- Biopharmaceutical industry leader-small molecule and antibody drug discovery.
- Structural biology and medicinal chemistry.
- Broad knowledge base- hands-on; advanced computer simulations and biology, create, lead projects, identify unseen opportunities. Internal and external collaborative projects.
- Analysis-evaluation for Pharmaceutical licensing opportunities.
- Pharmaceutical due diligence, target-technology assessment.
- Align drug discovery and technology validation efforts with pharmaceutical industry practices.
- Clinical-stage drugs-strategic and technical expertise: Humira® (adalimumab); Segard® (afelimomab); ABT-874 (briakinumab); and ABT-325. Led / co-led >10 small molecule, peptide, and monoclonal antibody drug discovery, formulation, and computational technology projects (5 therapeutic areas; immunology and oncology focus).
- Strategic planning.
- Target and technology assessment.
- CRO selection and oversight.
- Medicinal and computational chemistry.
- Protein expression and purification.
- Assay design and development.
- Structural biology and crystallography.
Undisclosed Company, Founder, 2018 - Present
- Drug discovery consulting.
- Due diligence, target and technology assessment.
- Project guidance, planning, and oversight. CRO selection and oversight.
- Medicinal and computational chemistry. Protein expression and purification.
- Assay development, structural biology and biophysics.
D.E. Shaw Research, New York, NY, Scientist, 2007 - 2017
- Functioning as a Senior Principal Scientist, was the first experimental scientist recruited by a supercomputer-based start-up company to guide its entry into drug discovery.
- Aligned drug discovery and technology validation efforts with pharmaceutical industry practices. Proposed, evaluated, and advised CEO on strategic opportunities and external alliances.
- Advisor on 15 internal and over 10 external drug discovery projects. Guided project teams in target selection, goal setting, experimental plans/design, screening funnel design, CRO selection, Go/No-Go decision making. Learned to be sensitive to client's needs and constraints.
- Forged peptide drug discovery project with Zealand Pharma. Led successful pilot project. Negotiated revenue-sharing (milestones, royalties), multi-year extension. Joint steering committee representative; identified 20 targets, later triaged to 6 high-priority collaboration targets.
- Project Leader, collaboration with Relay Therapeutics. Defined the allosteric modulation mechanism of an undrugged membrane target. Identified an allosteric, druggable binding site.
- Identified 15 targets. Made detailed assessment of medical need; disease/target link; competition; feasibility. Validated new antibacterial target druggability; progressed to hit-finding.
- Led 2 projects to validate replication of known drug/target interactions by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Project yielded fast, knowledge-based hydrogen-bond scoring tool.
- Enhanced the impact of colleagues' basic research MD simulations by integrating chemical and biological data and mechanistic reasoning. Co-author on 12 high-profile publications.
- Scientific and managerial oversight of synthetic chemistry (4 CROs), crystallography/bio-physics (3), cloning/protein production (2), enzymology (2), electrophysiology (3) projects.
- Advanced projects in an FTE-constrained environment by engaging colleagues, including those in other departments, with a passion for drug discovery. Celebrated their successes.
Abbott (AbbVie) Bioresearch Center, Worcester, MA, Group Leader, 2000 - 2007
- Strengthened and protected 2 marketed and 2 clinical-stage drugs with strategic input and technical expertise.
- Provided structural biology support to small molecule and antibody drug discovery. Led projects.
- Created Structural Biology group. Oversaw lab design, construction, equipping, and staffing. Arranged CRO-based synchrotron access to augment Abbott's existing resources. Added computational chemistry and protein NMR to group in 2006. Twelve reports; five direct reports.
- Received Abbott Vice President's Award of Excellence, for outstanding contributions.
- Co-led Chemistry Department, 12 months. Established senior management diversity training.
- Initiated and led to completion project on novel target. Assay development, HTS, screening funnel, structural biology, pharmacological and genetic proof-of-concept. Target invalidated.
- Generated broad intellectual property position in a new research area, crystalline monoclonal antibody (mAb) formulation (Abbott, Germany). 7 granted patents, 2 pending patents.
- Projects (25), including 3 small-molecule and 3 mAb development candidates. Kinase, mAb/antigen crystal structures; mAb epitope definition; MedChem strategy. More than 15 licensing evaluations.
Southern Research Institute, AL, Sr. Scientist, 1993 - 2000
- Initiated and led externally financed, independent drug discovery programs.
- Conceived and directed 6 externally funded research projects (over $1.3 million direct costs). Set up academic, industrial, and US Govt. collaborations. Mentored 3 fellows and 2 students.
- Determined broadly influential first crystal structure of human apolipoprotein A-I (HDL cholesterol). Revealed lipid binding mechanism for entire class of lipoproteins. 345 citations.
- Provided industrial structural biology support: 4 projects, 2 therapeutic areas, 3 years. Impact example: Enabled scaffold hops by revealing an unknown rearrangement underlying confusing SAR. 1 granted patent.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Birmingham, AL, Scientist,1990 - 1993
- Initiated and led drug discovery programs. Set up company's first independent laboratories.
- Earned NIH innovative research grant support (SBIR).
- Initiated external collaboration with diabetic eye disease expert on structure-guided design of aldose reductase inhibitors.
- Brought chemistry skills and insights to a biotech start-up. Solved crystal structures to support drug discovery projects. Led protein purification lab. Selected and maintained all equipment.
Honors & Publications
Training and Certifications
- D001x: Medicinal Chemistry edX, Davidson University
- 2.01x: Elements of Structures edX, MITx
- Building a High-Performance Organization, The Lambton Group
- Supervisory Training Program Abbott Bioresearch Center
- Human Interaction Laboratory NTL Institute
- Working Through Conflict (Development Dimensions International-DDI)
- Facilitating Improved Performance: Interaction Skills for Success, DDI
- Partnerships: Creating Synergy, DDI
- Targeted Selection, DDI
- French: Profession-Scientific Literature
Academic and Professional Affiliations
- Sigma Xi
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Chemical Society (Medicinal Chemistry & Organic Chemistry Divisions)
- American Crystallographic Association
Scientific Reviewer Services: (Journals)
- Acta Crystallographica D
- Acta Crystallographica F
- Archives of Biochemistry & Biophysics
- Biochimica Biophysica Acta
- Biophysical Journal
- Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
- Journal of Molecular Biology
- Medicinal Chemistry Research
- Nucleosides and Nucleotides
- The Open Diabetes Journal
- Abbott Vice President's Award of Excellence, Dec. 2006, For outstanding contributions in co-leading Chemistry Dept. during prior 12 months.
- Merck Index Award, 1982, For Scholastic Excellence in Chemistry, M.I.T.
Publications and Patents
- Author-Co-Author, (over 50 publications: Peer reviewed, Manuscripts, Abstracts and Presentations).
- Inventor-Co-Inventor: (10), with an additional 10 in applications.
- Postdoctoral Structural Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
- Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
- S.B. Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA