Alex Bullock, PhD, Associate Professor, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford and Principal Investigator at the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC)
Alex Bullock is an Associate Professor at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford and Principal Investigator at the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), an international public-private partnership that aims to catalyse the discovery of new medicines through open access collaborative science. Alex trained in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge where he completed his PhD with Sir Alan Fersht. He subsequently held a Wellcome Fellowship for positions with David Baker at the University of Washington, Seattle and later with Sir Peter Ratcliffe at the University of Oxford. In his current post he has gained more than 15 years of experience working on proteins mediating phosphorylation and ubiquitylation. His work has revealed a Jekyll and Hyde behaviour of BMP signalling that drives different cancers and developmental diseases. He is now working with patient groups to develop BMP pathway inhibitors for clinical investigation and plans a phase II study in FOP in early 2020.
Tauseef R. Butt PhD, President and CEO, Progenra Inc.
Dr. Butt obtained a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology from The University of Glasgow, Scotland, He was a Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, before joining SmithKline Beckman (now GSK) Pharmaceuticals. He also served as an Adjunct Professor Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Philadelphia. Dr. Butt has published more than 100 papers in life sciences research, raised several million dollars of capital, and launched highly innovative and profitable biotechnology companies.
Nikki Carter, PhD, Associate Director, Discovery Biology, AstraZeneca
Nikki Carter has worked in early drug discovery in Pharmaceutical, CRO and Commercial settings for 17 years. She joined AstraZeneca’s Discovery Sciences’ function in 2009. During this time, Nikki has led novel technology developments for mechanistic enzymology and helped pioneer HT-mechanistic kinase profiling to support multiple projects. Nikki now leads the cellular assay development group in the UK. She has been heavily involved in the recent PROTACs build at AstraZeneca.
Jacky Chung, PhD, Scientist, Laboratory of Dr. Sachdev Sidhu, Donnelly Center, University of Toronto
Dr. Jacky Chung completed his PhD at the University of Toronto and subsequent post-doctoral training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. After a short stint as Interim Principal Investigator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he joined Sachdev Sidhu’s laboratory as a Scientist, at the University of Toronto where he heads efforts to study ubiquitin enzymes using protein engineering.
Katherine Donovan, PhD, Scientist, Laboratory of Dr. Eric Fischer, Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School
Katherine Donovan is a Scientist in the Fischer Lab where she works on the development of molecular-glues and PROTAC molecules for targeted protein degradation. She completed her PhD training in protein biochemistry and structural biology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. After joining the Fischer Lab as a postdoc she developed an interest in proteomics and now leads the proteomics-based screening of novel small molecule degraders in the Fischer Lab.
Ronen Gabizon, PhD, Staff Scientist, Department of Organic Chemistry, Weizmann Institute
Ronen Gabizon completed his Ph.D. in the Hebrew University in Chemistry in 2013 and performed his postdoctoral work at University of California Berkeley. He is a scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Nir London where he works on the design and synthesis of PROTACs with novel chemistries for targeted protein degradation.
Laura Itzhaki, FRSC, Professor of Structural Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge and CSO, PolyProx Therapeutics
Dr. Laura Itzhaki has over 20 years’ experience leading academic research in the field of protein engineering. She has a BA in Chemistry (Oxford) and PhD in Biochemistry (Cambridge). From 2003 to 2011 her group was located at the MRC Cancer Cell Unit in Cambridge UK, and she is currently a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge. In 2019, she secured seed finance for PolyProx Therapeutics to develop biotherapeutics harnessing the cell’s quality-control machinery to destroy disease-associated proteins that cannot be targeted by conventional drug modalities.
Cristina Mayor-Ruiz, Post-doctoral Fellow, Laboratory of Dr. Georg Winter, CeMM- Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
Cristina Mayor-Ruiz, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the group of Georg Winter at CeMM (Vienna). She obtained her B.S. degree in Biotechnology at the University of Salamanca (Spain). Then, she conducted her M.S. and PhD studies under the supervision of Óscar Fernández-Capetillo at the CNIO (Madrid). During her PhD, she explored novel mechanisms of resistance to genotoxic and targeted anticancer therapies. In 2018, she joined the group of Georg Winter (CeMM) supported by and EMBO and a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowships. Currently, her research interests focused on different aspects of targeted protein degradation, like the discovery and characterization of new molecular glues. In addition, she develops chemical-biology approaches to identify and disrupt transcriptional effectors of mutant RAS proteins in cancer.
Roy Pollock, PhD, Senior VP, Biology, C4 Therapeutics
Roy Pollock, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President of Biology at C4 Therapeutics where he leads a department responsible for the structural, biochemical, and biological characterization of small molecule degraders from early discovery through preclinical development. Prior to joining C4, Dr Pollock was Vice President of Biology at Warp Drive Bio (acquired by Revolution Medicines) where he guided the discovery and characterization of inhibitors targeting the activated form of mutant KRAS using a novel tri-complex technology platform. Before joining Warp Drive, Dr Pollock was at Epizyme where he led biology support for the development of first in class histone methyltransferase inhibitors including those targeting DOT1L (Pinometostat) and EZH2 (Tazemetostat). Prior to Epizyme, Dr Pollock worked in oncology drug discovery at Merck Research Laboratories and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals. He holds a B.Sc. in biochemistry from St Andrews University in Scotland and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Imperial College, London.
Markus Queisser, PhD, Scientific Leader, Protein Degradation DPU, R&D Future Pipelines Discovery, GlaxoSmithKline
Born in Berlin, Markus studied biochemistry at the Free University in Berlin where he got fascinated by the process of protein degradation and worked on proteasome functions and ubiquitin-binding proteins during his master’s thesis. He further gained broad knowledge in respiratory diseases, inflammation and oncology while pursuing a Ph.D. in molecular biology and medicine of the lung in Giessen, Germany and at Albert-Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He moved on to a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago, where in collaboration with Nobel Laureate Aaron Ciechanover, he discovered a hypoxia-regulated ubiquitin-ligase. Prior joining GSK, he specialized in ubiquitin-ligase recruitment at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Oxford. Currently, he is Scientific Leader in drug discovery within the Protein Degradation Group, leading the technology team multiple collaborations with biotech companies and academia.
Gopal Sapkota, PhD, Programme Leader, MRC Protein Phosphorylation & Ubiquitylation Unit, Sir James Black Centre, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee
Gopal is a tenured programme leader at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit at Dundee University. Originally from Nepal, Gopal obtained a Masters in Biochemistry degree from University of Bath in 1999 and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Dundee in 2003. He received the prestigious Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral research in Joan Massagué’s laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. His research group studies the molecular mechanisms that underpin cellular signal transduction pathways, in particular through reversible protein ubiquitylation and phosphorylation processes, and their interplay, in human cells and diseases. His lab is involved in developing innovative technologies that harness the ubiquitin proteasome system to enable targeted protein degradation in cells that allow one to interrogate fundamental research questions and help expedite drug discovery.
Yue Xiong, PhD, William R. Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina; Co-Founder, Cullgen
Yue Xiong is the William R. Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Co-leader of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also the co-Founder and member of the scientific advisory board of Cullgen Inc. based in San Diego. Dr. Xiong got his Bachelor’s degree in biology from Fudan University in Shanghai, China and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Rochester. He did his postdoctoral work at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory before joining the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an Assistant Professor.