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Richard Somberg
Director, Pharma Biotech Strategic Business Unit

Richard is the Director of the Pharma Biotech Strategic Business Unit responsible for driving growth and setting strategy to support customers in Drug Discovery.  He received his Ph.D. in immunology from Purdue University and completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

10:30 am | Monitoring Dynamics of Protein Degradation in Living Cells

Stephanos Ioannidis
VP of Chemistry
H3 Biomedicine

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

8:00 am | Chair’s Opening Remarks

Gregory Thatcher
Hans Vahlteich Chair of Medicinal Chemistry
University of Illinois College of Pharmacy

Dr. Greg Thatcher joined the University of Illinois in 2003 from the faculty of the Chemistry Department at Queen's University, Canada, where his awards included the 2000 Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research Award and Fellowship of the Chemical Institute of Canada. He is currently Hans Vahlteich Chair and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and co-leader of the Translational Oncology Program in the University of Illinois Cancer Center and co-director of the NIA Translational Training Program in Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementia.  Dr. Thatcher has over 150 scientific publications, over 25 US patents, and has supervised more than 50 graduate students applying the tools of biological chemistry to drug discovery, chemical toxicology, and chemical biology.  His research has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2003, supported by NCI, NIA, NHLBI, and NCCAM. Dr Thatcher founded his first start-up company in 1997, which successfully took an Alzheimer’s drugs into clinical trials. He currently has two new chemical entities licensed and in clinical trials for treatment of metastatic breast cancer. In 2013, he founded a campus-wide and disease-agnostic drug discovery center at UIC, which has engaged over 80 faculty in collaborative teams directed at small molecule drug discovery and plays an active role in academic drug discovery across Chicago.

Alexander V. Statsyuk
Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
University of Houston

Alexander Statsyuk is an assistant professor at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Chicago in 2006, where he synthesized natural product Bistramide A and established its mode of action in cells. He then completed his postdoctoral work at UCSF, where he was working on the development of chemical cross-linkers to identify upstream kinases of protein phosphorylation sites. Since 2010 he has been running his independent research program aimed at discovering drug leads targeting degradation pathways such as ubiquitin proteasome system and autophagy. He is an author of 32 manuscripts, he filed 10 patent applications, and he is a recipient of Pew Scholar Award. Some of the technologies that he and his group have developed and patented include covalent fragments, novel probes UbFluor to conduct HTS screens to discover E3 ligase inhibitors and hijackers, and E3-Substrate crosslinkers useful to study E3-Substrate interactions in vitro and to validate E3-Substrate hijackers in vitro.

Angela N. Koehler
Associate Professor- Department of Biological Engineering
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Angela Koehler is the Goldblith Career Development Professor in Applied Biology in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT and an intramural member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. She is also an Institute Member of the Broad Institute and a Founding Member of the MIT Center for Precision Cancer Medicine. Her research group aims to discover and develop functional small-molecule probes of transcriptional regulators, including chromatin modifying enzymes and oncogenic transcription factors. Validated probes may be used to advance the understanding of transcription in development and disease. Selected probes may be developed into imaging agents, diagnostic tools, or therapeutic leads. Angela received her B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Reed College in 1997. There she worked under the guidance of Professor Arthur Glasfeld on structural and biochemical studies of proteins that recognize tRNA or DNA. In 2003, she received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University where she worked with Professor Stuart Schreiber to develop novel technologies for identifying and characterizing interactions between proteins and small molecules. Upon graduation, she became an Institute Fellow in the Chemical Biology Program at the Broad Institute and a Group Leader for the NCI Initiative for Chemical Genetics.

Daniel Finley
Professor of Cell Biology
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Finley graduated from Harvard College in 1980 and received his PhD from MIT in 1984, having worked with Alex Varshavsky and in collaboration with Aaron Ciechanover. His thesis work showed that the ubiquitin pathway is essential in mammals and is the major pathway for selective protein degradation. He also developed yeast as a model system for the study of ubiquitination. He was appointed in 1988 to the faculty at Harvard Medical School, where he remains today, mainly studying various aspects of proteasome function.

Daniel Nomura
Professor- Department of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley

Daniel Nomura is an associate professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also an associate adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF. He is also the director of the Novartis-Berkeley Center for Proteomics and Chemistry Technologies. Dr. Nomura is also an editor for Cell Chemical Biology and Current Protocols in Chemical Biology. He earned his B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Toxicology with Professor John Casida at UC Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute in chemical physiology with Professor Ben Cravatt before returning to UC Berkeley as a faculty member in 2011. Among his honors are selection as a Searle Scholar, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, and the Department of Defense Breakthroughs Award. Research in the Nomura Research Group is focused on reimagining druggability using chemoproteomic platforms to discover new disease therapies.

David Millan
VP- Chemistry
Foghorn Therapeutics

David Millan joined Foghorn Therapeutics in 2017 as Head of Chemistry. Before joining Foghorn, David was the Head of Medicinal Chemistry at FORMA Therapeutics (Watertown, MA) where he helped build the medicinal chemistry group, and led programs through to IND in epigenetics & tumor metabolism. Prior to this appointment David held positions of increasing responsibility at Pfizer (Sandwich, UK). During this period David made significant contributions to the discovery of multiple clinical candidates in the Respiratory and Pain therapeutics areas. David started his industrial career in 2001 at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Oxford, UK) working as a medicinal chemist. David graduated with a B.Sc. with Honours (First class) & Ph.D. in chemistry in 1998, at Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia). This was followed by post-doctoral research at University of Nottingham (Nottingham, UK), in the laboratory of Gerald Pattenden, working on the total synthesis of the complex marine natural product Phorboxazole A.

Eric S. Fischer
Assistant Professor of BCMP- Harvard Medical School
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Eric Fischer, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and a Principal Investigator in the Department of Cancer Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His research focuses on understanding the complex mechanisms that underlie function and regulation of multi-component ubiquitin ligases and their role in disease. His work further focuses on new therapeutic approaches such as targeted protein degradation. He co-directs the DFCI Center for Protein Degradation and has been recognized for his pioneering work on the structure of cereblon and the mechanism of action of thalidomide.

Gerald Shipps
Senior Director in the Emerging Science & Innovation (ES&I)

Jerry is a Senior Director in the Emerging Science & Innovation (ES&I) group at Pfizer, focusing on search & assessment of small molecule technologies.  Prior to Pfizer he directed academic and biotech collaborations at Shire, evaluated external assets, and contributed to strategy development.  He also coordinated the global Tuberculosis Drug Accelerator initiative with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, advancing compounds from 17 pharma & research institutions by applying the latest chemical and biological approaches.  Earlier in his career Jerry helped develop and lead an integrated medicinal chemistry, informatics, and AS-MS screening group that originated at the startup NeoGenesis; and evolved to support all sites and therapeutic areas within Merck and Schering-Plough to identify and progress hits for novel targets.  He earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from M.I.T. in the laboratory of Prof. Julius Rebek.

Gregory P. Way
Postdoctoral Associate
Broad Institute

Greg received his PhD in Genomics and Computational Biology from The University of Pennsylvania in 2019. His work focuses on developing supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms to derive insight from biomedical data. He led the Ras pathway analysis working group in The Cancer Genome Atlas PanCanAtlas project. Currently, Greg is a Postdoctoral Associate at The Broad Institute and is applying machine learning algorithms to biomedical imaging data.

Haian Fu
Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology; Associate Dean for Innovation & International Strategies
Emory University School of Medicine

Haian Fu, PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Fu also serves as the Director of the Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center and Leader of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. Dr. Fu's research focuses on protein-protein interactions in signal transduction, targeting these interactions for drug discovery, and collaborating with physician scientists to translate such bench research to clinical applications.

Jeffrey Iwig
Senior Scientist
Carmot Therapeutics

Jeff received his PhD in biochemistry from Washington University in St. Louis.  He then moved to UC Berkeley for his postdoctoral work in structural biology and cell signalling working with John Kuriyan.  For the past 5 years Jeff been part of the Carmot Therapeutics team.

John S. Lazo
Harrison Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology
University of Virginia

John S. Lazo graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a AB in Chemistry and received his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan.  He was a postdoctoral fellow and faculty member at Yale until his appointment as Allegheny Foundation Professor and Chairman of Pharmacology at University of Pittsburgh, a position he held for 17 years before becoming the first Director of their Drug Discovery Institute. In 2011 he became the Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor and Associate Dean for Basic Research at the University of Virginia. Currently, he is the Associate Director for Basic Research for the Cancer Center. His primarily research focus is on the mechanism of action of novel drugs and on the fundamental biological role of protein tyrosine phosphatases. He has published more than 365 scientific articles and holds ten US issued patents. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been on the Board of Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research, President for the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and member of the Board of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. He has been the primary mentor for 14 PhD students and 31 postdoctoral fellows. He co-founded several early stage biopharmaceutical companies focused on cancer drug discovery and development.

Markus Muellner
PhoreMost Ltd

Markus is a data scientist with a background in molecular genetics, engineering and bioinformatics and is leading the R&D and informatics team at PhoreMost. After a postdoc in Vienna, Austria, at the Center for Molecular Medicine with BROAD alumni Sebastian Nijman and consulting for a functional genetics start-up, he moved to Cambridge UK and joined PhoreMost in 2015 to establish their SITESEEKER PROTEINi screening platform.

Example Workshop

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11:30 am | Exploring How Blockchain Offers the Potential to Simplify Global Trade Finance

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

11:30 am | Exploring How Blockchain Offers the Potential to Simplify Global Trade Finance

Matthew LaMarche
Senior Investigator & Team Leader

Matt obtained his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1997, and as an undergraduate worked in the labs of Christopher T. Walsh at Harvard Medical School.  In 2002, Matt earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Professor Amos B. Smith, III.  In 2002, Matt joined Millennium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA as a medicinal chemist, and in 2005 moved to Novartis.  His career research has spanned several therapeutic areas such as metabolism, infectious disease and oncology.  Most recently, Matt led the SHP2 project in identifying molecules that allosterically inhibit SHP2 phosphatase for cancer, currently in clinical studies.  Matt has driven 4 NCEs into clinical study, has >60 publications, and is the chair of the 2019 GRC on Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds.  Matt is a native of the Boston area and currently resides there with his family.

Example Workshop

February 16, 2019

10:00 am | Blockchain 101: Understanding the Core Principles of the Technology

Milka Kostic
Program Director- Chemical Biology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Milka Kostic, Ph.D. is the Program Director, Chemical Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a Harvard Medical Schools affiliated hospital and research center in Boston, MA, USA. In this role, she supports a vibrant chemical biology program of about 120 scientists (faculty, postdocs, graduate students, staff scientists and technicians), who work tirelessly to develop chemistry-inspired research tools, platforms and strategies, to make new discoveries in basic biology, as well as translate these discoveries into improved clinical practice. Prior to Dana-Farber, Dr. Kostic was the Editor of Cell Chemical Biology and Structure for more than a decade, thus supporting and shaping chemical biology and structural biology communities. Dr. Kostic is a passionate advocate for chemical biology, and its transformative ability to accelerate basic and translational discoveries on the chemistry-biology-medicine continuum. She is also committed to promoting gender equality in society and science, and career development and well-being of early career researchers.  

Nello Mainolfi
Founder & CTO
Kymera Therapeutics

Before founding Kymera, Nello was head of drug discovery at Raze Therapeutics (an Atlas portfolio company) where he helped develop first in class molecules against novel cancer metabolism targets with implications in both oncology and immuno-metabolism. Nello started his drug discovery career in the global discovery chemistry group at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he contributed and in most cases led teams to the identification of more than 10 compounds that have entered preclinical and clinical development across a series of disease areas. Notably first in class small molecules inhibitors of several complement proteins for inflammation and ocular diseases. While at Novartis he also championed new technologies such as using fragment-based drug discovery as a core strategy to deliver multiple development candidates. Nello has authored >40 papers and patents and has written reviews in the areas of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Nello was trained at Imperial College, University of London and The Scripps Research Institute in California.

Nicolas Thomä
Group leader
Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

Nicolas Thomä studied biochemistry at the University of Cambridge UK, where he also obtained his PhD with Peter Leadlay in chemical-biology. He then did a postdoc with Roger Goody (MPI, Dortmund) and Nikola Pavletich (MSKCC, New York). As of 2006, Nicolas is a group leader in structural biology at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland. His lab is interested in the cross-talk between chromatin, DNA-repair and the ubiquitin system.

Roman C. Hillig
Senior Scientist
Bayer AG

Stephan Schürer
Associate Professor- Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology
University of Miami

Dr Stephan Schürer is Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Director of Drug Discovery at the Center for Computational Science at the University of Miami. He is also adjunct Professor at the at the Scripps Research Institute Florida where he was previously heading the HTS- and drug discovery informatics.  In prior industry positions Dr. Schürer was Sr. Director at Eidogen-Sertanty, a developer of life science information technology and scientific content products. At Libraria Inc. he was directing the content operations to develop chemistry and SAR knowledge bases. The core research theme at the Schürer group is systems drug discovery.  We integrate and model small molecule-protein interaction, systems biology ‘omics’, and chemistry data to improve translation of disease models into novel functional small molecules.  Using distributed and parallelized big data analytics, bio- and chemoinformatics tools we build sophisticated modeling pipelines to understand and predict drug mechanism of action, promiscuity and polypharmacology with a particular focus on kinases and epigenetic bromodomain reader proteins with application to cancer and other diseases.  In several focused as well as larger-scale projects, we develop formal ontologies (e.g. BioAssay Ontology, Drug Target Ontology), data standards, and end-user multi-tier software applications. We have several drug discovery collaborations ranging from cancer to neurological disorders.

Xin Huang
Head of Structural Biology

Xin Huang, Ph.D., is Head of Structural Biology at Amgen.  His group (at Cambridge, MA & South San Francisco, CA) has been working on structure based drug discovery and development of both small and large molecules (using both x-ray crystallography and cryo-EM) for various therapeutic areas such as oncology, inflammation, neuroscience, and metabolic disorders.  Dr. Huang joined Kinetix Pharmaceutical in July 2000 and Amgen in December 2000 as a result of Amgen’s acquisition of Kinetix. Prior to pharmaceutical/biotech industry, Dr. Huang was a postdoc with Prof. Michael Eck at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Huang holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University.

Paola Castaldi
Associate Director & Head of Chemical Biology

Paola Castaldi is the global Head of Chemical Biology at AstraZeneca. Her team is focused on supporting drug discovery programs across all therapeutics areas using state of the art technologies with specific emphasis on target identification and validation, target engagement, and off-target determination. Since 2015, Paola has played a critical role to establish a therapeutic protein degradation platform at AstraZeneca providing both strategic and logistics directions. Before AstraZeneca, Paola was a key contributor of the Chemical Genetics group at Sanofi Oncology, Cambridge, MA with a focus on phenotypic drug discovery projects for the Wnt and KRAS oncogenic pathways.