Guy Bormans was born in Vilvoorde, Belgium in 1963 and graduated as a pharmacist at the KU Leuven in 1986.
He obtained his PhD in 1990 at the Lab of Radiopharmacy KU Leuven in Belgium based on research with technetium-99m labeled compounds for visualization of kidney function.
Subsequently he did a postdoc in PET radiochemistry in the University of Michigan USA and returned to the Laboratory of Radiopharmacy at the KU Leuven to build out research with PET radiopharmaceuticals labeled with fluorine-18 and carbon-11. His area of research covers radiosynthesis, QC and in vitro and in vivo evaluation of PET radiopharmaceuticals.
Besides academic research he has several projects in cooperation with pharmaceutical industry where PET radiopharmaceuticals are applied for CNS drug development.
Guy Bormans is now head of the laboratory of Radiopharmacy at the University of Leuven Belgium and is co-author of more than 200 peer reviewed publications.
Learning New Things About Old Drugs: Sulfa Drugs and Tetrahydrobiopterin Biosynthesis
Prof. Kai JOHNSSON
SWISS FEDERAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IN LAUSANNE (EPFL), Heidelberg, Germany Read more
Prof. Kai JOHNSSON
Kai Johnsson is Full Professor at the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and co-director of the NCCR Chemical Biology (http://www.nccr-chembio.ch). His current research interests are the development and application of chemical approaches to study and manipulate protein function. His past achievements include the introduction of different approaches to specifically label proteins in living cells; among these the SNAP-tag and CLIP-tag have become popular in the biological community.
Kai Johnsson is Associate Editor of ACS Chemical Biology since 2005. He is member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Science and of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation. He is co-founder of Covalys Biosciences which was based on protein labeling technologies developed in his laboratory; these technologies are now available through New England BioLabs. He received the Prix APLE for the invention of the year 2003 of EPFL, the Novartis Lectureship Award 2012/13 and is elected member of EMBO.
Radiotracer Development in the Era of Personalized Medicine: When MedChem meets Nuclear Medicine
Prof. Roger Schibli is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences (ETH Zurich) since 2010, and Head of the Center for Radiopharmaceutical Science (CRS), a joint endeavor between the ETH Zurich, the Paul Scherrer Institute and the University Hospital Zurich. Prof. Schibli studied Chemistry at the University of Basel, Switzerland and performed his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Kaden. After his graduation, he spent two years at the University of Missouri-Columbia, MO as a post-doctoral fellow. He was appointed Assistant Professor (tenure track) for Therapeutics Technologies at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (ETH Zurich) in 2004 and was tenured in 2009.
Prof. Schibli's research interests cover targeted tumor diagnosis and therapy using radiolabeled compounds. Apart from the chemical modification and radioactive labeling of molecules, his group emphasizes on the biological and pharmacological characterization and optimization of the radioactive compounds including non-invasive PET and SPET imaging. New, medically relevant radionuclides for his pre-clinical and clinical studies are produced at the cyclotron and neutron facilities of the ETH and the Paul Scherrer Institute.
New Therapeutic Modalities to Unleash Pharma Drug Discovery
Christian Viskov, Ph.D., is currently Head of Chemical Biology, R&D (Vitry, France). Most of the research activities are today focused on the chemistry of Antibody Drug Conjugates and on protein chemistry conjugation. He has twenty years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has spent more than fourteen years in the field of complex biologics and especially in glycosaminoglycans chemistry. Dr. Viskov is author of more than fifty publications and patents. He is a member of Expert Committee for Biologics and biotechnological products at US Pharmacopeia (2015-2020 cycle) as well as for Heparins and Low Molecular Weight Heparins.
Using Aged Drugs in New Ways, the Concept of Boosting Antibiotics
In 1995, I started studying Chemistry at Lille (France). In 1999, I moved to Warwick University (UK) to discover Chemical Biology and carbohydrates synthesis. Back to France in 2000, I received a master degree in Organic Chemistry (Lille). I decided to further explore medicinal chemistry and received a Ph.D. in 2003 under the direction of Pr. André Tartar. Appointed lecturer in 2002, I assumed the position of assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry at the school of Pharmacy in Lille between 2004 and 2013. In 2013, I was appointed Full Professor of Organic Chemistry.
My research program in the Inserm U1177 unit, leading by Pr. B. Deprez, focuses on three main topics:
(a) the development of new scaffolds and new synthesis procedures for the design of chemical libraries,
(b) the development of new strategies to fight infectious diseases (especially tuberculosis),
(c) the design of new tools for chemical biology approaches based on click-chemistry strategies.
During my Ph.D., I started working on the development of the regional chemical library by selecting lead-like and drug-like molecules from commercial libraries thanks to the development of in silico filters. In parallel, I worked on the design of new scaffolds and privileged structures used for the synthesis of focused libraries (Willand et al. Tet. Lett. 2004). Moreover I validated the discovery of new chemical pathways for the synthesis of drug-like molecules (Willand et al. Tet. Lett. 2007) and identified new multi-component synthesis to enrich the chemical library with original structures (Toto et al. Tet. Lett. 2006). Today, this library, which is now composed of almost 70 000 compounds, has already been given hits after screening on many targets (enzymes, receptors, protein protein interactions) and continues to grow thanks to chemical innovations (Jida et al. 2011).
In a second part of my research, I focus on the development of new strategies to fight tuberculosis, lying on the boosting of known antibiotics. This work started 9 years ago in collaboration with microbiologists (A. Baulard, Lille and P. Brodin, Seoul) and crystallographers (V. Villeret, Lille). In this context, we validated a mycobacterial transcriptional repressor EthR as a new target to boost ethionamide, and discovered inhibitors thanks to three complementary approaches: a structure-based design, a high-throughput screening of the regional library based on the development of new assays and a fragment-based strategy. 4 years later, we published in the prestigious review Nature Medicine the proof of principle after testing our lead compound in a mouse model of tuberculosis infection (Willand et al. Nat. Med. 2009). Today, we have so far identified 3 distinct chemical families of boosters after a second round of optimization (Flipo et al. J. Med. Chem. 2011 & 2012). We have now started the preclinical development of candidates in collaboration with the Swiss company Bioversys and GlaxoSmithKline under the funding of the Wellcome Trust.
For these achievements, I received in 2009 the prize for the creation of innovative technologies from Oseo and the french ministry of research and in 2011 the Award in Medicinal Chemistry from the French Society of Therapeutic Chemistry and Servier Laboratories.
Over the past 10 years, I have demonstrated skills to supervise projects in the field of applied organic chemistry, drug design and chemical biology. This work has resulted in the identification of candidates for regulatory preclinical development. My scientific production accounts for: 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals, 2 publications in a book of international conference, 5 patent applications licensed to Bioversys A.G. and 6 oral presentations as guest speaker.
Uncovering and Mitigating Clearance in Early Discovery: New Technologies, New Opportunities, New Mindset
Dr Alfred ZIMMERLIN
NOVARTIS INSTITUTES FOR BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH, Basel, Switzerland Read more
Dr Alfred ZIMMERLIN
Biochemist and molecular biologist (University of Strasbourg, France). Senior scientist with more than 18 years of experience within Novartis in three different units: DMPK (preclinical), Clinical Pharmacology (development) and lately ADME (discovery). Provides data and expert advice companywide in ADME areas with focus on mitigation of issues related to metabolism and drug interactions.