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Speaker Biographies

Novel Preclinical Models in Oncology


Cory Abate-Shen, Ph.D., Michael and Stella Chernow Professor of Urological Oncology, Associate Director, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center

Cory Abate-Shen, Ph.D., joined the faculty of Columbia University Medical Center and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2007. A leader in the field of urological oncology, Dr. Abate-Shen is the Michael and Stella Chernow Professor of Urologic Sciences, director of research in the Department of Urology, and an associate director of HICCC and leader of its Prostate Program. Dr. Abate-Shen’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of cancer development. She has a longstanding commitment to the generation of mouse models of cancer and their effective use for translational research. Her major research interests are in the area of genitourological cancer. Most notably, her laboratory has developed novel models of prostate and bladder cancer, which have been utilized for investigating the molecular basis of the disease as well as preclinical models for evaluating new therapies. Dr. Abate-Shen obtained her Ph.D. at Cornell University Medical College, and pursued her postdoctoral training with Tom Curran at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. In 1991, she joined the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as an assistant professor. She rose to the rank of professor by 2001, and was appointed chief of a new Division in the Department of Medicine in 2002. Dr. Abate-Shen also created the Prostate Program for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and served as its co-leader from 1999 to 2007. Among her various honors and awards, she has recently been selected as an American Cancer Society Research Professor, the first ever at Columbia University Medical School.

Kenna Anderes, Ph.D., Founder & President, Translational Medicine Partners, Inc.

Dr. Anderes has been a scientific leader in oncology drug discovery, biomarker identification and early clinical development in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Dr. Anderes’s training as a pharmacologist and cancer biologist served as the foundation for scientific accomplishments across the spectrum of drug discovery and development. Achievements range from lead identification of novel small molecule or biological entities to characterization of clinical development candidates for several distinct first-in-class molecular targeted agents to treat solid and hematologic cancers. Dr. Anderes has extensive experience directing and designing studies to determine relationships to drug exposure, mechanism of action, efficacy and biomarkers in the single agent and combination setting. Recognizing that the paradigm shift toward personalized medicine requires translational medicine expertise, Dr. Anderes formed Translational Medicine Partners, Inc. and provides consulting services for the life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Cyril H. Benes, Ph.D., Principal Investigator and Director, Center for Molecular Therapeutics, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Dr. Cyril H. Benes is an Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Center for Molecular Therapeutics at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. His research focuses on response to cancer therapeutics, the molecular basis of sensitivity to specific drugs and how to identify the genetic variations affecting the response to targeted therapies. Through the Center for Molecular Therapeutics, Dr. Benes’s ultimate goal is to find better ways to match individual cancer patients with particular targeted drug therapies in order to maximize the likelihood of a clinical response. Dr. Benes received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry-Chemistry and his Ph.D. in Protein Biochemistry from University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, as well as his Masters’ degree in Protein Biochemistry from the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Before joining Mass General in 2009, Dr. Benes completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School working with Stephen Soltoff and was an Instructor in Medicine at BIDMC/Harvard Medical School in the Division of Signal Transduction directed by Lewis Cantley.

Annette Byrne, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer Physiology & Medical Physics, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Having gained a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of York UK (1999), Dr. Byrne was awarded the John Kerner fellowship in Gynaecologic Oncology from the University of California, San Francisco. During this period she was engaged in the elucidation of novel angiogenesis targets important in the development of ovarian cancer, as well as screening in vivo activity of novel therapeutics. Subsequently, Dr. Byrne was recruited as Scientist by Pharmacyclics, Inc., a medium-sized pharmaceutical company in California's 'silicon valley' to investigate the mechanisms of action of a new class of radiation/ chemotherapy sensitizer drugs under clinical development. In 2003 Dr. Byrne relocated to New York where she was employed as Senior Scientist at Angion Biomedica Corp., whose main focus was developing therapeutics which manipulated angiogenesis signaling pathways. Dr. Byrne returned to Ireland in 2005 to the position of Principal Investigator at University College Dublin's Conway Institute. During this three year engagement she was instrumental in establishing Ireland's first comprehensive Tumour Xenograft Facility and translational In Vivo Imaging activities. Dr. Byrne was recruited to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in 2008 as tenured Lecturer Physiology & Principal Investigator, Tumour Biology/Molecular Imaging. Dr. Byrne was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2013 and is currently Head of the RCSI Laboratory for Tumor Biology & Molecular Imaging.

Sidi Chen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Genetics & Systems Biology Institute, Yale Cancer Center & Stem Cell Center, Yale University School of Medicine

Dr. Chen is an Assistant Professor of Genetics and Systems Biology at Yale. He earned his Ph.D. from The University of Chicago, and performed postdoctoral studies at MIT and the Broad Institute. His lab is located at the Systems Biology Institute at Yale. His current research focuses on cancer systems biology, in particular in vivo CRISPR/Cas9-mediated cancer modeling and genetic screening. He has led studies on essential function of new genes in animal development and tumorigenesis, microRNA regulation of tumor hypoxia and angiogenesis, in vivo modeling of lung cancer and liver cancer using gene editing, and genome-wide screens for metastasis regulators.

Khalid Shah, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Radiology and Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Shah is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. He is also the Director of the Stem Cell Therapeutics and Imaging program at MGH and a Principal Faculty at Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Boston. His laboratory focuses on developing therapeutic stem cells for receptor targeted therapies for cancer and testing their efficacy in clinically relevant mouse tumor models. Dr. Shah’s research also explores the development of novel in vivo imaging markers and their potential use in assessing fate of stem cells and their therapeutic efficacy. In recent years, Dr. Shah and his team have pioneered major developments in the stem cell therapy field, successfully developing experimental models to understand basic cancer biology and therapeutic stem cells for cancer, particularly brain tumors. These studies have been published in a number of very high impact journals like Nature Neuroscience, PNAS, Nature Reviews Cancer, JNCI, Stem Cells and Lancet Oncology, validating the use of therapeutic stem cells alone and in combination with clinically approved drugs for cancer therapy. Recently, Dr. Shah's work has caught the attention in the public domain and as such it has been highlighted in the media world-wide including features on BBC and CNN. Dr. Shah holds current positions on numerous councils, advisory and editorial boards in the fields of stem cell therapy and oncology. In an effort of to translate the exciting therapies develped in his laboratory into clinics, he has recently founded biotech company, AMASA Technologies Inc. whose main objective is the clinical translation of therapeutic stem cells in cancer patients.

Stuart Shumway, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Oncology Early Discovery, Merck Research Labs

Stuart Shumway, Ph.D. serves as a Principal Scientist within the oncology preclinical division at Merck Research Labs. During his ten years at Merck, Stuart has been involved in drug discovery efforts spanning diverse mechanisms such as oncogenic signal transduction, cell cycle checkpoints, DNA damage/repair, and immuno-oncology at various stages including target identification and validation, high throughput screening and lead identification, and preclinical support of phase I-II clinical programs. Stuart obtained a Ph.D. degree in the laboratory of Dr. Shigeki Miyamoto at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and conducted his post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Dr. Yue Xiong at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Dominic G. Spinella, Ph.D., Executive Director, Medical Sciences, Head of Clinical Biomarker Discovery & Development, Amgen, Inc.

Dominic G. Spinella, Ph.D. is Executive Director of Medical Sciences and Head of Clinical Biomarker Discovery & Development at Amgen. Prior to joining Amgen, Dom was Vice President of Clinical Development for Biodesix, Inc, an oncology diagnostics firm, and also previously headed Translational Medicine for Pfizer Oncology and been VP of Exploratory Research for Chugai Pharmaceuticals. Dom has served on several national and international cancer biomarker development bodies, including the Cancer Steering Committee of the NIH Biomarkers Consortium, the AACR/FDA/NCI/Cancer Biomarkers Collaborative (CBC) and the AACR Scientific Review Committee for Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development. He is an author or co-author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and abstracts, and principle or co-inventor of a dozen issued patents. Dom received his BS degree in Biology from Syracuse University in 1976 and his MS (1980) and Ph.D. degrees (1982) in Genetics and Immunology respectively from Rutgers University. He completed his post-doctoral training in Molecular Immunology as a Howard Hughes fellow at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He spent several years on the faculty of the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis before joining the Biotech/Pharma industry in 1991.

Annick D. Van den Abbeele, M.D., Associate Professor, Radiology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Van den Abbeele is an Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, the Chief of the Department of Imaging and Founding Director of the Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Co-Director of the Tumor Imaging Metrics Core at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. She holds a BA and MD from the University of Louvain in Belgium and is a Fellow of the American College of Radiology. Dr. Van den Abbeele has received several awards and serves on national and international scientific advisory boards and review panels, program progress review groups, and several committees. Dr. Van den Abbeele is nationally and internationally known for her translational research in molecular imaging building upon her pioneering work in monitoring response to molecularly-targeted therapy and immunotherapy in several cancers, for developing an integrated clinical and research cancer imaging department and for leading the implementation and development of quantitative metrics in cancer imaging. Dr. Van den Abbeele has mentored more than 100 trainees, authored more than 200 scientific articles and abstracts, edited 2 textbooks, authored and co-authored 22 book chapters, and presented numerous lectures and workshops nationally and internationally.

Daniela Cipolletta, Ph.D., Research Investigator, Clinical Translational Oncology, TCO, Novartis Oncology

Dr. Daniela Cipolletta is an Immunology Lab Head at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA. Her laboratory works in the field of cancer immunotherapy with a special emphasis on exploiting the most advanced transciptomic and proteomic approaches to characterize tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and to identify novel combinatorial drug strategies to treat cancer. Her research interests include the molecular and cellular regulation of tissue resident lymphocytes and immune regulation by inhibitory and co-stimulatory receptors. Dr. Cipolletta received her doctoral Ph.D. in Immunology from a joint program between the European School of Molecular Medicine and Harvard Medical School. Her post-doctoral work focused on tissue-resident regulatory T cells in the lab of Diane Mathis and Christophe Benoist at Harvard Medical School.

Cancer Immunotherapy and Combinations


To be Added

New Approaches for Predicting Drug Toxicity


Susan M.G. Goody, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Global Safety Pharmacology, Pfizer, Inc.

Susan M. G. Goody, Ph.D. is a Senior Principal Scientist within Global Safety Pharmacology, Drug Safety and Research Development at Pfizer, Inc. She received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus. At Pfizer, Dr. Goody is a member of the Neuropharmacology & Physiology Safety Pharmacology discipline, where she provides oversight of the FIH-enabling central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory studies, as well as other CNS and GI models, to support the Pfizer portfolio. Moreover, she serves as a drug safety team lead and is responsible for developing, and implementing the nonclinical safety/toxicology strategy for projects from Idea to Loss of Exclusivity. Susan is a subject matter expert in the Neuropharmacology & Physiology Safety Pharmacology discipline, where she provides insight for target de-risking strategies, study design, and data analysis and interpretation. Prior to joining Pfizer, she was an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine, where she led efforts to validate the tyrosine phosphatase STEP as a therapeutic target in fragile X syndrome and other related neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, using pharmacological and genetic approaches. She has published numerous scientific articles and is an active scientific reviewer. Dr. Goody is actively involved in various societies, specifically the Society of Neuroscience and the Safety Pharmacology Society.

Carrie Northcott, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Global Safety Pharmacology, Pfizer Inc.

Carrie Northcott, Ph.D. is a Senior Principle Scientist within Global Safety Pharmacology, Drug Safety and Research Development at Pfizer, Inc. She received her PhD at Michigan State University in Pharmacology and Toxicology. At Pfizer, Dr. Northcott’s roles include assisting in developing cardiovascular safety strategies and executing a range of cardiovascular models to support the Pfizer portfolio. Moreover, she is a drug safety team lead for several programs and is responsible for developing, and implementing the nonclinical safety/toxicology strategy for projects from Idea to Loss of Exclusivity (LoE). She is a subject matter expert within the cardiovascular discipline providing insight for target de-risking, study design, and data analysis and interpretation. Prior to joining Pfizer she was a NIH funded researcher in which her laboratory investigated neural signaling pathways and the cardiovascular system. She has published numerous scientific articles and is an active scientific reviewer. Dr. Northcott is actively involved in various societies, specifically; American Physiological Society (APS), FASEB and, the Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS).

Robert A. Roth, Ph.D., DABT, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Director, Graduate Program in Environmental and Integrative Toxicological Sciences, Michigan State University

Robert Roth, Ph.D., DABT, received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Duke University and the PhD degree in biochemical toxicology from The Johns Hopkins University. After postdoctoral training at Yale University, he joined the faculty at Michigan State University in 1977, where he is currently Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He is active in the Institute for Integrative Toxicology at MSU, for which he serves as Director of the multidisciplinary graduate program in Environmental and Integrative Toxicological Sciences. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed research articles and reviews in the areas of pulmonary and hepatic toxicology. His current research interests focus on (1) the role of the hemostatic system in the progression of acetaminophen hepatotoxicity and (2) inflammatory stress as a determinant of susceptibility to drug-induced liver injury. In the latter context, he and his colleagues have been working to develop animal and cell-based models for idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury, with the ultimate goal of understanding mechanisms and developing assays that can predict more effectively which drug candidates are likely to cause these adverse reactions.

Todd Wisialowski, MS, Associate Research Fellow, Global Safety Pharmacology, Pfizer Inc.

Todd Wisialowski earned a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. From 1992-1997, he worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Neuroscience Preclinical Drug Discovery. In 1997 he had an opportunity to go to Sydney, Australia, where he worked at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research until 1999. He returned to the US in 1999 where he became employed at Pfizer. He began his career in the Department of General Pharmacology where the focus of the work was to evaluate the cardiovascular (CV) profile of candidate compounds/drugs in various in vivo experimental models (i.e. rats, guinea pigs, and dogs). He is currently an Associate Research Fellow in the Department of Global Safety Pharmacology, where he has several roles related to nonclinical CV assessment of compounds throughout the drug discovery and development process. He is a member of the internal Cardiovascular Advisory Safety Council which provides guidance (nonclinical, clinical, regulatory) to various projects across the portfolio as warranted. He is a member of the ILSI/HESI ProArrhythmia Team working to better understand nonclinical-clinical translation of drug-mediated QT prolongation. Another area of interest is drug induced vascular injury (DIVI), where he has worked on several projects to better understand mechanism(s) of action and use of potential biomarkers, as well as the development of a screening strategy for compound differentiation and prioritization prior to conducting in vivo toxicity studies.

Xi Yang, Ph.D., DABT, Principal Investigator, Division of Systems Biology, National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), U.S. FDA

Xi Yang, PhD, DABT is currently a Principal Investigator at Division of Systems Biology/ National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) at FDA. She received her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in the field of human genetic polymorphisms and liver toxicology, followed by a post-doc at the NCTR in the area of microRNA, mitochondrial damage and nonclinical drug safety. One of her research focus is to identify safety biomarkers by using in vitro models in conjunction with new “omics” technologies. These efforts have resulted in 30+ publications of original research and book chapters.

Ming Zhao, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Ming Zhao, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at the Department of Medicine, Northwestern University. He is a biochemist by training with a background in noninvasive imaging technologies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK, in biochemistry, before a postdoc fellowship at the Center for Molecular Imaging Research at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Zhao went on to become a faculty member at the Medical College of Wisconsin, before joining Northwestern University.

Advances in iPS Cell Technology for Drug Development Applications


Bilada Bilican, Ph.D., Investigator II, Neuroscience, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR)

Bilada Bilican is a lab head in the recently established Neuroscience Department at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, developing human PSC-derived cellular models of neurological disorders. After receiving his Ph.D. in cancer biology from the University of London, Bilada has worked at the John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, the University of Cambridge and the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, the University of Edinburgh where he focused on various aspects of stem cell biology. Bilada has ten years of experience in the fields of neurodevelopmental and stem cell biology, working on diverse projects such as signaling pathways that regulate pluripotent, neuronal and glial cellular identities, establishing scalable directed-differentiation protocols for multiple neural subtypes and utilizing such systems to develop cell culture models of TDP-43 proteinopathies. Currently, Bilada is investigating how to improve neuronal differentiation of human pluripotent cells to better approximate native neurons and how to adapt such systems for target identification and drug discovery platforms on an industrial scale.

Ulrich Broeckel, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Physiology, Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Broeckel is a Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Physiology, Section Chief of Genomic Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. His research focuses on the genetic dissection of cardiovascular disease, pharmacogenetics and the use of iPSC for disease modeling and drug development.

Chad Cowan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB)

Chad Cowan received his BA and BS, with honors, from the University of Kansas. He received his Ph.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas, garnering the Nominata award for most outstanding thesis. He subsequently completed a Damon Runyon postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Douglas Melton at Harvard University. He was named a Stowers Medical Investigator in 2006 and in 2008, he became an Assistant Professor at Harvard University. He is currently an Associate Professor at Harvard University in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and Massachusetts General Hospital, with appointments in the Center for Regenerative Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Center and Center for Human Genetics Research. He is an Associate Member of the Broad Institute and a Principal Faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute where he directs the Diabetes Disease Program and the iPS Cell Core Facility. Professor Cowan has led or been a member of several large efforts to utilize stem cells to better understand disease, including the NHLBI’s Next Gen iPS Cell Project and the Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium. In 2013, Professor Cowan received a Transformative Research Award from the NIH to create isogenic human pluripotent stem cell-based models of human disease mutations. More recently, Professor Cowan has focused on using genome-editing tools as therapeutics and as a co-founder of CRISPR Therapeutics hopes to see these discoveries translated into treatments or cures.

Dario O. Fauza, M.D., Ph.D., Associate in Surgery, Boston Children’s Hospital; Associate Professor, Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Dario Fauza received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he also attended internship and residencies in general and pediatric surgery. He then moved to the United States, over 24 years ago, where he completed his training in different clinical and research postdoctoral fellowships at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is currently a staff member of Boston Children's Hospital’s Department of Surgery and Advanced Fetal Care Center, as well as an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He has an extensive bibliography and is the recipient of multiple awards and honors in the United States and abroad. He has pioneered a number of cell-based strategies for the treatment of congenital anomalies. He is widely recognized as having established fetal tissue engineering as a field within regenerative medicine, as well as having introduced other original strategies and methodologies for the repair of birth defects, such as trans-amniotic stem cell therapy (TRASCET).

James J. Hickman, Ph.D., Founding Director, NanoScience Technology Center and Professor, Nanoscience Technology, Chemistry, Biomolecular Science, Material Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Central Florida

James J. Hickman is the Founding Director of the NanoScience Technology Center and a Professor of Nanoscience Technology, Chemistry, Biomolecular Science, Material Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Central Florida. Previously, he held the position of the Hunter Endowed Chair in the Bioengineering Department at Clemson University. Dr. Hickman has a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Chemistry, as well as BS and MS from Penn State University in Chemistry. For the past twenty-five years, he has been studying the interaction of biological species with modified surfaces, first in industry and in the latter years in academia. While in industry he established one of the first bioelectronics labs in the country that focused on cell-based sensors and their integration with electronic devices. He has extensive experience in surface modification and surface analysis for biological and neuroscience applications, and the integration of these systems with MEMS devices and components. He is interested in creating hybrid systems for biosensor and biological computation applications and the creation of functional in vitro systems for human body-on-a-chip applications. He has worked at NSF and DARPA in the area of biological computation. He is also the founder and current Chief Scientist of a biotechnology company, Hesperos, that is focusing on cell-based systems for drug discovery and toxicity. He has 112 publications and 18 book chapters, in addition to 26 patents. He has presented over 150 invited presentations with more than 185 total presentations. Dr. Hickman was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineers (AIMBE) in 2004 and a fellow of the American Vacuum Society (AVS) in 2007. He was a founding member of the Biomaterial Interfaces Technical Group for the AVS, and Chair from 1995-2000. He received the NSF Director’s Award for Collaborative Integration for contributions to integrating biology and information technology research in 2002. He received the SAIC Publication Award in 1993, 1994 and 1995; the Berman Award from the NRL in 1993 and 1995; the SAIC Technology Achievement Award in 1995 and the MIT Gold Award for community service in 1989.

Vikram Khurana, M.D., Vice President, Stem Cell Discovery Technologies, Neurology, Yumanity Therapeutics

Vikram (Vik) Khurana is Scientific Co-Founder and Vice-President of Discovery Technologies at Yumanity Therapeutics. Dr. Khurana is also a practicing attending neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, with extensive experience in the research and clinical management of neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Khurana obtained his M.D. at the University of Sydney, Australia, and went to Harvard University as a Fulbright Scholar and Merck Company Foundation Fellow in 2001. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2006, moving on to complete his neurology residency and subspecialty Fellowship training at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals. Dr. Khurana has focused his clinical and research interests on neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy and the cerebellar ataxias. His past and ongoing research efforts have applied patient-derived stem cells to the development of novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, with the ultimate aim of tailoring therapies to individual patients.

Joseph Klim, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, Eggan Lab, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department, Harvard University

Joseph Klim is a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Kevin Eggan’s lab at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. training in Prof. Laura Kiessling’s group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his thesis work applied chemical biology approaches to define the molecular interactions mediating human pluripotent stem cell adhesion and self-renewal. The major accomplishment of this research was the development of a fully defined, synthetic substratum for the long-term culture of human pluripotent stem cells. In the Eggan lab, Joe leverages his background in stem cell biology to generate novel in vitro disease models for neurological disorders like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and was recently awarded the Tom Kirchhoff Family postdoctoral fellowship from Project A.L.S. He is keenly interested in advancing the burgeoning field of neuroproteomics to understand how failures in protein homeostasis contribute to neurodegeneration.

Shila Mekhoubad, Ph.D., Scientist, Stem Cell Biology Lab, Biogen

Dr. Mekhoubad is a scientist at the Stem Cell Biology lab at Biogen. She received her B.S. in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from UCLA. She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University, in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Eggan, where she studied the epigenetic stability of human pluripotent stem cells. In particular, she focused on the effects of X-chromosome inactivation on disease modeling of the neurodevelopmental disorder Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. During her post-doctoral training, also at Harvard University, Dr. Mekhoubad examined the utility of human pluripotent stem cells for the studies of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. At Biogen, she leads the Stem Cell group efforts in establishing novel stem cell models for ALS.

Rudolf Jaenisch, M.D., Founding Member, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; Professor, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jaenisch, a Whitehead Founding Member, focuses on understanding epigenetic regulation of gene expression (the biological mechanisms that affect how genetic information is converted into cell structures but that don’t alter the genes in the process). Most recently, this work has led to major advances in our understanding of embryonic stem cells and “induced pluripotent stem” (IPS) cells, which appear identical to embryonic stem cells but can be created from adult cells without using an egg.

In 2007, the Jaenisch lab was one of three labs worldwide that reported successfully taking cells from mouse tails and reprogramming them into IPS cells, by over-expressing four master gene regulators. Later that year, the lab followed up by further manipulating IPS cells to treat sickle-cell anemia in mice, the first proof in principle of therapeutic use of such cells. In 2008, the lab reported that neurons derived from IPS cells successfully integrated into fetal mouse brains and reduced symptoms in a Parkinson’s disease rat model. In another experiment, researchers demonstrated that fully mature, differentiated mouse B cells can be reprogrammed to IPS cells. Researchers are now studying ways to optimize the creation of IPS cells, including finding alternatives to the potentially cancer-causing retroviruses used to transform the adult cells into IPS cells.

In the long run, IPS cells offer major promise for use in regenerative medicine, potentially supporting the growth of healthy cells and tissues derived from a patient’s own cells. Closer in time, the cells will allow scientists to transfer complex human diseases into Petri dishes for study, taking a first step toward analyzing the conditions and developing a therapies. In addition to its stem cell work, Jaenisch’s lab is investigating epigenetic mechanisms for certain types of cancer and for brain development, studying how conditions such as Rett Syndrome occur.

Jaenisch received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Munich in 1967. Before coming to Whitehead, he was head of the Department of Tumor Virology at the Heinrich Pette Institute at the University of Hamburg. He has coauthored more than 375 research papers and has received numerous prizes and recognitions, including an appointment to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003.

Kevin C. Eggan, Ph.D., Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Eggan completed his bachelor’s degree in microbiology at the University of Illinois in 1996. A two-year Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at the National Institutes of Child Health and Development solidified his desire to pursue a career in academic research. He enrolled in the graduate program in the Department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998 shortly after the cloning of Dolly the Sheep was reported in Scotland. During his Ph.D. training, he actively pursued projects focused on understanding cloning, the biology of stem cells and reprogramming after nuclear transfer under the guidance of genetics pioneer, Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch. He stayed in Dr. Jaenisch’s lab after his graduation in 2002 for one-year of Postdoctoral research. During that time, he conducted a collaborative study with Dr. Richard Axel from Columbia University. In 2003, he moved to Harvard University to establish his own research group as a junior fellow and then became an Assistant Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology in 2005. In 2012, Dr. Eggan received tenure and is now a Professor in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. As an investigator in the burgeoning field of stem cell biology, Dr. Eggan has garnered international recognition for his seminal work and a number of high profile awards for his creativity and productivity, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” in 2006. His current research focuses on applying the knowledge gained in stem cell biology to studying the mechanisms underlying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and discovering new therapeutic targets. He made a significant impact in the field by publishing two high profile papers in Cell Stem Cell and Science in 2008. One paper described the discovery that motor neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells are susceptible to the toxic effect of glial cells harboring an ALS mutation while the other shows that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells generated from adult skin cells of ALS patients can be differentiated into motor neurons. In 2009, he was selected as one of 50 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientists who will receive six years of dedicated support to conduct transformative research. He will use this support to advance the use of both human embryonic stem cells and iPS cells in the study of ALS and the development of new treatments.

Kimberly B. Kegel-Gleason, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School

Kimberly received her Ph.D. From Columbia University in Pathology and completed postdoctoral work at Massachusetts General Hospital in Cellular Biology and Neurodegeneration.

Mastering Medicinal Chemistry


Tim Briggs, Ph.D., Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Ensemble Therapeutics

Tim Briggs earned his Ph.D. in 2003 from Cornell University, and followed up with a postdoc in natural product synthesis at Florida State University where he worked on the synthesis of macrocyclic natural products. Tim joined the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2005 where he worked on the construction of diversity-oriented libraries of macrocycles as part of the CMLD (Chemical Methodologies and Library Development) program. Tim joined Ensemble Therapeutics in 2008. During his time at Ensemble he has led the development of first-in-class orally active IL17A antagonists which Ensemble subsequently licensed to Novartis. Currently he is leading medicinal chemistry efforts in developing highly selective and orally available macrocyclic IDO-1 inhibitors.

Andrew P. Combs, Ph.D., Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry, Incyte Corporation

Andrew P. Combs, Ph.D., joined Incyte in 2003 where he is currently a Vice President of Discovery Chemistry. Prior to Incyte, Dr. Combs was a Director at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Dupont-Merck. He has led several medicinal chemistry programs in oncology to novel candidates, three of which are currently in human clinical trials. The most advanced is epacadostat, a first-in-class IDO1 inhibitor, which is expected to enter pivotal phase 3 trials in combination with pembrolizumab, an anti-PD1, for advanced melanoma in 2016. His passion for research embraces the application of innovative technologies to expedite the invention of new chemical entities. He has co-authored >100 research articles/posters/book chapters, an inventor on >30 patents, co-chaired >10 conferences and served on editorial advisory boards of several scientific journals (currently J. Med. Chem. Letters). Dr. Combs was a HHMI post-doctoral fellow in the laboratories of Prof. Schreiber at Harvard from 1994-1996 and holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from UCLA and BS degrees in Chemistry and Molecular Biology from the UW-Madison.

Robert A. Copeland, Ph.D., President of Research, CSO, Epizyme, Inc.

Robert A. Copeland, Ph.D. is Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Epizyme, Inc. He joined Epizyme in September 2008, from GlaxoSmithKline, where he was Vice President of Cancer Biology, Oncology Center of Excellence in Drug Discovery. Dr. Copeland has also served on a number of advisory boards, committees and editorial boards in industry, academia, professional societies and professional journals, including: Adjunct Professor and Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; American Chemical Society Committee for Professional Training; Governance Council of the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry; and Editorial Board of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Before joining GSK he held scientific staff positions at Merck Research Laboratories, DuPont-Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb and a faculty position at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Copeland received his B.S. in chemistry from Seton Hall University, his doctorate in chemistry from Princeton University and did postdoctoral studies as the Chaim Weizmann Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. His research interest is in elucidating the determinants of drug recognition by their biological targets, and the use of this information in the discovery and design of new medicines. A common theme throughout his research has been the role of protein dynamics in drug-target interactions. In 2005-2006 Dr. Copeland formulated the concept of drug-target residence time, a novel, alternative approach to drug optimization that has been widely adopted throughout the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He has contributed to drug discovery and development efforts across a wide range of therapeutic areas leading to 17 drug candidates entering human clinical trials. These include the cancer drugs Tafinlar (Dabrafenib), Foretinib, Afuresertib and Mekinist (Trametinib) and the antibiotic Altabax (Retapamulin). Dr. Copeland has contributed more than 190 publications to the scientific literature, holds 10 issued U. S. patents and has authored 5 books in the areas of protein science and enzymology. His most recent book, Evaluation of Enzyme Inhibitors in Drug Discovery: A Guide for Medicinal Chemists and Pharmacologists, 2nd Edition (Wiley, Hoboken, NJ), published in March 2013.

Anna Coulon Spektor, CDD Customer Success Manager, Support and Training, Collaborative Drug Discovery

Speaker bio coming soon

Stevan W. Djuric, Ph.D., Senior Director, Discovery Chemistry and Technology, AbbVie, Inc.

Dr. Stevan Djuric is head of the global AbbVie Medicinal Chemistry Leadership Team at Abbott and is also responsible for the Discovery Chemistry and Technology organization within their Discovery organization and chemistry outsourcing activities. The group’s current efforts are focused on new initiatives in the areas of high throughput synthesis and purification, hit to lead chemistry, chemical biology including target identification proteomics and new enabling technology identification and development. He was named an AbbVie Distinguished Research Fellow in 2015. During his tenure at Abbott Laboratories, Dr. Djuric has been a Project Leader for groups in the Immunoscience, Metabolic Disease, and Anti-infective areas. Several of these programs have advanced compounds into clinical development and to the market including Abbott’s proprietary rapamycin analog, Zotarolimus, currently licensed to Medtronics for use on their vascular stents, marketed in the United States and Europe. Dr. Djuric has over 180 scientific publications, presentations and patents/applications pending. He has also given over 30 invited lectures at universities and national meetings. He is a member of several Editorial Advisory Boards including ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters and, in addition, holds an Adjunct Professorship in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas.

Bill Farley, Ph.D., Vice President, Business Development, HitGen

Speaker bio coming soon

Timothy P. Heffron, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Discovery Chemistry, Genentech, Inc.

Tim Heffron earned his BS degree in Chemistry from Yale where he conducted research in John Wood's laboratory. He went on to obtain his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at MIT under the guidance of Prof. Tim Jamison. While at MIT, Tim developed iterative and cascade methods for the synthesis of ladder polyethers. Currently a Senior Scientist and Research Team Leader at Genentech, Tim has worked on programs directed toward treating oncology, neurology, and ophthalmic indications. He has contributed to program teams that have advanced 7 molecules to Clinical Development including 4 under his leadership as a chemistry team leader.

Edward J. Hennessy, Ph.D., Associate Principal Scientist, Oncology iMed, Chemistry, Innovative Medicines and Early Development, AstraZeneca

Speaker bio coming soon

David Hepworth, Ph.D., Senior Director, Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer

Speaker bio coming soon

Joerg Holenz, Ph.D., Director, Discovery and Preclinical Sciences; Project Leader, Neuroscience iMed, AstraZeneca Neuroscience

Joerg is a trained Organic and Medicinal Chemist and acquired his Ph.D. in Germany on the synthesis of alkaloids as antimalarial agents. He started his professional career in 1998 as Process Chemist at Grunenthal Pharmaceuticals in Germany, leading the preclinical activities of the later marketed analgesic Tapentadol. From 2003 to 2006, he headed the Medicinal Chemistry Department of Barcelona-based Laboratorios Esteve. In 2006, Joerg joined AstraZeneca’s CNS/PainResearch Unit in Sodertalje, Sweden, as a Project Leader, and later headed the Lead Generation Section within the Medicinal Chemistry Department. In 2012, Jorg was selected to join the newly formed ‘virtual’ Neuroscience Unit in Boston as Project Director, and in this role is responsible for pioneering a novel concept of driving Research and Development via increased use of academic and industry collaborative networks. In his career, Joerg worked predominantly with peripheral and central targets in the Pain/Neuroscience disease areas, where hedelivered several clinical candidates (e.g. Rosonabant, E-6199, E-52862, or AZD3839). Joerg has edited, authored or contributed to more than 45 publications, 50 patent applications and several books and book chapters.

John Howe, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Infectious Diseases, Merck & Co.

Dr. Howe obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada) where he studied the role of the adenovirus E1A oncogene in cell cycle regulation. After postdoctoral studies on embryonic cell cycle regulation at UC San Diego Dr. Howe joined a Biotech in La Jolla California that was developing innovative gene therapy approaches for treatment of cancer. After 13 years on the west coast Dr. Howe moved to the east coast to develop HIV and HCV antivirals at Schering-Plough Inc., which is now Merck & Co. A highlight of this period was Dr. Howe’s role in the development and regulatory approval of boceprevir the first direct acting antiviral for treatment of chronic HCV infection. In 2004 Dr. Howe transitioned to the anti-bacterial group at Merck to develop antibiotics against drug resistant gram - organisms.

Katherine L. Lee, Ph.D., Associate Research Fellow, Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer

Katherine Lee obtained her Ph.D. from MIT, where she worked with Prof. Rick Danheiser, and did postdoctoral work with Prof. Steve Martin at the University of Texas at Austin before joining Mitotix, Inc. (now Agennix). Katherine moved to Wyeth Research (now Pfizer) in 2000 and joined Pfizer in 2009. Her research interests include small molecule drug discovery; structure-based drug design; fragment-based drug design; and optimization of ADME and safety properties.

Chudi Ndubaku, Ph.D., Associate Director, Organic Synthetic Chemistry, Aduro Biotech, Inc.

Chudi Ndubaku is an Associate Director of Chemistry at Aduro Biotech. Prior to joining Aduro, he was a Senior Scientist in the Department of Discovery Chemistry at Genentech. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of Prof. Tim Jamison. His industrial research experience has spanned the fields of Medicinal Chemistry as it applies to the areas of oncology, ophthalmology, immunology and neurology.

Dave Parry, Ph.D., COO, Cyclofluidic

David started his career as a medicinal chemist after his academic training in organic synthesis and rapidly developed an interest in the technology aspects of drug discovery. With considerable experience in early stage discovery and technologies within biotech and mid-sized biopharma including leading high throughput chemistry, analytical and computational chemistry groups Dave joined Cyclofluidic as COO in Jan 2009 where he has led the development of the platform and the business.

Zhonghua Pei, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Genentech

Speaker bio coming soon

Paul Richardson, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Discovery Chemistry, Pfizer

Paul Richardson is a Synthesis Group Leader within Discovery Chemistry at Pfizer’s Research and Development site in La Jolla, California. Paul has over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He joined Pfizer in 2004, after working with Lexicon Pharmaceuticals/Coelacanth (NJ) as Director of Process Chemistry for 8 years. Prior to that, he worked with Nycomed-Amersham in the UK. Paul received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Sheffield University, where he worked with Professor Istvan Marko. He completed postdoctoral research studies at both Exeter University with Professor Stan Roberts, and at the Scripps Research Institute under the direction of Professor Barry Sharpless.

Woody Sherman, Ph.D., Vice President, Applications Science, Schrödinger

Woody Sherman, Vice President of Applications Science, joined Schrödinger in 2004. He received his Ph.D. from MIT where he developed a novel method for optimizing ligand binding specificity across a panel of targets. While in graduate school he completed an internship at Biogen where he helped develop novel methods to enhance antibody affinity that resulted in a patent and publication. He has authored papers on induced-fit docking, binding specificity, antibody design, fragment docking, and hybrid ligand/structure-based methods. He is also co-author on two patents. Woody is a reviewer for many top journals related to computational chemistry and drug design and is on the Editorial Board of Chemical Biology & Drug Design as well as The Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling.

David Swinney, CEO, iRND3, Institute for Rare and Neglected Diseases

David Swinney has over 25 years of industrial drug discovery experience (Roche, Syntex, iRND3) working to identify promising leads, clinical candidates and effective mechanisms of drug action that address unmet medical needs. He has a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle, and expertise in drug discovery, drug discovery strategies, assay development and screening, pharmacology, enzymology and binding kinetics. Dave is currently at the non-profit Institute for Rare and Neglected Diseases Drug Discovery in Mountain View, CA, aka iRND3, (www.irnd3.org) working to apply new knowledge of successful drug discovery to drug discovery in rare and neglected diseases. iRND3 has programs for neglect infectious diseases and cancers. They also provide fee for service work to help understand molecular mechanisms of action of drug candidates.

Helmut Thomas, Ph.D., DABT, President and CEO, Cyclenium Pharma, Inc.

Dr. Thomas is an accomplished pharmaceutical executive and scientific R&D leader with sharp strategic and business focus. Prior to co-founding Cyclenium Pharma in 2013, he was Senior Vice President, Research & Preclinical Development at Tranzyme Pharma for over seven years. He joined Tranzyme from LymphoSign Inc., where he served as Vice President, Research and Development. A biochemist and toxicologist by training with an extensive and productive career in drug discovery and development, he joined CIBA-GEIGY in Basel, Switzerland in 1990 with increasing responsibilities. Following the merger with Sandoz in 1997, he spent the next eight years with Novartis Pharma holding several senior management positions in Europe and the U.S. During his tenure with CIBA-GEIGY and Novartis, he directed the preclinical development of more than 25 drug candidates. Dr. Thomas received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and organic chemistry from the University of Hannover, Germany. He is an author of over 130 scientific articles, book chapters and abstracts as well as a co-inventor on numerous patents.

Atli Thorarensen, Ph.D., Research, Fellow, BioTx Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer

Dr. Thorarensen is a research fellow in BioTx medicinal chemistry working in the Immunoscience research unit at Pfizer. In the past he has lead medicinal projects in several therapeutic areas including anti-infective, allergy and respiratory, pain and inflammation. In the past few years his focus has been design of irreversible inhibitors as therapeutic targets for inflammation. Dr. Thorarensen received his BS in chemistry from University of Iceland and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from University of Illinois. He is the author of 47 publications and 24 patents.

Anne Mai Wassermann, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Molecular Informatics, Pfizer

Anne Mai Wassermann is a Senior Scientist for Machine Learning and Chemical Biology at Pfizer, Cambridge, MA. She obtained her Masters in molecular biomedicine and her PhD in computational life sciences from the University of Bonn, Germany. She was trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the in silico Lead Discovery group at Novartis, Cambridge, MA. Her current research interests focus on small molecule profiling and phenotypic screening.

Mark Wolf, Ph.D., Section Head, Medicinal Chemistry, Albany Molecular Research, Inc.

Speaker bio coming soon

Blood-Brain Barrier


Jorge Alvarez, Ph. D., Assistant Professor, Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania

Jorge I. Alvarez, PhD, is an assistant professor of Pathobiology at the University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his BS in Microbiology from Universidad de los Andes in 1998 and a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2007. In addition, he completed post-doctoral training at the Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal. Dr. Alvarez has more than 15 years of experience in the field of neuroimmunology where he has studied disorders like Neurocysticercosis and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). For this purpose, Dr. Alvarez has integrated in vitro, in vivo, ex-vivo and post-mortem approaches using primary cultures of human/murine cells, animal models as well as a close collaboration with clinicians. Dr. Alvarez is a respected investigator in the CNS barriers and neuroimmunology fields and in recent years has unveiled novel pathways controlling barrier function in the CNS vasculature as well as mechanisms regulating CNS immune quiescence. He currently holds the David Torrey Career Development Award from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Ruben Boado, Ph.D., VP R&D, Cofounder, ArmaGen

Dr. Boado co-founded ArmaGen in 2004, following more than 25 years of academic experience in fields of molecular and cell biology of the BBB, and drug delivery to the brain. His leadership and expertise have been instrumental in the development of ArmaGen’s extensive product pipeline, including potential biotherapeutic treatments for mucopolysaccharidosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Boado was the principal investigator in a number of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs granted by the National Institutes of Health to ArmaGen. Dr. Boado is also a co-inventor of the intellectual property that supports ArmaGen’s pipeline. He Professor Emeritus of Medicine at UCLA, and has published over 195 scientific peer-reviewed publications and book chapters related to the BBB.

Ludovic Collin, Laboratory Head, pRED RICB, Hoffmann La Roche

Ludovic Collin obtained his PhD in Life Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Strasbourg in 2003. In 2004, he moved to the laboratory of Prof. Alan Hall (MRC LMCB, London) as an EMBO post-doctoral fellow where he worked on microtubule dynamics in migrating neurons. During that time he strengthened his expertise in high resolution confocal imaging for which he received 2 Awards of Excellence from the Wellcome Trust in 2006. Ludovic joined then EISAI Co., Ltd as a Research Scientist in the Neuroscience Product Creation Unit (London, UK). His drug discovery activities focused on Alzheimer’s disease and clearance of aggregate prone proteins. In 2011, Ludovic joined the Neuroscience DTA of Hoffmann La Roche (Basel, Switzerland) as a laboratory head and project leader in preclinical research. Besides leading a drug discovery project his main research focus is the Blood-Brain Barrier and mechanisms of transcytosis to deliver protein therapeutics to the brain including antibodies and Brain Shuttle-based therapeutics.

William Elmquist, PharmD, PhD, Professor, Pharmaceutics, University of Minnesota

William F. Elmquist is currently Professor and Director of the Brain Barriers Research Center, at the University of Minnesota, Department of Pharmaceutics. He received his pharmacy degree at the University of Florida, and Pharm.D. and Ph.D. (pharmacokinetics) from the University of Minnesota. His research has studied the influence of active efflux transporters in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) on CNS drug distribution. An important project currently underway is examining the determinants of anticancer drug permeability in the blood-brain barrier to improve the treatment of brain tumors. Long-term objectives of Dr. Elmquist's research include examining expression and regulation of transport systems in key tissues that influence drug disposition, and how variability in expression, either genetically or environmentally controlled, may contribute to variability in drug response in the patient. Dr. Elmquist has long been a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry and the NIH, served on many journal editorial boards, and is a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS).

Bo Feng, Ph. D., Senior Principal Scientist, Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Drug Metabolism, Pfizer Inc.

Bo Feng is a Senior Principal Scientist in the Department of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Drug Metabolism at Pfizer in Groton, CT. She earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1999. Following graduate school, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Kathleen Giacomini in the Department of Biopharmaceutical Science at University of California, San Francisco. In 2002, Bo joined Pfizer to lead a drug transporter group. Her group has been working on drug transporter related ADME for drug discovery and development projects. Her research interests include using transporter studies to predict in vivo transporter-mediated DDI, toxicity and drug PK. She has authored and coauthored close to 50 research papers and has given invited oral presentations at many scientific conferences.

Per-Ola Freskgard, Ph.D., Vice Director and Senior Leader, Neuroscience, Roche Innovation Center Basel, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Per-Ola Freskgard is currently a Senior Leader in Neuroscience, Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) ROCHE. He has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and a post-doctoral visiting associate at California Institute of Technology, Chemical Engineering. 20 years of experience in big pharma and small biotech companies. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 peer reviewed international journals and patent applications in the fields of protein engineering, DNA encoding of small molecules, thrombosis and haemostasis and neuroscience.

Kullervo Hynynen, Ph.D., Professor, Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto

Kullervo Hynynen received his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom. After completing his postdoctoral training in biomedical ultrasound also at the University of Aberdeen, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Arizona in 1984. He joined the faculty at the Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA 1993. There he reached the rank of full Professor, and founded and directed the Focused Ultrasound Laboratory. In 2006 he moved to University of Toronto where he led a $160 million effort to establish the Centre for Research in Image-Guided Therapeutics, a consortium between the Canadian government and Sunnybrook Hospital. He is currently the Director of Physical Sciences Platform at the Sunnybrook Research Institute and a Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics and Cross Appointed Professor in Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) at University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Imaging Systems and Image-Guided Therapy awarded by the Government of Canada and leads the Centre for Research in Image-Guided Therapeutics. Dr.Hynynen has published over 400 peer reviewed papers and book chapters on basic and clinical research and has been awarded 18 patents many of which have been licensed by industry. He has been the recipient of numerous NIH and other agency grant awards, private sector research contracts, served on study sections, editorial boards, and has been extensively involved in commercializing ultrasound technology. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the Acoustical Society of America, and was Honorary President of the 2nd International Symposium on MRI-guided Focused Ultrasound by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. He was named the J. Eugene Robinson Awardee by the Society of Thermal Medicine, and the William and Francis Fry Honorary Fellow by the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound. More recently he was the recipient of the Silver Medal by the Acoustical Society of America in 2013 and the IEEE UFFC Rayleigh Award in 2014.

Robyn S. Klein, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Internal Medicine, Pathology & Immunology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Robyn Klein received her MD, PhD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, NY. Her doctoral work was focused on astrocyte heterogeneity in neuropeptide processing. She trained in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in Infectious Diseases at the Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston, MA. She then received post-doctoral training in immunology at Harvard Medical School, with work focused on chemokine neurobiology. Dr. Klein was recruited to Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine, Pathology & Immunology and Anatomy & Neurobiology in 2003. She is currently a Professor in these three departments, Director and founder of the WUSM Center for Neuroimmunology & Neuroinfectious Diseases and Associate Director of the WUSM Medical Scientist Training Program. Dr. Klein’s research is focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms of immune activation within the central nervous system (CNS) in the context of viral and autoimmune encephalitides. Her recent work has revealed novel innate immune signaling mechanisms that regulate blood-brain barrier function during viral infections of the CNS. She is a member of many academic societies, including a founding member of the International Society for Neurovirology, Associate Editor of the Journal of Immunology and Neurology:Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation.

Zsofia Kovacs, Ph. D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Radiology and Imaging Sciences, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Zsofia Kovacs received her MS degree in Bioengineering from Budapest University of Technology and Economics. After completing a Marie Curie Fellowship at University of Zurich she earned her PhD in Neuroscience from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) with intensive oncology training at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich. Her doctoral dissertation combines MRI and ultrasound technologies to study drug delivery to glioblastoma using MR-guided Focused Ultrasound and microbubbles. She joined the laboratory of Dr. Joseph A. Frank at the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda in June 2014. Her research project involves using multivariate imaging, proteomic, and histopathological methodologies to gain a better understanding of the side effects of pFUS and MB in the brain.

Lois A. Lampson, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Lois A. Lampson, PhD, has been an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston (USA). She is interested in different aspects of therapy against targets in the brain. This includes the use of monoclonal antibodies (Monoclonal antibodies in neuro-oncology: Getting past the blood-brain barrier. MAbs 3: 153-60, 2011), especially against brain tumor (Targeted therapy for neuro-oncology: reviewing the menu. Drug Discovery Today 14: 185-91, 2009), and the relationship of the brain to other tumor sites (Brain tumor immunotherapy: Seeing the brain in the body. Drug Discovery Today 18: 399 – 406, 2013). For other relevant papers, see the Topic she is editing for Nature/Frontiers: Immunotherapy for Tumor in the Brain (http://journal.frontiersin.org/ResearchTopic/2186).

Monica Moya, Ph. D., Research Engineer, Materials Engineering Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Dr. Monica Moya is a biomedical engineer researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Currently she works as the principal investigator and as a technical lead on two bioengineering projects including 3D bioprinting of human tissues and developing a blood brain barrier model on a chip. She received her Bachelors of Science from Northwestern University and her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. She returned to the west coast to do her postdoctoral research at UC Irvine as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ruth Kirschstein-NRSA Fellow prior to working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Her research interests include vascularization strategies, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and the development of 3D microphysiological systems.

Brian Pate, Physical Scientist, Chemical and Biological Technologies Department, Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Dr. Pate is a Science & Technology Manager at the Joint Science & Technology Office for Chemical & Biological Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He manages a $13M portfolio focused on (1) interactions relevant to human effects of advanced and emerging weapons threats and (2) identifying and controlling new phenomena to enable breakthrough countermeasures to chemical and biological weapons. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland and has recently served as an instructor in biochemistry and in weapons chemistry at Northern Virginia Community College and the U.S. Naval Academy, respectively. Dr. Pate earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Indiana University, followed by postdoctoral training at MIT in Materials Science & Engineering. Prior to his current role, Dr. Pate was employed as a Visiting Scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory, as a Senior Chemistry Specialist at Dow Chemical, and as a Lecturer in Physics, Chemistry, and Materials Science at Central Michigan University. Dr. Pate recently served as Deputy Director for Technology Watch and Horizon Scanning at the Office of Technical Intelligence, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, and he maintains an active interest in using data-driven analytics to improve S&T understanding, investments, and outcomes.

Alexandre Prat, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Professor, Neuroscience, Université de Montréal

Dr Prat obtained his undergraduate degree (B.Sc.) in biochemistry from Université de Montréal in 1990 and an MD-MSc in 1995. Dr Prat completed his Neurology residency training at McGill University (Montreal Neurological Institute) in 2003, after having completed a Ph.D. degree (2000) in the laboratory of Dr Jack P. Antel. His PhD work focused on the development of the human Blood-Brain Barrier. Dr Prat is an active member of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada (Neurology) since 2003. Dr Prat is a staff neurologist at the CHUM-Notre Dame Hospital (Montréal) and is an Associate Professor of Medicine (with Tenure) at Université de Montréal. Dr Prat holds the Donald Paty Research Chair of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and he is a senior Scholar of the FRQ-S (2012-2016). In 2000, he received the prestigious S. Weir Mitchell Award of the American Academy of Neurology.

Andreas Reichel, Ph. D., Vice President, Head, Research Pharmacokinetics, Bayer Pharma

Andreas is Head of Research Pharmacokinetics (PK) for more than ten years with responsibility for the departments in Berlin and Wuppertal which provide PK support to all drug discovery projects at Bayer Pharma in several therapeutic areas. His responsibility spans from lead generation and optimisation right through to candidate selection and profiling applying in vitro ADME assays, in vivo PK studies as well as PK, PBPK and PKPD modelling to predict the PK and the therapeutic dose in human. He received his PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Leipzig in 1994 studying physiological transport processes at the blood-brain barrier (BBB). From 1994 to 1997 he was working in the laboratories of Dr. David Begley and Prof. Joan Abbott, King’s College London, where he became interested in in vitro models of the BBB. Funded by several pharmaceutical companies he also developed approaches to predict the CNS penetration of drugs. In 1997, Andreas joined Discovery DMPK at Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel, where he expanded his expertise to intestinal and hepatic transport processes and their relevance to drug absorption, drug disposition and drug-induced liver toxicity.

Carl Webster, Ph. D., Principal Scientist, Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering, MedImmune

Carl Webster has a BSc in biochemistry from Bath University and a PhD in Molecular Biology from Leicester University. He followed his education with a post doc position at Cambridge University on the role of high mobility group proteins in gene regulation. Carl was recruited to CAT* in 1997 and initially worked in teams using antibody phage display libraries for gene discovery and target validation. He has worked on a number of projects with CAT’s partners, isolating antibodies to therapeutic targets. In 2000 he set up CAT’s antigen expression and molecular biology team providing gene cloning, and expression technologies for antigens and scFv, and real time PCR to CAT’s drug programmes. He is now Principal Scientist, ADPE for MedImmune, leading teams using protein engineering for the development of novel therapeutics and for blood brain barrier transport.

Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph. D., Director, Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Keck School of Medicine

Berislav Zlokovic, MD PhD is Director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute and Professor and Chair of the Deaprtment of Physiology and Biophysics at the Univeristy of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles. Zlokovic has a career long focus studying the role of cerebral blood vessels and blood-brain barrier (BBB) in the pathogenesis and treatment of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and stroke, as a foundation for developing new therapies for these disorders. Using animal models and studying human brain, his laboratory has shown that damage to the BBB and brain microcirculation can accumulate before neuronal dysfunction and injury. His research team has identified the cellular and molecular mechanisms in small cerebral blood vessels and neurovascular unit causing BBB disruption which leads to neuronal dysfunction and degeneration in models of AD, ALS, pericyte-deficient rodents and stroke. Discoveries of his research team have contributed to the development of clinical trials based on amyloid- clearance in AD, and a new therapeutic approach for stroke based on activated protein C mutant that is currently under clinical assessment as a neuroprotective agent. Currently, he studies how genes that influence the risk for AD affect the brain vascular system (i.e., APOE4, PSEN1, PICALM, CLU) using transgenic models, human pluripotent stem cell technology and developing novel imaging and molecular biomarkers to evaluate neurovascular and BBB functions in the living human brain in relation to blood flow, brain connectivity and cognitive decline.

Tumor Models for Cancer Immunotherapy


Darrell Borger, Ph.D., Director, MGH Biomarker/Translational Research Laboratory, Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Darrell R. Borger has worked to expand the ability to deliver personalized cancer treatment at the Massachusetts General Hospital through the co-development of two molecular diagnostic laboratories. These laboratories have clinically implemented various molecular testing approaches to identify molecular markers of therapeutic response and resistance to novel cancer therapies.

Viviana Cremasco, Ph.D., Investigator II, Exploratory Immuno-Oncology, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Viviana Cremasco attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, for her Ph.D., and later joined the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, for her postdoctoral training. There, she explored the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing stroma-immune cell crosstalk in lymphoid organs and in the tumor microenvironment. She is now an investigator at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is pursuing novel approaches to target the tumor microenvironment as part of the NIBR Immuno-Oncology team.

Oliver Ghobrial, Ph.D., Senior Scientist III, Translational Modeling and Simulation, AbbVie

Oliver received his Ph.D. in “Modeling and Simulation” from the laboratory of Dr. Hartmut Derendorf at the University of Florida in 2008. He joined Eli Lilly and Company, where he supported the development of various biologic modalities in a number of therapeutic areas. Oliver joined AbbVie’s Translational Modeling and Simulation group in 2013, where his research is focused on applying Systems Pharmacology as a drug development tool for immune related drug discovery and development programs.

Jessica R. Kirshner, Ph.D., Director, Oncology and Angiogenesis, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Jessica is a biologist with an extensive background in oncology drug discovery and development. Jessica earned her BA from Wesleyan University, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco and completed her post-doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School. For the past 10 years, she has worked in the biotechnology industry, focusing on the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics. Jessica currently leads a team of scientists at Regeneron developing antibody therapeutics for various solid and hematological tumors. She is excited to share data from recent studies using immunocompetent humanized mice to characterize efficacy and effects on normal tissues of bispecific antibodies.

Douglas Linn, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, In Vivo Pharmacology, Merck Research Laboratories

Dr. Douglas E. Linn is a Senior Scientist in the In Vivo Pharmacology group at Merck Research Laboratories in Boston. At Merck Dr. Linn provides preclinical support to advance early and late stage immuno-oncology programs. His primary role involves designing and conducting in vivo experiments to assess efficacy, safety, and pharmacodynamic properties of novel immunotherapies. Dr. Linn earned his doctorate in the lab of Yun Qiu at the University of Maryland at Baltimore studying mechanisms of chemoresistance in advanced prostate cancer. He then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Zhe Li. During this time Dr. Linn characterized several mouse prostate cancer models harboring ETS gene fusions.

Jacalyn Rosenblatt, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Jacalyn Rosenblatt received her M.D. at McGill University School of Medicine in 1997. She completed her internal medicine residency training at McGill University Health Center from 1997-1999. She was a fellow in hematology at McGill University in 2000, and in Hematology/Oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center from 2001-2003. Dr. Rosenblatt joined the attending staff of Hematology/Oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2003 and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rosenblatt`s research has focused in a translational research program for cancer vaccines at BIDMC as part of the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center. Laboratory efforts have focused on the development of dendritic cell based vaccines including a model in which patient derived tumor cells are fused with dendritic cells as a novel patient specific vaccine. Based on these findings, she has supervised clinical trials to examine the immunologic and clinical efficacy of this vaccine strategy for patients with hematologic malignancies.

Lynsey Whilding, Ph.D., Research Associate, CAR Mechanics Group, Research Oncology, King’s College London

Dr. Lynsey Whilding is a postdoctoral research associate in the “CAR Mechanics” research group within King’s College London. Lynsey studied Medical Biology at Brunel University and undertook a Ph.D. in viral gene therapy at the Barts Cancer Institute within Queen Mary University from 2008-2012. She then started a research position at Imperial College and moved to King’s College London in 2014 to continue developing chimeric antigen receptor T-cells for the treatment of solid tumors. The group investigates a number of CAR targets across multiple diseases and has recently started a clinical trial in patients with head and neck cancer, involving the intra-tumoral delivery of ErbB-targeted autologous T-cells.

Daniel Abate-Daga, Ph.D., Assistant Member, Immunology Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute

Dr. Abate-¬Daga's research is focused on the development of T cell ¬based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, and the translation of those preclinical findings into clinical application. The effort in my lab spans a wide process: starting with the identification of tumor ¬associated antigens, generation of the appropriate targeting receptor for genetic modification of T cells, in vitro and in vivo validation of immune receptors, and, ultimately, the implementation of those treatments in phase I clinical trials. A special emphasis is put on the use of gene therapy technologies, involving the expression of chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) and traditional T ¬cell receptors (TCR) to "train" the patient's own immune system to detect and kill cancer cells. The gene transfer of immune receptors is accomplished by retroviral transduction of primary human lymphocytes, and has proven efficacious in the induction of clinical remissions of patients with B cell malignancies. Beyond its therapeutic potential, this technology can be used in the laboratory setting to pursue basic scientific research leading to a better understanding of tumor and immune cell biology. Active and prospective projects in the laboratory include the study of antigen recognition, by tumor ¬infiltrating T cells from pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer and melanoma, geared towards the isolation of TCRs that recognize cancer/testis antigens of therapeutic interest. In parallel, CARs with specificity for IL13RA2 (melanoma, glioma, cervical cancer), TLR2, ABCC3 (pancreatic cancer) and FGFR3 (bladder cancer) are part of the developmental pipeline. Finally, a basic study of the physical and functional interactions of CARs with endogenous T cell molecules will be performed, utilizing gene expression, protein biochemistry and high throughput phosphopeptidome analyses. From this project, Dr. Abate-¬Daga expects to gain insight into the structure ¬function correlates associated with different CAR designs; with the ultimate goal of learning how to design safer and more potent receptors for therapy

Saad Kenderian, M.D., Translational Research Program, Center for Cellular Immunotherapy, Laboratory of Dr. Carl June, UPenn Medical School

Dr. Kenderian is a Mayo Clinic Scholar conducting translational research in TCSL, evaluating new chimeric antigen receptor therapy in hematological malignancies. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Baghdad in Baghdad, Iraq. He completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Michigan State University and then completed a fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Mayo Clinic school of Graduate Medical Education. In 2013, he joined the faculty of hematology at the Mayo Clinic and is currently an assistant professor of Medicine and Oncology. Dr. Kenderian has published several original research and review papers in the field of clinical hematology and oncology

Wayne A. Marasco, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Medicine, Department of Cancer Immunology & Virology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Marasco received his PhD in 1980 from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he also earned an MD in 1986 and completed training in internal medicine. He received his subspecialty training in infectious diseases at Harvard Medical School, and joined DFCI in 1989. In 2003, he founded the National Foundation of Cancer Research Center for Therapeutic Antibody Engineering to expand the use of human monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of cancer. In 2009, he was listed among 13 top scientists in their field as the 21st century medicine "Pioneeers of Medicine Progress" by US News & World report. He is head of an accomplished research laboratory in the area of cancer and infectious disease immunotherapy.

Karuppiah Kannan, Ph.D., Associate Director, Cancer Pharmacology, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International

For the past 15 years, Karuppiah Kannan is involved in various aspects of oncology drug discovery and clinical development. Currently he is at Takeda Pharmaceuticals serving as a discovery lead for various clinical molecules. One of his major efforts are on identifying and implementing in vivo model systems for cancer to aid in drug discovery and development processes. He is also leading pre-clinical model initiative to optimize lead compounds, indication seeking studies and to stratify patients using preclinical data. Prior to joining Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Kannan was an Associate Director at AVEO Pharmaceuticals leading the efforts on establishment of Human Response Prediction Platform aimed at identifying patient populations that are predicted to be sensitive or resistant to a given therapy. As an early member of the company, Kannan has played vital roles in Target Discovery using Genetic Screens, Model Characterization and In Vivo Pharmacology, Business Development and Translational Research groups.

Zhao Chen, Ph.D., Investigator III, Exploratory Immuno-Oncology, Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research

Zhao earned his Ph.D. from Dartmouth College. He was a translational oncologist specialized in developing and utilizing murine cancer models to better understand tumorigenesis and treatment mechanisms. Zhao is currently leading the mouse modeling efforts to dissect the tumor microenvironment in the Exploratory Oncology Program at Novartis.

Translational Gene Editing


Daniel G. Anderson, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology and David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Daniel G. Anderson is an Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a member of the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science, and the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer. He received his PhD in molecular genetics from the University of California at Davis. At MIT, he pioneered the use of robotic methods for the development of smart biomaterials for drug delivery and medical devices. His work has led to the first methods rapid synthesis, formulation, analysis, and biological evaluation of large libraries of biomaterials for use in medical devices, cell therapy and drug delivery. In particular, the advanced drug delivery systems he has developed provide new methods for nanoparticulate drug delivery, non-viral gene therapy, siRNA delivery, and vaccines. His work has resulted in the publication of over 280 papers, patents and patent applications. These patents have led to a number of licenses to pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies, and a number of products that have been commercialized or are in clinical development.

Michael Bassik, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Stanford University

Michael Bassik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. He performed his Ph.D work in Stanley Korsmeyer’s lab at Harvard, exploring the role of BCL-2 phosphorylation in regulating cell death. As a postdoc in Jonathan Weissman’s lab at UCSF, he developed high-coverage shRNA screening libraries and mammalian genetic interaction maps, applying these to study the biology of retrograde toxins. His laboratory at Stanford focuses on the continued development of shRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 systems for high-throughput screening, and on application of these technologies to study endocytosis, stress, and the identification of novel drug targets.

John Doench, Ph.D., Associate Director, Genetic Perturbation Platform, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Since joining the Broad Institute in 2009, I have engaged in dozens of collaborations centered on functional genomics. As Associate Director of the Genetic Perturbation Platform, my role is to provide expert guidance on the design, execution, and analysis of genetic screens, and have done so with a wide variety of research groups across many areas of biology. Additionally, I have many years of experience in the development and use of functional genomic techniques, first with RNAi and more recently with CRISPR technology for genome-wide loss-of-function screening. As leader of research and development in the Platform, I have stayed on the cutting-edge of newest techniques while also focusing on the reduction-to-practice that is critical for enabling collaboration with a broader community of researchers. Prior to joining the Broad, I received my Ph.D. in biology, training with Phil Sharp, and performed postdoctoral work with Ed Harlow at Harvard Medical School.

Jonathan Gootenberg, Member, Laboratories of Dr. Aviv Regev and Dr. Feng Zhang, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, and Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Jonathan S. Gootenberg is currently a DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellow and a Ph.D. candidate in the Harvard Systems Biology program, co-advised by Feng Zhang and Aviv Regev of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Jonathan's research combines computational and molecular approaches to discover and characterize new biological tools, with a specific focus on CRISPR/Cas proteins and genome editing technologies. These tools have diverse basic science and translation applications, including genome-scale screening, gene insertion, and allele-specific editing.

Danilo Maddalo, Ph.D., Lab Head, ONC Pharmacology, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Danilo Maddalo, Ph.D., graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry with honors from Naples University (Italy) and gained his PhD in molecular biology with honors from Karlsruhe University (Germany) investigating stress response in cancer development and chemoresistance in murine models of prostate cancer. He joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City as Research Fellow where he generated the first mouse model of chromosomal rearrangements by viral delivery of the CRISPR/Cas9 to the mouse lung. Dr. Maddalo is currently leading a laboratory in the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Basel (Switzerland) to continue his work in translational medicine making use of mouse models.

Myung Shin, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Genetics and Pharmacogenomics, Merck & Co. Inc.

Myung Shin received his B.A. from Northwestern University and Ph.D from University of California at Berkeley. He did his postdoctoral fellowship at HHMI/Princeton University. Prior to joining Merck in 2004, he was an Associate Member at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Since joining Merck, Myung has lead efforts to develop and implement innovative platforms for drug discovery at Merck. These include application of in vivo shRNA, development of embryonic stem cell platform for Safety Studies and Genome Editing Tools for in vivo model development. Currently, he leads early target identification and validation effort based on Human Genetics in Cardiometabolic Diseases in the Genetics and Pharmacogenomics Department at Merck.

Netanya Y. Spencer, M.D., Ph.D., Research Fellow in Medicine, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School

Netanya Spencer, M.D., did her Ph.D. in Biophysics in 2003 (Neil Hogg’s lab) at the Medical College of Wisconsin Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, She completed her M.D. in 2005 at the Medical College of Wisconsin. After doing her postdoctoral research in redox cell biology at John Engelhardt’s lab in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Iowa from 2006-2014, she is now a Research Fellow (diabetic kidney disease and redox cell biology) at the Joslin Diabetes Center at the Harvard Medical School in Robert Stanton’s lab.

Scot A. Wolfe, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Scot Wolfe, Ph.D., graduated from Caltech (1990). His graduate studies with Gregory Verdine at Harvard (1990-1996) focused on the creation of conformationally constrained DNA and the study of NFAT-DNA interactions. Scot received further training in protein-DNA recognition, protein engineering and structural biology as a postdoc with Carl Pabo at MIT (1996 - 2001). In 2001 he joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, focusing on understanding fundamental aspects of protein-DNA recognition and applying this knowledge for the creation of tools for targeted genome engineering.

3D Cellular Models


Mahmud Bani, Ph.D., Team Leader and Senior Research Officer, Translational Bioscience, National Research Council Canada

Trained in genetics and neurodevelopment, Dr. Bani received his Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in neural stem cells at the Robarts Research Institute in London, Canada. In 2002, Dr. Bani was recruited by National Research Council (NRC) Canada in Ottawa, where he has established his research on stem cell applications in the brain. Currently, he is a Team Leader and Senior Research Officer in the Department of Translational Bioscience, NRC, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, the University of Ottawa. Dr. Bani’s primary research interests are studying cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurogenesis, and developing in vitro human stem cell-based blood brain barrier models for drug screening. Dr. Bani’s contributions to science and technology have been acknowledged through a number of honors and awards.

Jeffrey T. Borenstein, Ph.D., Laboratory Technical Staff, Biomedical Microsystems, Draper Laboratory

Jeffrey T. Borenstein, Ph.D., is Laboratory Technical Staff at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Borenstein is a Principal Investigator for projects involving microsystems-based approaches for organ assist devices and organ models for drug efficacy and safety testing, as well as implantable drug delivery systems for hearing loss and other diseases. These programs are funded by DARPA, the National Institutes of Health and several commercial sponsors. Prior to joining Draper in 1994, Dr. Borenstein held positions as a research scientist for North American Philips Corporation and Mobil Corporation. Dr. Borenstein has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University at Albany and holds 42 issued patents, as well as over 65 published patent applications and over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings. He is also a member of the National Academy of Inventors and a Standing Member of the ISD panel for the National Institutes of Health.

Murat Cirit, Ph.D., Director, Translational Systems Pharmacology, DARPA-PhysioMimetics Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Murat Cirit, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at MIT & director of the Translational Systems Pharmacology Team and System Integration Task in the DARPA-PhysioMimetics program (“Human Physiome on a Chip”) led by Linda Griffith. MIT and various institutions collaborate in creating a platform that supports ten interacting micro-physiological systems (MPS). Murat completed his Ph.D. at NCSU focusing on systems biology of growth factor-mediated signal transduction pathways. After completion of his Ph.D., he worked in the pharmaceutical industry focusing on preclinical drug discovery for oncology. He brings an interdisciplinary and systematic approach through his extensive experimental knowledge and computational modeling with an understanding of biological, physiological, and physical processes. His main research experience is systems pharmacology, systems biology, applied tissue engineering, cell biology and signal transduction networks. His current focus as the scientific lead is integrating various scientific fields to build interacting MPSs by interfacing platform engineering & tissue engineering for pharmacology studies.

Xiaofeng Cui, Ph.D., Professor & Department Chair, Department of Life Sciences and Technology, Wuhan University of Technology; Vice President, Research & Development, Stemorgan Therapeutics

Prof. Cui has studied bioprinting for more than 10 years and has successfully developed and applied bioprinting in cartilage, bone, vasculature, muscle, heart, kidney, lung tissue engineering, biomaterial scaffold, and stem cell research. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed research articles and owns five patents. His cartilage bioprinting work was recognized by the prestigious ICRS-Sanofi Award for Excellence in Cartilage Research and his publications have been cited over 1300 times. Prof. Cui also received honors for Outstanding Contributions to the Scripps Research Institute, Outstanding Contribution to the Society for Biomaterials, Director’s Award from the U.S. National Textile Center, to name a few. His bioprinting research was featured in the Discovery Channel scientific program 2057 to predict how bioprinting would change the world 50 years from now. Prof. Cui is also a frequent reviewer for NIH, NSF, NHMRC, and more than 30 top research journals in the field.

Collin Edington, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Linda Griffith Laboratory, Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Collin Edington received his bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010, and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh under Dr. Alan Russell in 2014. He is currently a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Linda Griffith’s lab at MIT. His current work involves the design and testing of new fluidic control architecture for the lab’s DARPA-funded human physiome on-a-chip project. He is also developing a central nervous system model to integrate into device, which will eventually contain 10 different organ systems.

Stephanie Elmer, Ph.D., J.D., Associate, Biotechnology and Chemical Group, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox

Dr. Elmer is an Associate in the Biotechnology/Chemical Group. Her practice is focused in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, where she is involved in all areas of patent procurement, exploitation, and enforcement. Dr. Elmer’s practice also includes counseling clients on intellectual property strategy, including evaluating patent portfolios, e.g., for invalidity, non-infringement, freedom-to-operate, and due diligence analyses. Dr. Elmer's intellectual property experience has been principally in technical areas such as chemicals, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, polymers, agrochemicals, stem cells, and bioprinting.

Nastaran Hashemi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Iowa State University

Nastaran Hashemi is an Assistant Professor and William March Scholar in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University. Her research interests are in the areas of microfluidics, optofluidics, biomaterials, and diagnostics and therapeutics. She was the recipient of 2007 NSF EAPSI Fellowship, 2008 NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2012 NRL Research Publication Award, and 2015 Big 12 Faculty Fellowship Award. She has also been a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) "Indo-American Frontiers of Science" invitee. In 2014, her collaborative research was highlighted and featured on KCCI News, MSNBC, USA News, and Fox News. Prof. Hashemi has published over 55 journal and peer-reviewed conference articles, and given several invited national and international lectures. She has served as an organizing committee and chair of the BioMEMS and Microfluidics session for the ASME Summer Bioengineering Conference.

Aron Jaffe, Ph.D., Senior Investigator & Regenerative Medicine Hub Leader, Developmental and Molecular Pathways, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Aron Jaffe is the Cambridge Regenerative Medicine Hub Leader for the Developmental and Molecular Pathways Department. The group’s mission is to identify and validate novel targets and therapies that promote tissue repair and regeneration. A major area of focus for the group is establishing and utilizing complex (three-dimensional) cellular and organotypic models that mimic in vivo properties epithelial tissues, to drive the identification of key druggable nodes in fundamental cellular processes that are de-regulated in disease. Prior to joining Novartis in 2008, Aron performed his postdoctoral training at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology in London, UK, and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he established a three-dimensional culture model of intestinal epithelial morphogenesis to study the cellular functions of the Rho family of small GTPases. Aron received his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Cell and Molecular Biology.

Madhu Lal-Nag, Ph.D., Group Leader, Trans-NIH RNAi Facility, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health

My core competency lies in being able to bridge the gap between the academic and the translational aspects of cutting-edge science in oncology, and in using the results of current chemotherapeutic response/regimens to dictate the direction of research for maximum effectiveness in as short a time as possible. My passion lies in being able to develop scientific methods to creatively translate cutting-edge research to serve patient need. My research focuses on developing assays to interrogate and explore new frontiers in cancer and stem cell biology, especially in a 3Dimensional, physiologically relevant context. As a translational scientist, my responsibilities include the development, miniaturization and optimization of physiologically relevant cell-based 2D and 3D assays to make them amenable for the screening of high-impact compound libraries with the goal of identifying unique receptor/ligand interaction and efficacy in various disease pathologies.

Luke MacQueen, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Disease Biophysics Group, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering; John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

Luke MacQueen is a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Kevin Kit Parker's Disease Biophysics Group at Harvard University, where his research focuses on cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue engineering. Prior to joining the Disease Biophysics Group, Luke was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto where he developed microdevices for stem cell-based tissue engineering and in vitro mechanobiology. Luke received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, and his Ph.D. in Engineering Physics from the Ecole Polytechnique, also in Montreal. Between degrees, he worked in research and development and applications engineering for Escher-Grad Technologies and GaGe Applied Sciences, both Montreal area high-tech companies.

Jeffrey Morgan, Ph.D., Professor, Medical Science, Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology, Brown University

Jeff Morgan is Professor of Medical Science in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology and Biotechnology at Brown University. A graduate of Syracuse (BS) and Harvard (Ph.D.) with postdoctoral training at MIT and the Whitehead Institute, he was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School prior to Brown. Dr. Morgan has received numerous awards and patents for his research in gene therapy and tissue engineering and he has co-founded three companies including his latest, Microtissues, Inc. (www.microtissues.com). Among his inventions are the 3D Petri Dish®, a technology for growing cells in three dimensions with applications in toxicity testing, drug discovery and tissue engineering. Dr. Morgan has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and chapters and has edited two books and is an inventor of 12 U.S. and international patents. He is a Fellow of both the National Academy of Inventors and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Aleksander Skardal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Dr. Skardal is an Assistant Professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, with additional appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Cancer Biology, and is a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He received his BSc in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Utah. His current research focuses on applying hydrogel biomaterials within the framework of several areas including: biofabrication of microtissue organoids for diagnostics and personalized medicine (aka "Body-on-a-Chip"), tissue-tumor organoids and tumor-on-a-chip devices for in vitro modeling of metastasis phenomena and mechanisms, integration with microfluidic systems, bioink design and bioprinting, and hydrogels for wound healing therapies.

Filippos Tourlomousis, Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology

Filippos Tourlomousis earned his BS in Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Patras (Greece), in 2010. Then, he continued his graduate studies by joining the Research Master program of Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Brussels. He graduated in June 2010 from the Environmental & Applied Fluid Dynamics Department of the institute with a concentration in Experimental Fluid Mechanics. His research was focused on the study of smoke propagation in confined places due to explosions using Particle Image Velocimetry and Laser Scattering techniques. He is currently, pursuing a Ph.D. degree within the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stevens. Current work at Stevens is focusing on the development of novel electrohydrodynamic-based biomanufacturing methods for the investigation of cell-scaffold dimensional metrology and multiphysics computational modeling approaches that can guide the biologically inspired engineering design of tissue-on-chip devices used as drug screening platforms.

Remi Villenave, Ph.D., Principal investigator/R&D Lead, Emulate, Inc.

Remi started his academic training at Queen’s University Belfast and dedicated his Ph.D. to the development of a new model of Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection based on differentiated primary airway epithelial cells that recapitulated hallmarks of the disease in children. Following a first postdoctoral training where he acquired a strong expertise in human airway epithelium biology and mucosal immunity applied to 3D modeling of airway tissues and host pathogen interaction, Remi accepted a role at the Wyss Institute in Harvard, in Don Ingber’s lab, to apply his expertise of human airway epithelium biology to the development of a new Lung Airway-Chip model. After successfully developing the new Airway-Chip platform Remi joined Emulate’s founding scientific team to further develop and apply the Organs-on-Chips technology to respiratory and infectious diseases.

Chemical Biology in Drug Discovery


M. Paola Castaldi, Ph.D., Team Leader, Chemical Biology, AstraZeneca

Paola Castaldi holds a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Imperial College London. She pursued postdoctoral education before in the chemical biology department at UCSD and then in the chemistry department at Boston University. Over the last 7 years she has been involved in the identification of new targets for small molecules and in the elucidation of their MOA. Paola worked at Makoto, Bedford, MA, as the chemistry project leader and was a co-author of a patent describing agents that modulate novel oncology targets. She then joined Sanofi, Cambridge, MA, as senior research scientist and project leader responsible for the chemistry strategies towards target identification/validation and elucidation of MOA for the Wnt and Kras oncogenic pathways. Paola then joined AstraZeneca, Waltham, MA, where she is currently leading the chemical biology team in championing and delivering an effective strategy for the identification of novel chemical biology technologies with specific emphasis on the delivery of chemical probes towards target identification/validation.

Matthew David Disney, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute

Matthew Disney, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, received his early schooling in the Baltimore Catholic School System, his BS from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his Ph.D. at the University of Rochester. Matt began his independent career in 2005 and moved to the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute in 2010, where he is currently Professor. He is a pioneer in the development of precise small molecules targeting RNA, and is rationally designing small molecules that modulate RNA function or toxicity from only sequence. His laboratory has recently reported success targeting RNA repeat expansions that cause incurable genetic disorders, including myotonic muscular dystrophy type 1, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in cellular and animal models of disease as well as various RNAs involved in causing incurable forms of cancer. Matt has received various awards including the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and The Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award.

Steven P. Gygi, Ph.D., Professor, Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School

Steven Gygi received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Utah in 1995 with an emphasis on mass spectrometry. During his postdoc with Ruedi Aebersold at the University of Washington, he co-developed the ICAT strategy for quantitative proteomics. In 2000, he transitioned to run his own lab in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School where he is currently the rank of Professor. His research is centered in technology development for multiplexed protein and phosphorylation measurements by mass spectrometry. Currently, a 10-plex analysis is possible, and in the future a 24- or 48-plex could be available.

Erik Hett, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Chemical & Molecular Therapeutics, Biogen

Dr. Erik Hett received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in the lab of Dr. Eric Rubin, studying protein-protein interactions important for mycobacteria. His postdoctoral research was conducted in the lab of Dr. Deborah Hung at Harvard, Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital, where he conducted phenotypic HTS and utilized chemoproteomics for target ID. He previously was a chemical biologist in the MedChem Department at Pfizer and is currently leading a chemical biology team in the mechanisms and pathways group at Biogen.

Lyn Jones, Ph.D., Head, Rare Diseases Chemistry & Group Leader, Chemical Biology, Pfizer

Lyn Jones completed Ph.D. studies in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Nottingham, before starting his postdoctorate research at The Scripps Research Institute, California in the area of chemical biology. In 2001, he joined Pfizer in Sandwich, UK as a medicinal chemistry team leader and in 2009 he won the inaugural Royal Society of Chemistry Young Industrialist of the Year Award for his contributions to HIV and COPD research and clinical candidate delivery. In 2011 he transferred to Cambridge, Massachusetts to become head of chemistry for Rare Disease Research and to lead the Chemical Biology Group. He is an author or inventor on over 80 publications and patents, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) and he is an elected member of the Chemistry Biology Interface Division Council of the RSC.

Ralph Mazitschek, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Center for Systems Biology, Chemical Biology Platform, 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 Ph.D. 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 Mcassachusetts General Hospital to continue his independent research.

Derek Tan, Ph.D., Member & Laboratory Head, Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry Program, Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Derek S. Tan was born and raised in Rochester, New York. His parents, both chemists at Eastman Kodak, discouraged him from going into chemistry, and so, naturally, he became a chemist. He received his BS in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1995, working with Prof. Dale G. Drueckhammer on dynamic enzymatic resolution. He went onto graduate studies with Prof. Stuart L. Schreiber at Harvard University, carrying out early research in diversity-oriented synthesis. After receiving his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2000, he pursued postdoctoral training with Prof. Samuel J. Danishefsky at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he studied natural product total synthesis. He began his independent career in 2002 and is now a Tri-Institutional Professor and Chairman of the Chemical Biology Program at MSKCC. His research focuses on the use of natural product-based strategies to identify new chemical probes that address biological targets implicated in infectious diseases and cancer. He is also Director of the Tri-Institutional Ph.D. Program in Chemical Biology.

Yuan Wang, Ph.D., Developmental and Molecular Pathways, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Dr. Wang received her Ph.D. from University of Bonn in Germany, where she worked with Prof. Juergen Bajorath on compound similarity and virtual screening methods. She also worked in Fraunhofer Insititute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing and Chinese Academy of Sciences on brain image reconstruction and chemical structure recognition. After her Ph.D. she spent three years in the Pharma Research and Early Development department of F. Hoffman-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland, where she worked on gene expression analysis, compound and literature data mining. She joined Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in early 2013 and her current research includes compound & gene screening and machine learning in target identification and phenotypic drug discovery.

Property-Based Drug Design in Medicinal Chemistry


David DeGoey, Ph. D., Sr. Principal Research Scientist, Discovery Chemistry and Technology, AbbVie

I received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University, working with Professor Yoshito Kishi. I’ve worked at Abbott/AbbVie for 21 years, where I spent a large portion of my career (15 years) in infectious disease research working on the discovery of antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral agents, including many targets with bRo5 chemical matter such as HIV and hepatitis C. Recently, I led the chemistry team that discovered the HCV NS5A inhibitor ABT-267 (ombitasvir) which is part of AbbVie’s all oral triple combination Viekira Pak and is approved for the treatment of HCV. My current title is Sr. Principal Research Scientist at AbbVie, where I’m serving as project lead in the Centralized Lead Optimization department. I grew up in Wisconsin and enjoy spending time outdoors with my family (3 kids ages 13, 10 and 6) boating and fishing and cheering on the UW Badgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Robert Foti, Senior Scientist, Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Amgen, Inc

Robert S. Foti received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Biology from Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ) and a graduate degree in Chemistry from Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA). From 1999 – 2005, Rob held a position in the Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism department at Pfizer (Groton, CT) where he worked on immunology and inflammation related discovery programs and subsequently on high-throughput screening assays for metabolic stability and drug interactions. Since 2005, Rob has worked in the Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism group at Amgen, first in Seattle, WA and currently in Cambridge, MA. At Amgen, he leads PKDM efforts for multiple small molecule and protein therapeutic discovery through early development programs across various therapeutic areas. The current research in Rob’s lab focuses on the in vitro and in silico assessment of drug interactions and clearance mechanisms for both small molecules and protein therapeutics. Additional research interests include cytochrome P450 enzymology, UDP-glucuronosyltransferase-catalyzed conjugation and drug target characterization, resulting in over 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts, as well as multiple invited reviews and oral presentations. Externally, Rob is on the Editorial Board for Drug Metabolism and Disposition, is currently serving on the executive committee for ASPET and is an active member of ISSX and ACS while contributing as an ad hoc referee for multiple peer-reviewed journals.

Alan Mathiowetz, Director, Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, Pfizer

Alan received his B.A. in chemistry from Rice University and his Ph. D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology where he worked for William A. Goddard III. After graduating, Alan worked for Sterling Winthrop Inc. before moving to Pfizer Inc. Alan has worked at Pfizer Inc. in a variety of positions related to computational chemistry, cheminformatics, and molecular properties. He is currently the group leader for computational chemistry in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases (CVMED) chemistry department. In recent years, Alan and CVMED computational chemistry have been involved in a broad spectrum of therapeutic research projects and an array of academic collaborations involving peptidic, beyond rule-of-5 macrocycles and advanced molecular simulations.

Nicholas A. Meanwell, Ph. D., Executive Director, Discovery Chemistry, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Dr. Meanwell is currently Executive Director, Department of Discovery Chemistry at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. He has led drug discovery programs in the cardiovascular, neurosciences and virology therapeutic areas, work that has resulted in the advancement of 30 clinical candidates for the prevention of thrombosis, the treatment of stroke and therapy for viral infections, including human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Significant discoveries to emerge from the antiviral group include RSV fusion inhibitors, characterized as the first small molecules to interfere with the association of the 6 helical peptide bundle that is a critical step in the virus entry process, and a series of HIV-1 attachment inhibitors that are the first small molecules described to function by interfering with the interaction between virus gp120 and the host cell CD4 receptor. From this work, BMS-663068, a phosphonooxymethyl prodrug of BMS-626529, has successfully completed Phase 2 clinical trials and is under evaluation in Phase 3 studies. In addition, an inhibitor of HIV-1 maturation, BMS-955176, is currently in Phase 2b clinical trials. Significant compounds in the HCV arena include daclatasvir (DaklinzaTM), a pioneering molecule that established NS5A inhibition as a clinically-relevant target and, the HCV NS3 protease inhibitor asunaprevir (SunvepraTM), which incorporates the cyclopropyl acylsulfonamide moiety that has been widely adopted, both of which have completed Phase 3 clinical trials. The combination of daclatasvir and asunaprevir in a clinical trial conducted in HCV-infected subjects established for the first time that an HCV infection could be cured by direct acting antiviral agents in the absence of immune stimulation. DaklinzaTM and SunvepraTM were marketed in Japan in 2014 and DaklinzaTM was approved for marketing by the European Medicines Agency in 2014. In addition, beclabuvir, a thumb site inhibitor of HCV NS5B polymerase, is currently in Phase 3 trials in combination with daclatasvir and asunaprevir. Dr. Meanwell is the author/co-author of over 195 publications, review articles and book chapters and more than 170 meeting abstracts. He has been named as inventor/co-inventor of 114 issued U.S. Patents and has presented over 100 invited lectures at National and International meetings, Universities, and Schools on Medicinal Chemistry.

Dan Ortwine, Principal Scientist, Discovery Chemistry, Genentech

Dan Ortwine is currently a Principal Scientist in the Computational Drug Discovery group within Discovery Chemistry at Genentech. He received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1976 and joined Pfizer shortly thereafter. After progressing to a Research Fellow position in a 31 year career, in 2007 he joined Genentech, where he is actively engaged in supporting therapeutic project teams using computational chemistry and cheminformatics techniques and managing a portion of the CADD group. His expertise is in structure-based drug design, pharmacophore modeling, QSAR around ADME endpoints, and delivering computational models to chemists’ desktops to permit their widespread use in the organization. He regularly organizes and chairs symposia, is a reviewer for and on the scientific advisory boards of several journals, and publishes in the field.

Zoran Rankovic, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Discovery Chemistry Research & Technologies, Eli Lilly

Zoran Rankovic is a Research Fellow at Eli Lilly Headquarters, Indianapolis, Indiana, US. Before joining Eli Lilly in 2011, he was a medicinal chemistry director at Merck, Schering-Plough, and Organon UK. He started his industrial career at Organon in 1995, the same year he earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Leeds (UK), under the guidance of Professor Ronald Grigg. During his career, Zoran has been fortunate to be able to contribute to and lead teams that delivered multiple clinical candidates for a range of CNS disorders, including neurodegenerative, psychiatric, and pain indications. He is an author and coinventor on over 70 patents, scientific publications, and book chapters and an editor of two books on drug discovery topics.

John Reilly, Ph.D., Senior Research Investigator, Global Discovery Chemistry, Novartis

Dr. John Reilly is a Senior Research Investigator leading the Separation Sciences Team at Novartis Pharmaceuticals based in Cambridge MA. He has had several analytical roles within Pharmaceutical Industry and his current role resides within Discovery Chemistry looking at chromatographic methods to not only purify and isolate but to assess physicochemical profile at an early stage. He obtained his Analytical Ph.D at Imperial College, UK studying with Dr. Norman Smith and MSc at UCL, BSc at Reading University, UK.

Paul Scola, Ph.D., Research Fellow & Group Leader, Department of Virology Chemistry, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Paul Scola received his B.S. in chemistry from Trinity College and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. At Penn State, Paul researched in the laboratory of Professor Steven Weinreb with a focus on the development of heteroatom Diels-Alder reactions and the application of these cyclization processes to the synthesis of natural products. He then assumed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University under the tutelage of Professor Yoshito Kishi, where he joined a team of postdoctoral fellows in the ongoing total synthesis of the Halichondrins. Paul joined Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1992, where he is currently a Research Fellow and group leader in the department of Virology Chemistry. The focus of Paul’s research efforts include the discovery of small molecule anti-virals for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV). As part of that effort, Paul co-chaired the HCV, NS3 protease team and to date the group has discovered a series of clinical drug candidates, from which BMS-650032 (Asunaprevir) emerged as a clinically efficacious and recently approved treatment for hepatitis C.

Falgun Shah, Ph. D., Principal Scientist, Computational Toxicologist, Molecular Informatics, Pfizer

I completed my Ph.D. in medicinal/computational chemistry from the University of Mississippi. my focus there was to develop small molecular inhibitors of Cysteine Proteases of Plasmodium Falciparum which is responsible for Malaria in Humans. I joined University of California, San Diego for a post-doctoral training, where I was involved in developing ligand-based QSAR models for toxicity end points and database for structural alerts. I joined Pfizer in 2012 in compound safety prediction group as a Senior Scientist. My role at Pfizer was to identify chemotypes safety risks using physicochemical properties and in vitro assays early in drug discovery process and practice computational toxicology across worldwide medicinal chemistry division at Pfizer. I have 20 peer reviewed publications and number of presentations in both oral and poster formats.

Terry Richard Stouch, Ph.D., President, Science for Solutions, LLC

Dr. Terry Richard Stouch has 30 years’ experience in drug discovery research in large Pharmaceuticals and biotech. His specializations are drug design, molecular property prediction, molecular and biomolecular structure, computational sciences, pharmaceutical data evaluation and modeling, and scientific software design. He has participated in placing 8 compounds into human clinical trials. He has worked in most therapeutic areas including metabolic diseases, cardiovascular, oncology, anti-infective, immunology, and osteology. He consults for large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, biomolecular and chemical database organizations, and chemical and biomolecular software companies, among others. He is president of Science For Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in molecular and computational sciences; Senior Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design; and Adjunct Professor Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). Previously he was Director, Computational Chemistry and Structural Biology at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals; Consultant at the Protein Data Bank; Adjunct Professor Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky; Principal Scientist in Macromolecular Structure and Computer-Aided Drug Design at Bristol-Myers Squibb; and an Office of Naval Technology Postdoctoral Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory. Both his Ph.D. in chemistry with Professor Peters Jurs and B.S. in biochemistry were earned at the Pennsylvania State University. He is author of over 70 publications and has presented over 140 invited lectures.

Jan Wahlstrom, Ph. D., Director, Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Amgen

Jan Wahlstrom received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Washington State University. Following postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Jeffrey Jones at Washington State University, he joined Camitro, a leading ADMET modeling company. He subsequently held Staff Scientist positions at ArQule and Predictive Discovery that integrated his organic synthesis and ADMET/PK expertise. Jan held a Principal Scientist role at Pfizer, where he supported the cardiovascular, inflammation and allergy/respiratory therapeutic areas. He is currently a Director at Amgen, supporting oncology and inflammation programs using small molecule and protein therapeutics.

Adrian Whitty, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chemistry, Boston University

Dr. Whitty is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Boston University, where he joined the faculty in 2008. He spent the previous 14 years at Biogen, most recently as Director of Physical Biochemistry leading a group responsible for the structural, biophysical and mechanistic study of drug targets and of protein and small molecule drug candidates. He obtained a B.Sc. in Chemistry at King’s College, University of London and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, after which he held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brandeis University with Professor William P. Jencks. He left Brandeis to join Biogen in 1993. A major focus of his research currently, and for the past decade or so, has been the development of knowledge and methodologies for the discovery of small molecule inhibitors that block protein-protein interactions, especially using non-canonical drug chemotypes such as synthetic macrocycles. A second area of research involves mechanistic investigations of cytokine and growth factor receptors.

Robert J. Young, Ph. D., Group Leader, NCE Medicinal Chemistry, GlaxoSmithKline

Rob Young has broad medicinal chemistry experience in various stages of drug discovery programmes at GSK and legacy companies, since joining Wellcome in 1990. He was educated at the University of Oxford, with a post doctoral stint at The University of Chicago. Over the years, lead -op programmes have included antivirals, nitric oxide synthases and anticoagulants; the past decade, in early stage discovery, has covered broad areas of hit to lead and fragment work across many programmes. A particularly productive “hobby” has been a long term collaboration with Alan Hill, which has influenced the repositioning of physical properties from a reactionary backwater to main stream thinking.

Targeting Membrane Proteins


Andrew Alt, Ph.D., Senior Research Investigator, Lead Discovery, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Andrew Alt, Ph.D. heads the GPCR Lead Discovery team at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. He has extensive research experience in GPCRs and ion channels. Dr. Alt received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and did post-doctoral research at the Indiana University Medical School. He has worked in drug discovery settings ranging from “big pharma” to biotech, having contributed to early-phase discovery research at Eli Lilly and Co., Pfizer, and EPIX Pharmaceuticals prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2008.

James U. Bowie, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Bowie got hooked on proteins at an early age and never looked back. The obsession began as a high school student when he did a research project on blood clotting enzymes with Kenneth G. Mann at the Mayo Clinic in his hometown of Rochester, MN. The research project won him a trip to the International Science and Engineering fair and a Westinghouse Award, experiences that further stimulated his interest in science. He went on to Carleton College, where he got a B. A. degree in Chemistry with Distinction. He did research in carbohydrate chemistry with Gary R. Gray at the University of Minnesota before entering graduate school at M.I.T. There he returned to proteins in the laboratory of Robert T. Sauer, using experimental and computational methods to probe and predict protein structure. After completing his Ph.D. work, he did postdoctoral work as a Life Sciences Research Foundation fellow with David Eisenberg at UCLA, continuing work on structure prediction and structure determination by x-ray crystallography. He joined the UCLA faculty in 1993 and is now a full professor. His current research focuses on fundamental and practical aspects of membrane protein folding and cell-free methods for the production of commodity chemicals and biofuels.

Hao Chen, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Protein Technologies, Amgen, Inc. (already listed on webpage)

Hao Chen, Ph.D., is a Sr. Scientist at the Department of Protein Technologies, Biologics, Amgen, primarily focusing on cloning, protein expression and engineering using multiple platforms for drug discovery. Before joining Amgen, he was a postdoctoral fellow in Whitehead Institute/MIT after obtaining his Ph.D in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Rutgers University/HHMI.

Mary Ellen Cvijic, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Department of Lead Discovery and Optimization, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Dr. Mary Ellen Cvijic is a Senior Principal Scientist of Lead Evaluation in Leads Discovery and Optimization at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Her team focuses on in vitro bioassay design and technology implementation for lead optimization. Under her leadership, her team delivers comprehensive data packages from concept to drug candidate selection across multimodalities and therapeutic areas. Mary Ellen leads the high-throughput GPCR core technology platform at BMS for hit assessment, primary SAR and mechanistic understanding of GPCR ligands. Her team is also responsible for in vitro safety/toxicity studies for secondary pharmacology profiling. In addition, she led her team to develop functional capabilities in translational research efforts. Mary Ellen received her PhD degree in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology from Rutgers University & the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. She completed her post-doctoral training in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine.

Dario Doller, Ph.D., Senior Director, Deuterium Platform, Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dario Doller earned a doctorate from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, and shortly thereafter joined Sir Derek Barton’s group at Texas A&M University for post-graduate research. He is interested in all things drug discovery, with special focus on novel concepts defining drug action. Along his career, Dario has unveiled reaction intermediates, discovered novel chemical reactions, was a medicinal chemist in the team that discovered the marketed PAR-1 antagonist Vorapaxar, and helped deliver clinical compounds working at GPCRs, most notably an MCHR1 and mGluR5. The last decade, Dario lead global pre-competitive efforts to study potential therapeutic use of mGluR ligands. He is currently Senior Director, Deuterium Platform, at Concert Pharmaceuticals.

Karl Griswold, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College

Dr. Karl Griswold is a tenured Associate Professor in the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. His work in the field of protein engineering has resulted in the development of new tools for protein deimmunization, enhanced microbial production systems, novel strategies for gene library construction, and new approaches to high throughput screening of recombinant protein libraries. He studied as a DOW Foundation Scholar at Texas State University, graduating summa cum laude in 1995. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship under Professor George Georgiou. Dr. Griswold’s recent honors include a “Teacher of the Year” award from the Thayer School of Engineering and a “Young Investigator Award in Translational Biomedical Engineering” from the Coulter Foundation. He co-founded and serves as the CEO of Stealth Biologics, a private biotechnology company that is working with biopharma partners to develop low immunogenicity biotherapies.

Mitchell Ho, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, NIH

Dr. Mitchell Ho is a Senior Investigator at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). His lab has pioneered the production of inhibitory antibodies that recognize tumor-specific heparan sulfate proteoglycans. These antibodies have been shown to inactivate the Wnt/Yap signaling pathway known to be important for cancer pathogenesis. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a postdoctoral fellow with Ira Pastan at the NCI. He is the founding Chair of the NIH Antibody Interest Group. He is also the Chair of the Department of Biochemistry in the FAES Graduate School at the NIH.

Jung Weon Lee, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University

Dr. Jung Weon Lee is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University (SNU), Korea. He got his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He did a post-doc at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in cell adhesion signaling. In 2001, he returned to Korea, as an Assistant professor at College of Medicine, SNU, Korea. In 2009, he moved to Dept. of Pharmacy, SNU. His research has focused on how tumor cell functions including morphological changes, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, migration, and invasion could occur at the molecular levels. Such mechanistic insights on the cell functions can lead to development of the reagent(s) to inhibit the tumorous cell functions. These days, his research group mostly focuses on the roles of a tetraspanin, TM4SF5, in fibrosis, tumorigenesis and metastasis, and on the anti-TM4SF5 reagents to block TM4SF5-mediated diseases including fibrosis and cancers, in either 2D or extracellular matrix-surrounded 3D culture conditions via biochemical, cell biological and molecular biological approaches in addition to animal models, and clinical samples for the fibrotic and tumor models or patients.

Nongjian Tao, Ph.D., Director, Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors, Biodesign Institute and Professor of Electrical Engineering, Arizona State University (already listed)

Nongjian Tao, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors, Biodesign Institute at ASU, and associated editor of ACS Sensors. He joined ASU as a professor of electrical engineering and an affiliated professor of chemistry and biochemistry in 2001. He has published over 250 refereed journal articles, and given over 200 invited and keynote talks worldwide. He is elected fellow of AAAS, and America Physical Society. His current research interest includes mobile health devices, chem- and bio-sensors, molecular and nano-electronics.

Stephen J. Weiss, M.D., Upjohn Professor of Internal Medicine and Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan

Dr. Weiss is the E. Gifford and Love Barnett Upjohn Professor of Internal Medicine and Oncology, and Research Professor in the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan. Dr. Weiss’ research efforts have long focused on the transcriptional programs and downstream proteolytic effectors that model the extracellular matrix in normal and neoplastic states. Dr. Weiss completed his B.A. and M.D. and medical internship at Ohio State University and Washington University and then was recruited to the University of Michigan in 1982. Having served as the Head of Molecular Medicine & Genetics and the Director of the Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Program, he joined the Life Sciences Institute in 2006 where he currently serves as Acting Director.

Symposia:

Latest Advances in Nano-Oncology


Yves Boucher, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Boucher is Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from Laval University in Quebec Canada, and did his post-doctoral training in tumor pathophysiology and transport in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Dr Boucher’s research has provided novel insights into how the tumor vasculature, elevated interstitial fluid pressure, interstitial matrix and cancer cells affect the access and distribution of small and large therapeutics (e.g. antibodies, nanoparticles, oncolytic virus) in tumors (Nature Medicine 2003; Cancer Research 2008; Nature Methods 2009; PNAS 2011; Nature Communications 2013; Cancer Cell 2014). He also participates in clinical trials of anti-cancer agents, where his goal is to identify biomarkers of the efficacy of anti-angiogenic agents or extracellular matrix modifiers combined with cytotoxic agents (Nature Medicine 2004; Journal of Clinical Oncology 2009; PNAS 2015).

Arijit Chakravarty, Ph.D., Director, Modeling and Simulation (DMPK), Takeda Pharmaceutical International Co.

Dr. Chakravarty currently leads the Modeling & Simulation function at Takeda Pharmaceuticals (formerly Millennium). His team is responsible for providing quantitative pharmacology support for over twenty programs in the Takeda pipeline. Their work is incorporated routinely into clinical trial design and interpretation for early-stage molecules. Previously at Millennium, he served as Group Leader for a large team of in vivo pharmacologists and cell biologists, and as a Project Lead for seven molecules in early clinical development. Prior to that, he worked at Millennium as an in vivo group leader responsible for the pharmacology and biomarker portions of several discovery and development programs. His first role at Millennium was as a Computational Biologist focused on the application of statistical modeling and machine learning techniques to microarray and sequence-based data. Dr. Chakravarty has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Dartmouth College, and a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India.

Hisataka Kobayashi, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Molecular Imaging Program, NCI/NIH

Dr. Hisataka Kobayashi is the chief scientist in the Molecular Imaging Program at the National Cancer Institute/ NIH in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Kobayashi was awarded an M.D. in 1987 and a Ph.D. (Immunology/Medicine) in 1995 from Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. His interest is in developing novel molecular imaging and therapeutic agents or technologies especially for targeting cancers. He has published over 250 scientific articles in clinical and preclinical bio-medical imaging over the last 20 years.

Jinjun Shi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School; Director, Laboratory for Nanoengineering & Drug Delivery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Jinjun Shi holds an academic appointment of Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and directs the Laboratory for Nanoengineering & Drug Delivery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has extensive experience in the research fields of nanomedicine and biomaterials, and has developed many multifunctional nanoparticle platforms for the delivery of therapeutic small molecules, proteins and nucleic acids. The development of immunonanotherapeutics by using targeted polymeric nanoparticles has formed the foundation of one biopharmaceutical company Selecta Biosciences, and resulted in the first-in-human clinical trial of a synthetic nanoparticle vaccine (SEL-068) for smoking cessation. Dr. Shi has authored more than 35 publications and is an inventor of over 30 issued/pending patents worldwide. He has also received many awards, such as the NIH K99/R00 career development award, the Movember-Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Award, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award.

C. Shad Thaxton, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Urology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

C. Shad Thaxton, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Thaxton graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology (1998). He earned his M.D. degree from Northwestern University (2004), and was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Medical

Fellow from 2002-2003. Dr. Thaxton obtained his Ph.D. (Interdepartmental Biological Sciences) in 2007 under the mentorship of Dr. Chad A. Mirkin (Northwestern University, Chemistry). His residency training in General Surgery and Urology was performed at Northwestern University, McGaw Medical Center, before joining the Department of Urology as an assistant professor in 2008. Dr. Thaxton’s research efforts and expertise focus on synthesizing new nanomaterials, their physicochemical characterization, and translational nanotechnology with regard to nano-therapeutics and nanoparticle-based molecular diagnostics. The Thaxton Lab pioneered the synthesis of high-density lipoprotein nanoparticles

(HDL NPs) using a gold nanoparticle as a template to control conjugate size, shape, and surface chemistry. Current work centers on understanding the molecular structure of these unique materials, defining and tailoring their structure-function properties, and exploring interesting therapeutic opportunities based, mainly, upon the inherent function of the HDL NPs.

Andrew Wang, M.D., Associate Professor, Director of Clinical and Translational Research, Department of Radiation Oncology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC-Chapel Hill

Dr. Andrew Wang joined the UNC faculty in 2009 as a physician scientist in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Wang was part of the Harvard-MIT CCNE and worked on developing novel nanoparticles for cancer imaging and treatment. During his postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Wang developed the first nanoparticle platform that is capable of delivering chemotherapy and therapeutic radioisotope concurrently. Dr. Wang received his M.D. training at Harvard Medical School in the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology Program. During his residency, Dr. Wang became a postdoctoral fellow under the co-mentorship of Dr. Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dr. Omid Farokhzad at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Richard Wooster, Ph.D., President of Research & Development, Blend Therapeutics, Inc.

Richard Wooster is President of Research & Development at Tarveda and has three decades of experience in cancer genetics and pharmaceutical drug discovery and development. Previously, he was Vice President and Head of the Cancer Metabolism Discovery Performance Unit in Oncology at GlaxoSmithKline. In this role, he led the evaluation of the metabolic pathways that are deregulated in cancer, led the PI3K portfolio of inhibitors in Oncology at GSK and was responsible for the clinical evaluation of the novel antimitotic kinase inhibitors to PLK and CENPE. Before this, Dr. Wooster led the translational medicine group in Oncology at GSK and worked on Tykerb®, Mekinist® and Tafinlar®. During his academic career, Dr. Wooster discovered the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2, was one of the founders of the Cancer Genome Project at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute where, among many achievements, mutations in BRAF were first discovered and he developed the COSMIC mutation database and website. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and papers in scientific journals. Dr. Wooster has a First Class BSc in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in drug metabolizing enzymes, both from the University of Dundee, Scotland.

Bruce R. Zetter, Ph.D., Charles Nowiszewski Professor of Cancer Biology,Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Bruce R. Zetter, Ph.D. serves as Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of Research at Boston Children's Hospital and the Charles Nowiszewski Professor of Cancer Biology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Zetter serves as a consultant and scientific advisor to major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. He is highly regarded nationally and internationally as a leader in the research of tumor angiogenesis, progression, cancer diagnosis, and cancer metastasis. He served as Head of Scientific Advisors at ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc. since November 2012. He served as a Medical & Scientific Advisor of Mersana Therapeutics Inc. He co-founded Predictive Biosciences Inc. in 2006. Dr. Zetter served as an expert witness for the United States Senate Cancer Coalition hearings in Washington, DC. He serves as Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board of the Scientific Advisory Board of SynDevRx, Inc., and Cerulean Pharma Inc. He served as Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board of Tempo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Predictive Biosciences, Inc. He serves as Member of Scientific Advisory Board at Blend Therapeutics, Inc. He serves as Member of Scientific & Medical Advisory Board at ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Zetter serves as a Member of the Board of Directors and Member of Advisory Board of Attenuon, LLC. He has been a Member of Scientific & Clinical Advisory Board at MetaStat, Inc. since September 2015. Dr. Zetter serves on the Advisory Boards of Angstrom Pharmaceuticals and GMP Companies. He also serves on several grant review boards for public agencies such as the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, and serves on the editorial board of 11 peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Zetter served as Member of Scientific Advisory Board of Tempo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp., and BioTrove, Inc. His research interests focus on tumor metastasis and on identifying diagnostic and prognostic markers that can guide treatment decisions. He has chaired the grant review board on breast and prostate cancer for the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Zetter is a pioneer in understanding how cell movement affects tumor etastasis and is recognized for his key discovery of the inhibitory effects of alpha interferon to endothelial cell locomotion. His work led to the use of interferon alpha to treat hemangiomas. Dr. Zetter serves as a Professor in the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School since 1978. Dr. Zetter has won numerous national and international awards for his work in the field of cancer research including a Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society and the prestigious MERIT award from the US National Cancer Institute. He has also received three teaching awards from the students at Harvard Medical School for excellence as a teacher and as a course director. He has authored more than 100 articles and has more than 20 patents to his credit. Dr. Zetter received a B.A. degree in Anthropology from Brandeis University. Dr. Zetter earned his Ph.D. from University of Rhode Island and he completed postdoctoral fellowships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Salk Institute in San Diego.

Oncolytic Viruses in Cancer Therapies

John C. Bell, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Cancer Therapeutics, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Professor, Medicine and Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Ottawa

Dr. John Bell received his Ph.D. from McMaster University in 1982. The three years that followed, he trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa and then at the Medical Research Council in London, England. Dr. Bell began his independent research career at McGill University in 1986 and moved to the University of Ottawa, Department of Medicine, in 1989. He is a member of the Center for Cancer Therapeutics at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Center, a Senior Scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He heads the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium, a Terry Fox funded group from across Canada that is developing virus-based cancer therapeutics and is the Director of the Biotherapeutics Program for the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He is the Scientific Director of the recently awarded National Centre of Excellence for the development of Biotherapeutics for Cancer Therapy and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Yves Boucher, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Boucher is Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from Laval University in Quebec Canada, and did his post-doctoral training in tumor pathophysiology and transport in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Dr Boucher’s research has provided novel insights into how the tumor vasculature, elevated interstitial fluid pressure, interstitial matrix and cancer cells affect the access and distribution of small and large therapeutics (e.g. antibodies, nanoparticles, oncolytic virus) in tumors (Nature Medicine 2003; Cancer Research 2008; Nature Methods 2009; PNAS 2011; Nature Communications 2013; Cancer Cell 2014). He also participates in clinical trials of anti-cancer agents, where is goal is to identify biomarkers of the efficacy of anti-angiogenic agents or extracellular matrix modifiers combined with cytotoxic agents (Nature Medicine 2004; Journal of Clinical Oncology 2009; PNAS 2015).

E. Antonio Chiocca, M.D., Harvey W. Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgeon-in-Chief and Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery; Co-Director, Institute for the Neurosciences, Brigham and Women's/Faulkner Hospital; Surgical Director, Center for Neuro-oncology Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Chiocca is the Harvey Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and is the Chairman Neurosurgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was previously Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Ohio State University Medical Center. He has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1996. He has more than 250 peer-reviewed publications, some in journals such as Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Molecular Cell, and PNAS. He has elucidated how viruses with specific gene mutations will replicate selectively in tumors with a specific defect in a tumor suppressor pathway. He has also shown how modulation of innate immunity will improve replication of these tumor-selective viruses. More recently, he has elucidated how specific microRNAs (mir128 and mir451) regulate cellular target transcripts to permit tumor cell self-renewal and invasion into brain. He has been PI of three multi-institutional clinical trials of gene-, viral-therapies for malignant gliomas, has been permanent member of NIH study sections (NCI DT and NCI P01-D clinical studies), has been a member of the federal recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC/OBA) and is currently a member of the NINDS Scientific Advisory Council. In 2013, he was elected Vice-President of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO). In 2015, he was elected President of SNO. He is currently Treasurer of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery and is Chair of the Research Committee for the Society of Neurological Surgery. He also serves on the scientific advisory board of several foundations (Sontag, American Brain Tumor Association). He received The Grass Award in 2007, the Farber Award in 2008 and the Bittner Award in 2013. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2005), is an AAAS fellow (2005) and was also elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) in 2014. He also has served on multiple editorial boards and is the current Tumor Section Editor for Neurosurgery. He was on the editorial board of Journal of Neurosurgery from 2005 until 2012.

Robert Coffin, Ph.D., CEO & Founder, Replimune

Robert Coffin is co-founder and CEO of Replimune. Previously he was Founder & CTO of BioVex, Inc., a spin out from his research group at University College London in 1999. Rob was the inventor of all BioVex products including OncoVEXGM-CSF (talimogene laherparepvec; T-VEC; Imlygic) and oversaw all research and clinical development including bringing T-VEC through to two pivotal phase 3 studies in melanoma and head and neck cancer. BioVex was acquired by Amgen in 2011 where Rob was VP Global Development until 2013. T-VEC was approved by the FDA for use in advanced melanoma in October 2015, the first oncolytic therapy or gene therapy to be approved in the U.S. Rob was awarded a Ph.D. in virology from Imperial College London prior to his move to University College London in 1991.

Joe Conner, Ph.D., CSO, Research and Development, Virttu Biologics

Dr. Conner joined Virttu in 2002 and has been Chief Scientific Officer since 2008. He also holds an honorary lectureship at University of Glasgow. He has over 30 years’ experience in scientific research, 25 of which have been associated with Herpes Simplex Virus and more than 20 years working with oncolytic HSV. He specializes in molecular virology and cell biology and has substantial experience in autoimmunity and antibody engineering. He has published extensively on these topics and is the author of numerous granted and pending patents. His qualifications are a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow.

Faris Farassati, Ph.D., PharmD, Cancer Scientist, Marion and Henry Bloch Foundation Neuro-oncology Researcher, Midwest Biomedical Research Foundation, Kansas City Veteran Affairs Medical Center

Dr. Faris Farassati (Ph.D., PharmD) is a translational cancer scientist whose research is focused on development of novel anti-cancer therapeutics. His research team focuses on intervention with pro-oncogenic cell signaling machinery in order to treat human malignancies. Therapeutic targets which are identified to be "Cancer-Specific" are pursued by both gene and drug therapy strategies at Dr. Farassati's lab. Transcriptional targeting of Oncolytic Viruses is a major focus of research for Dr. Farassati's group. Ras signaling pathway, as the most important pro-oncogenic signaling pathway involved in generation of human cancers, has been defined as a target for a mutant versions of Herpes Simplex Virus-1(HSV-1). This Ras-Smart virus is named as "Signal-Smart 1" or SS1 virus. Other versions of Oncolytic Viruses developed in this lab include HSV-1 mutants capable of targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs) in a cell-specific manner. These viruses are being developed with the purpose of eliminating CSCs as the main fraction of cells within tumors in charge of repopulating tumors and maintaining different cell types which compose the histological structure of the tumor. Currently, no therapy exists to specifically target CSCs. Hence, the development of oncolytic viruses with such abilities carries significant potentials for highly effective cancer therapies. Brain, breast and liver cancer rank among primary targets for clinical trials followed by lung, head and neck and pancreatic cancer.

Other areas of research in Dr. Farassati’s lab include developing drug therapy strategies for targeting mesothelin, a pro-oncogenic factor involved in mesothelioma, lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancer and targeting RalA signaling pathway. Dr. Farassati’s team is a frontier in studying overactivation of RalA pathway in human malignancies such as brain, lung, ovary, medullolblastoma and liver tumors. The work now continues to evaluate RalA activation in CSCs and translational strategies to target this pathway using cell penetrable peptides (CPPs) which can eventually lead to design of novel peptidomimetic compounds. Dr. Farassati has received multiple grants/awards from federal and state agencies and his research has frequently attracted national and international attention. He was named as the chair of the molecular oncology session of World Congress of Neuro-Technology (WCNT) in 2011, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal of Oncolytic Virotherapy in 2012 and Editor-in-chief of OncoTarget & Therapy in 2015. He was awarded with the “Dean’s Excellence in Mentoring Post-doctoral Fellows Award” and membership in the “Society of Distinguished Mentors” in 2012. He has also recently joined the board of directors of the most prestigious non-for profit funding agency in the field of mesothelioma research, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF). Dr. Farassati is a frequent invited lecturer at national conferences focusing on mesothelioma from scientific and legal points of view.

Brian D. Lichty, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster Immunology Research Centre, McMaster University

Dr. Brian Lichty is a distinguished scientist with extensive expertise in oncolytic viruses and related immunotherapies, including seminal work with Dr. John Bell at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre. He has been a professor in the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine and the McMaster Immunology Research Centre (MIRC) at McMaster University since 2004. Dr. Lichty has also served as the Chief Technical Officer for Turnstone Biologics, Inc. since 2015. Dr. Lichty’s expertise includes influence research in the identification of strategies to leverage oncolytic viruses to harness the patient’s immune system in a sustainable manner, including vaccine design and engineering to directly engage the adaptive immune system tumor-specific and/or to enhance combinations with other immunotherapies. He is also director of the Robert E. Fitzhenry vector lab at McMaster where clinical grade viral vaccines are manufactured for human clinical trials. Dr. Brian Lichty received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and holds a BSc from the University of Guelph.

Robert L. Martuza, M.D., William and Elizabeth Sweet Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Surgery (Neurosurgery), Harvard Medical School, Chief, Neurosurgical Service, Attending Neurosurgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Robert L. Martuza, M.D., has been Chief of Neurosurgery Service for Massachusetts General Hospital and Higgins Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School since 2000. Dr. Martuza served as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of MediGene AG, and served as a Director of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. from December 1, 2006 to February 22, 2011. Since 1980, Dr. Martuza has been a Director of the Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and on the Board of Trustees for the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, Inc. He serves as a Director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery; serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; and is coordinating reviewer and serves on the Program Committee for the American Society of Gene Therapy. He plays a leading role in the clinical development of oncolytic Herpes Simplex technology and is the author of numerous scientific publications. He is a recognized authority on neurosurgery. He has published numerous articles and books in the field of neurology and has 11 patents issued or pending involving cell therapy. Dr. Martuza has received many grants for research with major research interests in central nervous system tumors, neurofibromatosis, cancer therapy with viral vectors and molecular neurosurgery. Dr. Martuza holds a B.A. degree from Bucknell University and a M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Training Seminar:

Applying Pharmacology to New Drug Discovery

To be Added

Short Courses:

SC3 Drug Metabolism and Its Impact on Decisions in Drug Development - Part 2


Mingxiang Liao, Ph.D., Senior Scientist I, DMPK, Takeda Pharmaceutical Intl. Company

Mingxiang Liao is a Senior Scientist at Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co. (TBOS, previously known as Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.). She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Peking Union Medical College, and did her postdoctoral research in the mechanisms of cytochrome P450 degradation and heme-regulated P450 expression at Dr. Maria Almira Correia’s lab at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She joined Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the Biotransformation group of DMPK in June 2007. She is currently the group leader of in vitro drug transport at TBOS and the chair of transporter center of excellence at Takeda. She is responsible for the in vitro permeability and transport studies to support projects at all stages of discovery and development. Her current research interests include transporter functions in drug disposition, efficacy and toxicity, and transporter related drug-drug interaction.

SC8: Rational Design of Cancer Combination Therapies


Arijit Chakravarty, Ph.D., Director, Modeling & Simulation (DMPK), Takeda Pharmaceutical International Co

Arijit is the Director of the Modeling & Simulation (M&S) function at Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co., Cambridge, MA. He has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Dartmouth College, and a Bachelor's in Pharmacy and a Master's in Biological Science from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India. Prior to his current role, Arijit has worked in other roles at Takeda (formerly Millennium), as a computational biologist, as a group leader and biomarker team leader in the in vivo pharmacology group, and in a translational group, where he led cell biology and pharmacology teams, and served as the discovery project leader for seven programs. He has contributed directly to around fifty drug discovery and development programs in multiple therapeutic areas, from target identification to discovery and early clinical development. Arijit has spoken at more than thirty conferences and invited seminars, published over thirty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and over fifty abstracts.

SC9: How to Best Utilize Organotypic 3D Cell Cultures Assays in Oncology


Arvind Rao, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Arvind Rao, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center since 2011. Prior to joining MD Anderson, he was a Lane Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in bioimage informatics. Arvind received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Bioinformatics from the University of Michigan, specializing in transcriptional genomics. At MD Anderson, Arvind is working on using 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).

SC10: Molecular Imaging of the Blood-Brain Barrier


Marco L. Loggia, Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Associate Director, Center for Integrative Pain NeuroImaging, A. A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital

I am an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and the Associate Director of the Center for Integrative Pain NeuroImaging (CiPNI). My lab's main research questions focus on the neural mechanisms of pain in humans. We are particularly interested in the evaluation of neuroimaging metrics as potential biomarkers of clinical pain, and in the identification of brain alterations occurring in patients suffering from chronic pain conditions. In 2008 I was awarded a Ph.D. in Neurological Sciences by McGill University in Montreal, QC (Canada). Between 2008 and 2013, I held the position of Research Fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. As of 2013 I am faculty at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. I am a recipient of the 2013 Early Career Award from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), and the Primary Investigator of several federal and foundation grants, including from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS/NIH) and the Department of Defense.

Changning Wang, Ph. D., Instructor, Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Dr. Changning Wang has a broad background in molecular imaging, chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and neuroscience. He received his master degree in medicinal chemistry from Peking University and doctoral degree in molecular imaging from Case Western Reserve University. Currently, he holds an instructor position at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. His research interests focus on developing and using novel non-invasive imaging tools for neuroimaging and CNS drug development. He has developed many imaging probes for brain imaging, including the first human PET radiotracer for imaging histone deacetylases, the PET radiotracer for Monoacylglycerol Lipase, the first optical imaging probe for measuring myelination in the brain.

Xiaoyou Ying, Ph.D., Head of bioimaging, DSAR US, Preclinical Safety, Sanofi US

Xiaoyou Ying is a Biophysicist and Patho-physiologist, and heads the Bioimaging group in Sanofi DSAR US. Before moved to the pharmaceutical industry in 1999, he was a faculty at Columbia University. He also did his postdoc training there. Xiaoyou holds a PhD degree in Biophysics from the Science School of Oulu University, Finland, he was also a scientist in the Neuroresearch Unit there. Xiaoyou also possesses Master and Bachelor degrees from Medical School and Engineering School separately for Micro-circulation and Biomedical Engineering.

SC11: Immunocompetent Murine Models for Preclinical Assessment of Cancer Immunotherapy


Michael Brehm, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Diabetes Center of Excellence, Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Dr. Brehm received his Ph.D. from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Program in Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a member of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence. Dr. Brehm’s research program is focused on understanding how human effector T cells are regulated, and his laboratory is actively using “humanized” mice to model human T cell responses. Dr. Brehm has published over 70 manuscripts and reviews and is supported by funding from the JDRF, NIAID, NIDDK and the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Daniela Cipolletta, Ph.D., Research Investigator, Clinical Translational Oncology, TCO, Novartis Oncology

Dr. Daniela Cipolletta is an Immunology Lab Head at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA. Her laboratory works in the field of cancer immunotherapy with a special emphasis on exploiting the most advanced transciptomic and proteomic approaches to characterize tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and to identify novel combinatorial drug strategies to treat cancer. Her research interests include the molecular and cellular regulation of tissue resident lymphocytes and immune regulation by inhibitory and co-stimulatory receptors. Dr. Cipolletta received her doctoral Ph.D. in Immunology from a joint program between the European School of Molecular Medicine and Harvard Medical School. Her post-doctoral work focused on tissue-resident regulatory T cells in the lab of Diane Mathis and Christophe Benoist at Harvard Medical School.

SC13: A Primer to Gene Editing: Tools and Applications


Michael Bassik, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Stanford University

Michael Bassik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. He performed his Ph.D work in Stanley Korsmeyer’s lab at Harvard, exploring the role of BCL-2 phosphorylation in regulating cell death. As a postdoc in Jonathan Weissman’s lab at UCSF, he developed high-coverage shRNA screening libraries and mammalian genetic interaction maps, applying these to study the biology of retrograde toxins. His laboratory at Stanford focuses on the continued development of shRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 systems for high-throughput screening, and on application of these technologies to study endocytosis, stress, and the identification of novel drug targets.

John Doench, Ph.D., Associate Director, Genetic Perturbation Platform, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Since joining the Broad Institute in 2009, I have engaged in dozens of collaborations centered on functional genomics. As Associate Director of the Genetic Perturbation Platform, my role is to provide expert guidance on the design, execution, and analysis of genetic screens, and have done so with a wide variety of research groups across many areas of biology. Additionally, I have many years of experience in the development and use of functional genomic techniques, first with RNAi and more recently with CRISPR technology for genome-wide loss-of-function screening. As leader of research and development in the Platform, I have stayed on the cutting-edge of newest techniques while also focusing on the reduction-to-practice that is critical for enabling collaboration with a broader community of researchers. Prior to joining the Broad, I received my Ph.D. in biology, training with Phil Sharp, and performed postdoctoral work with Ed Harlow at Harvard Medical School.

SC14: Importance of Solubility in Drug Discovery and Development


Bernard Faller, Director, Discovery ADME, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Basel

I graduated as a biochemist/enzyme kinetisist at the University of Strasbourg, France where I obtained my Ph. D in 1991 under the supervision of Dr. J.G. Bieth. My initial interest was with inhibitors of neutrophil elastase for the treatment of respiratory diseases. In 1991 he moved to Ciba-Geigy as a post-doctoral fellow and focused on enzyme kinetics of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. In 1995 I became head of laboratory at Ciba-Geigy (and then Novartis) responsible for physicochemical characterization of iron-chelating agents with the challenge to find orally-active iron chelators with good efficacy (binding properties) and acceptable safety margin. After the successful completion of the program, I focused on biochemical characterization of fatty-acid binding proteins and in 1999 moved to central technologies and established the foundations of the Novartis biopharmaceutical profiling group which addresses early ADME properties in drug discovery. In 2001, he became technology program head for physicochemical profiling in the Preclinical Compound Profiling Unit. In 2007 I was honored “Hero of Chemistry” by the ACS for the discovery of Exjade®, the first orally-active iron chelator for the treatment of transfusional iron overload. I am currently a Director in the Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics platform where I am leading the ADME Discovery Unit across Basel (CH) and Cambridge (USA) research centers. The mission of the group is to support compound optimization for ADME related issues by providing appropriate assays and expertise for data interpretation and data mining. Authored 44 scientific papers, 5 book chapters and edited 1 book. Over 1500 citations. RG score 32.7

Manual Sanchez-Felix, Senior Fellow, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Profiling, Novartis

Dr. Manuel Sanchez-Felix is Senior Fellow with the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Profiling group at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA. He is a scientific leader with over 20 years of experience across drug discovery and development, where he has co-invented products and contributed to the successful development and launch of various pharmaceutical products. At Novartis, Dr. Sanchez-Felix heads a group of scientists responsible for the interface between Research and Development. His team is responsible for assessing whether new drug candidates can be developed by establishing physicochemical properties, biopharmaceutical properties, development strategy and formulation design. The team is a critical partner enabling Research to validate their hypothesis via formulation approaches. Prior to joining Novartis, Manuel was at Eli Lilly & Company for 20 years. His area of expertise includes Biopharmaceutics, drug delivery and patient centered formulation design. Areas of drug discovery were he has developed products include CNS, infectious diseases (specifically TB), oncology, bone regeneration and diabetes. Dr. Sanchez-Felix received his B.Sc. Honors degree and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Surrey, UK. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Suzanne Skolnik, Investigator, Analytical Chemistry Group, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Cambridge

Suzanne Skolnik is an Investigator in the Analytical Chemistry group at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA, USA, supporting drug discovery teams and early development functions in the selection of new chemical entities with improved probability of success. She has over 12 years of research experience in Novartis with expertise in physicochemical and solubility characterization and ADME principles. Suzanne has influenced development of global Novartis solubility strategy through next generation solubility assays. Prior to Novartis, Suzanne was a technical specialist for pION INC as well as a scientific educator. She obtained her M.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina where she studied geochemistry of marine organisms.

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