Guest Speakers - Lunch & Learn 2018

Lunch & Learn 2018 - San Diego

Benjamin Horning

Senior Scientist

Vividion

Benjamin Horning (Benji) was born in Portland, Oregon. He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Oregon, working with professor Michael Haley studying metallabenzenes. He then performed graduate studies with professor David MacMillan at Princeton University, where he studied the total synthesis of the akuammiline alkaloid natural product Vincorine. His postdoctoral studies, with professor Benjamin Cravatt, focused on the development of methyltransferase photoaffinity probes. He began work at Vividion immediately following his postdoctoral studies, beginning in June of 2016. One of his many job functions at Vividion is to manage Dotmatics functionality, including user administration, form building, data analysis, project views and templates, and training.
 

Jim Heddles

former Senior IT Manager at Sanofi and Icagen

5P Innovations

Jim Heddles grew up in Alaska and Colorado. After earning a degree in Electrical Engineering he worked briefly in the computer industry and then ended up managing a small publishing business in France for a few years. He then joined the pharmaceutical research facility of Marion Merrell Dow in Strasbourg, France. He has enjoyed 25+ years working in almost every area of research IT and informatics at the satellite research sites in Strasbourg and then in Tucson Arizona, as the company grew through mergers and acquisitions to become Sanofi. He has over ten years experience with Dotmatics products with a focus on integrated small molecule discovery. Jim most recently had the privilege of leading a phenomenal team through a complete rebuild of architecture, systems and applications after the acquisition of the Tucson facility by Icagen. His passion is to help companies understand their workflows and data needs and adopt the most appropriate tools to enable excellent decision making for drug discovery.
 

Brian Cook

Director

Vividion

Brian was born in Great Falls, MT. He completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Carleton College in Northfield, MN working with professor David Alberg. He then went on to get his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley under professor Carolyn Bertozzi. His research there focused on carbohydrate sulfotransferases involved in the immune response. Brian started work at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma Inc starting in 2002 and worked there for 15 years on a variety of research projects in the Immunology and Cardiovascular therapeutic areas. In October of 2017, he started his current position at Vividion as a director in the chemistry department.
 

Dotmatics Symposium San Francisco, USA

Benjamin Horning

Senior Scientist

Vividion

Benjamin Horning (Benji) was born in Portland, Oregon. He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Oregon, working with professor Michael Haley studying metallabenzenes. He then performed graduate studies with professor David MacMillan at Princeton University, where he studied the total synthesis of the akuammiline alkaloid natural product Vincorine. His postdoctoral studies, with professor Benjamin Cravatt, focused on the development of methyltransferase photoaffinity probes. He began work at Vividion immediately following his postdoctoral studies, beginning in June of 2016. One of his many job functions at Vividion is to manage Dotmatics functionality, including user administration, form building, data analysis, project views and templates, and training.
 

Dotmatics Symposium Tokyo, Japan

Nick Shah

Senior Scientist

DiCE Molecules

Nick joined DiCE Molecules as a Senior Scientist in June 2018 and is working with the team to leverage chemical evolution in small molecule drug discovery. Prior to DiCE, he was a member of the FLX Bio team from the company’s inception in 2015 to May 2018. He has been deeply involved in the development of multiple drug discovery assays, leading project teams, and managing multiple screening campaigns. Before FLX, Nick was a very early member of the team at Flexus Biosciences and helped discover a cancer immunotherapy molecule that resulted in an acquisition by BMS and is currently in Phase II clinical trials (BMS-986205). Nick completed his doctoral work at the University of Toronto, studying the molecular structure and mechanism of an important cancer target. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, working in the Weis and Herschlag labs studying the mechanistic enzymology of a complex motor protein involved in neurotransmission.
 

Lunch & Learn 2018 - Toronto

Steven Wesolowski

Senior Director of Computational Science

Xenon Pharmaceuticals

Steve Wesolowski is currently senior director of computational science at Xenon Pharmaceuticals. Previously he served as a director and project leader within the virtual Neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. He was head of computational chemistry at AZ in the infection division as well as the psychiatry division prior to being recruited to join the Cambridge neuroscience team. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry with Prof. Fritz Schaefer and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Yale University under Prof. Bill Jorgensen. His previous work in neuroscience has included the molecular design of AZD5213, and he led the chemistry team that advanced AZD4451. He also co-developed an industry-leading platform for high-throughput determination of absolute stereochemistry utilizing vibrational circular dichroism. Steve is the author of more than 50 publications and is a co-inventor of three compounds in clinical trials.
 

Nick Shah

Senior Scientist

DiCE Molecules

Nick joined DiCE Molecules as a Senior Scientist in June 2018 and is working with the team to leverage chemical evolution in small molecule drug discovery. Prior to DiCE, he was a member of the FLX Bio team from the company’s inception in 2015 to May 2018. He has been deeply involved in the development of multiple drug discovery assays, leading project teams, and managing multiple screening campaigns. Before FLX, Nick was a very early member of the team at Flexus Biosciences and helped discover a cancer immunotherapy molecule that resulted in an acquisition by BMS and is currently in Phase II clinical trials (BMS-986205). Nick completed his doctoral work at the University of Toronto, studying the molecular structure and mechanism of an important cancer target. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, working in the Weis and Herschlag labs studying the mechanistic enzymology of a complex motor protein involved in neurotransmission.
 

Lunch & Learn 2018 - Philadelphia

Juan Luengo, PhD

Vice President Drug Discovery Research

Prelude Therapeutics

Juan is Founding Scientist and Vice President of Drug Discovery Research Director at Prelude Therapeutics, a startup company located in Delaware, USA. Before joining Prelude, Juan worked for 27 years at GSK, where he was Head of Chemistry in the Cancer Epigenetics group. At GSK, Juan has managed the progression of several compounds into clinical studies in a number of therapeutic areas, including Oncology, MusculoSkeletal and Cardiovascular diseases. Most notably Juan was one of the inventors of Promacta (eltrombopag), and successfully led the program that resulted in its approval as the first-in-class TPO Receptor agonist for the treatment of ITP-related thrombocytopenia. Juan holds a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Michigan and did postdoctoral research at Stanford University.
 

Jim Heddles

former Senior IT Manager at Sanofi and Icagen

5P Innovations

Jim Heddles grew up in Alaska and Colorado. After earning a degree in Electrical Engineering he worked briefly in the computer industry and then ended up managing a small publishing business in France for a few years. He then joined the pharmaceutical research facility of Marion Merrell Dow in Strasbourg, France. He has enjoyed 25+ years working in almost every area of research IT and informatics at the satellite research sites in Strasbourg and then in Tucson Arizona, as the company grew through mergers and acquisitions to become Sanofi. He has over ten years experience with Dotmatics products with a focus on integrated small molecule discovery. Jim most recently had the privilege of leading a phenomenal team through a complete rebuild of architecture, systems and applications after the acquisition of the Tucson facility by Icagen. His passion is to help companies understand their workflows and data needs and adopt the most appropriate tools to enable excellent decision making for drug discovery.
 

Lunch & Learn 2018 - Paris

Josh Lichtman

Senior Scientist

NGM Biopharmaceuticals

NGM Bio is a research-driven, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with a drug discovery platform designed to generate a pipeline of first-in-class biologic drug candidates. For two years, Dr. Lichtman has been a scientist in the Target Discovery and Validation group at NGM Bio where he conducts early stage research into novel immuno-oncology targets. His role includes the development of immune assays, the application of computational biology, and the implementation of proteomics technologies to these ends. He is also part of the small team tasked with the selection and onboarding of the Dotmatics ELN/LIMS platform. Prior to working at NGM, Josh completed his PhD at Stanford University where he studied host-microbiome interactions in the gastrointestinal tract using mass spectrometry-based proteomics in the labs of Drs. Josh Elias and Justin Sonnenburg.
 

Diane Geraghty

Project Coordinator

C4X Discovery Ltd

Diane joined C4X Discovery in 2017 as a project coordinator where she is involved in the project management and outsourcing coordination across the company. As a virtual drug discovery company, C4X works with many outsourcing partners: Diane coordinates this work, and oversees all the data management to ensure all data received from external partners is up to date and readily available. Prior to working at C4X, Diane achieved a PhD from the University of Nottingham and then worked as a synthetic chemist for 5 years at Peakdale Molecular (now Concept Life Sciences).
 

Dotmatics User Symposium | San Francisco 2020

Benjamin Horning

Senior Scientist

Vividion

Benjamin Horning (Benji) was born in Portland, Oregon. He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Oregon, working with professor Michael Haley studying metallabenzenes. He then performed graduate studies with professor David MacMillan at Princeton University, where he studied the total synthesis of the akuammiline alkaloid natural product Vincorine. His postdoctoral studies, with professor Benjamin Cravatt, focused on the development of methyltransferase photoaffinity probes. He began work at Vividion immediately following his postdoctoral studies, beginning in June of 2016. One of his many job functions at Vividion is to manage Dotmatics functionality, including user administration, form building, data analysis, project views and templates, and training.
 

Diane Geraghty

Project Coordinator

C4X Discovery Ltd

Diane joined C4X Discovery in 2017 as a project coordinator where she is involved in the project management and outsourcing coordination across the company. As a virtual drug discovery company, C4X works with many outsourcing partners: Diane coordinates this work, and oversees all the data management to ensure all data received from external partners is up to date and readily available. Prior to working at C4X, Diane achieved a PhD from the University of Nottingham and then worked as a synthetic chemist for 5 years at Peakdale Molecular (now Concept Life Sciences).
 

Josh Lichtman

Senior Scientist

NGM Biopharmaceuticals

NGM Bio is a research-driven, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with a drug discovery platform designed to generate a pipeline of first-in-class biologic drug candidates. For two years, Dr. Lichtman has been a scientist in the Target Discovery and Validation group at NGM Bio where he conducts early stage research into novel immuno-oncology targets. His role includes the development of immune assays, the application of computational biology, and the implementation of proteomics technologies to these ends. He is also part of the small team tasked with the selection and onboarding of the Dotmatics ELN/LIMS platform. Prior to working at NGM, Josh completed his PhD at Stanford University where he studied host-microbiome interactions in the gastrointestinal tract using mass spectrometry-based proteomics in the labs of Drs. Josh Elias and Justin Sonnenburg.
 

Joseph Kennedy

Associate Director of IT & Informatics

Tango Therapeutics

Joseph is currently the Associate Director of IT & Informatics at Tango Therapeutics, Inc. At Tango, Joseph is responsible for the development and implementation of IT and informatics strategies across the company’s functional areas. Prior to this role, Joseph was the Manager of Research Informatics Applications at Sage Therapeutics, Inc. where he owned the planning, implementation and maintenance of all informatics systems across the research portfolio. Before joining Sage, Joseph spent several years at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. first as a medicinal chemist and then as an applications analyst in the Research Computing group. He has experience building home-grown research applications as well as designing and executing the integration of commercially available systems. Joseph received his B.S. in chemistry from Boston College and his M.S. in Organic Chemistry from Yale University.
 

Lunch & Learn 2018 - Basel

Adrian Brüngger

Head of Discovery Informatics

Basilea Pharmaceutica International

Adrian Brüngger studied computer science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich). In 1997, he got his PhD in game theory and combinatorial optimization from the same institute. He then joined Novartis for a post doc where he developed a web based bioinformatics workbench for molecular biology. In 1999, he became a laboratory head in cancer research at Novartis to lead a comparative genomics projects, develop algorithms for gene expression analysis and support target and hit finding for anti-cancer programs. In 2003 he moved to the high throughput screening (HTS) department at Novartis where he designed visualization tools to explore data from HTS campaigns. In 2004 he became Head of Discovery Informatics at Basilea Pharmaceutica International. With his group, he is responsible for all aspects of scientific computing, data management and data mining, computer aided drug design, bioinformatics, cheminformatics, and logistics support.
 

Marco Pacchiani

Project Manager, R&D

Firmenich S.A.

Marco Pacchiani is a passionate project manager within Firmenich R&D department. Currently Director of Strategic Planning & Knowledge Management, he is responsible for the innovation project management office as well as global strategic research operations and alliances.

With a Master’s degree in Information systems and a Minor in Economics from Geneva University, he started his career in 2002 at Firmenich implementing global financial systems, developing financial models, statistical sales forecasting systems and reengineering global corporate financial processes.

Transitioning to Firmenich Research department, he implemented the Innovation project management office based on Stage-Gate methodology to enable strategic planning and drive portfolio decision making based on Monte-Carlo risk simulations. In addition he manages key strategic research discovery projects requiring multi-disciplinary and global teams.

Within his knowledge management responsibilities, he has initiated datamining and artificial intelligence activities within Firmenich. The team focuses on olfaction inference, perfumery optimization and enables receptor-based high throughput screening activities.
 

Lunch & Learn 2018 - Copenhagen

Diane Geraghty

Project Coordinator

C4X Discovery Ltd

Diane joined C4X Discovery in 2017 as a project coordinator where she is involved in the project management and outsourcing coordination across the company. As a virtual drug discovery company, C4X works with many outsourcing partners: Diane coordinates this work, and oversees all the data management to ensure all data received from external partners is up to date and readily available. Prior to working at C4X, Diane achieved a PhD from the University of Nottingham and then worked as a synthetic chemist for 5 years at Peakdale Molecular (now Concept Life Sciences).
 

Magnus Winnerstam

Lab Data Manager

Alligator Bioscience

With a background as a Molecular Biologist and many years of hands on experience from the lab (screening, assay development, phage display etc.) and a flair for the technical side of the lab I have gained much needed experience for my role as the Laboratory Data Manager at Alligator Bioscience where I manage all IT-related activities in the laboratory.

With several years of experience and responsibility of our legacy ELN-systems I am currently leading the setup and implementation project of our new ELN system from Dotmatics. I am also responsible for the in-house database solution from Dotmatics and its implementation in Research and Development activities.
 

Lunch & Learn 2018 - Seattle

Josh Lichtman

Senior Scientist

NGM Biopharmaceuticals

NGM Bio is a research-driven, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with a drug discovery platform designed to generate a pipeline of first-in-class biologic drug candidates. For two years, Dr. Lichtman has been a scientist in the Target Discovery and Validation group at NGM Bio where he conducts early stage research into novel immuno-oncology targets. His role includes the development of immune assays, the application of computational biology, and the implementation of proteomics technologies to these ends. He is also part of the small team tasked with the selection and onboarding of the Dotmatics ELN/LIMS platform. Prior to working at NGM, Josh completed his PhD at Stanford University where he studied host-microbiome interactions in the gastrointestinal tract using mass spectrometry-based proteomics in the labs of Drs. Josh Elias and Justin Sonnenburg.
 

Lunch & Learn 2018 - Cambridge

Robert Heald

Head of Chemistry

Artois Pharma

Robert has been Head of Chemistry for Artios Pharma, a small biotech focussed on the discovery and development of DNA damage response (DDR) inhibitors for the treatment of cancer, for nearly two years. Prior to Artios he was Director of Chemistry at Argenta (now CRL) where he worked for 13 years on collaborative drug discovery projects and briefly Head of Chemistry at Kesios Therapeutics.
 

Dan Leggate

Biochemist

Storm Therapeutics

I joined Storm Therapeutics in August 2016 where my focus has been on developing assays to measure the activity of RNA-modifying enzymes. Prior to this, I have worked at companies including Cellzome, BioFocus and several small start-ups. My involvement in drug discovery spans over 15 years, mostly in the area of assay development and HTS, working across a range of novel and established target classes. I am a biochemist by training, obtaining an MA and PhD from the University of Cambridge.
 

Jennifer McKelvie, PhD

Scientific Operations Lead

Cancer Research UK Ltd

Jennifer joined CRUK’s Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories (CRUK-TDL, formerly CRT-DL) in 2011 as an Assay Development and Compound Profiling Scientist before moving to her current role as Scientific Operations Lead in 2015. Prior to joining CRUK-TDL Jennifer obtained an MChem and a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Southampton. Jennifer is responsible for defining and implementing Data Management strategy at CRUK-TDL, within both the research and operational functions of the business.
 

Dotmatics User Symposium | San Francisco

Benjamin Horning

Senior Scientist

Vividion

Benjamin Horning (Benji) was born in Portland, Oregon. He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Oregon, working with professor Michael Haley studying metallabenzenes. He then performed graduate studies with professor David MacMillan at Princeton University, where he studied the total synthesis of the akuammiline alkaloid natural product Vincorine. His postdoctoral studies, with professor Benjamin Cravatt, focused on the development of methyltransferase photoaffinity probes. He began work at Vividion immediately following his postdoctoral studies, beginning in June of 2016. One of his many job functions at Vividion is to manage Dotmatics functionality, including user administration, form building, data analysis, project views and templates, and training.
 

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