In addition to our authors, reviewers, and editors, our support team makes sure Drug Hunter runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis. They also work behind the scenes on great new site features and content for the drug discovery community. We appreciate their contributions and a few members who have been with us for some time are featured below. You may encounter some of them while giving feedback on the site or while participating in events.
We’re always looking for help with everything from graphic design to literature research – if you like the idea of helping drug discovery scientists and professionals and are interested in a paid position, reach out here!
Melissa Lynch – Operations Leader
Melissa is the Operations Leader for Drug Hunter, coordinating and managing work across various company functions including administration, customer service, business development, human resources, and finance. She graduated from Northwestern University and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication as a Theatre Major, with a minor in Business Institutions and a Leadership Certificate. While pursuing an acting career, she was introduced to Production Management, Stage Management, and House Management opportunities that propelled her into the world of business operations. After leaving the theatre, Melissa worked in Project Management, Household Management, and Direct Sales. Melissa lives in New York City and enjoys running full and half marathons, baking, and spending time with loved ones–especially the children in her life.
Spencer Jentzsch – Head of Growth
Spencer is the Head of Growth for Drug Hunter, with a focus on process, sponsorship, and events. Spencer graduated with a degree in Neuroscience from Brigham Young University and earned a Masters in Korean Linguistics from the University of British Columbia with an emphasis on North Korean language branding. He has had a wide span of careers—from catching bats at summer camp (as in bats, the mammal), to growing an international community and event-based travel company, to implementing Epic EMR and pharmacy software at hospital systems across the US. Spencer is currently in Brazil, where he spends 6 months each year avoiding winter, playing beach volleyball, and practicing windsurfing.
Jessa Aqueza – Administrative Assistant
Jessa is our team’s amazing administrative assistant, helping coordinate site operations, maintaining the website, and reaching out to community members. Jes graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and is helping with Drug Hunter while working on her Master’s thesis. Jessa is also a recruitment specialist in an engineering company. We don’t know how she juggles everything, but she’s never let us down!
Milly Bianda – Community Manager
Milly is a Community Manager for Drug Hunter, helping gather feedback about how we can continually make the site better, organizing meetings, and prioritizing future work. Milly has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Florida Atlantic University. She started at a digital communications agency in South Florida and began to build her network from there. Over the years, she has partnered with various international clients including pharmaceutical companies in Ireland, England, Germany, Russia and the US for both internal and external communications projects. She organized and led the participation of three pharmaceutical companies at CPhI worldwide for 3 consecutive years. She has been involved in the writing and publishing of several pharmaceutical internal research projects. After COVID-19 she entered a more senior role, this time as the Accounts Director for an innovative web development and design agency from Orlando, Florida. Milly lives by the ocean and enjoys making sea glass art.
Jennifer Huen – Research Scientist and Technical Illustrator
Jennifer is a Research Scientist and Technical Illustrator for Drug Hunter, with a focus on large molecule drug discovery. Jennifer obtained her PhD in biochemistry at the University of Toronto in Canada, looking at the structure-function relationship of proteins involved in DNA processing. She continued her journey in structural biology as a post-doc at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Academia Sinica in Taipei, then became enamored by protein engineering as a scientist at AbCelex Technologies. She is currently freelancing as a scientific writer & illustrator, consulting in structural biology, and busying herself as a co-founder of the biotech research company, Beagle Scientific Inc.
Daniel Gedder – Research Associate
Daniel is a Research Associate for Drug Hunter, helping with scientific research. He obtained his PhD in organic chemistry and biochemistry at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, and was a visiting PhD student at the University of Washington (UW) chemistry department in the USA. Currently, he is a postdoc at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP-USP) with an exchange period at the University of Münster in Germany. Over the past ten years, his research has been focused on the Medicinal Chemistry area. He has been working on the design and synthesis of anti-trypanosomal agents for Chagas disease and sleeping sickness. He loves traveling alone and great food and wine at restaurants.
Vinicius Teixeira – Research Associate
Vinicius is a Research Associate for Drug Hunter, helping with scientific research. He started his academic journey with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, focused on organic synthesis, at UFPEL-Brazil, changing to to Computational Chemistry when he moved to Porto Alegre, joining the UFRGS-Brazil. Vinicius compromised on his love of sports to finish his Ph.D. degree in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry in 2020. Vinicius has experience as a university teacher and scientific researcher, and works with biotech companies on scientific projects related to medicine and medicinal chemistry. Vinicius ended up in Chemistry by his mistake – he asked his father to pay for an admission test in Biochemistry, and was signed up for Chemistry instead! Fortunately for us, he passed and loves Chemistry.
Maria Koyioni – Research Associate and Technical Illustrator
Maria is a Research Associate and Technical Illustrator for Drug Hunter, helping with research and technical illustration. Maria obtained her PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Cyprus (UCY). After her PhD she joined University of Oxford, UK as postdoctoral researcher and later the Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies of Polish Academy of Sciences in Łódź, Poland. She then return to Cyprus to pursue her own funded research project. Her research interests lie on the development of new synthetic methods for S,N-heterocycles, the synthesis of novel S,N-heterocycles and study of their biological activities. In her free time she enjoys working out, hiking and cooking. Favorite cooking activity: making pancakes!
Sabe Lewellyn – Creative Director
Sabe is a freelance Creative Director for Drug Hunter, helping guide the overall branding and design. Sabe has a Master of Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art. He started his career in interactive design in board games and collectible card games. Following that, he worked in the fashion and apparel industry. Sabe teaches on the Master of Fine Art program at Edinburgh College of Art and recently created and taught a module for second-year design undergrads. He loves understanding design’s ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ and focuses on approachability and engagement. When not thinking about those things, Sabe enjoys creating sculpture and watching his dog being happy chasing a ball.
Dani Alfonso – Lead Designer
Dani was born in Havana, Cuba. She is an uber-creative graphic/web designer whose experience spans the entire design spectrum (so does her creativity). What she loves most about her role is getting to collaborate closely with clients and creating killer designs that exceed expectations. She is very proud to work with a team that continuously inspires and challenges her. Outside of designing, she loves to take care of (and add to) her large collection of various thriving plants, read until her eyes fall out, and go thrifting. She’s like a burrito: super colorful and never disappoints.
Jasper Frumau – Web Developer
Jasper is the technical project manager and lead web developer for Drug Hunter. He manages the web development team and contributes to new features and improvements for the website. Above all he makes sure the website keep running smoothly. Jasper worked on multiple WordPress projects, large SaaS and maintained various e-commerce sites. He graduated with a Masters of Arts in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam, did an Erasmus Exchange in Paris and internship at the UNHQ in New York. Jasper currently lives in Bangkok with his family and loves running, reading a good sci-fi or fantasy novel or having a great Belgian beer.
Roenz Aberin – Engineering Manager
Roenz is the engineering manager for Drug Hunter. He is responsible for ensuring that key projects and engineering duties are fulfilled. Roenz is a Full-Stack Engineer with a focus on building scalable backend infrastructures. Roenz has been a Software Engineer for several years with his latest role in building e-commerce integrations at Extend Inc. Before pursuing engineering, Roenz was an analytical chemist for Ideaya Biosciences, where he focused on drug characterization of cancer therapeutics. He obtained a B.S. in Human Biology from the University of California, San Diego. He graduated from Bloom Institute of Technology (formerly Lambda School), where he studied Full-Stack Web Development. Roenz enjoys cars, hiking, and snowboarding.
Alberto Roig – Web Developer
Alberto was born in Peoria, Illinois, raised in Venezuela, and lived in Egypt for some time. He has 13 years of professional web design and development experience under his multinational belt. His love of travel and art, especially records, prints, and posters helped inspire him to become a creative and front-end developer. A typical day for him consists of running all aspects of the business. From proposals to production, he’s got his hands full. He is extremely proud of WePropagate and the team he and Dani have built. When his workday wraps up, you can catch him adding and listening to his collection of mostly salsa records as well as collecting mid-century modern and Cuban prints and posters. If you’re looking for someone to go to a vintage market with, he’s your guy.
J David Warren – Senior Principal Scientist
David is a Senior Principal Scientist for Drug Hunter, helping with scientific research and editorial tasks. He earned his Ph.D. degree from Colorado State University, where he was awarded a graduate fellowship from Boehringer Ingelheim, and carried out postdoctoral studies at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as an NIH-supported fellow. David then went on to an independent career at Weill Cornell Medicine as both Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and inaugural Director of the Milstein Chemistry Core Facility, ultimately rising to the rank of Associate Professor of Research in Biochemistry. He currently sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of Akelos, Inc, holds 9 issued US and international patents, and has published over 46 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. In his spare time, David enjoys spending time outdoors and rooting for Colorado sports teams.
Daniel Blomgren – General Counsel
Daniel is the General Counsel for Drug Hunter, helping Drug Hunter assess all forms of legal and compliance matters and guiding the team to specialist advice when needed. He enjoys working with entrepreneurs to identify their goals, and to come up with solutions to achieve them. His entrepreneurial spirit emerged in college at UC Berkeley, and he chose to supplement his studies in Business Administration by turning his love for cooking into a small catering business. Knowing very little about the legal aspects of operating a business, he took a course on business law, which is where he ultimately found his calling to become an attorney. Daniel went on to earn his J.D. at University of San Francisco School of Law, and first gained experience representing clients in business transactions and disputes at Gordon & Rees in their San Francisco office, and then Clapp Moroney in their San Bruno office. Daniel enjoys cooking over a live fire, exploring the Bay Area by bicycle, winemaking and homebrewing, and serenading his wife on the piano.
Dennis Hu – CEO and Editor-in-Chief
Dennis is the CEO of Drug Hunter parent company Drug Hunter Inc., and Editor-in-Chief of Drug Hunter. Dennis started Drug Hunter because he felt science-focused drug discovery professionals were underserved by existing media outlets. He started his career as a drug discovery scientist at a now publicly-listed biotech startup (RAPT), where he contributed to the discovery of a phase II drug candidate for cancer immunotherapy. He later joined Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world by revenue. He has been a chemistry and project team leader for several projects leading to patented and published chemical matter. He earned his PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University, MPhil by Research from the University of Cambridge on a Churchill Scholarship, and a dual BA/MS from Northwestern University as a Goldwater Scholar.
We thank all other contributors to Drug Hunter over time and thank Kim Fong, Cliff Kuehn, Dergositz & Noah LLP, Fenwick & West LLP, and Weber Law LLC for additional legal counsel.
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