Dr. Yuriy Abramov is a computational scientist with over 18 years of industrial experience at Pfizer Inc. He has broad expertise in the area of Computational Drug Discovery and Development, and he currently holds the position of VP of Scientific Affairs at XtalPi Inc.
He has a proven track record for developing new ideas and approaches from the concept stage to successful implementation. His current interests include but are not limited to computational pharmaceutical solid state chemistry.
Stephen J. Capuzzi is currently a Senior Research Scientist in Data & Computational Sciences at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. His research interests span small molecule drug discovery, cheminformatics, chemical data science, computational chemistry, and machine learning. He was named an American Chemical Society Division of Medicinal Chemistry Young Investigator in 2021.
Thomas Passananti Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pharmacology
Thomas Passananti Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Scientific Program: Experimental Therapeutics
Dr. Dokholyan is the Vice Chair for Research, Departments of Pharmacology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Penn State College of Medicine. The mission of his lab is to develop and apply integrated computational and experimental strategies to understand, sense and control misfolded proteins in order to uncover the etiologies of human neurodegenerative diseases and develop therapeutics to fight them.
Sean has over 23 years experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery. He graduated from the University of Aberdeen; receiving his M.Sc., Ph.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and D.Sc. in Science. He is currently Founder and CEO of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which is focused on using machine learning approaches for rare and neglected disease drug discovery.
Denis Fourches is currently the senior director of Data Science & Modeling at Oerth Bio. Previously, he was an assistant professor at NC State University in the Department of Chemistry and the Bioinformatics Research Center. His research was dedicated to the development and application of cheminformatics methods to characterize, visualize, model and predict dynamic protein-ligand interactions.
Dr. Masuo Goto’s research focuses on chemical biology of cell cycle regulation and multidrug-resistant phenotype in cancer using small molecules inspired by unique natural products.
Dr. Hajjo is a computational scientist with over 10 years of industrial experience in drug discovery and development. She also worked as a Solutions Scientist at Thomson Reuters IP & Science. Currently, Dr. Hajjo is an Assistant Professor at Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan, a Board Member at the Jordanian Center for Epidemics and Disease Control, and a Chief Scientist in Computational Chemical Biology at the Office of the Advisor to His Majesty, King Abdullah II. Dr. Hajjo has a PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from UNC-CH and a post-graduate degree in Bioinformatics from Harvard University.
Peter Ho currently serves on the Board of Directors of Aravive Inc., the Scientific Advisory Board of Accent Therapeutics, and as a senior advisor to Overland Pharmaceuticals, D3 Bio Inc., and M4K Pharma. Previously, he served as Senior VP of the Oncology Center of Excellence in Drug Discovery at GlaxoSmithKline, Chief Medical Officer at Epizyme Inc, and co-Founder and President of BeiGene, Ltd. He has been directly responsible for the first-time-in-human dosing of 18 anticancer agents and has overseen the development of over 60 hematology and oncology compounds. He has directly overseen the clinical testing of over 60 oncology compounds which has led to eleven NCE or biologics approvals to date: Gleevec®; Arranon®; Tykerb®; Promacta®; Votrient®; Synribo®; Tafinlar®; Mekinist®; Sylvant®; and Rydap®, and Tazverik®.
Clark Jeffries is a mathematician with expertise in predictive machine learning. Methods Jeffries has invented have been recently applied to clinical high-risk datasets, yielding novel approaches to address reproducible classification and to avoid overfitting. He is acquainted with both the promises and pitfalls of machine learning. Jeffries is also an expert in various mathematical modeling techniques, especially related to stability theory, graph theory, and causality. He is currently a bioinformatics scientist with Renaissance Computing Organization of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Formerly, he was a professor with Mathematical Sciences of Clemson University, then a designer with Microelectronics Division of IBM Corporation. At Clemson, he wrote more than 50 scientific papers and at IBM he became among inventors on several issued US patents. His total of current issued patents is 121.
Dr. Jian Jin is currently the Mount Sinai Endowed Professor in Therapeutics Discovery and Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutics Discovery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Mount Sinai). He is also a tenured professor in Departments of Pharmacological Sciences, Oncological Sciences and Neuroscience, and a Co-Leader of the Cancer Clinical Investigation Program at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai. Dr. Jin is an internationally recognized medicinal chemist and chemical biologist with more than 20 years of experience in small-molecule drug discovery. His laboratory is a leader in discovering selective inhibitors of histone methyltransferases, biased ligands of G protein-coupled receptors, and novel degraders targeting oncogenic proteins. Dr. Jin has published >200 peer-reviewed papers and is an inventor of >60 issued U.S. patents and published international patent applications.
Dr. Jin received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1991 and a PhD in organic chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University in 1997. After completing a post-doctoral training at the Ohio State University, Dr. Jin joined GlaxoSmithKline as a medicinal chemist in 1998 and had been a manager of medicinal chemistry from 2003 to 2008. In 2008, Dr. Jin joined the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) as an Associate Professor. He had also served as an Associate Director of Medicinal Chemistry in the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery at UNC from 2008 to 2014. Dr. Jin was recruited to Mount Sinai as a professor with tenure in 2014.
Dr. Makarov is the founding CEO of Attagene Inc., an RTP-based life science company that develops innovative tools for studying signal transduction. He was formerly an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Dentistry. Under his supervision, Attagene researchers have established a strong collaboration with the UNC scientists.
Dr. Margolis is a Sarah Graham Keenan Distinguished Professor of Medicine, and Director, UNC HIV Cure Center. A clinician, virologist, and molecular biologist, he seeks to re-purpose old drugs and discover new ones to eradicate cells that are persistently infected with HIV, and cure this chronic viral disease. The effort has generated collaborations across disciplines at UNC, and with the pharmaceutical industry, and studies of basic cellular biochemical mechanism, using cutting-edge molecular tools and biochemical probes.
Dr. Kyoko Nakagawa-Goto is an associate professor in the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Japan. Her research group has been working in the field of organic, natural products, and medicinal chemistry focused on targeting antitumor and antivirus.
David E. Nichols PhD previously held the Robert C. and Charlotte P. Anderson Distinguished Chair in Pharmacology and in addition was a Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy. He was continuously funded by the NIH for nearly three decades and served on numerous government review panels. His two principal research areas focused on drugs that affect serotonin and dopamine transmission in the CNS. He began medicinal chemistry research on hallucinogens in 1969 and has been internationally recognized as a top expert on the medicinal chemistry of psychedelics (hallucinogens). He has published more than 300 scientific articles, book chapters, and monographs. In 1993 he founded the Heffter Research Institute, which has supported and funded clinical research with psilocybin and led the so-called “renaissance in psychedelic research.”
Vijay Pagadala is Chief Operating Officer at Glycan Therapeutics and is involved in drug development including bioprocess engineering, API manufacturing and quality control. His research interests span molecular biochemistry, Structural biology, membrane proteins, enzymology and glycobiology. He served as Principal and co-investigator on several SBIR and STTR grants from NIH towards developing commercially valuable biomolecules for research and for therapeutic application. He values collaborations and is passionate about mentoring and teaching.
Dr. Pedersen is a structural biologist at the NIEHS/NIH with research focuses on heparan sulfate biosynthesis and interactions, sulfotransferases and DNA repair.
Dr. Waters is the Glen H. Elder, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill and Adjunct Professor in CBMC. Dr. Waters’ research focuses on developing new Chemical Biology tools for the study of protein-protein interactions that mediate epigenetic regulation, primarily methyllysine reader proteins. Dr. Waters’ expertise includes organic chemistry, genetic code expansion, mechanistic studies, and biophysical methods. She is the co-PI (with Dr. Jeff Aubé) of UNC’s NIH Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Grant.
Dr. Lan Xie is a medicinal chemist with more than 35 years of experience in discovery and development of novel anti-HIV and antitumor drugs, including drug design, chemical synthesis, lead optimization, and druggability assessments.
Dr. Zheng is an Associate Professor & the Assistant Chair of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a principle investigator of the BRITE Institute at North Carolina Central University. His lab focuses on the development and application of Computer Aided Drug Design (CADD) Tools to various drug discovery projects. He is also developing and applying artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to pharmaceutical data analysis for drug repurposing in cancer, neurodegenerative and rare diseases.