Steering Committee And Speaker Faculty At A Glance
GBX Summits ™ works in conjunction with some of the world's most prominent leaders and visionaries across a variety of key industries in order to produce cutting edge programmes that simulate, educate and accelerate innovation.
Dr. Rod MacKenzie, Ph.D serves as Senior Vice President and Head of Worldwide Research for PharmaTherapeutics R&D at Pfizer Inc. and has been its Groton site leader since April 25, 2012 and has been the President of PharmaTherapeutics Research & Development since May 2010.
Steve Street joined Pfizer in 1985 and held a variety of roles within the Chemistry Department in Sandwich UK, before being appointed Head of Chemistry for Sandwich Discovery in 2001. Three years later, at the start of 2004, Steve moved to establish and lead the Chemistry Discipline across Worldwide Discovery.
As chief scientific officer and executive vice president of global laboratory services, Lee Babiss, Ph.D., provides strategic direction and scientific expertise to PPD’s bioanalytical, cGMP and global central laboratories, the PPD Vaccines and Biologics Center of Excellence and BioDuro, its Beijing-based drug discovery services company.
Babiss brings to PPD more than 21 years of experience in developing and leading research and development laboratories. He most recently served as president and director of pharmaceutical research for F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd., in Basel, Switzerland, where his responsibilities included creating global laboratory functions in chemistry, discovery technologies, therapeutic proteins, non-clinical safety and informatics. He supported drug discovery efforts in oncology, neurosciences, inflammation, virology and metabolism and was a member of the company’s pharma executive and strategic portfolios committees.
Prior to joining Hoffmann-La Roche, Babiss spent seven years with Glaxo Inc., now GlaxoSmithKline. As vice president of biological sciences and genetics, he had global accountability for developing and implementing the company’s corporate genetics strategy and oncology research efforts focused on the cell cycle.
Babiss earned a doctorate in microbiology from Columbia University and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University, where he served as an assistant and associate professor. He has received numerous fellowship awards and grants and serves on several scientific advisory committees and boards.
Thomas holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Stuttgart in Germany. He joined Bayer in Leverkusen in 1991, spent 5 years in the Central Technology Department and moved on to become a production lead for the Polyester unit in Dormagen (Germany). In 1999 he got an assignment in the CESRO office in Baytown, TX and became 2002 Head of the Process Technology Group of Bayer Technology Services in America. Since 2007 he is heading the BTS Product Group Applied Science and Biotechnology. Consolidating and streamlining the efforts of the BTS-Healthcare activities he relocated 2009 to Bayer's Biotech production location in Berkeley California and became V.P. of BTS-A Process Technology Healthcare.
Nigel Titchener-Hooker leads the UCL Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (IMRC) in Bioprocessing programme. This involves a multidisciplinary group from over a dozen departments to research new methods to speed the development of efficient and robust processes for the manufacture of the next generations of macromolecular drugs. The work brings together researchers from Structural and Molecular Biology (Professor John Ward), and within the Faculty of Engineering Science significant collaborations exist with Computer Science (Professor Tony Hunter), Chemical Engineering (Dr. Eva Sorenson and Dr. Lazaros Papageorgiou). Internally Dr. Dan Bracewell, Dr. Nicolas Szita, Dr. Yuhong Zhou, Dr. Eli Keshavarz-Moore and Professor Mike Hoare help Nigel in the management of the IMRC consortium that comprises 15 leading national and international companies.
Keith Russell obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK with Dr. A. B. Holmes in 1984 in the area of synthetic organic chemistry. He was then awarded a NATO post-doctoral fellowship to work with Professor L. A. Paquette at Ohio State University (1984-1986) in the USA. In 1986 he took up a position as a Senior Research Chemist in the Medicinal Chemistry Department of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in Alderley Park, UK. In 1989 he transferred to the Medicinal Chemistry Department in the Wilmington, DE research site of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in the USA, where he became the Director of Chemistry in the CNS Discovery Area overseeing the research efforts of 80 chemists.
During this time he was also a Discovery Project Leader and delivered development opportunities for depression, asthma, and urge incontinence. Keith made significant contributions to the introduction and application of automation, intranet, combinatorial chemistry, chemical genetics and other new innovative approaches and technologies into AstraZeneca drug discovery. Keith became a Six Sigma Black Belt and spearheaded the first successful complex cross-functional Business improvement programs using Lean Sigma and Design for Lean Six Sigma approaches in R&D. As a MBB Keith has continued to be a change leader for the improvement of R&D Productivity via introduction and spread of new Continuous Improvement approaches across R&D. His current focus is in the area of Innovation and Design. Keith is the author of over 30 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on over 25 patents emanating from his work at AstraZeneca.
At Merck & Co., I lead IT for Discovery & Preclinical Sciences (DPS) working with leadership in DPS research groups to develop and manage a portfolio of research applications, systems and high performance computing infrastructure to support biomarker research and target ID up to first clinical studies.
Prior to Merck, my work at Booz Allen was working with the partnership to establish and build out the pharma & life sciences IT strategy practice. This spanned the entire pharma value chain with projects such as post-merger integration, IT strategy, informatics strategy, research organizational change and design.
My work at CuraGen also spanned the entire pharma research and development continuum and included informatics strategy, design, implementation, support, and integration across basic research, pre-clinical, development, clinical, and regulatory functions. While at CuraGen, my responsibilities also included corporate IT and some support of 454 (now part of Roche).
My training is in cellular & molecular biology, biochemistry, neuroscience and I have a Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from Boston University School of Medicine. With over 15 years of expertise in IT and informatics my goal is to provide scientists greater access and integration of all forms of information to expedite research, and inject technology innovation into the discovery processes.
Dr Merchant is currently the Chief Scientific Officer for Translational Science in Lilly Research Laboratories at Eli Lily and Company. Her group is responsible for providing scientific data that connect drug targets to disease state biology in individual patient populations and biomarkers that facilitate clinical development of novel therapeutics. The group achieves its objectives via integrated application of state-of-the-art techniques in molecular genetics, functional genomics, molecular pathology, imaging and mass spectrometry-based proteomics, lipidomics and matabolomics. Her group contributes to all prioritized therapeutic areas at Lilly including Oncology. Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders, Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders, Autoimmune Disorders and Musculoskeletal Disorders.
She received her doctorate in neuropharmacology from University of Utah in 1989. Following a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Washington, she was appointed as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Washington. She was recruited to Lilly in 2003 from a position of Senior Research Advisor and Fellow at Pharmacia Corp, where she had contributed to CNS drug discovery efforts for 10 years. Dr Merchant is an expert in translational approaches for the discovery and development of drugs.
Her own current laboratory focus is on new target discovery and validation approaches for Parkinson’s disease. She is engaged in the wider scientific community via her service on the Scientific Advisory Board for Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, NIH Study Sections, work-shops and Advisory Panels as well as membership in several national and international professional societies.
Ted Torphy, PhD, has 30 years’ experience and a successful record in both small-molecule and large-molecule drug discovery. In addition, Dr. Torphy is a recognized leader in bringing open innovation to the pharmaceutical industry.
Mr Donahue has more than fifteen years of executive level entrepreneurial and Board experience in global life sciences companies, including MDL Information Systems Inc, Spotfire Inc. and LION bioscience AG. He holds degrees in Chemistry and Computer Science from Villanova University in Villanova Pennsylvania.
Khusru Asadullah is Owner at Dermatological Practice and Consulting before this he Vice President and Head of Global Biomarker at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and headed inflammation and immunology research at Bayer Schering Pharma. He is a professor of medicine at the University hospital berlin. He graduated from the Medical School Charité in Berlin and Harvard Business School. Boston and is a board certified dermatologist and immunologist.
Mr. Daniel Grau, Dan, M.Phil., serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Cortria Corporation. Mr. Grau serves as President of USA Operations at Heptares Therapeutics Ltd. He served as Chief Operating Officer of Zalicus Inc. (a/k/a Combinatorx Inc.) from January 31, 2007 to May 6, 2008 and its Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations since January 2006. He served as Business Consultant to Pharmacia Corporation (now Pfizer). Mr. Grau served as President and Chief Executive Officer of CortriaTM Corporation from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Grau was responsible for corporate development, strategic planning.
Eric de La Fortelle is Global Head, External Research and Technologies, for Roche Partnering in Basel, Switzerland. He heads a group with a global mandate to find partners, establish contracts and manage alliances with companies offering innovative technologies for every stage of product discovery, development and lifecycle. Such technologies include discovery technologies (assays, small molecules, biologics, RNA, cell therapies) as well as bioinformatics, biomarkers, safety, and formulation/delivery technologies. Eric is a scientist by training, with contributions in the field of structure-based drug design (determination of 3D structures of protein targets by X-ray crystallography).
Dr. Eric Perakslis joins Precision for Medicine as Senior Advisor, Bioinformatics and Information Technology. He will provide strategic and scientific guidance to the Precision leadership team in the development, acquisition, and execution of products and services in the rapidly evolving field of bioinformatics and health information technology. The addition of Dr. Perakslis expands and enhances our ability to support life science innovators in the development and commercialization of next generation medicines. In addition to his role at Precision, Dr. Perakslis serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics and the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining Harvard,
Dr. Gottschalk is Group Vice President, Purification Technologies, with a global responsibility for bioseparation products at Sartorius Stedim Biotech. He worked in different capacities for Bayer Health Care from 1991-2004 and became head of the GMP protein purification facility in Wuppertal.
Dr. Boon received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Amsterdam. He also carried out post-doctoral positions at University of Amsterdam at the Department of Anatomy and Embryology and at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology. Thereafter he was one of the founders of PanGenetics where he was responsible for project management and animal studies. Since the merger between PanGenetics and Tanox Inc. in Houston, he had the position of VP Preclinical in which he was world-wide responsible for preclinical safety assessments and animals studies for the Tanox group. Dr. Boon has performed antibody therapy for immunoinflammatory diseases both in murine and non-human primate disease models and healthy non-human primates. Thereafter Dr. Boon was one of the founders of MacroZyme BV and for 2 years Director of Preclinical R&D of MacroZyme BV, where he was responsible for a small molecule project in the metabolic field and various potential protein-based therapeutic molecules. In 2003 he was one of the founders of Bioceros BV where he currently holds a position of Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). In addition he held a position as CSO for 4AZA Bioscience NV and VP Preclinical (ad interim) for PanGenetics BV until the end of 2006. He has extensive experience in molecular and cellular immunology and in therapeutic antibody development and has been involved in the trajectory of preclinical preparation and design of First into Man studies using therapeutic antibodies. Dr. Boon is author/co-author of over 200 papers in international scientific journals in the field of medical biotechnology.
Steve Rees is currently Vice-President of Screening Sciences and Sample Management at AstraZeneca with global responsibility for High Throughput Screening, Compound Management, the human tissue BioBank and the provision of SAR biology support to preclinical discovery projects. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Steve worked at GlaxoSmithKline for 24 years in various roles including that of Director of the Screening and Compound Profiling Department at GlaxoSmithKline in Stevenage. Steve has been responsible for developing hit identification, compound profiling and compound management strategies for AstraZenenca and previously GlaxoSmithKline. Steve has led multiple international collaborations and has sponsored the development and implementation of a range of cellular assay technologies for ion channel, GPCR and other target classes.
With 22 years of experience in order to manage innovation, we have had to sort out what the fields of innovation are. We are looking at what we have in the pot from discovery down to commercial. What is the overall portfolio of products in the company, the ones that are at the early stages, as well as the ones we are manufacturing? We're working on the type of processes and the technology we are using from the early microorganism down to the final box - looking at where the needs for technology are in the company and also in terms of order of magnitude in the market.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Herget is currently Head of Processing Technologies within the Merck Millipore process solutions division of Merck KGaA, where he develops new methods and materials for bioprocessing. He is also a medical professor at the University of Mainz and a biochemistry professor at the TU Darmstadt. He has received several awards, submitted 25 patents and authored more than 50 peer-reviewed papers. From 2004-2010, Prof. Dr. Thomas Herget served as the Director, New Technology Evaluation within Merck KGaA’s Chemicals R&D division. In that role, he ran laboratories in Darmstadt (Germany) and oversaw the R&D activities of Novagen (Madison) and Calbiochem (San Diego). In 2000, he joined the Munich-based Axxima Pharmaceuticals AG (now GPC Biotech), a biotech startup founded by Prof. Axel Ullrich, to focus on the development of protein kinase inhibitors in infectious diseases.
Clients At A Glance