Board of Directors
Founding Board Members (1994): Dan Flynn, Gary Grunewald, Les Mitscher, Mike Rafferty, Vic Snieckus
Current Board of Directors:
Xenia Beebe Searle
Xenia Beebe Searle is a medicinal chemist with 25 years of experience in drug discovery at Abbott/AbbVie. At Abbott Xenia worked in technology development, antibacterials and calcium channel inhibitors for pain, and at AbbVie she has worked in Cystic Fibrosis modulators, SARS-Cov-2 small molecules, and oncology. Xenia received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Bowdoin College, her PhD at UC Davis with Mark Kurth and Neil Schore, followed by an NIH postdoctoral research for two years at the Sloan Kettering Institute with Samuel Danishefsky in New York City.
Darren J. Dixon
University of Oxford
Darren J. Dixon graduated (first class honours) and obtained his D. Phil from the University of Oxford, where he worked with Prof. S. G. Davies. In 1997 he moved to the University of Cambridge to carry out post-doctoral work with Prof. Steven V. Ley CBE, FRS. He began his independent career in 2000 at Cambridge before moving in 2004 to a Senior Lectureship at The University of Manchester. In 2007 he was promoted to Reader and in 2008 he moved to his current position as Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford where he holds the Knowles-Williams Tutorial Fellowship in Organic Chemistry at Wadham College.
His research focuses on the development of synthetically relevant catalyst enabled methodologies and their application to the synthesis of complex target molecules of biological and medicinal relevance. He has published over 175 papers and delivered over 230 invited lectures. He has received several awards including an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship (2008-2013), the AstraZeneca Research Award in Organic Chemistry (2010), the Royal Society of Chemistry’s inaugural Catalysis in Organic Chemistry Award (2010), the Scynexis Lecturer, Duke University NC, USA (2010), the Novartis Lectureship in Central Europe (2011), the Andrew S. Kende Distinguished Lectureship at the University of Rochester (2013), the Fred Pattison Distinguished Lectureship at Northwestern University, Ontario, Canada and the Novartis Chemistry Lectureship (2016-2017). He is a member of the scientific advisory board of AVRA laboratories (Hyderabad), serves on the advisory board for the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, serves on the Consulting Board of Editors of Tetrahedron/Tetrahedron Letters (2015-present) and is the PI and Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in ‘Synthesis for Biology and Medicine’ in Oxford (2014-present).
Amy is currently Associate Professor at Colorado College
Rebecca Gallego is a Senior Principal Scientist within the Oncology Medicinal Chemistry team at Pfizer’s R&D site in La Jolla, CA. She completed a B.S. in chemistry at the University of Rochester in 2009 and went on to obtain her Ph.D. in 2013 with Prof. Richmond Sarpong at the University of California at Berkeley. Her graduate work was in the field of natural product synthesis and was supported by the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Graduate Fellowship sponsored by Organic Syntheses.
Matthew M. Hayward
Magnet Biomedicine, 2013
Chief Financial Officer
Matt obtained his BA from Connecticut College in 1989. During these formative years he worked in the labs of Dr. Bruce Branchini preparing novel analogues of firefly Luciferin. Inspired by his work there he continued his studies at Yale University, obtaining his Ph.D. under Prof. Alana Schepartz in 1995. At Yale Matt worked on several projects at the biology-chemistry interface. Following that, Matt joined the labs of Prof. Yoshito Kishi at Harvard as an NIH postdoctoral fellow where he worked on and completed the first synthesis of Spongistatin A with fellow co-workers in the Kishi labs. He joined Pfizer in Groton in 1997 and for 26 years was a medicinal chemist in various therapeutic areas. In 2023 Matt joined Magnet Biomedicine in Boston, MA as vice president of drug discovery.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 2017
Lyn Jones is the Director of the Center for Protein Degradation at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. His research interests include the creation and application of chemistry-based technologies to advance therapeutic target identification and to accelerate drug discovery. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Society of Biology, and the Linnean Society, and serves on the editorial board of the journal RSC Medicinal Chemistry.
Lyn completed PhD studies in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Nottingham, before starting his postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute, California in the area of chemical biology. He joined Pfizer (Sandwich, UK) as a medicinal chemistry team leader, eventually becoming Director of Chemical Biology and Lead Discovery Technologies. He transferred to Pfizer Cambridge, MA to become Head of Rare Disease Chemistry and Head of Chemical Biology. Lyn then joined Jnana Therapeutics as Vice President of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, before moving to his current role at DFCI.
Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD), 2017
Shane W. Krska serves as Senior Principal Scientist in the High-Throughput Experimentation and Lead Discovery Capabilities group in Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Research Laboratories in Kenilworth, NJ. His research at MSD has focused on applications of catalysis to solve challenging problems in drug synthesis spanning from drug discovery to late stage manufacturing process development. He has co-authored more than 50 publications and numerous patent applications in the areas of asymmetric hydrogenation, cross-coupling and C-H functionalization catalysis and their use in pharmaceutical synthesis. Professional honors he has received include being named an ACS Young Industrial Investigator, as well as a co-recipient of the R&D Council of N.J. Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry award and the Catalysis Society of Metropolitan NY Excellence in Catalysis Award.
Philippe G. Nantermet, PhD
Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ USA
Following training with Prof M.T. Crimmins at UNC Chapel Hill and Prof KC Nicolaou at SCRIPPS, Philippe joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1994. Philippe is recognized as Drug Discovery Leader with a broad background in medicinal chemistry, in the areas of neurodegeneration, pain, HIV, arthritis, and cardiovascular research. His diverse team leadership experience spans: Hit Identification, Lead Identification, Lead Optimization, and Preclinical Development to Phase I Testing. He is experienced in program strategy and development, and leveraging new technologies such as parallel medicinal chemistry to accelerate drug design and synthesis. He is experienced in directing CRO operations as support to internal programs, has some expertise in Chemical Biology and screening deck creation/curation. Philippe has authored or co-authored over 40 peer reviewed publications, along with several book chapters, has delivered multiple invited lectures at international conferences, is an inventor on over 30 issued patents, and serves on the board of the Medicinal and Bioorganic Chemistry Foundation.
Michael is currently Discovery Chemistry Team Leader at GSK, Collegeville, Pennsylvannia.
Scott Wolkenberg is Global Head of Parallel Medicinal Chemistry at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. His research focuses on development and application of novel chemistry capabilities to accelerate target identification, validation, hit identification, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization in drug discovery. Scott is a member of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Advisory Board, is past Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on High Throughput Chemistry and Chemical Biology, serves on the International Chemical Biology Society’s Pharma-LifeSci Advisory Team, is past member of the National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium Scientific Advisory Board, and is an ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Mid-Career Investigator awardee. He has co-authored more than 50 publications and numerous patents. Prior to joining Janssen, Scott held positions in Medicinal Chemistry, Technology-Enabled Synthesis, and Chemical Biology at Merck & Co., Inc. He received his B.A. in Chemistry and Biology at Cornell University in 1998 and completed his Ph.D. with Dale L. Boger at the Scripps Research Institute.
Senior Distinguished Board Advisors:
Indiana University, 2008
Michael VanNieuwenhze received his B.A. degree from Kalamazoo College in 1984 and his M.S. from Yale University in 1988. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1992 where he developed methods for the de novo synthesis of carbohydrates, designed reagents for asymmetric allyl- and crotylmetal addition reactions, and studied fragment assembly aldol reactions for use in the synthesis of complex natural products. Professor VanNieuwenhze conducted his postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California where he studied transition-metal catalyzed asymmetric oxidation reactions while working in the laboratories of Professor K. Barry Sharpless (Nobel Laureate, 2001). In 1994, Professor VanNieuwenhze accepted a position in Discovery Chemistry Research at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis. In 2002, he accepted a faculty position at the University of California, San Diego and in 2007, he returned to the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University. His research is characterized by the use of chemistry to study problems of significant biological interest. A major component of his current research program is focused on the study and development of novel antibacterial agents and the development and utilization of methods for imaging the spatial and temporal dynamics of peptidoglycan biosynthesis.
Dr Michael Rafferty
Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, 1994-2013
Dr Daniel L. Flynn
Daniel L. Flynn, PhD is Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, a company he founded in 2003. He received his B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Kansas in 1977, and then stayed at KU to receive his PhD in medicinal chemistry in 1981 under the mentorship of Prof. Les Mitscher. After completing a post-doctorate in synthetic organic chemistry at Indiana University with Paul Grieco, he joined Warner-Lambert/Parke Davis Pharmaceuticals in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1983. In 1988, he moved to Searle Pharmaceuticals in Skokie, IL and later St. Louis, MO. In his ten year period with Searle, he worked with teams that brought five compounds into development, and advanced 3 drugs into clinical trials, including xemilofiban and orbofiban. He also led a technology team to develop a platform in combinatorial chemistry now known as “phase-trafficking” synthesis. In 1998, Dan joined Amgen, Inc in Thousand Oaks, CA, as Director of Medicinal Chemistry. In 2000, he moved to Cambridge, MA, as Senior Director of Chemistry with Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Dan is an Adjunct Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas-Lawrence and has served as the National Chair for the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. Dan was inducted as an American Chemical Society Fellow in 2013. Additionally, he co-founded the Medicinal & Bioorganic Chemistry Foundation in 1995, whose main charter has been the sponsorship and organization of the perennial Steamboat Springs conference series, the Winter Conference on Medicinal and Bioorganic Chemistry. Dan has authored or co-authored over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has been named an inventor on over 70 patents during his career.
His present research passion at Deciphera is in the area of small molecule kinase modulation through control of kinase conformational shape. This platform, called switch control inhibition, has been utilized at Deciphera to produce multiple drugs in development. Deciphera’s research in oncology has focused on tumor driver mutations, overcoming treatment-emergent drug resistance, cancer immunotherapy, and the tumor microenvironment. Deciphera’s clinical stage drug pipeline includes DCC-2618, rebastinib, and DCC-3014, which are currently in clinical evaluation.
Neil K. Garg
Neil Garg received a B.S. in Chemistry from New York University where he did undergraduate research with Professor Marc Walters. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2005 from Caltech studying under the direction of Professor Brian Stoltz. Garg then joined Professor Larry Overman’s laboratory at the University of California, Irvine as an NIH Postdoctoral Scholar. He joined the faculty at UCLA in 2007 and rose to the rank of Full Professor in 2013. Garg’s laboratory develops synthetic strategies and methodologies that enable the synthesis of complex bioactive molecules. His recent researchrelated honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Thieme–IUPAC Prize, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Merck Award, and the Elias J. Corey Award. Garg also cherishes the opportunity to teach at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has received several recognitions for his educational contributions, including the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s California’s Professor of the Year Award, and is currently one of three nationwide Finalists for the Robert Foster Cherry Award.
Anthony G.M. Barrett
Imperial College, London
Tony Barrett is the Glaxo Professor of Organic Chemistry and the Sir Derek Barton Professor of Synthetic Chemistry at Imperial College in London, England. He was previously on the faculty in Colorado State University and Northwestern University. He has co-authored over 420 publications and over 27 patents on natural product, heterocyclic, organometallic and porphyrazine chemistry, catalysis and cancer medicinal chemistry. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to research from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society, Imperial College, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, GSK and the Institute of Applied Catalysis. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Bryan H. Norman
Sr. VP-Lead Generation Chemistry at Enveda Biosciences
Bryan is currently the Sr. VP-Lead Generation Chemistry at Enveda Biosciences. He has worked as a medicinal chemist in drug discovery for >30 years (Searle, Eli Lilly), where he led multiple cross functional drug discovery efforts, many of which culminated in clinical candidates for oncology, endocrine and pain indications. He has published > 50 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and is an inventor on > 30 U.S. patents. Bryan’s current research interests are focused on novel lead generation approaches, such as computational metabolomics and machine learning. With his colleagues, these approaches are used to discover novel natural product-based leads to explore multiple indications for unmet medical needs.
Sarah E. Reisman
Professor of Chemistry, Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator
2006-2008 NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
2001–2006 Ph.D. Yale University, New Haven, CT
1997–2001 B.A. Connecticut College, New London, CT
Sarah was born and raised in Bar Harbor, Maine. She attended Connecticut College in New London, CT, where she worked in the laboratory of Prof. Timo Ovaska, and graduated with honors in 2001. In the fall of that year, Sarah enrolled in graduate studies at Yale University and joined the research group of Prof. John Wood. She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry in 2006; her thesis detailed the total synthesis of the natural product welwitindolinone A isonitrile. For her postdoctoral work, Sarah pursued studies in the field of asymmetric catalysis as an NIH fellow, working with Prof. Eric Jacobsen at Harvard University.
MBCF Scholarship Lead
Liaison to the Alpine Winter Conference on Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry:
Antonia F. Stepan graduated from the ETH Zurich and received her Ph.D. with Professor Steven V. Ley. Following postdoctoral research with Professor K. C. Nicolaou, Antonia joined Pfizer in 2008. She served as a chemistry and research project leader on discovery programs and advanced drug candidates to clinical candidate nomination and beyond. In 2017, Antonia joined Boehringer Ingelheim as a project leader. Antonia is passionate about discovering treatments for neurological and immunological disorders, as well as utilizing novel technologies (e.g., C−H functionalization reactions, sp3-rich fragments) in medicinal chemistry. She was recognized as an ACS “Young Investigator in Medicinal Chemistry” in 2015.
Deceased Members of the Board:
Professor Lester A Mitscher
Tribute to the late Professor Lester A Mitscher
Professor Victor A. Snieckus
Queen's University, 1994
Vic Snieckus was a founder Board Member for the Bio-organic and Medicinal Chemistry Foundation and he served as on the Board from every event from the 1st Conference in 1995 until the 14th in 2019. He is not only remembered for his excellence in synthetic organic chemistry, principally the application of directed ortho-metalation reactions for the synthesis of functionalized arenes and heteroarenes, but also for his infectious enthusiasm for play as well as hard work and scholarship. Professor Andy Evans at Queen’s University has written a lasting tribute to Vic, a former colleague and friend to many attendees at the Steamboat Springs Conferences: