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[Printable PDF agenda]

Wednesday, September 9 


7:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m.



Charles Hasemann, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development
Michigan State University

8:45 a.m. 

Opening Remarks


Richard R. Neubig, MD, PhD
Chair and Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Michigan State University

9:00 a.m. 

Session 1: Treatments for Orphan Diseases


The development of drugs for rare diseases, i.e., orphan drugs, is attracting increasing interest and investment. In academia, advances in technologies and disease mechanisms are leading to key breakthroughs and treatments for this set of devastating disorders. Examples of current orphan disease research strategies will be presented, and the associated challenges and opportunities discussed.



Lori Isom, PhD

Interim Chair and Professor, Department of Pharmacology

University of Michigan


Jolanta Grembecka, PhD 

"Epigenetic Modulators for the Treatment of Acute Leukemias" 

Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology

University of Michigan


Richard R. Neubig, MD, PhD

"Targeting Gene Transcription for Antifibrotic Therapy" 

Chair and Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Michigan State University


James Shayman, MD

"Orphan Disease Therapeutics: From Academia to the Clinic" 

Agnes C. and Frank D. McKay Professor 

Professor, Pharmacology and Internal Medicine
University of Michigan

10:30 a.m.  Break 
11:00 a.m. 

Panel A: The Challenge of Medicinal Chemistry in Academic and Early Stage Drug Discovery


Medicinal chemistry has grown to encompass a greater range of scientific disciplines in the drug discovery process in order to address high attrition rates of lead candidates. New design strategies, along with utilizing novel drug discovery tools and technologies, are necessary to minimize cost, time and risk of development. Experts will provide insights from academic and industry perspectives on how to de-risk chemical leads into clinically useful therapies.


James M. Hamby, PhD 

Vice President, Business Development 

Ash Stevens


Stephen Barrett, MS

Director of Drug Discovery Chemistry 

Cayman Chemical


Aloke Dutta, PhD

Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Wayne State University


Bob Sliskovic, PhD
President, Business and Research Development
A2 PharmaSyn


Peter L. Toogood, PhD

Senior Vice President, Chemistry


12:00 p.m. 

Session 2: Developing New Anti-Infective Therapies


The need for new drugs to treat microbial infections is pressing not only to treat neglected diseases but also to combat the burgeoning risk of resistance to existing therapeutic treatments. This has galvanized a new wave of research into anti-microbial treatments much rooted in the academic drug discovery setting. Hear about innovative approaches being taken to develop new anti-infective agents.



George Garcia, PhD
Chair and Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry
University of Michigan



Robert Abramovitch, PhD

"Host Stress Response Modulation in Tuberculosis Therapeutics" 

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Michigan State University


Steven M. Firestine, PhD

"Membrane-Targeted Antibiotics" 

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Director, Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Graduate Program
Wayne State University

1:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. 

Panel B: Moving Beyond the Bench - Pre-Clinical Selection


How does one traverse the “valley of death” between drug discovery and development? Issues related to safety, efficacy, and biometrics need to be answered, and preliminary plans for regulatory submission and clinical proof of concept designed. Speakers will focus on the steps necessary to develop drug leads into clinical candidates and positioned for licensing with big pharma and/or commercialization.



Mark Creswell, MS

President and CEO 

International Discovery Services & Consulting, LLC



Marc Bailie, DVM, PhD
Director, In Vivo Facility

Michigan State University


David Barnes, PhD

CEO and Chief Scientific Officer 

Velesco Pharmaceuticals


James Herman
Partner and President
Integrated Nonclinical Discovery Solutions


Dean Knuth
Executive Director of Clinical Sciences
Jasper Clinic/MPI Research

3:00 p.m. 

Session 3: Clinical Development - Reaching the Patient


More drugs then ever discovered within academia are expected to reach the clinical development stage within the next few years. Universities with basic and clinical research centers offer an excellent cross-disciplinary, translational model for advancing drug candidates into human proof of concept studies. Such efforts are not without challenges but do offer a new approach to developing new, disease-specific treatments for unmet medical needs.



Jack Lipton, PhD
Professor and Chair, Translational Science and Molecular Medicine
Michigan State University 



Lawrence Lum, MD, DSc
"Antibody Armed T Cells in Cancer: Clinical Results"
Professor, Department of Oncology
Wayne State University


Shaomeng Wang, PhD

"How to Rapidly Advance New Therapeutics from Academic Labs into Clinical Development?"

Warner-Lamber/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine
Professor, Internal Medicine, Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry
University of Michigan

4:00 p.m. 



Richard R. Neubig, MD, PhD
Chair and Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Michigan State University


Keynote: The Changing Ecosystem of Drug Discovery 


Barbara Slusher, PhD
Director, Academic Drug Discovery Consortium
Director, JHU NIMH Therapeutic Core
Director, Brain Science Institute Neuro Translational Drug Discovery Program
Professor, Department of Neurology 
Johns Hopkins Medicine

5:00 p.m.  Reception and Poster Session
7:00 p.m. Dinner on Own




Thursday, September 10

7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m.

Session 4: From Academic Lab to Commercialization - A Founder’s Tale


Hear the real story behind the story as a successful academic founder discusses the path taken, challenges encountered, and real world lessons learned in turning good science into potential therapies for patients.



Jeff Mason
Executive Director
Michigan's University Research Corridor



Max S. Wicha, MD

"Development of Cancer Stem Cell Targeting Drugs" 

Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology
Director Emeritus, U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Michigan  

8:30 a.m. 

Panel C: Building Successful Drug Discovery Partnerships with Industry


Biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly forming partnerships with academic research centers and biotech startups to identify breakthroughs in basic science and drug discovery that may translate into clinical development opportunities. While great technologies are essential to propel collaborations, obstacles and opportunities must be managed carefully. Learn what makes partnership work for everyone’s benefit.



Edward Pagani, PhD
Assistant Director, Health Technologies
Office of Technology Transfer
University of Michigan



Kaushik Ghosal, PhD
Business Development Manager


Mark Gurney, MBA, PhD

Chairman and CEO 

Tetra Discovery Partners


Jonathan Lanfear, MS, MBA
Vice President, Business Development
Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA


David Peralta
NanoBio Corporation

9:30 a.m. 


10:00 a.m. 

Panel D: Funding Academic and Early-Stage Drug Discovery


Bringing therapies to market requires significant capital investment to fund the long development process. However, the fundraising landscape has changed dramatically over the past several years. Where once venture capital ruled, now corporate venture funds, angels investors, government agencies, patient advocacy and disease foundations, family offices, and others have emerged as active players. Hear from experts how these new categories are changing commercialization of novel therapies.



Ken Massey, PhD

Senior Director of Venture Development, Technology Commercialization 

Wayne State University



Becky Aistrup, MBA
Principal Consultant
BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting 


Kristen Albright, PharmD, MBA
Osage University Partners 


Steve Hall, PhD

General Partner 

Lilly Ventures


Joan Levy, PhD
Vice President of Research
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation


Jack Miner

Director, Venture Center

University of Michigan

11:00 a.m. 



Stephen Rapundalo, PhD

President and CEO



Keynote: Advancing Drug Discovery and Development in Michigan

The development of integrated drug discovery groups at institutions has the opportunity to revolutionize the development of new therapies. Michigan’s world-class academic research centers and strong legacy in pharmaceutical R&D, means that the state is well positioned to be a leader in academic drug discovery and foster a statewide integrated infrastructure capable of developing basic research discoveries into clinical therapies.


Roger Newton, PhD
Founder, Executive Vice President, and Chief Scientific Officer
Esperion Therapeutics

11:45 a.m.

Closing Remarks


Stephen Lanier, PhD
Vice President, Research
Wayne State University 


[Printable PDF agenda]





Registration and sponsorship

Dave McGuire



Exhibit tables, posters, and general information

Katie Trevathan


Creating Value
by delivering business-critical resources & bottom line savings
Building Networks
by connecting Michigan's bio-industry one member at a time
Growing Talent
by creating opportunities that develop people & build organizations
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