Invited faculty

Clifton Barry III, Ph.D.

Chief, Tuberculosis Research Section

Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institutes of Health

E-mail:  cbarry@niaid.nih.gov

Biosketch

Dr. Clifton E. Barry III received his Ph.D. in organic and bio-organic chemistry in 1989 from Cornell University, studying the biosynthesis of complex natural products.  Following postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Barry joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID’s) Rocky Mountain Laboratories.  In 1998, he was tenured as chief of the Tuberculosis Research Section, Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, NIAID.  The TRS is a multidisciplinary group of research scientists comprised of biologists, chemists and clinical researchers who share a common interest in TB. TRS projects focus on understanding the scientific issues that facilitate the development of drugs that will make a genuine difference in the outcome for TB patients globally. TRS scientists are highly interactive worldwide in this endeavor and as a result of our outstanding collaborations TRS is the most widely cited TB research group in the world. In addition to current TRS laboratories in Bethesda TRS works closely with the International Tuberculosis Research Center located in Masan, South Korea; with Chinese colleagues at the Henan Provincial Chest Hospital in Zhengzhou, China; and with colleagues at Stellenbosch University (SUN) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Dr. Barry holds honorary professorships at both UCT and SUN and has a growing laboratory in the Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at UCT.

Graeme Bilbe, PhD, Research & Development Director, DNDi

Dr Bilbe has the overall responsibility for building DNDi’s project portfolio and advancing the discovery and development of new treatments for neglected diseases.

Prior to joining DNDi in 2012, Dr. Bilbe was Global Head of Neuroscience Discovery at Novartis. Dr Bilbe built a portfolio of novel therapies up to and including clinical efficacy trials in proof of concept studies in patients for Parkinson’s disease, Fragile X mental retardation, cognitive disorders, gastroesophageal reflux disease, epilepsy and chronic pain states. Dr. Bilbe held leadership positions at Novartis acting as a member of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research Leadership, Head of Research to the Neuroscience Franchise Unit, chaired the Neuroscience Disease Area Research and Development Board and was a visiting Professor at the University of Liverpool.
Dr Bilbe completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Zentrum for Molecular Biology in Heidelberg and the Imperial College London. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of London, Imperial College and his BSc in Zoology and Biochemistry from the University of Nottingham.

Prof Lyn-Marie Birkholtz

Professor (Biochemistry)
DST/NRF South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Sustainable Malaria Control

Professor Birkholtz completed her PhD in 2003 on biochemical aspects of malaria, performed jointly in South Africa, the USA and Germany. She is currently a full professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria. Prof Birkholtz serves on the council for the South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the editorial board for the Biochemical Journal (Disease Environment) and management committee for the University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control. Her research has been presented at more than 50 local and international conferences with numerous cited publications and three co-authored specialised books. Prof Birkholtz has received various international scientific and teaching awards including German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Andrew W Mellon Foundation fellowships as well as Trends in Parasitology and International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) Best Research Presentation awards. The University of Pretoria recognised her as Exceptional Young Researcher in 2010 and 2013.

Prof Birkholtz’s research interest is focused on the physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology of malaria parasites. Biochemical distinctions between the malaria parasite and the human host, which are exploitable for the design of novel antimalarial chemotherapeuticals as transmission-blocking drugs, are investigated:

  • Biochemical characterisation of novel drug compounds targeting the cell cycle development of malaria parasites in their pathogenic, asexual forms.
  • Identification of novel drugs and drug targets that interfere with asexual and sexual development of malaria parasites.
  • Understanding the biochemical processes involved in sexual differentiation of gametocyte forms of the parasite from pathogenic, asexual parasites.
  • Determining the effects of transmission blocking strategies on field-isolated parasite populations and correlating this with human health effects.

Prof Birkholtz as SARChI Chair in Sustainable Malaria Control harness expertise in malaria control in South Africa to enable sustained malaria control particularly in the African context. The research program undertaken by Prof Birkholtz’s team is internationally competitive and trend setting and will contribute to the global Malaria Eradication Agenda. Additionally, the work is nationally pioneering and influential in the commitment of South Africa to attempt to eliminate malaria from its borders by 2018. The research area of Prof Birkholtz contributes uniquely to the interplay between malaria control and elimination by focussing on both the pathogenic and transmission forms of the parasite to ensure sustainability in malaria control and elimination. Due to the innovative nature of the work, students in the program are trained in scare skills related to malaria parasite biology in Africa.

Dr. Matt Bogyo

Dr. Bogyo is a Professor of Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Bates College in 1993 and a doctorate in Chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997. He carried out a short post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in 1998. Dr. Bogyo established an independent scientific career as a Faculty Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, where he supervised a small laboratory of post-doctoral fellows and students. In 2001, Dr. Bogyo was hired to establish and direct the Chemical Proteomics Department at Celera Genomics focused on applying small molecule probes to the field of drug discovery. Dr. Bogyo then joined the Department of Pathology at Stanford University in July 2003 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009 and to full professor in 2013. His laboratory works on the development of new chemical probe technologies that are applied to the study the role of proteases in complex biological pathways associated with human disease. Dr. Bogyo has published 200 primary research publications and currently serves on the Editorial Board of several prominent research journals. He was the President of the International Proteolysis Society from 2007-2009 and is the chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Proteolytic Enzymes and Their Inhibitors in 2018 and the Imaging in 2020 meeting in 2016. Dr. Bogyo is also a member of Stanford’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS) and is a consultant for several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the Bay Area.

Joseph S. Camardo M.D. FCPP

B.A. Biology Univ. of PA Philadelphia 1974

MD Univ. of PA School of Medicine 1979

Board Certified Internal Medicine

Joining Wyeth-Ayerst laboratories in Philadelphia in 1989 as Associate Director, Clinical Research, Dr. Camardo held a variety of positions for antiarrhythmic drug development, HIV infection, a program for rotavirus vaccine, and team leader for a novel immunosuppressant compound, Rapamune®, which was approved worldwide and is currently available for kidney transplant recipients.

He was promoted to Therapy Area Director for Immunology and Infectious Disease, and later promoted to Head of Clinical Research & Development for Wyeth, where he was responsible for clinical programs in Neuroscience, Transplantation, Infectious Disease, Inflammation, Women’s Health, Cardiology, Metabolism, and Clinical Pharmacology.

In 2004 Dr. Camardo became Head of Global Medical Affairs, where he and his team worked to change the mission and vision of this department from a service organization to full partners with the commercial organization of Wyeth.  As part of his duties at Wyeth, he has represented the company at investor conferences, media interactions, regulatory agencies, and at a Congressional hearing.

Dr. Camardo retired from Pfizer after a twenty-one year career at Wyeth.

In 2012 he accepted the position at Celgene Corporation as SVP, Corporate Medical Affairs.  Dr. Camardo is currently the SVP, Global Health & Corporate Affairs Medical Strategy.

Nick Cammack

Nick Cammack is Head, Medicines Development Campus for Diseases of the Developing World at GSK, Tres Cantos, Spain.

In this role he is responsible for the discovery and development of medicines to treat some of the most devastating neglected diseases including malaria, tuberculosis, Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis.  GSK are committed to achieving these objectives through an open and innovative approach to collaboration with many organizations such as Medicines for Malaria Venture, Global Alliance for TB, Wellcome Trust and the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation.  In addition, Nick has led the establishment and implementation of the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation – a not-for-profit foundation that supports academic scientists to visit GSK in Spain to pursue their own drug discovery ideas, taking advantage of the expertise and facilities available there.  This is a first for the Pharma industry and is widely viewed as a bold, innovative step in neglected tropical disease drug discovery.

Prior to joining GSK, Nick Cammack was Global Head of the Virology Disease Biology Area at Hoffmann La Roche, based in Palo Alto, California, USA, where he was  instrumental in the initiation and implementation of many significant external partnerships – the three-way Roche-Pharmasset-InterMune partnership was the first to conduct and demonstrate antiviral activity of an interferon-free combination of two small molecules for the treatment of Hepatitis C.

Nick has also contributed to the discovery and development of three anti-HIV medicines and whilst at Roche in the UK where he was Head of the HIV Disease Area, he lead the Roche-Trimeris Virology Team resulting in the successful launch of the novel anti-HIV medicine, Fuzeon.

Nick underwent his academic training at Leeds University and held a MRC PhD Fellowship at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

He is a member of the Organising and Scientific Committees for several international conferences.

Rod Dawson

Associate Professor MB,Ch.B (Stell), FCP(SA), Cert. Pulm(SA)

+27 21 4066850
+27 83 2907322 rodney.dawson@uct.ac.za

Profile

Associate Professor Rod Dawson is a Consultant Pulmonologist and is the Managing Director of the University of Cape Town Lung Institute (UCTLI). He is the Clinical Research Unit Head of the Centre for Tuberculosis Research Innovation (CTBRI) at the UCTLI. Prof Dawson is an Honorary Senior Consultant in the Division of Pulmonology, in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town. He was elected to the Board of the UCT Lung Institute in 2012 and has been Managing Director of the UCTLI since 2016. Since establishing the CTBRI in 2008, Prof Dawson holds, or has held, a number of multinational grants including:

  • EU FP7 awards: Panacea (2011) and TB Neat (2009)
  • NIH R01 sub- awards: IF Gamma (2005) and Longitudinal Grant (2009)
  • FDA Orphan Drug awards: Rifapentine (2009) and PA824 (2014)
  • ACTG/NIDA: MI-RP counseling in DR-TB (2015)Under Prof Dawson’s leadership, the CTBRI currently has 31 active members of staff with over R90 million in research projects approved since 2009. The Centre is now established as a leading high volume research site for investigational studies for new drugs in TB and HIV.His main research interests are
  • New TB drug development
  • Counselling interventions to improve compliance in Drug-resistant TB (DR-TB)
  • Standardized chest radiography reading
  • Interventional TB and HIV cohort studiesProf Dawson has established an extensive collaborative research network and manages two prospective research cohorts including the “Longitudinal Pulmonary HIV” and the “TB Bio storage” cohorts, that have established the basis of a novel self-funded research program which has supported 2 PhD students. He has published 52 peer reviewed papers including senior author publications in the Lancet. On 9 June 2016 his Cite Alert Scopus “H” index was 24, with his work having been cited 1623 times.

Frank von Delft

Frank’s overall research project is to establish methods to ensure that X-ray structures can serve as a routine and predictive tool for generating novel chemistry for targeting proteins – as opposed to them being only occasionally and retrospectively useful descriptively, as is currently generally the case.

He is jointly Principal Investigator of the Protein Crystallography group in the SGC (Oxford University), as well as Principal Beamline Scientist of beamline I04-1 at Diamond Light Source synchrotron (Harwell).  After his PhD in protein crystallography with Tom Blundell in Cambridge, he has focused on methodology and high throughput techniques for crystallography, first in San Diego (academically at JCSG, and industrially at Syrrx, Inc), and since 2004 at the SGC, where his group has to date helped solve over 600 crystal structures of human proteins. 

In late 2012 he set up the partnership with Diamond, in order to configure beamline I04-1 as a user facility for routine medium-throughput fragment screening by X-ray structures: this XChem facility has been live since mid-2015, with users from academia and industry.  His research focus and collaborations address all aspects of the problem:  how to generate crystals that are suitable for such screening, streamlining the screening itself, and how to proceed routinely from such a screen to compounds with good affinity.

Ken Duncan

Ken Duncan is Deputy Director of Discovery & Translational Sciences within the Global Health Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He leads the foundation’s drug discovery program including new approaches to treatment of TB, malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases and diarrheal disease. He was previously Director, Diseases of the Developing World at GlaxoSmithKline. He obtained a BSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD from the University of Glasgow, and completed Postdoctoral Research Fellowships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School.

Nader Fotouhi

As Chief Scientific Officer for the TB Alliance, Dr. Nader Fotouhi guides and oversees the organization’s research and preclinical development activities.

Dr. Fotouhi has 24 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with significant research and early development expertise in a variety of therapeutic areas. Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Dr. Fotouhi held various leadership positions at Hoffmann-La Roche, including the head of the Discovery Chemistry group at the Nutley New Jersey site, the global head of Discovery Technologies, and served as the Nutley New Jersey Pharma Research and Early Development Site Leader.

Dr. Fotouhi holds a Ph.D. and Post Doctoral fellowship in Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Fotouhi has authored or co-authored more than 50 articles and presentations and holds 20 patents.

Ian H. Gilbert

Drug Discovery for Neglected Tropical Diseases

Drug Discovery Unit, Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, University of Dundee, DD1 5EH, UK.

i.h.gilbert@dundee.ac.uk

Biography Paragraph: I obtained a PhD in synthetic chemistry, working with Andrew Holmes at the University of Cambridge. I then was a post-doctoral fellow with Parke-Davis Research, before spending a year teaching chemistry at the University of Zambia. On returning to the UK, I undertook post-doctoral work at the University of Cambridge in the area of chemical biology, before establishing my own independent medicinal chemistry research group at the Welsh School of Pharmacy in Cardiff University. The focus of my research was drug discovery for neglected tropical diseases. In 2005, I moved to a chair at the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. There, I helped to establish the Drug Discovery Unit, where I am head of chemistry. I have particular interests in anti-infective drug discovery

Fabian Gusovsky, PhD

Executive Director, Special Projects
hDAC
Eisai, Inc
4 Corporate Dr
Andover, MA 01810
USA
fabian_gusovsky@eisai.com
978-837-4724

Fabian Gusovsky holds a diploma in pharmacy and biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, and a PhD in Pharmacology from Rush University in Chicago, IL. He worked at the US National Institutes of Health, at the Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, NIDDK until 1992. That year he left the NIH to join Eisai Inc,  in Andover as a Senior Scientist and was Therapeutic Area Head in Immunology and Atopic diseases by 2007. In 2009, he became a member of the Chief Innovation Officer’s group. As Scientific Director of Eisai’s World Health Initiative he manages a portfolio of projects directed at finding solutions for Tropical Diseases and Public Health. He is a member of Eisai’s Access to Medicines Group, and Manager for the Americas for the Diethylcarbamazine (a drug used for the treatment of lymphatic filariasis) donation program. He is a member of the Executive Group of the Global Alliance for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, and of the Executive Council supporting the Gates Foundation CEO Round Table.

Paul van Helden

Prof van Helden has been working with or for Stellenbosch University and the MRC since January 1979. In 1989 he changed his direction to TB. From a modest beginning in 1989, with one PhD student working on TB, the centre now has about 110 persons working on TB, which is its sole focus at present. He believes that it is now a world-class research centre which has helped put South African research on the TB world map. This Centre at Stellenbosch University has been placed in the top 20 research institutions in TB research (http://sciencewatch.com/inter/ins/09/09Tubertop20/.  Prof van Helden has been ranked 4th globally in terms of total impact for TB research, (http://sciencewatch.com/ana/st/tub/09julSTTubvanHel/). Prof van Helden enjoys interacting with and mentoring younger persons and students. The Centre has shown that one can use modern molecular biology in a developing country to good effect, particularly for diagnosis of drug resistant TB, and we paved the way for the introduction of such technologies, now being used in state diagnostic labs. Prof van Helden likes to stimulate work that will impact health care of humans and animals and enjoys seeing implementation of research findings.

Professor Paul Herrling, PhD

Chairman of the Board of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases

Paul Herrling is Chairman of the Board of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, a long-term endeavour to advance medical research in tropical infectious diseases, which historically have received little drug-research funding. He is also a consultant  to Novartis Pharma AG since January 2012 after his official retirement.

Prior to his current position, he was Head of Novartis Institutes for Developing World Medical Research (NIDWMR) in Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), a position he assumed in February 2010.

Before that Paul Herrling was Head of Corporate Research in Novartis supervising 4 institutes, Head of Global Research of Novartis Pharma and a member of the Pharma Executive Committee (PEC). In this capacity, he directed the integration of the research organizations of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy following their merger in 1996 to form Novartis.

Paul Herrling joined Sandoz Pharma in 1975 and held various positions in research at both Sandoz in Basel, Switzerland and Wander in Bern, Switzerland. In 1985, he became Head of the Sandoz Research Institute in Bern and Head of the Preclinical CNS Research Department at Sandoz Pharma in Basel. In 1992, he was made Head of Preclinical Research Basel for Sandoz Pharma and, in 1994, Head of Pharma Corporate Research.

He is also a Professor of Drug Discovery Science at the University of Basel, Switzerland. In addition to scientific editing activities, he serves on several boards, most notably, University Council of the University of Basel , Board of Trustees of the Foundation for NIH and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi). Since January 2008 he is also the Vice-President of the ETH Board (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology).

Paul Herrling obtained his Ph.D. in 1975 from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and was a post-doctorate fellow at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the USA.

Jennifer Keiser

Dr. Keiser is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in Basel, Switzerland. She is heading the Helminth Drug Development Unit, which maintains a unique set of helminth rodent models. Research objectives of her team include in vitro and in vivo evaluation of biological activities of compounds, preclinical studies such as pharmacokinetics and metabolism, and clinical trials in endemic countries.

Richard E. Lee, Ph.D.

Presently holds the rank of Member and Interim Chair in the Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

A native of Manchester, England, he received his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, U.K and subsequently held postdoctoral research fellowship positions at the Department of Microbiology, Colorado State University and Department of Chemistry, Oxford University, UK.  He then moved to a research scientist position in the intramural program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, NIH in the laboratory of Dr. Clifton Barry, before taking a tenure-track position at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Pharmacy. In August 2009 he moved his research program to the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Department at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

At St Jude his research focuses on anti-infective medicinal chemistry and structure-based drug design, with an emphasis on the design of new inhibitors to treat problematic drug-resistant bacterial infections.  Dr. Lee’s research has produced several drug candidates including the spectinamide class of anti-tuberculosis antibiotics.  He has published over 124 peer-reviewed publications and eight patents.  His expertise in this area is recognized by frequent service in many government and industrial advisory panels, including the National Institutes of Health Antimicrobial Drug Discovery and Resistance study section and on the AstraZeneca Infection iMed External Science Advisory Panel. He is also actively involved in advocacy for the need to develop new antibiotics and how this can be addressed from a chemistry perspective, as highlighted by work with the Pew Charitable Trust, on the Scientific Priorities for Antibiotic Discovery – Challenges and Opportunities working group and as Co-chair of the 2018 New Antibacterial Drug Discovery and Development Gordon Research Conference.

Pascal Mäser

Pascal Mäser earned his Ph.D. from the University of Basel in 1998 for his work on drug resistance in African trypanosomes. He moved to the University of California San Diego for postdoctoral research on plant ion transporters, and in 2002 returned to Switzerland as an assistant professor of the University of Bern. In 2009 he joined the Swiss TPH, where he is now heading the Parasite Chemotherapy Unit and became an associate professor for parasitology at the University of Basel. The focus of his research is on drug discovery and the mechanisms of drug action for trypanosomatids and malaria.

Rui Moreira

Drug Design Division, Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa)

School of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon

E-mail: rmoreira@ff.ulisboa.pt

Rui Moreira is a professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon. He received a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Lisbon and undertook post-doctoral work with Jim Iley at the Open University in the field of prodrug chemistry. In 2013 Rui was appointed director of Drug Design Division at the Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), where he is responsible for the chemistry platform. His research interests include the discovery and optimization of anti-infective agents. Others areas of interest include the use chemical biology approaches for target ID and biomarker discovery.

Tanya Parish PhD

Vice President of Drug Discovery, Infectious Disease Research Institute, Seattle

Prof Parish focuses on the discovery of new drugs for tuberculosis. Her current research is directed at early stage drug discovery and encompasses target identification and validation, assay development and high throughput screening, and synthetic and medicinal chemistry. Her research also focusses on understanding the pathogenic mechanisms and basic biology of the global pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis and using this information to inform drug discovery. Tanya is a microbiologist by training, with a background in mycobacteriology. She received her PhD at the National Institute for Medical Research investigating gene regulation in mycobacteria followed by postdoctoral research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine studying several facets of the biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She is also an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington.

Michael Pollastri, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Northeastern University

Dr. Pollastri began his academic career in 2007 after nearly a decade working in early stage drug discovery at Pfizer, Inc. He received his PhD from Brown University, his MS from Duke University, and an AB in chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross. His first academic position after departing industry was in the Boston University Department of Chemistry, where he established and directed the Center for Molecular Discovery, a combined medicinal chemistry and high-throughput screening center. In 2009 he joined the faculty at Northeastern University, where his lab’s hit-to-lead medicinal chemistry efforts have been focused on tropical disease drug discovery, repurposing and re-optimizing known classes of drugs that have been pursued for other indications.

Kevin Saliba

Kevin is an Associate Professor at the Australian National University Medical School and Research School of Biology. His research interests are in the pathways and mechanisms used by the virulent human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to take up, metabolise and then utilise essential nutrients. His mission is to identify suitable drug targets within these pathways and then inhibit them with novel compounds developed in collaboration with chemists. He has published extensively in this area and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal for Parasitology – Drugs and Drug Resistance. Kevin studied in South Africa and although he has lived in Australia for the past 20 years, he remains a staunch Stormers supporter.

Dennis Smith

Dr Smith worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 32 years after gaining his Ph.D from the University of Manchester. Academic appointments include Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town, where he is closely involved with H3D, the leading academic drug discovery unit in Africa. He is a member of a number of Expert Panels with Medicines for Malaria Venture and Cancer Research UK as well as serving on Scientific Advisory Boards for a number of Research Institutions.  His research interests and publications span all aspects of Drug Discovery and Development particularly where drug metabolism knowledge can impact on the design of more efficacious and safer drugs. During this 41-year span he has directly helped in the Discovery and Development of eight marketed NCEs. He has co-authored over 160 publications including a number of books including “Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism in Drug Design”, “Reactive Drug Metabolites” and Attrition in the Pharmaceutical Industry. He was recently elected as the first Fellow of the Drug Metabolism Discussion Group.

Thomas Spangenberg

Dr Spangenberg is the Head of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Drug Discovery and he is responsible for the antimalarial and antischistosomal hit-to-lead programs.

Before joining Merck Thomas worked with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in the discovery team focusing on the early stages of the pipeline from compound screening to candidate selection. Also Thomas led the Malaria Box and Pathogen Box initiatives, which are open source projects designed to catalyse drug discovery research in neglected diseases.

He holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the Universities of Strasbourg (France) and Freiburg (Germany). In 2009, he was appointed as a Post-doc at Harvard University (USA) where he contributed to the total synthesis of the mycolactones and the development towards the diagnosis of Buruli ulcer, a neglected necrotizing skin disease.

Jonathan L. Vennerstrom

Dr Vennerstrom is Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  Dr. Vennerstrom received a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1985.  He then received post-degree training at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research before joining the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Pharmacy in 1987.  Dr. Vennerstrom’s research focuses on antiparasitic drug discovery.  His recent work in synthetic peroxide antimalarials was supported by the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) from 2000 to 2010.

Timothy Wells

Dr Wells is the Chief Scientific Officer of Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) based in Geneva. MMV is a product development partnership driving the discovery development and delivery of new medicines against malaria. Prior to joining MMV, he had over 20 years experience in drug discovery and development, as the head of Research for the Swiss biotech Serono, and prior worked on inflammation, infectious disease and has a particular interest in protein structure.  He has a PhD in Chemistry and an ScD in Biology from Cambridge, UK, and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Mike Witty

Dr Michael Witty FRSC, Consultant, Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed)

Mike Witty retired from Pfizer in 2008 after 29 years and now supports drug discovery projects and Scientific Advisory Committees for organisations involved in neglected disease research, e.g. MMV, GALVmed, Wellcome Trust, UCT, etc.  He trained as a chemist at Oxford University and has led research groups in diverse therapeutic areas, including parasitology, before moving to a Pfizer HQ role where he was responsible for Portfolio and Strategic Planning.  He was a Founder of GALVmed and was appointed Board Chairman in 2006.  After completing the maximum two 3-year terms, he now supports GALVmed purely in a scientific role.