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Previous Speakers (2024 part 1)

Some seminars were recorded and accessible for a limited time on our youtube channel.

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January 11th, 2024

Host: Katherine Donovan

Positive Selection Screening for Natural Product Degraders of Undruggable Targets in Cancer

William G. Kaelin

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

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William Kaelin is the Sidney Farber Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Senior Physician-Scientist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Among his many accolades, Dr. Kaelin received the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the American College of Physicians. Dr. Kaelin’s research seeks to understand how, mechanistically, mutations affecting tumor-suppressor genes cause cancer. His long-term goal is to lay the foundation for new anticancer therapies based on the biochemical functions of such proteins.

Matt Boudreau

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Matt completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the direction of Prof. Paul Hergenrother, where he worked on a variety of new anticancer approaches. He is currently an NCI K00 postdoctoral fellow in Prof. William G. Kaelin, Jr.’s laboratory. His current work utilizes positive selection screening to find novel natural products that degrade crucial transcription factors found in cancer.

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January 25th, 2024

Host: Breanna Zerfas

Ingo Hartung

Merck Healthcare KGaA

Quality criteria for degraders – Probing biology with a novel modality

Ingo Hartung is a synthetic organic chemist by training (PhD University of Hannover/Germany, Postdoc Stanford University/US) with close to 20 years of Pharma industry experience (Schering AG, Bayer AG, Merck KGaA). He has been project leader in oncology and cardiology NCE drug discovery and has had portfolio responsibility for preclinical research in the areas of epigenetics, tumor metabolism and immuno-oncology. He is current the global head of Merck’s Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Design department. In addition to this role, Ingo is leading Merck’s global cross-functional targeted protein degradation platform. His research interests comprise all aspects of innovation in small molecule drug discovery with a special focus on new synthetic modalities like protein degraders. Ingo Hartung is a member of the Steering Committee of the Chemistry in Cancer Research Working Group of the AACR and on the Advisory Board of the President of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry.

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February 8th, 2024

Host: Zuzanna Kozicka / Mikolaj Slabicki

 

Amanda Ng

CeMM

Isogenic CPA: A morphological profiling approach for discovering molecular glues

There is a saying that “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Turns out, you can get a lot of information from pictures of cells as well using morphological profiling. Amanda Ng is a PhD student in the laboratory of Georg Winter at the Center for Molecular Medicine in Vienna, Austria. Her work focuses on adapting a morphological profiling approach called the Cell Painting assay for the discovery of molecular glues. Prior to joining the Winter lab, she pursued her BSc. (Hons) studies majoring in Life Sciences at the National University of Singapore.

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William A. Donald

University of South Wales

Oligomeric Remodeling by Molecular Glues Revealed Using Native Mass Spectrometry and Mass Photometry

William A. Donald is a Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Chemistry at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley in 2010. After a research fellowship at the University of Melbourne in the Bio21 Institute, he joined the School of Chemistry at the University of New South Wales in 2013. He is currently an associate editor of the Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry. His research interests include developing mass spectrometry-based methods to investigate protein interactions and post-translational modifications.

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February 22nd, 2024

Host: Zuzanna Kozicka

Susan Shao

Harvard Medical School

Mechanism of a small molecule translation inhibitor

Sichen (Susan) Shao, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. The Shao lab studies protein biosynthesis and quality control mechanisms using approaches integrating biochemistry, cell biology, and structural biology. The molecular insights into ribosome-associated quality control and membrane protein sorting elucidated by her lab advance our understanding of the emergence and treatments of genetic and neurodegenerative disorders. Her discoveries have been recognized by the NIH New Innovator Award, a Vallee Scholar Award, a Packard Fellowship, and the ASCB Günter Blobel Early Career Award.

Dr. Shao earned her BSE degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and a PhD in Biology from the graduate partnership program between Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health. She conducted postdoctoral research with Dr. Manu Hegde at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the United Kingdom before starting her lab.

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March 7th, 2024

Host: Hojong Yoon

Ryan Potts

Amgen

Any target, every time: how proximity-based therapeutics has redefined druggablility

Ryan Potts obtained his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from UT Southwestern in 2007. In 2008 he was awarded the Sara and Frank McKnight junior faculty position at UT Southwestern Medical Center and appointed as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Biochemistry in 2011. In 2016 his lab moved to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where he was an Associate Member in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. In 2020, he moved to Amgen as Executive Director of Research and Head of the Induced Proximity Platform that is focused on empowering multi-specific, induced proximity therapeutic modalities through bold, creative science to expand the druggable genome and reimaging the future of drug discovery. In 2021, he took over leadership of Amgen’s Postdoctoral Fellows Program aimed at training the next generation of industry scientists. In recognition to his important contributions at Amgen, he was promoted to Scientific Vice President in 2023.

March 21st, 2024

Host: Katherine Donovan / Mikolaj Slabicki

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Continuous evolution of compact protein degradation tags regulated by selective cereblon molecular glues

Stephan DeCarlo

Broad Institute

Stephan DeCarlo is a graduate student in Prof. David R. Liu’s lab at the Broad Institute. Stephan received his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and worked on antibody discovery and strain engineering at Adimab prior to attending Harvard. Stephan’s research interests include using phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE) to engineer proteins with novel functionalities.

Shourya S. Roy Burman

DFCI

Shourya S. Roy Burman is a Research Fellow in Prof. Eric Fischer’s group at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He works on developing new chemically inducible degradation tags using computational methods and characterizing them using structural and biophysical techniques. He received the Cancer Research Institute Irving Postdoctoral Fellowship for exploring the regulation of engineered cell therapies with degron tags. Previously, he completed his Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University in Dr. Jeffrey Gray’s group where he developed protein docking programs for the Rosetta Macromolecular Modeling Suite.

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Georg Petzold

Monte Rosa Therapeutics

Teaching CRBN new tricks

Georg Petzold received his PhD in 2012 studying E3 ligase biology and cell cycle regulation under the supervision of Jan-Michael Peters at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria. In 2014, he joined the lab of Nicolas H. Thomä at the FMI in Basel to elucidate the mode of action of thalidomide analogs, clinical compounds that redirect the CRL4-CRBN E3 ligase to induce target protein degradation in the treatment of multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome. In 2021, Georg joined the team at Monte Rosa Therapeutics to unleash the full potential of this novel modality, and to develop innovative new medicines that overcome limitations of conventional approaches.

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April 4th, 2024

Host: Hojong Yoon

Brian Liau

Harvard University

Chemical Facsimile of E3 Cancer Mutations Promotes Corepressor Degradation

Brian Liau is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard College, before receiving a PhD in Chemistry under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Shair. During his PhD studies, Brian completed the chemical synthesis of complex bioactive natural products and investigated their biological mechanism of action. As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Bradley Bernstein, he studied epigenetic mechanisms of adaptation and drug resistance in brain cancer. In 2016, Brian started his independent research group, which integrates chemical biology with genomics to unravel chromatin complexes and gene regulation. The Liau lab has pioneered chemical genomic approaches to systematically identify drug resistance-conferring mutations for protein drug targets, which they leverage in mechanistic studies to interrogate small molecule mechanism of action and target biology.

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April 18th, 2024

Host: Mikolaj Slabicki / Breanna Zerfas

Jonathan Ostrem

UCSF

Serendipitous discovery of direct small molecule ubiquitination

Jonathan Ostrem is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at UCSF and a thoracic oncologist at that Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He obtained his MD and PhD from UCSF working with Dr. Kevan Shokat. After clinical training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he completed a postdoctoral work with Dr. Stuart Schreiber at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. As a graduate student, Jonathan developed the first inhibitors of KRAS G12C paving the way for two FDA-approved targeted therapies for KRAS-mutant cancers and more than 10 now in clinical trials worldwide. Jonathan began his independent research group at UCSF in 2022. The Ostrem lab uses chemical biology approaches to take on challenging cancer targets including transcription factors and components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

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Darci Trader

University of California, Irvine

ByeTAC: Bypassing an E3 Ligase for Targeted Protein Degradation

Dr. Trader received her PhD from Indiana University in 2013 and then went on to postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute. She began her independent career at Purdue University in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in 2016. After being promoted with tenure, her lab moved to the University of California- Irvine in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2023. Her lab is focused on developing new technology for targeted protein degradation utilizing different isoforms of the proteasome.

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May 2nd, 2024

Host: Mikolaj Slabicki

Stuart J. Conway and Patrick Brennan

University of California

Bringing Bump-and-Hole to Molecular Glues: The Development of Orthogonal IMiD-Degron Pairs

Stuart Conway is a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and the inaugural holder of the Michael and Alice Jung Endowed Chair in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery at the University of California, Los Angeles. He studied Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Warwick (1994-1997) before undertaking PhD research at the University of Bristol (1997-2001) with Profs. Jeff Watkins FRS and David Jane. Stuart completed post-doctoral studies with Professor Andrew Holmes FRS at the University of Cambridge (2001-2003) and in 2003, he was appointed as a Lecturer in Bioorganic Chemistry at the University of St Andrews. In 2008 was appointed as an Associate Professor at Oxford, and between October 2014 and June 2023 he was a Full Professor at Oxford. He was concurrently the E. P. Abraham Cephalosporin Fellow in Organic Chemistry at St Hugh's College, Oxford.

 

Dr Patrick Brennan is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles. Patrick received his MSci in Biology and Chemistry from Durham University in 2016, followed by an MA in music performance from the University of Salford in 2017. Between 2018 and 2023, Patrick completed his doctoral studies at the University of Oxford, studying under Professor Stuart Conway and Professor Charlotte Deane, alongside industrial collaborators Dr Lewis Brayshaw and Dr Mike Hann at GSK. Patrick’s PhD project explored the use of ‘bump-and-hole’ methodology for the design of orthogonal immunomodulatory imide drugs (IMiDs) and complementary zinc finger (ZF) degron motifs for use in target validation and beyond. Patrick is continuing to work in the field of targeted protein degradation at UCLA, and is also broadly interested in protein engineering and de novo design, medicinal chemistry, and their applications in chemical and synthetic biology.

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Diane Haakonsen

UC Berkeley

Stress response silencing in neurodegenerative disease

Diane Haakonsen received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from EPFL, Switzerland. Diane then did her graduate work at MIT in the lab of Dr. Michael Laub where she studied the regulation of gene expression and chromosome structure during the bacterial cell cycle. As a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Michael Rapé at UC Berkeley, Diane studied the regulation of proteome homeostasis in human cells and its important role in disease. There, she combined synthetic lethal CRISPR-Cas9 screening and biochemistry to identify and characterize the mechanism to silence the cellular response to mitochondrial protein import stress. Her future research on the mechanism and function of stress response silencing aims to advance our understanding of stress response regulation which will provide novel therapeutic avenues for diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer.

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May 16th, 2024

Host: Katherine Donovan / Mikolaj Slabicki

Sandi Radko-Juettner and Hong Yue

St. Jude / DFCI

Targeting DCAF5 suppresses SMARCB1-mutant cancer by stabilizing SWI/SNF

Dr. Sandi Radko-Juettner is currently the Research Program Manager for the Hematological Malignancies Program at St. Jude Children’s Research, where she extensively collaborates on projects aimed at improving cure rates for childhood leukemias and lymphomas while minimizing treatment-related adverse effects. The research efforts she manages focus on  preclinical studies validating oncogenic drivers and testing new therapies in engineered mouse models and patient-derived xenografts, as well as novel discoveries in pharmacogenetics for both clinically problematic hematological malignancies and less well-characterized malignancies. Dr. Radko-Juettner graduated in 2023 with her PhD from the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, completing her thesis work in the lab of Dr. Charlie Roberts. Her work in the lab focused on mechanistic studies of novel vulnerabilities in pediatric rhabdoid tumors as well as resistance mechanisms to epigenetic drugs. During her time in the Roberts lab, she was awarded with the St. Jude Doctoral Research Achievement Award as well as an NIH NCI F31 award. Her research contributions have led to co-authored papers in several prestigious journals including Nature, Molecular Cell, and Cell Reports.

Hong Yue is a Staff Scientist in the Fischer lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Harvard Medical School. During her Ph.D. studies in Peking University, she focused on designing selective modulators of GSK3-beta and the Wnt signaling pathway. She then joined the Vidal lab to develop high-throughput screening platforms for identification of protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks. In her current role in the Fischer lab, her work has focused on assay development of novel COVID-19 antibody serological tests and biochemical and structural elucidation of E3 ligase-substrate relationships. Her work has been published in journals such as Cancer Cell and Nature as a co-first author, and she continues to pioneer high throughput systems to study targeted protein degradation through development of biochemical and cellular assays.

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Francis Barany

Weill Cornell

CURE-PROs – Reversible, Self-Assembling Drugs for Targeted Protein Degradation.

Francis Barany, Ph.D. is Professor of Microbiology at Weill Cornell Medicine.  Barany is best known for inventing the ligase chain reaction (LCR), ligase detection reaction (LDR), and Universal DNA arrays, which are the foundation of commercial tests to diagnose genetic diseases, detect infectious pathogens, and profile cancers using DNA microarrays and targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS).  He received a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow (1982-1985), Hirschl/Monique Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award (1992-1997), Mayent/Rothschild Visiting Professor, Institut Curie (2000), Medical Diagnostics Research leader, Scientific American 50 (2004), Ezra Innovation Award, Cornell University (2011), International Federation of Clinical Chemistry Award for Significant Contributions in Molecular Diagnostics (2014), and National Academy of Inventors Fellow (2016). Barany holds 74 issued U.S. patents and over 100 international patents that are widely used by molecular diagnostic and sequencing companies.  Barany founded Coferon Inc., Acuamark Diagnostics Inc., and TwiXimo Therapeutics; the later for developing a new class of protein-degradation drugs.

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May 30th, 2024

Host: Katherine Donovan / Mikolaj Slabicki

Hubert Huang

Broad Institute

Ubiquitin-specific proximity labeling to detect E3 substrate ubiquitylation.

Hubert Huang is a research scientist at the Broad Institute under the Sellers lab. He obtained a BS in Chemistry from Duke University (2012) and conducted undergraduate research in the laboratories of Professor Michael Fitzgerald and Professor Qiu Wang. Hubert obtained his PhD in Chemical Biology in 2017 from Harvard University under the guidance of Professor Nathanael Gray and Professor Jean Zhao in the development of kinase inhibitors and degraders as cancer therapeutics. In 2019, Hubert joined the laboratory of Professor William R. Sellers at the Broad Institute as a postdoctoral scholar, where he developed a ubiquitin-specific proximity labeling approach (E-STUB) to identify E3 ubiquitin ligase substrates. Hubert’s research interest focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms and functions of E3 ubiquitin ligases and targeting them for therapeutic uses. Website: https://sellerslab.org

Rosa Barrio and James D. Sutherland

CIC bioGUNE

BioE3 identifies specific substrates of ubiquitin E3 ligases

Rosa Barrio and James D. Sutherland are Principal Investigator/Associate PI at CIC bioGUNE in Bilbao, Spain.  The lab focuses on ubiquitin-like (UbL) modifications in development and disease.  Dr. Barrio received her PhD from the Autonomous University of Madrid (ES) and Dr. Sutherland from Harvard University (MA, USA), both using Drosophila to study ubiquitin and ecdysone response, respectively.  After international postdoctoral stints [Barrio: IMBB-FORTH (Crete, GR), EMBL-Heidelberg (DE), and Autonomous University of Madrid (ES); Sutherland: EMBL-Heidelberg (DE), EMBL-Monterotondo (IT) and Cancer Research UK, London (UK)], they both joined CIC bioGUNE, accredited as a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence and part of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (https://www.brta.eus) .  They study rare diseases, e.g. Townes-Brock Syndrome (a ciliopathy-like developmental disorder) and develop biotin-based proteomic tools for querying UbL pathways. Lab website: https://www.rosabarriolab.es/

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Sagar Bhogaraju and Christian Behrends

EMBL / Ludwig-Maximilians-University

A ubiquitin-specific, proximity-based labeling approach for the identification of ubiquitin ligase substrates.

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Sagar Bhogaraju Sagar was born in Nizamabad, India and studied biological sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He then moved to Munich, Germany to pursue his doctoral studies on eurkaryotic cilium at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. After PhD, Sagar moved to Frankfurt to pursue postdoctoral research in the topic of ubiquitin signaling at the Goethe University, Frankfurt Germany. In 2018, he was appointed Group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Grenoble France. Sagar’s research group at EMBL focuses on various topics under the umbrella of ubiquitin signaling in disease and physiology. The research in his group is funded by Agence Nationale de Recherche (ANR), EMBL and EMBO. Bhogaraju group webpage: https://www.embl.org/groups/bhogaraju/

Christian Behrends After completing a PhD on chaperones and aggregation-prone proteins in the group of Ulrich Hartl at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry in 2007, Christian joined the Harper lab at Harvard Medical School as post-doc to work on autophagy. In 2010, Christian started his own group at the Institute of Biochemistry II (IBC2) in the Goethe University in Frankfurt where he continued to explore cellular components that regulate autophagy or that are subject to autophagosomal degradation. During this time, the ubiquitin system gained particular attention. In 2016, Christian became professor at the Medical Faculty of Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) and his group part of the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy). Behrends group webpage: www.behrendslab.com

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June 13th, 2024

Host: Mikolaj Slabicki / Zuzanna Kozicka

Elisia Villemure

Genentech

Monovalent degraders of SMARCA2/A4 (BRM/BRG1) acting through recruitment of FBXO22

Elisia obtained her Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry and Method Development from the University of Ottawa.  She initiated her career as a Medicinal Chemist in 2008 at Boehringer Ingelheim in Canada.  In 2012, she relocated to California where she joined Theravance Biopharma for a year before being part of Genentech.  At Genentech, she was involved in ion channel programs for neuroscience and immunology indications. She is currently Principal Scientist and supports induced proximity and targeted protein degradation efforts within Small Molecule Drug Discovery.

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Kyle Seamon

Revolution Medicines

Remodeling the Surface of the Cellular Chaperone Cyclophilin A with Small Molecules to Target the Active State of Oncogenic RAS

Kyle Seamon is a Senior Scientist and Mechanism of Action Group Leader at Revolution Medicines. He completed a B.S. in Chemical Biology at the University of California at Berkeley before Ph.D. studies with Dr. James Stivers in the department of Pharmacology and Molecules Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After postdoctoral studies and industry work on high-throughput applications of CRISPR-Cas genome editing technologies, Kyle joined Revolution Medicines in 2020 to advance their pipeline of “tri-complex” inhibitors targeting oncogenic RAS proteins.

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