Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Inaugural

New Small Molecule Drug Targets

RNA, Immunology & Oncology, and the Microbiome

June 2-4, 2020

Small molecule-based therapies have remained a mainstay of drug discovery and development activity, contributing to 75% of new drug approvals in the past five years, with the remaining modalities being comprised mostly of biologic-based therapies. Small molecules’ oral bioavailability and their ability to enter the cell is an advantage over biologics, especially because the number of intracellular disease targets being identified in the areas of immunology, oncology and the microbiome is increasing rapidly. Moreover, new approaches in biophysical and medicinal chemistry are enabling more effective discovery or design of small molecules that can modulate many of the newer intracellular targets of disease, which often are protein-protein interactions or large molecular complexes that are different from the traditional enzymatic targets of small molecules. The latest new type of intracellular target for which small molecule drug discovery is showing promise is RNA-based molecular complexes. Join fellow medicinal chemists and discovery scientists to stay abreast of, share knowledge, and discuss strategies for addressing some of the ‘hottest’ small molecule targets in the biomedical field.


FEATURED PRESENTATION: Drugging RNA with Small Molecules – A Drug Discovery Perspective
Jennifer Petter, PhD, Founder & CSO, Arrakis Therapeutics

Drugging RNA
Natalie Dales, PhD, Director, Global Discovery Chemistry, Novartis

Discovering Novel RNA-Binding Proteins for Small Molecule Drug Discovery

Pramod Pandey, PhD, Principal Scientist, Merck Research Labs Exploratory Science Center


Talk Title to be Announced

Samie Jaffrey, MD, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Weill Medical College, Cornell University


An IL36 Antagonist for Probing Psoriasis
Chaohong Sun, PhD, Director & Research Fellow, Protein Sciences and Fragment Based Drug Discovery, AbbVie

Targeting Metabolic Pathway Regulators for Inflammation and Autoimmunity
Masha Poyurovsky, PhD, Vice President, Discovery Biology, Kadmon Corporation, LLC

Inhibitors of Sec61 as Novel Anti-Cancer Therapeutics
Dustin McMinn, PhD, Senior Director, Head of Chemistry, Kezar Life Sciences

Targeting the Mitochondria for Inflammation
Glenda Trujillo, PhD, Principal Scientist, CV and Fibrosis Drug Discovery Disease Sciences and Biology, R&D, Bristol-Myers Squibb


Drugs and Bugs: Microbiome Metabolism of Small Molecules

Julia Kemis, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cheminformatics, Merck 


Engineering Microbes to Treat Metabolic and Immunological Diseases
Caroline Kurtz, PhD, Head, Translational Sciences & Product Development, Synlogic

It Takes Guts to Rev Up CARs: Using the Gut Microbiome to Modulate Response to CAR T Cells
Bilal Abid, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Microbiome
Christopher Weidenmaier, PhD, Principal Scientist, Biology, Finch Therapeutics