Agustin Casimiro-Garcia is an Associate Research Fellow in the Pfizer Medicine Design group in Cambridge, MA, USA. He has worked at Pfizer since 2000. His research at Pfizer has been in the areas of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, inflammation and immunology disorders, fibrotic diseases, and more recently oncology. His current research interests include phenotypic drug discovery, covalent inhibition, and approaches to pursue challenging targets. Agustin obtained his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from Purdue University and carried out postdoctoral studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Dr Matthew CHEESEMAN
THE INSTITUTE OF CANCER RESEARCH, Sutton, United Kingdom
Innovative Strategies to Target Non-Coding RNAs with Synthetic Ligands
Dr. Maria DUCA is head of Targeting of Nucleic Acids research group in the Institute of Chemistry of Nice (Université Côte d’Azur - CNRS). After undergraduate studies in Pharmacy and Medicinal Chemistry (Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Bologna, Italy), she obtained her PhD in Molecular Biochemistry under the supervision of Dr. Paola B. Arimondo (National Natural History Museum, Paris, France) working on topoisomerase II inhibitors. A 2- year post-doctoral training in Sydney Hecht’s lab (Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, USA) allowed her to pursue the study of nucleic acids working on targeted protein mutagenesis. After CNRS recruitment as a Research Scientist in 2007, her research activities focus on the targeting of non-coding RNAs using synthetic small molecules toward innovative therapeutic approaches for anticancer, antiviral and antimicrobial applications.
David Fairman is a Senior Director in the Clinical Pharmacology, Modelling and Simulation group at GSK. He specialises in translational pharmacology within the early drug development phase and biologics PKPD. He has worked extensively on developing translational mechanistic models and leading collaborations developing QSP models covering areas including asthma and diabetes.
Previous experience includes translational and clinical PKPD modelling at MedImmune and preclinical modelling at Pfizer (Sandwich UK).
David has a BsC in pharmacology from the Open University, an MsC in Modelling & Simulation from the University of Manchester and has authored or co-authored over 15 scientific papers and is a co-inventor on patents covering 4 novel biological agents.
Prof. Tanja GAICH
UNIVERSITY OF KONSTANZ, Konstanz, Germany
Intracellular Oligonucleotide Distribution and Protein Binding
Dr Alice Ghidini has a broad background in nucleic acids technology gained during her doctoral and postdoctoral studies in the labs of three pioneers of the field, Roger Stromberg (Karolinska Institute), Peter Dervan (California Institute of Technology), and Jonathan Hall (ETH Zurich). During her studies in their laboratories, she accumulated expertise on the interaction between oligonucleotides and proteins/RNA targets, specifically though her work on RNA-based artificial enzymes, PNA triplexes, and antisense technologies. She lately developed the first single strand oligonucleotide-based PROTAC proof of concept, designed to degrade RNA-binding proteins. In 2021 she joined the Oligonucleotide platform of AstraZeneca as an Assistant Principal Scientist in the Biophysics department where she is studying the influence of ASOs’ proteins binding on their toxicity and potency.
Enabling Fragment-based Drug Discovery (FBDD) with Automated Synthesis Technologies
Dr Rachel GRAINGER
ASTEX PHARMACEUTICALS, Cambridge, United Kingdom Read more
Dr Rachel GRAINGER
Rachel Grainger obtained her MChem from University of Bath in 2010, before moving to Queen Mary University of London to complete her PhD on transition metal catalysis with Prof. Igor Larrosa. She spent two years working with Prof. Matthew Gaunt at the University of Cambridge as a Postdoctoral Research Associate focussing on the development of nanoscale HTE for organic synthesis. In March 2017 she joined Astex Pharmaceuticals’ Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral program where she established automated synthesis capabilities (HTE and flow) within the company. As of 2019, Rachel is Senior Research Associate in Astex’s Synthesis Technology Group, her role involves the development and implementation of cutting-edge technologies (robotic enabled HTE, photoredox, flow etc.) to enable synthetic challenges on live drug discovery projects.
Lessons in Transcellular Membrane Permeability Re-Learned
Dr Mike HANN
GSK MEDICINES RESEARCH CENTRE, Stevenage, United Kingdom Read more
Dr Mike HANN
After completing his PhD in organic chemistry in 1980, Mike has worked in Pharma R&D initially as a medicinal chemist and then as a computational chemist. He joined Glaxo in 1986 and was responsible for helping initially build and then lead the computational chemistry department. He went on to lead the biophysics and protein crystallography activities including developing fragments theory and practice in lead identification. His current role is in looking at new technologies in early discovery to help reduce attrition in drug discovery, with particular interest in chemical biology, target tractability, drug distribution at cellular and subcellular resolution. Mike is a GSK Senior Fellow Alumni and an Adjunct Professor in the chemistry department at Imperial College London.
Molecular Chameleonicity and Cell Permeability of Drugs and PROTACs in the bRo5 Space
Professor Jan Kihlberg holds a chair in Organic Chemistry at Uppsala University, Sweden since 2013. His key research interests are to understand what properties convey cell permeability, aqueous solubility and target binding to drugs and PROTACs in the beyond rule of 5 space and to translate this knowledge into guidelines for design. His group is also involved in synthesis of macrocycles as ligands for difficult-to-drug targets. He has published 167 peer reviewed articles, 16 research reviews and four book chapters Before moving to Uppsala Prof. Kihlberg spent ten years at AstraZeneca R&D in Gothenburg, seven of which as Director of Medicinal Chemistry. He obtained his PhD in organic chemistry at Lund University in 1988.
Rapid Development of Robust Reactions and Multi-Step Syntheses
Prof. Alexei LAPKIN
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, Cambridge, United Kingdom Read more
Prof. Alexei LAPKIN
Alexei Lapkin graduated with an MChem from Novosibirsk State University, specialising in membrane gas separation. He then worked at Boreskov Institute of Catalysis prior to moving to the University of Bath where he was employed as a research officer, which allowed him to complete his PhD in the area of multiphase membrane catalysis. His research interests are digitalisation of R&D and developing clean chemical manufacturing processes.
Prof. Ang LI
SHANGHAI INSTITUTE OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, Shanghai, China
Dr Xiaoshen MA
MERCK & CO., INC, Boston, United States
Dr Timothy NEWHOUSE
YALE UNIVERSITY, New Haven, United States
Design and Discovery of Clinical Candidate eFT226, a First-in-Class Inhibitor of the RNA Helicase eIF4A
Dr Christian NILEWSKI
GENENTECH, South San Francisco, United States Read more
Dr Christian NILEWSKI
Christian Nilewski conducted his undergraduate studies at the University of Dortmund and the University of Münster in Germany. A synthetic organic chemist by training, he received his PhD in 2011 from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Erick M. Carreira and conducted postdoctoral studies with Prof. K. C. Nicolaou at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, California) and Rice University (Houston, Texas). Dr. Nilewski started his career as a Medicinal Chemist in 2014 at eFFECTOR Therapeutics in San Diego, California, where he was involved in several oncology drug discovery projects and contributed to the design and discovery of first-in-class small molecule inhibitors of eukaryotic initiation factors eIF4A (eFT226/zotatifin, currently in Phase 1) and eIF4E (currently undergoing preclinical development in collaboration with Pfizer). In 2019, Dr. Nilewski joined Genentech in South San Francisco, California, as a Scientist in the Small Molecule Discovery Chemistry Department.
Drugging RNA – A Structure-based Approach
Dr Jennifer PETTER
ARRAKIS THERAPEUTICS, Waltham, United States Read more
Dr Jennifer PETTER
Dr. Jennifer Petter is the Founder and CSO of Arrakis Therapeutics. Previously she was Vice President of Chemistry at Celgene, Vice President of Drug Discovery at Avila Therapeutics, Vice President of Research at Mersana Therapeutics, Director of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Biogen, Section Head in Oncology Chemistry at Sandoz/Novartis, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Petter graduated from Dartmouth College with an AB in chemistry, earned her PhD in organic chemistry at Duke University with Ned Porter, and was a post-doctoral fellow in Ron Breslow’s group at Columbia University. She has ushered multiple compounds into the clinic for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and sepsis.
Synthesis and Functionalization of Cyclopropane Derivatives
Sophie Rousseaux is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. She also holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Organic Chemistry since 2016. Her group’s research interests include organic synthesis, catalysis, and organometallic chemistry. She is particularly interested in the synthesis and functionalization of small rings and nitrile-containing building blocks. Prior to joining the faculty at U of T in 2015, Sophie obtained her PhD from the University of Ottawa, working with Prof. Keith Fagnou and with Prof. Stephen L. Buchwald (MIT). She carried out postdoctoral studies as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow and Glasstone Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, working with Prof. Harry Anderson.
Dr Anna RUTKOWSKA-KLUTE
Dr David SARLAH
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, Urbana, United States
Dr Nicolas THOMÄ
FRIEDRICH MIESCHER INSTITUTE FOR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH, Basel, Switzerland