Short Courses

Monday June 17, 2019

Morning | 9:00 am-12:00 pm

SC1: Introduction to GPCR-Based Drug Discovery - click here for more details

Instructor: Annette Gilchrist, PhD, Professor, Pharmacology, Midwestern University

This course will provide an understanding of the pharmacological complexities of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) as well as some of the tools for studying them in an applied/drug discovery setting. The course is well-suited for discovery biologists, pharmacologists and medicinal chemists who have recently started working with GPCRs or for those who have been in the field a while and need a refresher on the latest technological advances and newest paradigms.

Afternoon | 1:30-4:30pm

SC2: Optimizing Drug Metabolism, Drug Clearance and Drug-Drug Interactions - click here for more details

Instructors: 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.

This short course will focus on concepts that will help 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.

SC3A: Development of Micro Physiological Systems for Drug Screening - click here for more details

Instructors: Dean Hickman, PhD, Director, Preclinical and Site Lead for Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Amgen

Sandra Engle, PhD, Director, Translational Cell Sciences, Stem Cells, and Genomic Engineering, Biogen

Roger D. Kamm, PhD, Green Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Biological Engineering, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Shuichi Takayama, PhD, Price Gilbert, Jr. Chair in Regenerative Engineering and Medicine, Georgia Tech

We propose a workshop for industry representatives to meet with academic researchers to align on research priorities and applications for microphysiological systems (MPS). This workshop is in response to a perceived mismatch between what companies are looking for and what academics are developing. Through participation in this workshop, the two groups will share priorities, concerns, and challenges, leaving with a shared vision that will advance the state of MPS research in a direction that is relevant for both sides. The format will include several short presentations aimed at setting the stage for fruitful discussions.

Dinner| 5:30-8:30 pm

SC6: Targeted Protein Degradation Using PROTACs and Molecular Glues - click here for more details

Instructors: Lara Gechijian, PhD, Scientist/Project Lead, Jnana Therapeutics; Formerly at Laboratory of Drs. James Bradner/Nathanael Gray, Harvard Medical School

Eric Fischer, PhD, Assistant Professor, Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School

Davide Gianni, PhD, Associate Director, Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca


Targeted protein degradation using molecular glues and bifunctional small molecules known as proteolysis-targeting chimeric molecules (PROTACs) are emerging as a useful tool for drug discovery, and as a new therapeutic modality for chasing previously “undruggable” targets. This course will cover the basic understanding of what these entities are, how they work and how they can be applied to target and degrade specific proteins of interest. Case studies drawn from the work that the instructors have done in their labs will also be presented.

Wednesday June 19, 2019

Dinner| 6:15-9:15 pm

SC10: In vitro and in vivo Modeling for Cancer Immunotherapy - click here for more details


Michael Brehm, PhD, Associate Professor, The Robert and Sandra Glass Term Chair in Diabetes, Diabetes Center of Excellence, Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Barbara Joyce-Shaikh, Associate Principal Scientist, Merck Research Laboratories

Aaron Goldman, PhD, Director, Drug Resistance Group, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Faculty and Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Breast Cancer Alliance Early Career Investigator, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology; Director of R&D & Head of Immuno-Oncology, Mitra Biotech

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.

*Separate registration required.