Jonathan A. Ellman, Ph.D.
Dr. Jonathan A. Ellman is a professor of chemistry at Yale University. Dr. Ellman’s research emphasizes the development of practical and general synthetic methods and their application to the synthesis of pharmaceutical agents and bioactive natural products. He is recognized for the design and implementation of broadly useful methods for asymmetric amine synthesis and for C-H bond functionalization. His laboratory is also actively engaged in the development of chemical tools to study enzymes, including extensively used methods for small-molecule library synthesis and protease substrate profiling. Most recently, he has developed a substrate-based fragment identification and optimization approach for the discovery of pharmacologically active small-molecule inhibitors of enzymes.
Dr. Ellman is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and currently serves on the editorial advisory boards of a number of journals, including the board of editors of Organic Syntheses, and the advisory boards for Chemistry & Biology, Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, and Chemical Biology & Drug Design. He has served on the scientific advisory boards of Argonaut, Symyx and Versicor, was co-founder of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, currently serves on the scientific advisory Board of Ardelyx, Inc., and is a consultant for a number of pharmaceuticals companies.
Dr. Ellman has received a number of awards, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Hitchings Award for Drug Design and Discovery (1993), a Sloan Foundation Fellowship (1994), an Eli Lilly Grantee Award (1994), a Burroughs Wellcome Fund New Initiatives in Malaria Research Award (1998), an American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2000), a Society of Biomolecular Screening Achievement Award (2003), a Scheele Award selected by the Swedish Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2003) and a Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award (2006).
Dr. Ellman earned his B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He completed his postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley.
John McCall, Ph.D.
Dr. John McCall is a senior consultant with PharMac LLC. He began his career as a medicinal chemist with Upjohn and has held leadership positions with Pharmacia, Upjohn and Pfizer. Dr. McCall was global head of chemistry for both Pharmacia and Pharmacia &Upjohn. Prior to this, he was head of Upjohn’s CNS unit.
In addition to his responsibilities at Lycera, Dr. McCall currently chairs a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke development team, serves on eight scientific advisory boards, consults and participates as a National Institutes of Health study section member. He holds 53 U.S. patents and has more than 60 refereed publications.
Dr. McCall received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin.
Harinder Singh, Ph.D.
Dr. Singh has more than 25 years of scientific research and academic experience in the fields of Molecular Biology and Immunology. He is currently Director of the Division of Immunobiology and the Center for Systems Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
From 1989-2009, Dr. Singh was a faculty member in the Department of Molecular Genetics and an HHMI Investigator at the University of Chicago.
He then moved to Genentech as Senior Director and Staff Scientist in the Department of Discovery Immunology and was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Singh holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biochemistry from the College of Basic Sciences and Humanities at Punjab Agricultural University in India and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology from Northwestern University.
He has served as Chair of the Basic Science Advisory Committee to the National Cancer Institute and has authored more than 90 research papers, review articles, and book chapters including publications in Nature, Science, Cell, Immunity and Nature Immunology.
Dr. Singh’s current research is focused on gene regulatory networks that orchestrate distinct effector states of innate and adaptive immune cells.
Michael E. Weinblatt, M.D.
Dr. Michael E. Weinblatt is the co-director of clinical rheumatology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the John R. and Eileen K. Riedman Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His major research interest is in therapeutics for rheumatoid arthritis and his work on the development of methotrexate therapy for rheumatoid arthritis garnered him the Carol Nachman Prize for Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation Virginia P. Engalitcheff Award for Impact on Quality of Life. He also received the American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award.
Dr. Weinblatt is the author of The Arthritis Action Program: An Integrated Plan of Traditional and Complementary Therapies and has authored or co-authored more than 160 published papers, reviews and book chapters on rheumatology. He is the co-editor of the textbook Rheumatology and currently sits on multiple editorial boards for journals including Journal of Rheumatology. Dr. Weinblatt was a member of the rheumatology subspecialty board of the American Board of Internal Medicine and served as the president of the American College of Rheumatology in 2001.
Dr. Weinblatt earned his B.A. from McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) and his M.D. at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he also completed an internship and residency. He completed a clinical fellowship at Harvard Medical School and a clinical fellowship in rheumatology at Robert B. Brigham Hospital in Boston.
Eliot H. Ohlstein, Ph.D.
Dr. Ohlstein is currently CSO for Velicept Therapeutics. Previously, Dr. Ohlstein was Senior Vice President of the Cardiovascular Urogenital Center of Excellence in Drug Discovery (CEDD) at GlaxoSmithKline. He was accountable for a research portfolio of both clinical and preclinical drugs. During his 25-year tenure with GSK, he was involved in taking seven drugs to market and led a clinical research group that achieved eight clinical proof of concepts in seven years. Dr. Ohlstein left GSK to initiate the spinning-out of a new start-up biotech company, Venuvics Pharmaceuticals and became CEO/CSO of that new company. Upon completing his work with Venuvics, he founded a new company AltheRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. where he was CSO and Head of R&D. Dr. Ohlstein sits on the Scientific Advisory Boards for several Biotech companies. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology at Drexel University Medical School.
Dr. Ohlstein has authored over 270+ scientific publications, spoken at over 50 invited seminars/symposia and in 1996 was honored with the Prix Galien Award and Special Commendation for Innovation Research for endothelin receptors. In 2008, Dr. Ohlstein received PhRMA’s highest honor, the Discoverer’s Award, for his work on GSK’s Coreg® (carvedilol), the “standard of care” for chronic heart failure. Dr. Ohlstein is Vice-Chairman for the NC-IUPHAR, is the Editor for IUPHAR, is on the Editor Board for Pharmacological Reviews, and is Editor-in Chief for Drug Discovery Today. Dr. Ohlstein is also Specialty Editor-in-Chief for the Web 2.0 journal Frontiers in Pharmacology—Urogenital Disorders.
Dr. Ohlstein has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Tulane University Medical School. His graduate research on the discovery of nitric oxide as an important biological mediator contributed to the Nobel Prize in 1998.
Mario Sznol, M.D.
Dr. Mario Sznol graduated from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas.
He trained in internal medicine at BCM and completed a medical oncology fellowship in the Department of Neoplastic Diseases, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. He spent the next twelve years in the Biologics Evaluation Section (BES), Investigational Drug Branch (IDB), Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program of the National Cancer Institute, and was Head of the BES from 1994-1999. He attended on the inpatient units of the Biological Response Modifiers Program, NCI, from 1988-1996 and the Immunotherapy Service of the Surgery Branch, NCI, from 1997-1999. From 1999 to 2004 he was a Vice President and Executive Officer of Vion Pharmaceuticals in New Haven, Connecticut. He is currently Professor of Internal Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, Deputy Section Chief of Medical Oncology, Leader of the Melanoma Translational Working Group, and Co-Director of Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer.
Peter Wipf, Ph.D.
Peter Wipf received his Dipl. Chem. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of Zürich under the direction of Professor Heinz Heimgartner. After a Swiss NSF postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Robert E. Ireland at the University of Virginia, Wipf began his appointment at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 1990. Since 2004, he is a Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He also serves as a co-Leader of the UPCI Molecular Therapeutics and Drug Discovery Program and the Chair of the Section on Pharmaceutical Sciences of the AAAS.
Peter Wipf’s research focuses on the total synthesis of natural products, organometallic and heterocyclic chemistry. Among recent awards, he is a recipient of the Humboldt Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2014), the Mosher Award and Morley Medal (2013), and the Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products (2009). In 1998, he received the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2010), the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC, 2004), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 2002). He has been an Associate Editor of ACS Med. Chem. Lett. since 2009 and serves on the Board of Directors of Organic Syntheses (since 2013) and Organic Reactions (since 2007).
Sarah J. Schlesinger, M.D.
Dr. Sarah J. Schlesinger is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Investigation at The Rockefeller University and the Clinical Director of The Laboratory of Molecular Immunology and Senior Physician at The Rockefeller University Hospital.
Sarah was graduated with honors from Wellesley College and then obtained her medical doctorate from Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois. Dr Schlesinger then trained in Anatomic Pathology at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center, where she was chief resident in Anatomic Pathology and then joined the faculty. Following her time at Cornell, she spent three years on the faculty of SUNY Buffalo Medical School as an Assistant Professor of both Pathology and Ophthalmology. She was an award winning teacher and served as a mentor to female medical students at SUNY.
In 1994, Dr Schlesinger moved to Washington DC and led The Dendritic Cell section of The Division of Retrovirology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (“WRAIR”). Dr Schlesinger’s responsibilities at WRAIR included participation in the design and development of HIV vaccines. She was also a member of the Division of Infectious and Parasitic Disease Pathology at The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (“AFIP”). In 2002, Dr Schlesinger returned to live in New York City and worked with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative as a Scientist in Vaccine Research and Design.
Since rejoining the Rockefeller University in 2002, Dr Schlesinger has led the clinical efforts to bring new HIV vaccine candidates developed at Rockefeller into the clinic. In this time, eight phase I studies have been completed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of HIV vaccine candidates and adjuvants. Dr Schlesinger is working on the pre-clinical and regulatory plans to ensure a substantial pipeline of innovative HIV vaccine candidates and vaccine adjuvants for future testing
In addition to these responsibilities, Dr Schlesinger has been a member of the Rockefeller Hospital’s Institutional Review Board since 2003 and she is now co-chair. She is the Co-Director of the education and training programs at The Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science and serves on the Medical Staff Executive Committee of the Rockefeller University Hospital.
Sarah serves on the board two non-profit organizations: AVAC The AIDS Vaccines Advocacy Coalition and Global Viral. She is also a corporate director of Ariad Pharmacueticals.
Laurence A. Turka, MD
Dr. Turka received his MD degree from the Yale University School of Medicine, and trained in Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dr. Turka was a renal fellow at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where his research fellowship was conducted in Dr. Charles B. Carpenter’s laboratory. In 1988, Dr. Turka joined the faculty of the University of Michigan, working first under the mentorship of Craig B. Thompson, MD, and then establishing his independent research program. In 1994 Dr. Turka joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1998 he was named the C. Mahlon Kline Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Renal Division. In 2009 Dr. Turka came to Boston and is currently located at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is Co-Director of the Center for Transplantation Sciences, and the Harold and Ellen Danser Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Turka has been continuously funded by the NIH for the past 25 years, and has also received funding from the American Heart Association, the National Kidney Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International. He received the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Nephrology in 1996, and from the American Society of Transplantation in 1998. He is a former President of the American Society of Transplantation and recipient of their Excellence in Mentoring Award. He has served as a permanent member of the SAT study section, and Chair of the NIAID Board of Scientific Counselors. He is a former section editor of The Journal of Immunology, past associate editor of The American Journal of Transplantation, and Editor in Chief of The Journal of Clinical Investigation. He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Immune Tolerance Network. He was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1995, and the Association of American Physicians in 2003.
Sarah Gaffen, Ph.D.
Dr. Sarah Gaffen is currently the Gerald P. Rodnan Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Pittsburgh and directs a research lab focused on understanding the basis for immunity to infections and autoimmunity. Specifically, Dr. Gaffen’s lab is trying to define mechanisms of signal transduction by cytokines and their receptors. Of particular interest is the interleukin-17 superfamily of receptors. IL-17 and its receptor are unique in structure and sequence from other known cytokines, and Dr. Gaffen’s lab was among the first to study signaling mechanisms mediated by this novel family of cytokines. Dr. Gaffen’s group takes a variety of biochemical, molecular and in vivo approaches to defining IL-17-mediated signaling. In addition, members of Dr. Gaffen’s lab have demonstrated that IL-17 is critical for immunity to mucosal fungal infection with the commensal yeast Candida albicans. Dr. Gaffen’s lab is now heavily focused on defining the biological function of IL-17 and its receptor in the context of the oral mucosa. Lastly, treatment of autoimmune diseases has been revolutionized in the last decade or so by”biologic” drugs that neutralize cytokines, such as etanercept (a TNF receptor antagonist) and tocilizumab (an IL-6 receptor antagonist). Many of these drugs target the Th17/IL-17 pathway, and antibodies against IL-17 are now approved for clinical use.
Dr. Gaffen graduated with a Bachelors of Science from Carnegie Mellon University and pursued her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkley. Sarah completed her post doctorate studies at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Gaffen has authored or co-authored more than 90 scientific papers.
Adrian Hayday, MA, Ph.D., F Med Sci, FRS
Adrian Hayday trained in biochemistry at Cambridge, and was awarded a PhD in virology by Imperial College, London. He began studying immunology in 1982 at M.I.T., where he identified a key molecular event underpinning Burkitts Lymphoma. Thereafter, he first described the genes that define a set of white blood cells – known as gamma-delta T cells – that no one had anticipated to exist. At Yale, at King’s College London, and at the Francis Crick Institute, Adrian has established that gamma-delta T cells are distinct from other lymphocytes, commonly monitoring the overall state of the tissues rather than any specific infections. Indeed, Adrian’s team provided evidence that gamma-delta T cells increase resistance to cancers caused by environmental carcinogens, and he and his colleagues are developing clinical strategies to employ gamma-delta T cells for cancer immunotherapy. Adrian has received numerous awards, including the William Clyde deVane Medal, Yale’s highest honour for scholarship and teaching. He was elected to head the British Society of Immunology (2005-09), to the Academy of Medical Sciences (in 2000), and to the Royal Society (2016). He currently chairs the Cancer Research UK science committee.