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Joachim Rudolph – Oncology Drug Discovery and New Modalities
Joachim Rudolph is a Senior Principal Scientist in the Discovery Chemistry Department at Genentech, with a joint appointment in Genentech’s Discovery Oncology Department. An organic chemist by training, Joachim started his career in the Central Research Department at Bayer in Germany and later transferred to the Pharmaceutical Research Center at Bayer Corporation in West Haven, Connecticut. Joachim joined Genentech in 2007 and has been a chemistry team leader and project leader for multiple small-molecule discovery programs, with a focus in the area of oncology and a growing involvement in early discovery programs and new modalities. Joachim is an Editorial Advisory Board member of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and has been an active member of the AACR, as a speaker, session chair, and Chemistry in Cancer Research (CICR) Steering Committee member. In 2021, Joachim assumed the role of the CICR Steering Committee Chair.
Kim Huard – Metabolic Diseases and Novel Targets Drug Discovery
Kim Huard joined Genentech in 2018 where she currently leads drug discovery programs. An organic chemist by training, Kim started her career at Pfizer in 2010 as a medicinal chemist in the cardiovascular and metabolic disease research unit. She led chemistry teams on various drug discovery programs which resulted in the discovery of three clinical candidates. Her interests include exploratory programs, hit finding activities and tissue-specific delivery. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Chemical Probes Portal (chemicalprobes.org).
Christian Gampe – Immunology Drug Discovery
Christian Gampe received his Diploma in chemistry from the University of Würzburg (Germany) in 2006 and his Dr. Sc. from ETH Zürich under supervision of Prof. Carreira in 2011. After postdoctoral studies at Harvard with Prof. Kahne, Christian joined the Global Discovery Chemistry group at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA, in 2013, where he worked on small molecule drug discovery programs and new modalities alike, publishing on synthetic mRNA modification (here and here), synthetic methods, and medicinal chemistry isosteres. During his time in Boston, Christian was an active member of the Beacon VP biotech investment fund. In 2020, he moved to the west coast and joined the Discovery Chemistry group at Genentech in pursuit of drugs for the undruggable and finding new treatments for autoimmune diseases.
Dian Su – Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK)
Dian Su is a Senior Director, DMPK, at Mersana Therapeutics. Her research focuses on antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Previously, Dian was a Principal Scientist in the DMPK department at Genentech. Her research was primarily focused on ADC/small molecule/peptide DMPK areas mainly in the pre-clinical stage. Before joining Genentech in 2012, Dian held a postdoctoral position at the NIH Proteomics Research Resource for Integrative Biology in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She earned her Ph. D. in Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis and studied DNA photoproducts and protein-ligand interactions.
Julien Lefranc – Oncology Drug Discovery and Degraders
Julien Lefranc is a Principal Scientist at Merck KGaA in Darmstadt and is a member of the Early Career Advisory Board at ChemMedChem. Julien Lefranc studied chemistry in Marseille and Montpellier. After his master’s degree, Julien moved to the University of Manchester to carry out his PhD with Prof. Jonathan Clayden working on organolithium reactions and in 2012, he moved to Germany for a post-doctoral stay with Prof. Dirk Trauner working natural products synthesis. In 2014, Julien started his industrial career with Bayer in Berlin where he worked on several oncology projects. In 2020, he was promoted to Senior Scientist in Medicinal Chemistry at the Innovation Campus Berlin. He assumed his current position in 2021.
Michael Koehler – Infectious Disease Drug Discovery
Michael Koehler received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2000, and has been a medicinal chemist at Genentech since that time, working in a variety of therapeutic areas. He was recognized as an ACS Hero of Chemistry in 2017 as part of the team that discovered vismodegib (Erivedge), and more recently has been working on antibiotic drug discovery, principally on enabling the arylomycins as novel, broad spectrum antimicrobials.
Christian Kuttruff – Respiratory Disease Drug Discovery & Business Development
Christian Kuttruff is currently an Associate Director of Global Business Development & Licensing in Inflammation and NCE Technologies at Boehringer Ingelheim. Christian studied chemistry at the Technical University in Munich and obtained his PhD in 2012 under the guidance of Prof. Dirk Trauner at the University of Munich, where he focused on the synthesis of natural products. After postdoctoral studies at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla with Prof. Phil Baran, he joined Boehringer Ingelheim as a medicinal chemist in 2014. He worked as a project leader in the areas of respiratory diseases, immune-oncology and immunology before assuming his current role.
Adi Murthy – Cell Biology and Cancer Immunology
Aditya Murthy is Director of Cell Biology at Interline Therapeutics, a Bay Area startup focused on mapping and modulating protein communities to treat inflammatory diseases and cancer. Adi obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in Medical Biophysics investigating metalloproteinase enzymes in inflammation. As a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Immunology at Genentech, Adi investigated the genetics and mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease, identifying mechanisms by which the catabolic process of autophagy impacts Crohn’s disease. He then established his own research program as a Group Leader in the Department of Cancer Immunology at Genentech, with a goal of translating insights from human genetics of chronic inflammatory diseases to actionable pathways for immuno-oncology. There, his group continued to make advances in our understanding of autophagy in immunology and oncology while establishing novel methods to enable functional genomics in myeloid cells (Freund et al. 2020; Lim et al. 2019; Maculins et al. 2021; Samie, et al 2018). His current motivation is to leverage the growing catalog of human genetic variation in inflammatory diseases in order to better understand their underlying mechanisms and develop novel therapeutics.
Ron Li – General Medicine
Ron Li is an internal medicine physician and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hospital Medicine and Biomedical Informatics) at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is an attending physician on the university teaching service, where he cares for hospitalized patients and trains medical students and residents at Stanford Hospital. He is also the Medical Informatics Director for Clinical Integration of Artificial Intelligence at Stanford Health Care, and his work is centered around the design, implementation, and evaluation of novel systems of care delivery that can be enabled by AI. He received his MD from Northwestern University and completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in clinical informatics at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Clinical Informatics.
Jacob Schwarz – Neuroscience Drug Discovery
Jacob Schwarz has over 20 years of medicinal chemistry experience and has held positions of increasing importance in the Parke-Davis, Pfizer, and Genentech organizations. He is currently Head of Chemistry at ESCAPE Bio, a clinical stage company developing novel, precisely targeted therapies for genetic neurodegenerative diseases. Jake is currently Chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Medicinal Chemistry. He received a PhD from Colorado State University under the guidance of A. I. Meyers, followed by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratories of Samuel Danishefsky at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Anthony Vaganos – Commercial
Anthony Vaganos is an experienced US and global commercial leader in oncology, rare disease, and neuroscience therapeutics across the lifecycle inducing business development, early-to-late stage design and decision making, pricing and market access strategy, and launch marketing. Anthony is currently an oncology global marketing director at GSK focused on pivotal trial investment decisions and launch planning. He previously worked at Genentech in commercial functions on multiple franchises including hematology oncology, HER2 breast cancer, neuroscience, and rare disease. Anthony holds an MBA from the Wharton School, a Masters in biotechnology from University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelors from Cornell University.
Joanna Lee – In Vitro Pharmacology
Joanna Lee is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Biochemical and Cellular Pharmacology at Genentech. A cell biologist by training, Joanna received her Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University studying centrosomes and cilia. She also conducted a postdoc in Stanford’s Mechanical Engineering Department, generating biomaterials to study how the mechanical properties of the tumor microenvironment induce cancer invasion. In addition to pharmacology and assay development, she specializes in 3D cell culture models of the tumor microenvironment.
Yoana Dimitrova – Challenging Targets and Drug Discovery Strategy
Yoana Dimitrova is a Senior Scientist in the Structural Biology Department at Genentech. A protein biochemist and structural biologist by training, Yoana has a passion for studying the intricate mechanistic assembly and regulation of macromolecular complexes. After receiving her PhD in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt Medical School with Prof. Walter Chazin, she continued her postdoctoral work with Prof. Stephen Harrison at Harvard Medical School. Yoana joined Genentech in 2017 and has been a structural biology lead on a number of unprecedented drug targets, focused on the strategy of enabling early discovery programs.
Others include Naomi Rajapaksa – Respiratory Disease Drug Discovery.