Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Inaugural

Drug Discovery Technologies

Enabling Disruptive Innovation

June 3-4, 2020

High costs and long timelines in biopharma R&D emphasize the need for novel technologies that enable new therapeutic platforms and a better understanding of disease. CHI’s Inaugural Drug Discovery Technologies conference is designed as a comprehensive overview of current and emerging technologies and their providers. Each speaker will address a certain technology and its scientific implications in drug discovery and development programs.

Final Agenda

Wednesday, June 3

7:30 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee

10:15 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


10:55 Chairperson Remarks

11:00 Applications of Organoid Technology

Sina Mohammadi, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, Merck & Co., Inc.

11:15 Drug Discovery Using iPSC-Derived Cells and Phenotypic Screening

Nagai_HiroakiHiroaki Nagai, PhD, Principal Scientist, Phenotypic Reverse Translation Labs, Neuroscience Drug Discovery Unit, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Japan

Phenotypic screening approach has recently received much attention in the context of drug discovery as in conjunction with human iPSC-based cellular models, it could reveal a previously unknown drug target and human disease mechanism(s). At Takeda, we have implemented such an approach in drug discovery programs especially at early stages. I will present our efforts to establish cell-based assays that recapitulate mitochondrial dysfunction or visualize synaptic plasticity in rodent cells and human iPSC-derived cells, develop such assays into high-content and high-throughput ones, and perform phenotypic screenings to find small molecules that modulate the cellular functions. This approach would offer a drug discovery platform that leads to a truly innovative drug.

11:30 3D Models of Brain Cancer for Precision Medicine Therapeutic Profiling

Fernandez_Vega_VirnelizVirneliz Fernández-Vega, Scientific Associate, Molecular Medicine, Scripps Florida

11:45 Human Heart Slices as a Reliable Platform for Predicting Cardiotoxicity

Mohamed_TamerTamer Mohamed, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Institute of Molecular Cardiology, University of Louisville

12:00 pm Animal Models of Cancer

Muthusamy_ViswanathanViswanathan Muthusamy, PhD, Research Scientist; Executive Director, Center for Precision Cancer Modeling, Yale School of Medicine

12:20 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

12:35 Enjoy Lunch on Your Own


1:45 - 3:15

Lgr5 Stem Cell-Based Organoids in Human Disease

Clevers_HansHans Clevers, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator of Hubrecht Institute and Princess Máxima Center, CSO of HUB Organoids Technology

Organoid technology opens a range of applications in fields such as physiology, study of disease, drug development and personalized medicine. Human organoids represent excellent disease models, be it infectious, hereditary or malignant  Eventually, cultured mini-organs may be used to replace transplant organs from donors. I will describe how we originally created ‘mini-guts’ via 3D culture systems of stem cells of the small intestine and colon, and then expanded the technology to virtually all human organs.

Systematically Drugging Ras

Fesik_StephenStephen Fesik, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Chemistry, Orrin H. Ingram II Chair in Cancer Research, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

K-Ras is a small GTPase that is mutated in pancreatic (90%), colon (50%), and lung (30%) carcinomas. Downregulation of activated Ras reverses the transformed phenotype of cells and results in the dramatic regression of tumors in murine xenograft models. Thus, K-Ras inhibition represents an attractive therapeutic strategy for many cancers. In this presentation, I will discuss our efforts to directly target Ras at two sites and target SOS, a molecular partner of Ras, with activators and inhibitors. 

3:15 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Selected Poster Presentations

4:00 Chairperson Remarks

4:10 Selected Poster Presentations; 10 minutes each

4:40 Voting and Best Poster Award

5:05 Find your Table, Meet your Moderator

5:10 Roundtable Breakout Discussions - View Details

5:45 Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

6:00 Innovation Station

6:45 Close of Day

Thursday, June 4

8:00 am Registration Open


8:30 - 9:40 pm

Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery – Separating Hype from Utility

Walters_PatrickPatrick Walters, PhD, Senior Vice President, Computation, Relay Therapeutics 

Over the last few years, there has been tremendous interest in the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in drug discovery. Ultimately, the success of any predictive model comes down to three factors: data, representation, and algorithms. This presentation will provide an overview of these factors and how they are critical to the successful implementation and deployment of AI methods.

9:40 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


10:25 Chairperson’s Remarks

10:30 Ultra-High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography in Pharmaceutical Analysis: Benefits and Impact

Dong_MichaelMichael Dong, PhD, Principal Consultant, MWD Consulting

10:45 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

11:00 Accelerating Drug Discovery and Development with an Emerging, Customizable Mode of Microfluidics

Rogacs_AnitaAnita Rogacs, PhD, Head of Life Sciences Strategy and R&D, HP Labs

11:15 DNA-Encoded Library Technology for Target-based Screening

Belyanskaya_SvetlanaSvetlana Belyanskaya, PhD, Encoded Library Technologies, R&D Platform Technology & Science, GSK Boston

11:30 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

11:45 The State of the Art in Highly Multiplexed Multi in situ OMICs

Kohman_RichieRichie Kohman, PhD, Senior Research Scientist and Lead, Synthetic Biology Platform, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University

12:00 pm Women in Pharma Luncheon Panel Discussion (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)

1:00 Dessert and Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

1:45 End of Drug Discovery Technologies Track