The agenda is purposely built to provide an engaging and interactive learning experience. integrated polls, Q&A with speakers, roundtable discussions, and more, you will be able to accelerate your knowledge of “undruggable” R&D as it explodes into the mainstream. The ability to actively or passively be involved in these learning opportunities is yours!
Replicate those all-important ‘water cooler’ moments through randomly assigned networking or join discussion-led sessions to find those with similar interests to you. Scroll through the entire attendee list to message your fellow attendees, schedule 1-2-1 video calls, or create your own private session rooms for group discussions. The Undruggable Leaders Forum will enable you to meet more senior R&D and business exec’s from across the industry, all from the comfort of your own home!
The Digital Platform lets you create your own personal agenda. You can attend live sessions, watch on-demand content, take part in open networking sessions, or take a break whenever suits you. Seamlessly hop between learning and networking at any time. Look through the program and slot sessions directly into your calendar, to help fit the conference around the day job.
2020 Speaker Faculty
Sandra Glucksmann is a veteran biopharma executive and experienced scientist who most recently served as founder and chief operating officer of the gene editing company Editas Medicine, Inc. She previously served as senior vice president of research and development at Cerulean Pharma, which she also joined at its founding. Sandra was a founding scientist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where she spent 13 years, taking on a series of senior roles on the science team before moving into an executive position with responsibility for strategic program management and operations. Sandra serves on the boards of directors of gene therapy company REGENXBIO, Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology and Scenic Biotech. Sandra holds a Ph.D. with honors in molecular genetics and cell biology from the University of Chicago. She was a post doctoral fellow at MIT.
Josh Mandel-Brehm is President & Chief Executive Officer of CAMP4 Therapeutics and holds a dual appointment as entrepreneur partner with Polaris Partners.
Prior to his roles with CAMP4 and Polaris, Mr. Mandel-Brehm held key business development and operations leadership roles at leading biotech companies. Most recently he served as Senior Director in the Business Development and Mergers & Acquisitions group at Biogen, where he led multiple strategic activities and corresponding transactions, which included expanding Biogen’s non-malignant hematology franchise and overseeing seminal investments to enter the ophthalmology field. Mr. Mandel-Brehm also played an integral role advancing Biogen’s gene therapy strategy, executing a series of external collaborations including the company’s partnership with the University of Pennsylvania. During his time at Biogen, he also served as Director, Strategy and Operations for Rare Diseases. Prior to Biogen, Mr. Mandel-Brehm held several roles of increasing responsibility at Genzyme as part of the business development group for the company’s rare disease business unit.
Mr. Mandel-Brehm earned a BA in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and holds an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Stéphane Bancel has served as Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer since October 2011 and as a member of Moderna’s board of directors since March 2011. Before joining the Company, Mr. Bancel served for five years as Chief Executive Officer of the French diagnostics company bioMérieux SA. From July 2000 to March 2006, he served in various roles at Eli Lilly and Company, including as Managing Director, Belgium and as Executive Director, Global Manufacturing Strategy and Supply Chain. Prior to Lilly, Mr. Bancel served as Asia-Pacific Sales and Marketing Director for bioMérieux.
Mr. Bancel currently serves on the board of directors of Qiagen N.V. and previously served on the board of directors of BG Medicine, Inc. and Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SYRS). He is currently a Venture Partner at Flagship Pioneering and a trustee of the Museum of Science in Boston. Mr. Bancel holds a Master of Engineering degree from École Centrale Paris (ECP), a Master of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Adrian aspires to not only be a great medicinal chemistry leader, but a leader of great medicinal chemists. Adrian has over 23 years of drug discovery and development experience in senior roles across a diverse range of disease areas in both large pharma and biotech environments, having worked previously for Roche, Astex Therapeutics and AstraZeneca, where he was the head of medicinal chemistry for the CVMD iMed in Molndal, Sweden.
During his career to date, Adrian has been heavily involved in the identification of multiple clinical candidates across a variety of disease areas including RMC-4630, Revolution Medicines first development candidate selectively targeting SHP2 and more recently RMC-5552 which selectively targets mTORC1. Adrian was also a core member of the cell cycle kinase alliance between Astex and Novartis that ultimately led to the discovery of a dual kinase inhibitor approved by the FDA in combination treatment of HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer. In addition, Adrian has authored over 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals, is a named inventor on over 40 issued and pending small molecule patent applications and has given multiple invited presentations at national and international conferences. Adrian received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Sussex, U.K., where he focused on synthetic methodology towards the total synthesis of rapamycin, and has a bachelor’s degree in applied chemistry from the University of Salford, U.K. Adrian is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Chemical Society and an invited member of the AACR Chemistry in Cancer Research (CICR) Steering Committee.
Larry Hamann is currently Global Head, Drug Discovery Sciences at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Prior to this, Larry was Vice President and Global Head of Chemistry at Celgene. He has over 25 years of drug discovery experience and has led or overseen teams responsible for more than 14 clinical stage compounds. At Celgene, his teams advanced a number of molecules into development for hematologic malignancies and autoimmune diseases.
Prior to Celgene, Larry was Executive Director, Global Discovery Chemistry at Novartis, working to progress drug discovery programs.Previously, Larry was at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he led drug discovery teams in metabolic and musculoskeletal disease, and virology. Larry began his career at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, focusing on nuclear receptor based therapeutics. Larry is co-inventor on > 70 patents and co-author on > 75 scientific publications, and serves on the NIH Study Section for Synthetic and Biological Chemistry.
In August of 2017, Larry was awarded the American Chemical Society’s Heroes of Chemistry Award for contributions to the discovery of the combination of the pioneering hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS5A inhibitor, Daklinza® (daclatasvir), and the acylsulfonamide-containing HCV NS3 protease inhibitor, Sunvepra™ (asunaprevir), which together demonstrated for the first time that HCV infection could be cured with only orally administered direct-acting antiviral agents. Larry holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of Detroit and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Michigan.
Before founding Kymera Therapeutics, Nello was head of drug discovery at Raze Therapeutics where he helped develop first in class molecules against novel cancer metabolism targets with implications in both oncology and immuno-metabolism. Nello started his drug discovery career in the global discovery chemistry group at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he contributed and in most cases led teams to the identification of more than 10 compounds that have entered preclinical and clinical development across a series of disease areas. Notably first in class small molecules inhibitors of several complement proteins for inflammation and ocular diseases. While at Novartis he also championed new technologies such as using fragment-based drug discovery as a core strategy to deliver multiple development candidates. Nello has authored >40 papers and patents and has written reviews in the areas of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Nello was trained at Imperial College, University of London and The Scripps Research Institute in California.
Dr. Petter is the founding CEO and current CSO of Arrakis Therapeutics. Previously, Jennifer was Vice President of Drug Discovery at Avila Therapeutics and, upon the acquisition of Avila by Celgene in 2012, she became Celgene’s Vice President of Chemistry, a position she held until leaving to found Arrakis in 2015. Prior to Avila, Jennifer served as Vice President of Research at Mersana Therapeutics, Director of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Biogen and as Section Head in Oncology Chemistry at Sandoz/Novartis. Prior to her career in industry, Jennifer was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. Jennifer holds an A.B. in chemistry from Dartmouth College and earned her PhD in organic chemistry at Duke University with Ned Porter. She was a post-doctoral fellow in Ron Breslow’s group at Columbia University.
Dr. Shuling Guo received her Ph.D. in Molecular Cancer Biology from Duke University and had her postdoctoral training at HHMI/UCLA. At Ionis, Dr. Guo oversees drug discovery efforts in hematological, metabolic, ocular, pulmonary and renal disease areas as well as research efforts in noncoding RNA field. She manages activities from target identification, target validation to the selection of human development candidate. In addition, she is involved in clinical development of antisense therapies. Dr. Guo led the research efforts for transthyretin (familial amyloid polyneuropathy, completed phase 3 clinical trial & under NDA), TMPRSS6 (beta-thalassemia and hereditary hemochromatosis, phase 1 clinical trial), and ENaC (cystic fibrosis, preclinical development).
Dr. Howard Stern is an accomplished scientific leader working at the interface of research and clinical development with over 15 years of experience in the biotechnology industry. He is passionate about developing novel therapeutics targeting the fundamental molecular basis of diseases that have significant unmet medical need. Dr. Stern has published over 50 articles and contributed to drug development programs across varied therapeutic modalities including small molecules, antibodies, and engineered cellular therapies.
With a focus on oncology and immunotherapy, Dr. Stern has characterized mechanisms of drug activity, resistance, and toxicity, thus informing future preclinical research and clinical development. Dr. Stern began his career as a Scientist/Pathologist at Genentech where he developed biomarker assays for programs targeting the ERBB family, PI3K pathway, and extrinsic apoptotic pathway. He also conducted preclinical research on trastuzumab resistance and genomic alterations in cancer. Dr. Stern then transitioned to a leadership position as head of Translational Science at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, where he directed biomarker teams for multiple small molecule drugs including the immunotherapy candidate IPI-549 and the FDA-approved drug duvelisib. Turning his attention to engineered cellular therapy, Dr. Stern joined Juno Therapeutics where he became Vice President of Translational Sciences. He managed teams responsible for translational sections of regulatory filings and for correlative studies of CAR T cell candidates such as liso-cel and JCARH125.
Dr. Stern earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington and a BA in Chemistry from Pomona College. As part of his post-doctoral training, Dr. Stern completed a residency in Anatomic Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a post-doctoral research fellowship in the Leonard Zon Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Elizabeth Buck, Ph.D., was instrumental in developing Black Diamond’s MAP platform through which she made critical discoveries leading to our understanding of the properties of allosteric mutations in oncogene activation.
She has more than 15 years of experience in oncology therapeutics in biotechnology and large pharmaceutical companies. Her expertise and productivity are evidenced by more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and patents. Prior to co-founding Black Diamond and being named its Executive Vice President, Discovery and Translational Sciences, Liz was Assistant Director of Advanced Preclinical Pharmacology at OSI Pharmaceuticals, where she led discovery and translational research to advance a series of oncology programs to clinical development. During her tenure at OSI, she managed multidisciplinary global teams and spearheaded major academic collaborations to progress programs to investigational new drug applications.
Liz earned a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from New York University/Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed postdoctoral work with Jim Wells at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals. She received her undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of New Hampshire.
Christopher O’Donnell, PHD is Executive Director, WRD and Principal at Pfizer Ventures. Chris is responsible for identifying, evaluating, making and managing equity investments aligned with the future directions of Pfizer. He currently has responsibility for Pfizer’s investments in Adapsyn, BioAtla, Kymera, Morphic, Petra, Storm Therapeutics, and Strata Oncology.
Chris brings 19 years of scientific leadership, a strong track record of delivering clinical candidates across multiple disease areas and modalities, and proven ability to build and lead highly engaged teams. He most recently built and led the Applied Synthesis Technologies group within R&D to help accelerate the delivery of Pfizer’s small molecule portfolio. Prior to that, Chris built and led Pfizer’s Antibody Drug Conjugate Oncology Medicinal Chemistry group which delivered new linker, payload and conjugation methods resulting in over 7 conjugates entering clinical development. Chris started his career in the Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry group where he invented and helped deliver numerous clinical candidates.
Chris received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign and his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Robert Konrat studied Chemistry in Graz, Austria, and did postdoctoral research at the Université de Lausanne and University of Toronto. He held faculty positions at the University of Innsbruck and visiting professorships at the École Normale Supérieur, Paris, France, University of Barcelona, Spain and the University of California, San Diego, USA
Angela is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT and an intramural member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. She is also a member of the MIT Center for Cancer Precision Medicine and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. The Koehler Lab aims to innovate in the earliest stages of drug discovery by building chemical tools or technologies to assist in the process of target validation and by expanding the repertoire of protein targets that are considered to be druggable. Angela received her B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Reed College in 1997. In 2003, she received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University in the laboratory of Professor Stuart Schreiber and became an Institute Fellow at the Broad Institute as well as Group Leader for the Harvard NCI Initiative for Chemical Genetics. She serves as Faculty Co-Director of the High-Throughput Sciences Facility at the Koch Institute and Faculty Co-Director of the MIT Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program. Dr. Koehler also serves on the Chemists in Cancer Research steering committee for the American Association for Cancer Research. Recent Awards include the Novartis Lectureship in Chemistry, the Ono Foundation Pharma Breakthrough Science Award, and being named a Genome Technology Young Investigator.
Markus is currently Head of Research at Alkermes in Waltham, Ma. The group is active in oncology and neuroscience working on both small molecules and biologics. Prior to joining Alkermes he served as Chief Scientific Officer at Proteostasis Therapeutics in Cambridge, Ma.
Markus Haeberlein started his drug discovery career at AstraZeneca in 1997 and spent the next 15 years in positions with increasing responsibility. Most recently Head of Medicinal Chemistry and Chair of AstraZeneca’s Global Chemistry Network. A theme throughout his career has been to work on difficult to drug targets.
He received his PhD from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.
Rich is a physical/analytical chemist who has spent his career at the boundaries of engineering and biology. Having worked in biopharma and synthetic biology on both the tools and discovery side of the business, he is passionate about bringing measurement and automation to biological sciences through application of existing methodology or development of completely new technologies.
Early in his career, Rich worked on one of the first confocal systems and algorithms adapted for use in high content screening. He has since held various positions leading automation, screening, informatics and other technology functions. Within these roles, he has continued to develop instrumentation to probe biological effects of compounds from the biochemical scale to intact organisms. Notably he developed a platform to measure human muscle function which was used in several clinical trials of a skeletal muscle activator.
Rich’s current department, discovery technologies, is focused on bringing measurement to the discovery process in the form of biophysical characterization, crystallography, and scientific computing to understand protein dynamics and allosteric networks.
Rich received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah and has a B.A. in chemistry from St. Olaf College.
Steven A. Bossone is Vice President-Intellectual Property at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
He previously was Principal at Tolerx, Inc., Scientist at Millennium Biotherapeutics, Inc., Scientist at Takeda Oncology Co., Senior Patent Attorney at EMD Serono, Inc. and Senior Patent Attorney at Shire US, Inc.
He received a doctorate from Stony Brook University and a graduate degree from Suffolk University Law School.
Dr David Hepworth is Head of Medicinal Chemistry for Inflammation and Immunology, Rare Diseases and Chemical Biology based in Cambridge Massachusetts. He joined Pfizer in Sandwich UK in 1999 after completion of post-doctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla California with Prof. KC Nicolaou. Previously, David obtained his B.A. and D. Phil at the University of Oxford in the laboratories of Prof SG Davies. During his Pfizer career David has worked in a number of different disease areas and research sites in the UK and US. David was involved in initiating the RESOLUTE consortium, an EU-based public-private partnership focused on SLC transporters.
Ann Boriack-Sjodin joined Accent in 2017 as Vice President of Molecular Discovery, bringing 20+ years of drug discovery experience to the role. She has spent most of her industrial career using structural biology, biochemical and biophysical methods to progress drug discovery programs from early target validation through development candidate nomination in a variety of therapeutic areas.
Laura founded My Personal Therapeutics to advance a ground breaking personalised approach to cancer developed at Mt Sinai Medical Center. Laura is also the founder & former CEO of Celmatix, a leader in genomics and pharma target generation of women’s health. Laura became passionate about personalised medicine during her PhD studies at Weill Cornell Graduate School for Medical Sciences/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Since then she has been actively involved in translational advances in medicine.
Dr. Abraham Heifets is CEO and Co-Founder of Atomwise, where he and Co-Founder Dr. Izhar Wallach invented the use of deep convolutional neural networks for drug discovery. Dr. Heifets was a Massey Fellow at the University of Toronto—a center for AI innovation—and a Fellow of the Ontario Brain Institute. His doctoral work applied machine learning and classical AI techniques to organic synthesis planning, a long-standing challenge in chemistry. His vision of AI bringing better, safer and more potent drugs to patients was recently featured in the July 2019 Moonshot issue of Newsweek. Dr. Heifets is a thought-leader on the use of AI for drug discovery and is an author on 24 papers, patents and patent applications. Dr. Heifets has presented his work to the U.S. GAO, the National Institutes of Health, the American Chemical Society, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
Danette received her B.A. from Columbia University, Ph.D. in Biophysics from Yale University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine studying the biophysical and biochemical mechanisms of the Wnt signaling pathway. She has been at Promega Corporation for 15 years and is currently an R&D Group Leader of Functional Proteomics. She leads a team developing technologies and performing research to understand dynamic intracellular protein and small molecule interactions within the focus areas of epigenetics, targeted protein degradation, and drug discovery.
Ben works as an Applied Scientist at Cyclica, collaborating with partners to effectively employ
Cyclica’s tools to accelerate the drug discovery process. In his time at Cyclica, he has
contributed to the expansion of the Ligand Design platform to explore both commercial and
novel areas of chemical space and looks forward to further improving the integration of chemical
knowledge with computational tools. Ben has a Bachelor’s degree in chemical biology from
McMaster University and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in biological chemistry for his
work on the design, synthesis and testing of chemical probes for the study of polysaccharide
biosynthesis in bacterial biofilms.
Dr. Igor Stagljar is a world-renowned scientist and a Professor in the Departments of
Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, Canada. He
is also a Laboratory Head at the Mediterranean Institute of Life Sciences, Split, Croatia. Science
and innovation are his two greatest passions. He is currently directing major proteomics projects
to map how integral membrane proteins interact to produce either healthy or diseased cells, to
identify novel membrane PPI therapeutic targets, and to screen for novel drugs, in particular
targeting lung cancer. Dr. Stagljar is also a recipient of several prestigious distinctions for his
outstanding contributions to biology including the Croatian Biological Society Plaque “Zdravko
Lorkovic” – the highest accolade given by the Croatian Biological Society. In 2015, the
University of Toronto honoured Dr. Stagljar with "Inventor of the Year” award for his contribution
to Canada’s innovation agenda and the advancement of knowledge.
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