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1992 …2023

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Target Validation, Lead Discovery, and Lead Optimization for Neglected Diseases

My group focuses on the discovery and preclinical development of new therapeutic leads for neglected diseases. We place a major focus on discovering new therapeutic chemotypes, determining their mechanism of action, and conducting proof-of-concept studies in pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) models of disease. All of the projects are intended to deliver well-validated compounds that have suitable pharmacokinetic and toxicology profiles for detailed in vivo studies.  During my independent career, both historically and currently, the projects in my laboratory have been split roughly equally between oncology and protozoal diseases.

Our work spans the entire process from initial identification of new chemical hits through optimization of late leads in animal models and finally to the design and execution of human clinical trials. To date, our work has identified dozens of potential new leads for these diseases with novel mechanisms of action or novel applications.  We have contributed to repurposing drugs for clinical trials for ependymoma, infantile ALL, and medulloblastoma; contributed a repurposed clinical candidate for retinoblastoma; and produced a novel clinical candidate, (+)-SJ733, for the treatment of malaria that is currently entering Phase 2 trials (

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Physiology, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Relationships between cholesterol homeostasis and ras and hedgehog signaling, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Sep 1 1996Sep 1 1998

Doctor of Philosophy, The Scripps Research Institute


Bachelor of Arts, Reed College



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