Previous Speakers (2021)

Max Jan

January 7th, 2021 

Reversible ON- and OFF-switch chimeric antigen receptors controlled by lenalidomide

Host: Mikolaj Slabicki


Max Jan, MD, PhD, is a pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a postdoctoral fellow co-mentored by Dr. Ben Ebert and Dr. Marcela Maus. Max will present work from the two labs at the interface of protein degradation, synthetic biology, and cellular immunotherapy.

Link to the recorded seminar:


Brenda A. Schulman

Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry

January 21st, 2021 

How cullin-RING ligases ubiquitylate structurally diverse substrates

Host: Alyssa Verano


Brenda Schulman is a Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry.  She is broadly interested in how ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins are matched with specific substrates, and how they alter the functions of their targets to regulate the cell cycle, autophagy, metabolic signaling, differentiation and other biological processes.  Her lab structurally visualizes transient ubiquitylation complexes trapped as if in action, biochemically reconstitutes signaling pathways, develops chemical tools to probe ubiquitin signaling, and employs cell biology to investigate how ubiquitylation mediates regulation.  Schulman is an elected member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, EMBO, and the German National Academy Leopoldina, and has been recognized by awards including most recently the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize and Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine.

Link to the recorded seminar:

James (Jay) Bradner



February 4th, 2021 

Molecular Glues

Host: Radek Nowak


James (Jay) Bradner, M.D., joined Novartis on January 1, 2016 and became President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) on March 1, 2016. He is a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis.
Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Bradner was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the United States from 2005 through 2015. Dr. Bradner is a co-founder of five biotechnology companies and has authored more than 250 scientific publications and 50 US patent applications.
Dr. Bradner is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Medical School in the US. He completed his residency in medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and his fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He has been honored with many awards and was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2011 and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society in 2013.

Link to the recorded seminar:

Sagar Koduri and Matthew Oser

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

February 18th, 2021 

Targeting Oncoproteins With A Positive Selection Assay For Protein Degraders

Host: Xiaoxi Liu

Sagar Koduri is an oncologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, with a specialized interest in hematologic malignancies, and a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. William G. Kaelin, Jr. In conjuction with the Oser Lab, Sagar will present work on use of zinc finger degrons as tools to modulate protein expression, and the development of a positive-selection assay to identify protein degraders of undruggable proteins.


Matthew Oser is an thoracic oncologist and head of the Oser laboratory at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. William G. Kaelin Jr's laboratory and, in 2019, started his own laboratory focused identifying new therapeutic targets in small cell lung cancer. In collaboration with Drs. Kaelin and Koduri, his lab has used CRISPR/Cas9 positive selection screening to identify protein degraders of neuroendocrine transcription factors in small cell lung cancer.

Link to the recorded seminar:

Danette Daniels

Promega Corporation

March 4th, 2021 

Unlocking the dynamic cellular mechanisms of targeted protein degradation

Host: Breanna Zerfas


Danette received her B.A. from Columbia University, a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Yale University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine studying the Wnt signaling pathway.  In 2005 she joined Promega Corporation and is currently a R&D Group Leader of Functional Proteomics.  In her time at Promega she has led innovation and applications of HaloTag, chemoproteomics, NanoBRET, and HiBiT luciferase technologies.  Danette is known for her extensive research collaborations, both with academic laboratories as well as biotech and pharma companies.  These partnerships have resulted in discoveries of several novel epigenetic and transcription complexes, as well as characterization of numerous therapeutic inhibitors. Several years ago she and her team shifted focus to TPD, immediately developing approaches to monitor real-time kinetics of degradation and PROTAC induced interactions.  These efforts have advanced understanding of cellular potency, efficacy, and mechanisms of degradation compounds.

Link to the recorded seminar:

David Komander

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

March 18th, 2021 

Deubiquitinases: Opportunities, observations and open questions​

Host: Katherine Donovan


David Komander studied in Germany and Scotland, working on protein kinase structures during his PhD in Dundee. As a postdoc in London, he initiated work on tumour suppressor deubiquitinases, leading to the first structures on CYLD and A20. Focussing on E3 ligases, ubiquitin binding domains and deubiquitinases, he went on to set up his own highly successful research group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK.  He was recipient for the Lister prize in 2012 and became an EMBO member in 2014.

At the end of 2018 David Komander moved to Australia to become head of the newly founded Ubiquitin Signalling Division at the Water and Eliza Hall Institute in Parkville, Australia.

Link to the recorded seminar:

April 1st, 2021 

Sequence-based design of small molecule RNA degraders

Webinar registration:


Host: Breanna Zerfas

Matthew Disney and is a native of Baltimore, Maryland.  He received his early schooling in the Baltimore Catholic School System, his B.S. from the University of Maryland, and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in Physical Chemistry.  As a graduate student under the guidance of Professor Douglas H. Turner, he studied RNA catalysis and developed approaches to determine RNA secondary structure in cells by using a combination of experiment and prediction.  Matt completed postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH; Zürich, Switzerland) in Professor Peter H. Seeberger’s lab and helped develop the glycan microarray technology. 

Matt is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Scripps Research. His laboratory has pioneered the area of small molecule targeting of RNA. A central feature of the lab has been to address fundamental questions how of molecular recognition occurs between RNA folds and small molecules and to apply this knowledge to address questions of biomedical importance.  Applications have included development of sequence-based design of small molecules, on-site drug synthesis in diseased cells, understanding the biology of coding and non-coding RNAs, and work on interfacing RNAs with quality control machinery that has included monomeric degraders and chimeric degrading compounds. The lab’s research has garnered various awards including the Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences, Barry Cohen Award in Medicinal Chemistry, NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award, the Eli Lily Award in Biological Chemistry, the David W. Robertson Award in Medicinal Chemistry.

Matthew Disney

Scripps Research, Florida