Short Courses

SC1: In vitro and in vivo Modeling for Cancer Research

This short course will describe the use of cutting-edge models to study human tumor biology, including both in vivo and in vitro approaches to advance our understanding of interactions between human immune systems and the tumor microenvironment. The use of humanized mice to study tumor biology will be discussed, including a description of the unique models available currently, highlighting the strengths and limitations of the models and the specific application of humanized mice in the field of cancer immunotherapy. The development and use of 3D models and patient-derived organoids will also be discussed, including a description of the technologies needed to establish these models and their application to study tumor physiology, growth and specific therapies. Key concepts that will be emphasized in the course include the development of optimal strategies and study designs to effectively interrogate questions focused on immuno-oncology.
Michael Brehm, PhD, Associate Professor, Diabetes Center of Excellence, Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Aaron Goldman, PhD, Faculty and Principal Investigator, Goldman Laboratory Drug Resistance Group, Harvard Medical School
Mithun Khattar, PhD, Scientist II, Immuno-Oncology Lead, Takeda Oncology

SC2: Immunology Basics: Focusing on Autoimmunity and Cancer 

This short course provides an introduction to immunology and immuno-oncology for discovery pharmacologists, biologists and chemists working in the biopharmaceutical industry. It will review how the immune system is organized and gives rise to both normal and pathogenic immune responses. Topics will include pathogen recognition by innate immune cells, antigen generation and presentation to lymphocytes, effector mechanisms of T cells and therapeutic modulation of the immune responses to control inflammation or promote anti-tumor immunity (immuno-oncology).
Timothy Bauler, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences, Western Michigan University School of Medicine
Thomas Sundberg, PhD, Senior Group Leader, Center for Development of Therapeutics, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

SC3: Fit-for-Purpose Biomarker Assay Development – Performance Characterization and Validation to “Context of Use”

This course will provide recommendations on the “fit-for-purpose” best practices in the development and validation of biomarker assays for exploratory or advanced biomarker applications. Strategies for different applications at various phases of biomarker development will be described. Key elements in the method of development and validation will be illustrated with examples, including reference to standard material, sample stability and collection integrity, validation and QC samples, validity of reference standards, calibration curve fitting methods, method optimization and feasibility studies. Special challenges in protein biomarker assays will be discussed, including strategies for moving from biomarker panels in the exploratory phase to the few markers chosen to support clinical trials, cross-validation of biomarker assays, etc.
John L. Allinson, FIBMS, Vice President, Biomarker Services, Immunologix Labs
Viswanath Devanarayan, PhD, Global Health of Statistics & Data Sciences, Charles River Laboratories

SC4: Optimizing Drug Metabolism, Drug Clearance and Drug-Drug Interactions

This short course will focus on concepts that will help you understand how drug clearance and drug-drug interactions (DDI) can impact decisions in drug discovery and development. Topics will include basic drug metabolism, CYP regulation, the role of bioactivation and how they all affect lead optimization. Common assays and methodologies for predicting clearance and drug-drug interactions will be discussed. Those scientists involved in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and drug metabolism will benefit from this overview.
Zhengyin Yan, PhD, Principal Scientist, Department of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Genentech, Inc.
Donglu Zhang, PhD, Principal Scientist, Department of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Genentech, Inc.

SC5: Chemoproteomics Enabling Drug Discovery

This course explores the use of chemical biology approaches, particularly chemoproteomics, as an avenue for generating new targets and leads for drug discovery. Design, synthesis and applications of activity-based probes, reactivity-based probes, photoaffinity probes and utility of bioorthogonal chemistry in chemoproteomics will be discussed in detail. Case studies highlighting applications of chemoproteomics for target and off-target identification, target engagement and/or selectivity profiling in cells will be reviewed.
Doug Johnson, PhD, Senior Director, Chemical Biology & Proteomics, Biogen
Jaimeen Majmudar, PhD, Principal Scientist, Chemical Biology, Pfizer Inc.
Christopher am Ende, Senior Principal Scientist, Pfizer Inc.

SC6: An ML/AI Tutorial: From Basics to Advanced

This tutorial will simplify key AI concepts to help you connect the dots when you need to understand an AI project. The course will also help you appreciate the hype and hope areas of AI, which should further enable you to make the right strategic decisions for drug development at your organization.
Bino John, PhD, Associate Director, Data Science, Clinical Pharmacology & Safety Sciences, Data Science and AI, AstraZeneca

SC7: Intro to OOAC and Bioprinting for Disease Modeling

This is an introductory course that will review organs-on-a-chip and bioprinting and their applications for disease modeling. The speakers will describe the technique, how people in drug discovery and development are applying it, address common challenges, and more.
Jianbo Zhang, PhD, Linda Griffith Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

* The program is subject to change without notice, due to unforeseen reason.

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Update History
Agenda,Speaker,Sponsor updated

June 2-4

Accelerating Target Discovery

Expanding Chemical & Druggable Space

New Small Molecule Drug Targets

Emerging Indications and Modalities

Immuno-Oncology Advances

Disease Modeling

Preclinical Strategies, Models & Tools in Oncology

Advances in Drug Metabolism & Safety Testing

Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers

Clinical and Translational Biomarkers

AI for Drug Discovery and Development

June 3-4

Drug Discovery Technologies