bio sketch column
Douglas Auld works at Novartis and has 19 years of experience in the drug discovery industry with a understanding of academic, government, biotechnology and large pharmaceutical company approaches that have been applied to enable drug discovery. Dr Auld received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina with Prof Gary J Pielak in 1993; he studied Cytochrome c as a model of protein folding, using 2D-NMR to characterize mutants, which pointed to the role of weakly polar interactions in stabilizing the protein. This education was later applied to discover a potent inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, which operates by inhibiting protein folding in cells, while he was also helping to pioneer combinatorial chemistry approaches to drug discovery at Pharmacopeia. He performed his post-doctoral training at MIT with Prof Paul Schimmel where he studied isoleucyl tRNA synthetase and the molecular recognition of RNA by these enzymes. In 2004, he helped start the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC). At the NCGC, his group was deeply involved in profiling the PubChem library in a wide-range of biochemical and cell-based assays. In these efforts, he applied innovative screening approaches, enzymology, biophysical techniques and high-content cellular analysis to guide chemical optimization efforts. The NCGC has now become NCATS. At Novartis, his labs provide assay development and resources for internal drug discovery efforts as well as providing resources and expertise to support academic collaborations. He is the author of >100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, a literature editor and contributor to Gen. Eng. News and Assays and Drug Development Technologies; he is a founding editor and contributor to the Assay Guidance Manual available as an eBook on the NCBI website, which aims to guide researchers in assay development and lead discovery approaches.