus is now one of the global leaders in providing cutting-edge cryoEM services, revolutionizing the field of structural biology and empowering drug discovery efforts worldwide.

University of California, Davis

Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy, PhD, Professor, Physiology and Membrane Biology, University of California, Davis

Dr. Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy earned an MS Degree in Physics at the Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia, and then PhD Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Oregon Health Science University in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Yarov-Yarovoy was a postdoctoral fellow in Biophysics and Computational Biology and then a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He joined UC Davis as an Assistant Professor in Physiology and Membrane Biology in 2011 and became a full Professor in 2020.

University of South Florida

Libin Ye, PhD, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biosciences, University of South Florida

Dr. Ye joined the Department of Molecular Biosciences at University of South Florida as a Principal Investigator in 2018, and became an affiliate member at Moffitt Cancer Research Center, Tampa, FL in 2019. The long-term goal of his research is to explore 19F NMR approaches probing and quantifying conformational states of membrane proteins (GPCRs) at a high resolution, and to determine the roles of each conformational states in receptor functioning, through studying their conformational transitions, dynamics, and connections to (patho)physiological activities. The developments of these tools would help us for the drug discovery. In particular, he proposed to use the 19F NMR to determine the true “ligand bias” by circumventing the “system bias” from cell-based biased ligand determination. His lab is also focusing on methodological innovations in resolving the structures for intermediate conformations/complexes of membrane proteins through the integration of NMR and cryo-EM techniques.

RA Capital Management

Ajay S. Yekkirala, PhD, Co-Founder and Head of Biology, Superluminal Medicine

As co-founder of Blue and co-inventor of our core technology, Ajay directs scientific and experimental efforts at Blue. He has over 15 years of research experience in opioid medicinal chemistry and the neurobiology of pain. Ajay completed his doctoral studies in the lab of Dr. Philip Portoghese at the University of Minnesota. Ajay completed his postdoctoral training under renowned pain neurobiologist Clifford Woolf at Harvard Medical School. He has authored several papers published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals in the CNS space, including several book chapters and invited reviews. He is also a recipient of the Bacaner Research Award from the Minnesota Medical Foundation.

University of California, San Diego

Eugene Yeo, PhD, MBA, Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego; Founding Member, Institute for Genomic Medicine

Gene Yeo, PhD, MBA is a Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), a founding member of the Institute for Genomic Medicine and member of the UCSD Stem Cell Program and Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Yeo has a BSc in Chemical Engineering and a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the UCSD Rady School of Management. Dr. Yeo serves as Co-Director of the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Graduate Program and Associate Director of a Genetics T32 training program at UCSD. Dr. Yeo is a computational and experimental scientist who has contributed to RNA biology and therapeutics. His primary research interest is in understanding the importance of RNA processing and the roles that RNA binding proteins (RBPs) play in development and disease. Since inception, Dr. Yeo’s lab has focused on uncovering molecular principles by which RBPs affect gene expression, how RBP-mediated post-transcriptional gene networks contribute to cellular homeostasis in stem cells and the brain, and how mutations in RBPs lead to human developmental and neurodegenerative disease. His lab pioneered computational algorithms and experimental methods in human disease-relevant systems to conduct systematic and large-scale studies. These multidisciplinary methods combine machine learning, biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics, chemistry and materials research. His lab develops methods that are systematic, robust and adoptable, such as enhanced CLIP for the purposes of large-scale mapping of protein-RNA interactions (Van Nostrand et al, Nature Methods, 2016). Gene’s lab is a major contributor of resources to study RBPs that enable hundreds of labs across many areas of bioscience, such as the world’s largest resource of RBP-specific antibodies that facilitated generation and interpretation of the most comprehensive maps of RBP-binding sites to date for hundreds of RBPs (Van Nostrand et al, Nature, 2020). They have also systematically uncovered RBPs that condense into RNA granules during stress and demonstrated strategies to leverage these for therapeutic use in neurodegeneration (Markmiller et al, Cell, 2018; Fang et al, Neuron, 2019; Wheeler et al, Nature Methods, 2020). His lab also demonstrated in vivo RNA targeting with CRISPR/Cas proteins (Nelles et al, Cell, 2016) with proof of concept in repeat expansion disorders (Batra et al, Cell, 2017; Batra et al, Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2020). Recently his lab has developed the STAMP technology (Brannan et al, Nature Methods, 2021) which is the first transcriptome-wide method for identify RNA binding protein sites and translation measurements at single-cell resolution. Work from the Yeo lab has been highlighted in Nature Methods and Nature Reviews Genetics as “Method to Watch” and featured as a top story in Discover magazine. These efforts have led to clinical programs to develop medicines for RNA-related diseases.Dr. Yeo has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications including invited book chapters and review articles in the areas of neurodegeneration, RNA processing, computational biology and stem cell models; and served as Editor on two books on the biology of RNA binding proteins. Gene is on the Editorial Boards of the journals Cell Reports, Cell Research and eLife, and on the Advisory Board of Review commons. Gene joined UCSD as an Assistant Professor in 2008, was promoted with tenure to Associate Professor in 2014 and to Professor in 2016. Gene was the first Crick-Jacobs Fellow at the Salk Institute (2005-2008). Other awards include the Alfred P Sloan Fellowship in recognition of his work in computational molecular biology (2011), Alpha Chi Sigma-Zeta Chapter Krug Lecturer (2016), Singapore National Research Foundation Visiting Investigatorship Award (2017), the inaugural Early Career Award from the International RNA Society (2017), the Blavatnik National Award Finalist (2018 & 2019), San Diego Xconomy Awardee for ‘Big Idea’ (2019) and Highly Cited Researcher in Cross-Field category (2019, 2020, 2021), recognizing the world’s most influential researchers of the past decade. Gene is also a Paul Allen Distinguished Investigator (2020) and received the 2021 Elisa Izaurralde Award for Innovation in Research, Teaching and Service from the RNA Society. Gene is a co-founder of biotech companies which includes Locanabio, Eclipse Bioinnovations, Enzerna, Proteona, Trotana and Circ Bio. Gene serves or had served on the scientific advisory boards of the Allen Institute of Immunology, Locanabio, Eclipse Bioinnovations, Proteona, CircBio, Aquinnah, Cell Applications, Tecan, LGC, Sardona Therapeutics, Ladder Therapeutics, Insitro, Trotana, Nooma and Ribometrix. Gene is a senior advisor to Accelerator Life Sciences Partners. Gene’s lab has current or previous support from the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, TargetALS, ALS Foundation, Department of Defense, Myotonic Dystrophy Association, Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Takeda, Genentech and Roche.

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.

Kymera Therapeutics

Yi Zhang, PhD, Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Kymera Therapeutics

Yi Zhang joined Kymera therapeutics, Watertown MA in early 2018 and currently serves as director in medicinal chemistry. In this role, she has been responsible for a wide spectrum of drug discovery activities, including novel E3 ligase ligand discovery/validation, early-stage target assessment and lead optimization towards drug candidate nomination. Prior to Kymera, Dr. Zhang worked at Syros Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA as chemistry leader at beginning, later project leader on multiple drug discovery projects. Before moving to Boston, Dr. Zhang had served as medicinal chemist at GNF in San Diego for nearly 9 years. During her tenure at GNF, she was the principal designer of MHV370, currently in Phase II as potential treatment for Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjorgen’s Syndrome (SjS). Dr. Zhang earned her B.S. from Fudan University and M.A. from Princeton University. She received her Ph.D degree at Harvard University with Prof. Dan Kahne, where she completed a retro-synthesis of moenomycin and a total synthesis of a Lipid II dimer (a bacterial cell wall component)t and studies the mechanism of polyglycosylation, a key step for bacterial cell wall synthesis.

Insilico Medicine

Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, Founder & CEO, Insilico Medicine

Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine (insilico.com), a leader in next-generation artificial intelligence technologies for drug discovery and biomarker development. Under his leadership, Insilico raised over $380 million in multiple rounds from expert investors, opened R&D centers in six countries or regions, and partnered with multiple pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and academic institutions, nominated 8 preclinical candidates, and entered human clinical trials with AI-discovered novel target and AI-designed novel molecule. Since 2015, he invented critical technologies in the field of generative adversarial networks (GANs) and reinforcement learning (RL) for generation of the novel molecular structures with the desired properties and generation of synthetic biological and patient data. Since 2012, he published over 160 peer-reviewed research papers and 2 books. He founded and co-chairs the Annual Aging Research, Drug Discovery, and AI Forum (9th annual in 2022), the world's largest event on aging in the pharmaceutical industry. He is the adjunct professor of artificial intelligence at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

Harvard Medical School

Xin Zhou, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

Xin Zhou is an Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, and Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She obtained her PhD in Bioengineering with Dr. Michael Lin from Stanford University and did her postdoctoral training with Dr. Jim Wells at UCSF. Dr. Zhou’s research focuses on engineering functional protein sensors and switches for modulating biology. In the past, she has built proteins with versatile functions, including light-activated enzymes, phosphotyrosine recognition domains, antibody antagonists and agonists, and biosensors to measure SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Her work was recognized by many awards including an NIH Pathway to Independence Award and a Damon Runyon-Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists. Dr. Zhou’s new research group aims to leverage the power of protein engineering to gain a deeper fundamental understanding of malignancies and to discover new avenues for therapeutic intervention.

RAPT Therapeutics

Mikhail Zibinsky, PhD, Director, Chemistry, RAPT Therapeutics

Dr. Mikhail Zibinsky is a Director of Chemistry at RAPT Therapeutics, South San Francisco. In his decade long career in pharmaceutical industry Dr. Zibinsky successfully advanced several candidates to the clinic, all of which are currently in Phase 2/Phase 3 clinical studies in various indications. Prior to RAPT Therapeutics, Dr. Zibinsky was at Flexus Biosciences, which was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb in 2014 for its IDO1 program. Dr. Zibinsky holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Southern California and is an author and inventor on numerous patents and scientific publications.

Pfizer Global R&D Groton Labs

Christopher am Ende, PhD, Associate Research Fellow, Internal Medicine Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer Inc.

Christopher W. am Ende is the Chemical Biology and Exploratory Project Synthesis lead in the Internal Medicine group at Pfizer. Chris received a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Delaware, conducting undergraduate research with Professor Neal J. Zondlo designing lanthanide-binding peptides. He then pursued his graduate studies at Stony Brook University working with Professor Peter J. Tonge where he developed slow, tight binding inhibitors of InhA, the enoyl reductase from M. tuberculosis, and under the direction of Kathlyn A. Parker, completed the first total synthesis of the natural product bisabosqual A. He has published >55 journal articles and patents, serves as a steering committee member for the New York Academy of Sciences Chemical Biology Discussion Group and was named American Chemical Society Young Investigator. Additionally, Chris is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Connecticut College.

Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Inc.

Speaker to be Announced, Axcelead Drug Discovery Partners, Inc.

Speaker to be Announced, ZoBio


Choose your language