The Chemical Probes Portal Announces its Board of Directors

The Chemical Probes Portal proudly announces its founding Board of Directors: Mark Bunnage (Pfizer), Aled Edwards (SGC), Yung Lie (Damon-Runyon Cancer Research Foundation), Herbert Waldmann (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology), Tim Willson (SGC UNC), and Paul Workman (ICR).

Mark Bunnage is VP Worldwide Medicinal Chemistry at Pfizer and Visiting Professor in Chemistry at the University of Oxford. At Pfizer, Mark is responsible for medicinal chemistry across two Research Units (Inflammation & Immunology, Rare Diseases) and Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation network. In addition, he has established a dedicated Chemical Biology department and team focused on innovation in target biology through external academic partnerships. Mark is recognized internationally for his efforts to promote the rigorous application of chemical probes to validate clinical targets.

Aled Edwards is the founding CEO and Director of the SGC, a public-private partnership dedicated to accelerating biological discovery and drug discovery efforts through open science. Aled also holds the Barnaby Chair in Medical Research at the University of Toronto and is a Visiting Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford. He founded Affinium Pharmaceuticals, which was purchased in 2014 by Debiopharm Group for its antibiotic assets and technology platform. Aled is a driver of the open-science movement. In recognition of his efforts towards creating an open-science ecosystem, Aled was elected as an Ashoka fellow in 2014.

Yung Lie is Deputy Director and CSO for the Damon-Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides today’s best young scientists with funding to pursue innovative cancer research. She manages the Foundation’s portfolio of six award programs. Her goals are to foster new generations of scientists, enabling them to explore novel ideas and take risks, and to fill gaps in traditional research funding that threaten future breakthroughs. Yung guides key partnerships between the Foundation and biopharma companies, which aim to accelerate translation of discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic. She is also an active member of the Health Research Alliance, a group of non-governmental funders of health research, where she is co-chair of the Early Career Scientists Interest Group and contributes to the Open Science Task Force.

Herbert Waldmann is head of the Department of Chemical Biology at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology and has also held the position of Full Professor of Biochemistry at the Technische Universität Dortmund. He heads the Chemical Genomics Center of the Max Planck Society. Author of more than 500 peer-reviewed scientific publications, he has been awarded numerous academic distinctions, including the Otto Bayer Prize, the Emil-Fischer Medal of the German Chemical Society (GDCh), one of the highest distinctions in Organic Chemistry in Germany, the Hans-Herlof-Inhoffen-Medal and the Max Bergmann Medal. In addition to his record of generating high quality chemical tools that enable biological discovery, Herbert has been a scientific consultant and advisor to major pharmaceutical, agrochemical and chemical companies and biotechnology companies for more than 20 years.

Tim Willson is the Director of the SGC site housed in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy that discovers and shares selective, small molecule inhibitors of protein and lipid kinases. Tim was the driver for the formation of the public-private consortium (coordinated by the SGC) to develop small-molecule inhibitors of enzyme modifiers and protein readers of histone tails. This initiative has led to the synthesis and release of over 30 high quality chemical probes for lysine demethylases, lysine methyltransferases, bromodomain and methyl reader proteins that have been used to study their role in epigenetic regulation of human disease. Prior to joining the SGC, Tim was Director of Chemical Biology at GlaxoSmithKline for 25 years, where his laboratory identified chemical probes for the orphan nuclear receptors PPARγ, PPARδ, FXR, LXR, CAR and PXR, which led to the discovery of their roles in human liver and metabolic diseases.

Professor Paul Workman is Chief Executive and President of The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), and Harrap Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Paul has been responsible for more than 20 molecularly targeted cancer drugs entering clinical trial. He is especially renowned for his research in the discovery, chemical biology and molecular pharmacology of drugs and chemical probes acting on protein kinases, PI3 kinases and the molecular chaperone HSP90. Prior to joining ICR in 1997, Paul spent 4 years leading cancer research at AstraZeneca; he was a scientific founder of Piramed Pharma (acquired by Roche) and Chroma Therapeutics. Paul has received several awards including the American Association of Cancer Research Team Science Award; the Cancer Research UK Translational Cancer Research Prize; the George and Christine Sosnovsky Award and World Entrepreneur Award, both of the Royal Society of Chemistry; and the international Raymond Bourgine Award for excellence in cancer research.

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