Pauling Biotech Symposium Speakers
MIT Faculty Club, Cambridge, MA, USA

Click here to register

This is a preliminary list of speakers from Pharmaceutical Companies. More will be added soon.

Pharmaceutical Companies
John Zawad, PhD Aventis
Scott Wadsworth, PhD Johnson & Johnson
Francis Xavier Farrell, PhD Johnson & Johnson
Kuldeep Neote, PhD Pfizer
Shi-Chung Ng, PhD Abbot
Kevin Xie, PhD Bayer
Sridaran Natesan, PhD Aventis
Lee Babiss, PhD Hoffmann-La Roche
Alexander Sasha Kamb, PhD Novartis Institute
Joanne Kamens, PhD Abbot
Suxing Liu, PhD Schering-Plough
Jeanette Wood, PhD Novartis
Jacky Vonderscher, PhD Novartis
Thomas Seng-Lai Tan, PhD Eli Lilly & Company
Suresh B. Singh, PhD Merck
Anton Beletskii, PhD Abbott Bioresearch Center
Michael A. Mallamaci, PhD AstraZeneca
Jianling Wang, PhD Novartis Institute
Hing Leung Sham, PhD Abbott

John Zawad, PhD
John Zawad PhD, Vice President:Technology Licensing & Alliances Aventis Pharmaceuticals

Title: Corporate Venture Capital and Partnering with Biotech. (Morning Keynote, Oct 10, 2003)

Dr. Zawad has over 15 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry in marketing, competitive intelligence, product development and business development. He currently heads up the US office of Technology Licensing and Alliances at Aventis Pharmaceuticals which includes early stage licensing activities in the areas biotechnology, genomics, gene therapy, drug delivery, neuroscience (schizophrenia, affective disorders, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis and stroke), respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and immunology. Dr. Zawad is also involved in managing Aventis' strategic investments into venture funds. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry (1983) from the University of Tennessee.
Back to Top

Scott Wadsworth, PhD
Scott Wadsworth PhD, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R & D, L.L.C.

Presentation Title: The Role of p38 Kinase in Cytokine Production

Scott Wadsworth obtained an A.B. in Biology in 1980 from Hamilton College, and an M.S. in Agricultural Biochemistry from the University of Delaware in 1983. After working 2 years at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, he entered the graduate program in immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, obtaining his Ph.D. in 1989. His postdoc was in the Lab of Molecular Structure, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, where he studied cell adhesion molecules involved in T cell development. Following a Staff Fellow position at the NIH from 1992-1993, he joined Johnson & Johnson. He has been at J & J Pharmaceutical Research and Development since 1995, working primarily in the areas of signal transduction and immunology. He is the biology project leader for the p38 kinase inhibitor program and has recently been involved with research into novel drug/device combinations, such as drug-coated coronary stents.
Back to Top

Francis Farrell, PhD
Francis Xavier Farrell PhD, Project Team leader, Johnson & Johnson

Title: The Non-hematopoieitc Effects of Erythropoietin

Francis Farrell received a BS in biology from James Madison University in Virginia and began his professional career as a cytogeneticist. After a two-year stint, he began graduate studies at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University in the Department of Biochemistry on the transcriptional regulation of the intermediate filament gene, vimentin. After completing his graduate studies, he spent a postdoctoral fellowship at Burroughs Wellcome Co. studying rap proteins and signal transduction. He is currently a Principal Scientist and Team Leader of the Growth Factors Team in Drug Discovery at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. His area of interest is the delineation of receptor signaling pathways of disease processes.
Back to Top

Kuldeep Neote, PhD
Kuldeep Neote PhD, Principal Research Scientist, Pfizer

Dr. Neote is a Principal Research Scientist with Pfizer (equivalent to tenure Staff Scientist position). He did his PhD at the University of Toronto and was involved in identifying the most prevalent genetic lesion responsible for Tay-Sachs disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population (Nature, 1988). His postdoctoral work at Genentech from 1991 to 1994 focused on chemokine biology and he cloned the first CC chemokine receptor (Cell, 1993), work that subsequently had an impact on cloning additional chemokine receptors including CCR5, one of the major HIV co-receptors. He has been working at Pfizer for the last eight years responsible for initiating the chemokine drug discovery program that has led to the advancement of one clinical candidate to Phase II trial. In addition, he has been responsible for applying cutting edge technology to the Drug Discovery process, including breakthroughs in genomics and high throughput screening. He has published 38 papers and filed 5 patents.
Back to Top
Shi-Chung Ng PhD, Senior Group leader in Drug Discovery, Abbott

Presentation Title: Strategies of Cancer Drug Discovery: Random Screening versus Rational Design

Dr. Shi-Chung Ng graduated with high honors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received a full scholarship to attend Purdue University and received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1984. He joined Professor Mark Fishman’s lab at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) as a Hughes Fellow and became an Instructor of Medicine in HMS in 1987. He started as an independent investigator at the Cardiac Unit at MGH in 1988 and moved his lab to Princeton University in 1989 as a visiting faculty member. He worked at Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer and he was appointed as adjunct professor at Rutgers University. In 1993 he moved to Chicago and became a senior group leader in Drug Discovery at the Abbott Laboratories. He was inducted into the Abbott Volwiler Society in 1997 and he also holds adjunct appointment in the Chicago Medical School. Shi-Chung’s current research interest is in cancer drug discovery and he has worked on development of farnesyl transferase inhibitors, novel antimitotic agents, and novel antiapoptotic compounds based on Bcl-2 and IAPs. He has published over 160 papers/abstracts and patent applications. He resides in Libertyville, IL.
Back to Top
Kevin Xie PhD, Head of Licensing & Business Development, Bayer

Presentation Title: The Technology Licensing Process and Several Practical Issues.

Dr. Kevin Xie is a Head of Licensing and Business Development with Bayer Corporation. Dr. Xie is in charge of strategic partnering with a broad responsibility from technology licensing to product promotion and distribution deal to merger and acquisition. Dr. Kevin Xie is also a member of the senior management team. Prior to Bayer, Dr. Xie has worked for Baxter and Vertex, both as Director of Business Development. Throughout his career in licensing and business development,Dr. Kevin Xie has worked with a wide range of deals from pharmaceuticals to medical diagnostic products. Dr. Kevin Xie graduated from Fudan University with a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Genetic Engineering. Dr. Xie received a Ph.D. from Yale University in Molecular Biology and subsequently an M.B.A. in Finance and Strategy.
Back to Top

Sridaran Natesan, PhD
Sridaran Natesan PhD, Head of Scientific Programs, Aventis Cambridge Genomics Center.

Dr. Natesan has worked for Ariad Pharmaceuticals and Aventis, conducting research in a variety of therapeutic areas, including oncology, immunology and CNS diseases. His recent work has focused on genomics tools and their use in the characterization of neural stem cells. Dr. Natesan holds a PhD from University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His thesis work dealt with the cloning and characterization of the PKC homologs in the fruit fly. He did a PostDoc with Dr. Michael Gilman at Cold Spring Harbor, cloning and characterizing proteins that interact with the Serum Response Factor in the context of c-fos gene regulation. In 1994, he became a research scientist at Ariad generating novel composite DNA binding domains and transactivation domains for Ariad's dimerizer-based gene regulation system. In 2000, he joined Aventis as the head of the genetic screens platform group at the Cambridge Genomics Center. There, he led a team performing cellular phenotype screens to identify genes involved in disease processes. At Aventis, Dr. Natesan is now the Head of Scientific Programs at the Cambridge Genomics Center. His primary responsibilities include the management of all major scientific projects at the center and providing scientific leadership to the project teams. He has published 13 papers and filed 9 US or international patents (3 issued in US).
Back to Top
Lee Babiss PhD, VP, Preclinical R & D, Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc.

In 1998, Lee Babiss, PhD, was appointed Vice President of Preclinical Research and Development for Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., in Nutley, New Jersey. In this position, his responsibilities include developing and directing the research strategy for the site and serving as a member of the Pharma Leadership Board, the International Research Executive and the Global Genetics Board. Earlier, Dr. Babiss was Vice President of Biological Sciences and Genetics at Glaxo Wellcome in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. During his tenure with Glaxo, his positions included Group Leader in Cell Biology, focusing on antisense technology and cancer therapeutics, and Head of the Department of Molecular Cell Biology. After the merger of Glaxo with Burroughs Wellcome in 1994, Dr. Babiss became a member of the US Research Senior Management Team, which formulated the company’s US research strategy. Dr. Babiss also worked to help create the company’s Genetics Division. Lee Babiss earned his PhD in microbiology in 1982, studying DNA tumor viruses with Dr. Harold S. Ginsberg at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York. He was a postdoc with Dr. James E. Darnell, Jr., at the Rockefeller University in New York, studying the regulation of gene expression in hepatocytes. Dr. Babiss was then promoted to Assistant Professor in Cell Biology at Rockefeller, where he studied adenovirus genetics.
Back to Top
Alexander Sasha Kamb PhD, Global Head of the Oncology Disease Area at Novartis Institute

Dr. Sasha Kamb was a co-founder of Arcaris (antecedent of Deltagen Proteomics) in 1996. He served as CSO of the company, CEO (2000-01), and became Vice President of Research after its acquisition by Deltagen. From 1992 to 1996 Sasha was at Myriad Genetics, Inc., where he served as Director of Research from 1994 through 1996 and directed groups that identified genes responsible for familial melanoma and breast cancer. Sasha received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1982 and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1988. His postdoctoral work in protein crystallography was carried out at the University of California, San Francisco, with Nobel laureate Harold Varmus (cancer molecular genetics) and Robert Stroud (protein structure and drug design). During the past two years, Sasha has directed research efforts at Deltagen Proteomics focused on discovery of novel cancer targets. Sasha has published widely in leading scientific journals, both in his earlier work on the Drosophila Shaker gene, and in his later oncology-related studies.
Back to Top

Joanne Kamens, PhD
Joanne Kamens PhD, Project Team Leader, Abbott Bioresearch Center

Dr. Kamens is a scientist in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Department of Abbott Bioresearch Center, where her research focuses on validation of therapeutic targets using RNAi technology. Dr. Kamens received her PhD in genetics from Harvard Medical School and in 1992 began work at BASF Bioresearch Corporation in the Pharmacology Department. BASF’s Pharmaceutical division was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2001. Dr. Kamens’ publications include cloning of ICE-related caspases, Kamens et al. (1995) J Biol Chem 270:15250-6; development of inhibitors for the protein kinase lck, Kamens et al. (2001) Curr. Opin. Invest. Drugs 2:1213-1219; and cloning of T cell adaptor SLAP-130, Musci, MA et al. (1997) J Biol Chem 272:11674-7. Dr. Kamens is an inventor on an international patent relating to the cloning of Tpl-2/cot kinase and its utility as a therapeutic target.
Back to Top

Suxing Liu, PhD
Suxing Liu PhD, Project Team Leader, Schering-Plough Research Institute

Title: Identification of p53 target genes by bioinformatics and microarray approaches
Seminar given to Nobel Pauling Biotech Symposium on at MIT Faculty Club on July 30,2003

Dr. Liu received her doctoral degree from the University of Maryland, College Park (1990-1994). Her doctoral work with Dr. Richard Armstrong focused on enzymology and structure-function studies of glutathione S-transferases. She performed post-doctoral research from 1994 to 1998 with Dr. Cecil Pickett (now president of Schering-Plough Research Institute)on mechanistic studies of transcriptional regulation of gene expression, and using bioinformatic approaches for the identification of novel genes.

Dr. Liu joined the Tumor Biology Department of Schering-Plough Research Institute in 1998, and worked on anti-tumor target discovery. She used genomic approaches, especially with integration of bioinformatics and microarray analysis, and followed up with target validation using RNA interference technology and high throughput screening assays to identify small molecule inhibitors for cancer therapy. One of her research interests is to identify tumor-associated genes that are in the p53 pathway as a potential target for cancer chemotherapeutic drugs, on which a patent has been filed. The p53 target database she established has been well received in the p53 field. Dr. Liu has 27 publications, including research articles, reviews, book chapters and patent applications.
Back to Top

Jeanette Wood, PhD
Jeanette Wood PhD, Global Head, Novartis

Jeanette is the Global Head of the Angiogenesis Platform for Novartis Institutes. She started with the company (then Ciba-Geigy) 22 years ago as a postdoctoral student from New Zealand. Most recently, she has held positions in the Oncology Research Department including International Project Team Leader, Program Team Head, and Development Project Team Representative. Earlier in her career, Dr. Wood held positions in the Cardiovascular Research Department as Research Scientist, Project Leader, Group Leader, and International Project Team Leader.

Dr. Wood has published numerous scientific papers and has won many awards, including the Oncology Business Unit Business Excellence Award and the Novartis VIVA Leading Scientist Award.
Back to Top

Jacky Vonderscher, PhD
Jacky Vonderscher PhD, VP and Head of Drug Development, Novartis Institutes

Dr. Vonderscher obtained an engineering degree in biological chemistry from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA-Lyon, France). He joined the Biopharmaceutical department of Sandoz as a research fellow investigating new drug delivery systems and in 1986 was awarded a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Geneva. Continuing at Sandoz, he and his group dealt with all biopharmaceutical aspects of various drug administration routes (oral, parenteral, dermal, nasal and pulmonary), with techniques ranging from cell culture to healthy human subject trials.

After the creation of Novartis, he became Head of the Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics department in Europe. In 2002, he was named Global Head of a new function called "Integrative Compound and Product Profiling", working at the R&D interface to improve the value of the drug pipeline by making optimal use of pharmacogenomics, biomarkers, and in silico and in vitro profiling assays. In October 2002, he was nominated Head of Drug Development for Novartis Institutes in Cambridge, MA, in addition to his global duties in pre-clinical safety. He is a member of the extended Development Management Board of Novartis Pharma, Ltd. and of the Discovery Board at Novartis Institutes.

Dr Vonderscher is co-author of over 50 publications and presentations, and co-inventor on several formulation and drug substance patents. In 1995, he shared the Golden Sandoz Triangle award for the development of Sandimmune Neoral, the new microemulsion formulation of cyclosporine. He is also a co-inventor of the recently developed immunosuppressant, Myfortic.
Back to Top

Thomas Seng-Lai Tan, PhD
Thomas Seng-Lai Tan PhD, Eli Lilly & Company

Title: Reprogramming of the Host Interferon Response by Hepatitis C Virus

Dr. Tan is a Senior Scientist in the Inflammation and Immunomodulation Research group at Lilly in Indianapolis. He supervises an integrated research team in new drug discovery. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, and an Honorary Research Advisor to the Medical Biotechnology Program at the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology, Malaysia. Dr. Tan received his PhD from the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, where he was a recipient of the Helen Riaboff Whiteley Endowed Fellowship. He has won numerous honors and awards, including the Milstein Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research. Dr. Tan’s areas of interest include the delineation of virus-host interactions and signaling pathways of chronic or virally induced inflammatory processes. He is an author of over 35 scientific papers and book chapters.
Back to Top

Suresh B. Singh, PhD
Suresh B. Singh PhD, Merck

Title: Computational approaches to drug discovery

Dr. Suresh Singh received a Masters degree in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and a Masters degree in biochemistry from Boston University. He obtained his PhD in biophysics from New York University in 1992. After this he did post-doctoral work with the late Prof. Peter Kollman at UCSF. He joined Wyeth-Ayerst Research at Princeton in 1993. Since 1996 he has been in the Molecular Systems department at Merck Research Laboratories.

Computational chemistry has become an integral part of drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry. A wide variety of approaches are applied across the industry to aid the drug discovery efforts. His talk will focus on the process of drug discovery from lead compound identification to the pre-clinical stage with specific examples. A variety of tools developed and implemented at Merck for lead identification, lead optimization, predicting ADME properties, and knowledge mining will be presented.
Back to Top
Anton Beletskii PhD, Abbott Bioresearch Center

Title: Development of RNA interference (RNAi) Method for Drug Target Validation

Dr. Beletskii is currently an industrial postdoc at Abbott, focusing his research on development of RNAi techniques for drug target discovery and validation. His fascination with RNA matured during his postdoc with Prof. William Strauss at Harvard Institute of Human Genetics, where he co-developed a novel technique for mapping functional regions in non-coding RNA. During his PhD studies at Wayne State University with Prof. Ashok Bhagwat, Anton discovered that transcription is mutagenic in E.coli, and that it causes an excess of mutations in the non-transcribed strand. A flurry of papers in 2003 reported that a similar process is responsible for somatic hypermutation of immunoglobulin genes during B-cell maturation. Before coming to the US, Anton studied at Moscow State University for his MS in Chemistry, and enjoyed his tenure as a Scientist at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics in Kiev, Ukraine.
Back to Top
Michael A. Mallamaci PhD, AstraZeneca

Dr. Michael Mallamaci has more than twelve years of research experience in target identification and validation of pharmaceuticals for respiratory, inflammatory, vascular, and CNS disease, with a recent emphasis on the design, printing, and use of cDNA and oligo-based microarrays and other Gene Expressing Profiling (GEP) platforms. Dr. Mallamaci received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at the Waksman Institute at Rutgers, where he used structure-function analysis to investigate the specificity of the 3’-5’ exonuclease domain of E. coli Polymerase I for DNA editing, he implemented a program for rational drug design as a Research Scientist at Hoffman-La Roche. The immediate focus of this program was the application of a combined biophysical and molecular biological approach to study the structure-function relationship and signal transduction pathway of the human FcERI/IgE-Fc receptor complex.

Dr. Mallamaci currently is a Group Leader/Principal Scientist and Global Program Manager for CNS Discovery in the Molecular Sciences Department at AstraZeneca. His work as leader of the CNS Target Definition Program as well as the Gene Expression and Characterization Groups combines bioinformatics with a variety of GEP platforms throughout the drug discovery process for CNS disease. He also plays a leading role globally in the evaluation, development, and exploitation of GEP technologies and resulting data.
Back to Top

Jianling Wang, PhD
Jianling Wang PhD, Novartis Institute

Title: Early ADME profiling affects new drug discovery and development strategy: opportunities and challenges

Dr. Wang is a senior scientist at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA. He received a BS from Jilin University and an MS from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in chemistry. In 1992, he obtained his PhD in biophysical chemistry from the University of New Mexico. He then extended his career as a postdoctoral fellow at AT&T Bell Laboratories. In 1995, he joined Novartis (formerly Ciba-Geigy) and was dedicated to the discovery of isoform-selective inhibitors of iNOS and COX-2 and in the analyses of the combi-chem and in vivo PK/PD studies using confocal microscopy.

Since 1998, Dr Wang’s research has been devoted to the establishment of novel techniques in high-throughput ADME profiling to improve drug discovery and development strategies. He has successfully established the physico-chemical profiling program in the US and developed a fully automated solubility assay using a nephelometric approach. Recently he has taken additional responsibilities by leading the early ADME program in Novartis. He is responsible for the development and implementation of a number of fully automated ADME assays such as high-throughput equilibrium solubility, artificial and Caco-2 permeability, pKa, LogP/D, chemical and metabolic stability, CYP-450 inhibition, metabolite ID, protein-binding and rate of dissolution, in support of the drug discovery research throughout the company.
Back to Top

Hing Leung Sham, PhD

Hing Leung Sham Ph.D
Director/Distinguished Research Fellow
Metabolic Disease Research, Global Pharmaceutical R and D, Abbott

Dr. Hing Leung Sham, Ph.D received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, an M.S. in Physical Organic Chemistry from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of Hawaii. He has worked for many years in medicinal chemistry at Abbott. Dr. Sham is the primary inventor of Kaletra® (lopinavir/ritonavir), the well-known advanced-generation protease inhibitor for the treatment of HIV infection, and a co-inventor of Norvir® (ritonavir), Abbott's first protease inhibitor drug.

He currently directs Abbott's medicinal chemistry research efforts in metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity. Dr. Sham has published many scientific articles and is a named inventor on 60 issued and 10 pending U.S. patents. He has served as an editor and reviewer, and is a member of many scientific associations. Dr. Sham received the 2003 Heroes of Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society (for his Kaletra discovery), the National Inventor of the Year award from the Intellectual Property Owners Association (for Norvir), and twice the Inventor of the Year award from the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (for Norvir and Kaletra).

Back to Top
Back to Speaker List

See other speakers:

If you would like to be involved with the 2004 Symposium please email Dr. Grace Wong at

Home | Mission | Registration | Sponsors | Job Strategies | News, Events, Contact

Biotech Booth | Event Photos | Nobel Day | Dr. Linus Pauling | Who's Who

Pauling Biotech Symposium | Symposium Agenda | Symposium Speakers | Symposium Testimonials

Founder & Board of Directors | Scientific Advisory Committee | Scholarship Application

copyright 2011