Residential School on Medicinal Chemistry and Biology in Drug Discovery
Drew University’s Residential School on Medicinal Chemistry and Biology in Drug Discovery (ResMed) course was held June 7-11, 2021 (with intro lecture on June 4th) virtually considering the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Dates for 2022 ResMed are TBD.
ResMed is a graduate level course designed for chemists and biologists interested in broadening their understanding of the fundamental principles of drug discovery research and pre-clinical development. Scientists from related disciplines would also gain a clearer appreciation for the processes and methods important to drug discovery through clinical development.
Michael J. Sofia, Ph.D. is Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Arbutus Biopharma, Inc. a company focused on the discovery and development of therapies to cure hepatitis B. Previously Mike was Sr. Vice President of Chemistry at Pharmasset, Inc. Mike has also held research and research management positions at Gilead Sciences, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Transcell Technologies and Eli Lilly and Company.
Mike has introduced numerous drugs into clinical development for the treatment of infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. He has authored over 110 publications, 15 book chapters and is an inventor on more than 54 US patents. He is the principle inventor of sofosbuvir currently marketed as the backbone of HCV curative therapies Sovaldi®, Harvoni®, Epclusa® and Vosevi®.
Mike has received numerous awards for his work on hepatitis C including the 2015 Economist Innovation Award, the 2015 ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award, 2016 IUPAC-Richter Prize, the 2016 Lasker-Debakey Award in Clinical Medical Research, the 2017 Gertrude Elion Award from the International Society for Antiviral Research, the 2017 New Jersey Science and Technology Medal and the 2018 IS3NA John Montgomery Award. In 2017 he was inducted into the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame.
The Residential School on Medicinal Chemistry and Biology in Drug Discovery is a graduate level course designed for chemists and biologists who are interested in broadening their understanding of the basic principles of drug discovery and early development. Scientists from related disciplines will also gain a clearer understanding of these important processes and methods. The week-long course is structured around expert lectures and case histories of successful drug discovery and development programs. Opportunities for interactions with the faculty and networking with other attendees are provided throughout the week. The purpose of the School is to provide a strong background in the principles of drug discovery and development to enhance collaborative drug discovery programs for life sciences professionals.
ResMed is a week-long graduate level course organized to provide an accelerated program for medicinal chemists, biologists and other industrial and academic scientists who wish to broaden their knowledge of drug discovery and development. The School’s aim is to concentrate on the fundamentals that are useful in drug discovery spanning initial target validation through clinical development.
Most chemists and biologists have received little formal training in the range of subjects required for drug discovery. These topics include target selection, assay development, initial identification of active “hit” compounds, development of structure-activity relationships, lead optimization, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, metabolism, toxicology and clinical development.
Although drug discovery is an interdisciplinary subject, the course is more than a simple compendium of information. It will concentrate on the fundamental issues common to a wide range of therapeutic areas. The purpose of the School is to impart the basic principles needed by both chemists and biologists to pursue successful collaborative drug discovery programs.
The week-long course is structured around lectures and case histories that illustrate the discovery and development of recent successful drug discovery programs. There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussions with faculty members. The School not only provides an atmosphere of learning and understanding but also the opportunity to establish contacts with colleagues from many different organizations, which is an important component of a successful career in drug discovery. The ResMed Faculty is comprised of distinguished scientists from industry and academia with years of experience and success in drug discovery and development.
Maria-Jesus Blanco– Head of Chemistry, SAGE Therapeutics https://www.linkedin.com/in/maria-j-blanco-16262110/
Maria earned her PhD in Organic Chemistry, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, and Post-doc in Supramolecular Chemistry, Université Louis Pasteur & Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ho Man Chan- Head of Epigenetics at AstraZeneca
Ho Man earned his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from University of Glasgow.
Miles Congreve- PhD, FRSC, Chief Scientific Officer at Sosei Heptares https://www.linkedin.com/in/miles-congreve-1991443/
Miles’ PhD is in Chemistry, University of Cambridge, and is Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Deepak Dalvie- Senior Director of Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics at Celgene
Deepak’s PhD is in Medicinal Chemistry, University at Buffalo.
Li Di– Research Fellow, Pfizer
Li’s has her PhD in Chemistry from Brandeis University, and her Post-doc was in BioPhysics at Boston University School of Medicine.
Kevin Duffy- Senior Director of Cancer Research, Head of Medicinal Chemistry at GlaxoSmithKline
Kevin earned his PhD in Synthetic Organic/Heterocyclic Chemistry, Edinburgh University.
John Lowe– Consultant at JL3Pharma LLC
John’s PhD is in Organic Chemistry from the University of California- Los Angeles, and his Post-doc in Polyolefin Cyclization at Stanford University.
James MacDonald- Founding Partner at Synergy Partners, R & D Solutions, LLC
James earned his PhD in Toxicology at the University of Cincinatti.
James McLeod- Chief Medical Officer and Senior VP at Galleon Pharmaceuticals
Jim earned his medical degree from University of Connecticut Health Center.
Nicholas Meanwell– Executive Director, Discovery Chemistry and Molecular Technologies, Bristol-Myers Squibb Research and Development
Nick’s PhD was in Organic Chemistry through the University of Shetfield and his Post-doc in Organic Chemistry at Wayne State University.
Mark Miller– Project leader of a cross-functional and multidisciplinary drug discovery team. Co-inventor of two FDA approved drugs to treat CF (lumacaftor, tezacaftor) and five clinical candidates.
Mark earned his PhD in Chemistry at University of California- San Diego.
Randy Miller- Senior Investigator, Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Merck
Randy earned his BS in Biochemistry, Penn State University.
Mark Namchuk– Executive Director Therapeutics Translation at Harvard Medical School
Mark’s PhD in Bio-Organic Chemistry is from University of British Columbia, and his Post-doc in Immunology, University of California- San Francisco.
Emma Parmee– Vice President, Head Discovery Chemistry, Merck
Emma earned her PhD in Organic Chemistry, Oxford University, and Post-doc in Synthetic Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Thomas Prisinzano– Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kentucky
Tom earned his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, and executed his Intramural Research Training Award Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
A.J. Roecker– Principal Scientist, Merck
A.J. earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry at Scripps Research.
Steven Sparks– Research Fellow, Arvinas
Steven earned his PhD in Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, and his Post-doc in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin.
Peter Senter- VP, Distinguished Research Fellow at Seattle Genetics
Peter’s PhD is in Chemistry from the University of Illinois, and his Post-doc in Experimental Medicine from the Max Planck Institute, Göttingen, Germany.
Richard Silverman- Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology
Rick earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Harvard University, NIH, and his Post-doc, Brandeis University.
Kent Stewart- Associate Professor at Highpoint University School of Pharmacy
Kent’s PhD is in Organic Chemistry, University of California- Los Angeles.
Vincent Stoll– Associate Director of Structural Biology- Abbvie
Vinnie’s PhD in Mechanistic Enzymology is from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, and his Post-doc in X-ray Crystallography, was from University of Toronto.
Dan Sutherlin- Vice President of Small Molecule Discovery Chemistry at Genentech
Dan earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry, University of California- Los Angeles, and his Post-doc in Organic Chemistry, University of California- Berkeley.
Bridget Wagner– Institute Scientist, Director of Pancreatic Cell Biology and Metabolic Disease, Chemical Biology Program, Broad Institute
Bridget earned her PhD in Biochemistry at Harvard University.
William Windsor- Visiting Research Scholar & Adjunct Professor, Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory, Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, Stevens Institute of Technology
Bill’s PhD in Biophysical Chemistry/Biochemistry is from the University of Connecticut, and his Post-doc in Transcription Regulation, was at Stony Brook University.
Ann Weber, PhD– Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery of Kallyope Inc., a New York City-based biotechnology company focused on harnessing the potential of the gut-brain axis. In this role she is responsible for translating opportunities arising from the company’s state-of the-art technology platform into drug discovery and development programs. She retired in November 2015 from Merck & Co., where she most recently held the position of Vice President – Lead Optimization Chemistry at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL), responsible for the discovery of innovative therapeutic agents across disease areas. She joined MRL as a Senior Research Chemist in 1987.
Dr. Weber’s research interests include the design and synthesis of ligands for G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels and enzymes. Her work has led to over 40 development candidates, including JANUVIA® (sitagliptin), a treatment for patients with Type 2 diabetes (T2DM), JANUMET®, a fixed dose combination of sitagliptin and metformin, and MARIZEV® (omarigliptin), a once-weekly treatment for T2DM approved in Japan. An additional drug candidate, vibegron for the treatment of overactive bladder, was approved in Japan in September 2018 and is in late stage clinical trials in the US.
Dr. Weber is the author or co-author of over 90 publications. She is co-inventor on over 35 issued US patents. Her awards include the Robert M. Scarborough Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry (American Chemistry Society (ACS)), the Heroes of Chemistry Award (ACS), the Discoverer’s Award (PhRMA), recognizing scientists whose work has been of special benefit to humankind, and a Directors’ Award, the highest honor that Merck confers on its employees. She is a 2013 Liberty Science Center Women in STEM Honoree and the recipient of the 2015 Gift of Mentoring Award from the Metro Women Chemists Committee. In 2016 she was named to the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame (ACS). She was the 2017 recipient of the Perkin Medal (Society of Chemical Industry American Section), considered the highest honor given in the US chemical industry. She received the 2018 ACS Award for Creativity in Molecular Design and Synthesis.
Dr. Weber is passionate about advancing women in chemistry and is an associate member of the ACS Women Chemists Committee.
Before joining Merck, Dr. Weber obtained her B.S. degree in chemistry summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her PhD degree from Harvard University, studying synthetic organic chemistry in the laboratories of Professor David A. Evans.
Donald C. Lo, PhD– Director, Therapeutic Development Branch, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health, presents “Reward and Risk in Translational Science”.
Donald Lo joined NIH/NCATS in 2018 following a 25-year career in academia, biotech, and disease research- and patient care-focused non-profit foundations. Don received his BS degree in biology from the California Institute of Technology, then went on to Yale University for graduate studies, where his PhD research in molecular and cellular physiology focused on biophysical studies on the structure-function relationship for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. He then pursued postdoctoral studies on de-differentiation and re-differentiation of stem cells in vertebrate limb regeneration at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University College London. In 1992 he was recruited to join the faculty of the then new Department of Neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center, where Don focused on neurotrophin and cytokine signaling in regulating the form and function of neuronal circuits and the intrinsic electrical excitability of neurons. In the late 1990s, Don spun out from Duke the biotech company Cogent Neuroscience, based on 3D intact brain tissue platform approaches for the discovery and development of new drugs for Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, and stroke. The company grew to 85 scientific and business personnel, and established 2 R&D partnerships with a major pharmaceutical firm. Don served as Cogent’s Chief Scientific Officer until 2002 when he returned to Duke to establish the Center for Drug Discovery on a collaboration model that over a decade partnered with some 40 academic institutions and over 20 biotech and major pharmaceutical firms. In 2009 Don co-founded and served as Vice President for HD Reach, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to bringing quality healthcare, education, and social assistance to all patients and families affected by Huntington’s disease across urban as well as rural areas of North Carolina. In addition, for the last decade he was the lead scientific advisor for the Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure foundation focused on taking a venture-philanthropic approach towards catalyzing translational advances in the treatment of adult and pediatric glioma. Don has served on a wide range of review boards in the US and internationally, including for the NIH, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, the European Commission, and the National Medical Research Council of Singapore, and was co-founding course director for Translational Research for CNS Diseases at the Neuroscience School of Advanced Studies in Siena, Italy. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the McKnight Scholar Award, the Klingenstein Fellowship Award, and the Huntington’s Disease Society of America NC Chapter Award; and has authored 90 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, books, and book chapters.
The generous support of several pharmaceutical companies allows the School to offer grants to cover the tuition of the course. Eligible candidates are graduate students or post-doctoral scholars either in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, biology or related fields within an academic setting.
Letter from your research supervisor should then follow shortly directly from him/her, not via candidate’s email. A scholarship application without letter of recommendation will be considered incomplete.
“Loved the course. Gained a lot in 4 1/2 days. The whole experience was wonderful. I will recommend the course to all my colleagues who haven’t taken it.”
“By far the most useful short course/seminar that I have been to.”
“Very helpful, practical, informative, a must for all newcomers to the pharma industry.”
“Overall, a great experience. Talks, both lectures and case studies, were current and very useful. I learned a lot and will apply it daily at work.”
“Everyone needs to take this course.”