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Drug Design, Development and Therapy

Prof. Dr. Boeckler

Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Eberhard-Karls University Tuebingen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Boeckler

Co-Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Frank Boeckler

Dr. Boeckler is a W3 Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design at the Department of Pharmacy and Biochemistry at Eberhard Karls University in Tuebingen. Since 2014, he is also member of the Center of Bioinformatics (ZBIT) of the University of Tuebingen. At the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, he is head of the laboratory of Molecular Design & Pharmaceutical Biophysics, which combines Chemical Biology, Molecular and Structural Biology and Biophysics, as well as Computational Chemistry and Molecular Design. His work is dedicated to understanding molecular interactions as the foundation for chemical biology and drug discovery, to apply theoretical and biophysical methods to cancer research, and to develop novel peptide-based toolkits.

Studying receptor-ligand interactions in GPCR drug discovery from computational models to pharmacological consequences, Dr. Boeckler received his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry with summa cum laude at Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen (Germany). He specialized in computational chemistry and drug design, ranging from QM methods to in silico screening. As a visiting scientist, he did research projects at the ETH Zurich (Behavioral Neurobiology) and at the Philipps University Marburg (Drug Design). In 2006, he joined Prof. Sir Alan R. Fersht at the MRC Center for Protein Engineering in Cambridge/UK as DFG and later Marie Curie fellow and discovered there p53 mutant stabilizers as potential new cancer therapeutics (PNAS 2008, 105, 10360). While working in Cambridge at the interface of experiment and theory, he focused on molecular biology and biophysics. In 2008, he was appointed as Professor (W2tt) for Bioanalytics at Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) Munich. In 2010, he moved to Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen as Professor for Medicinal Chemistry/Drug Design, where he now heads the Laboratory for Molecular Design & Pharmaceutical Biophysics. Since 2008, his lab has been developing methods and tools for improving the understanding and applicability of molecular interactions, particularly halogen bonding (XB). As innovative interactions, based on electron anisotropy and the formation of the σ-hole, halogen bonds bear the potential to extent the chemical space of pharmacophores in ligands targeting certain areas of the biological space (J. Med. Chem. 2013, 56, 1363). Tools and methods developed in the Boeckler lab range from XB scoring functions (J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2015, 55, 687) to halogen-enriched fragment libraries (JACS 2012, 134, 6810).

Dr. Boeckler serves as member of different Scientific and Editorial Advisory Boards. In 2015 he has joined the team of editors of the RÖMPP Encyclopedia covering the area of Pharmacy and Medicine. He has received multiple awards, including the Klaus-Grohe prize in Medicinal Chemistry, as well as the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC) Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia Prize (2016).

Dr Janetka

Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University School of Medicine, United States

Dr Janetka

Co-Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jim Janetka

Dr. Janetka is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and an adjunct professor of Chemistry, and also a faculty member of the Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research (cWIDR) and the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center (SCC) at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is co-founder of Fimbrion Therapeutics, Inc., a startup company focused on antivirulence strategies for infectious disease therapy. Dr. Janetka has been a professor at Washington University since 2009. He has authored 35 peer-reviewed research publications and review articles, of which 25 have been published since 2009. A goal of his research is the discovery and development of unique therapeutics for bacterial and parasitic infectious diseases, as well as cancer.

Dr. Janetka is an accomplished medicinal chemist with 20 years of drug discovery and development experience. Dr. Janetka earned a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he developed novel synthetic methodology and designed some of the first-generation HIV-protease inhibitors. He then completed his postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health working on non-morphinan δ-opioid ligands. He joined Vertex Pharmaceuticals in 1997 working on the design and synthesis of antivirals (HCV helicase and protease inhibitors) and ERK kinase inhibitors for the treatment of hepatitis C and cancer, respectively. Subsequently, at AstraZeneca he was a project leader in the development of multiple kinase inhibitors and SMO antagonists of the hedgehog pathway, both important clinical targets for cancer. Project teams under his leadership were responsible for the clinical development of two oncology drugs, the ERK kinase inhibitor BVD-523 (ulixertinib) while at Vertex, and the CHK cell cycle kinase inhibitor AZD7762 at AstraZeneca. He in an inventor on 18 US issued patents and over 40 PCT patent applications.  Dr. Janetka’s current research is focused on developing peptide, glycoside and small molecule modulators targeting proteins and processes outside the cell.  In one project, he is developing antivirulence compounds targeting bacterial lectins to treat infections and in another project he is developing inhibitors of growth-factor activating enzymes as a novel therapeutic strategy to treat cancer.

Dr Deng

Professor of Medicine at Houston Methodist Research Institute, Faculty Member of the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, United States

Dr Deng

Associate Editor: Dr Tuo Deng

Dr. Deng earned a Bachelor Degree with honor from Peking University and obtained a Ph. D. in Biology from Tsinghua University in 2006. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Houston Methodist Research Institute and a faculty member of the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Deng began the study on metabolic diseases in 2001, and continued his research in the field of obesity and diabetes.  In his Ph.D. study, Dr. Deng has conducted vital studies elucidating the target genes of PPARgamma, as well as discovering and developing novel PPAR ligands for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. During his study in Chipscreen Biosciences, Dr. Deng made significant contributions to discover a serious of PPAR agonists and HDAC inhibitors for the treatment of diabetes and cancer. He is the co-inventor of a number of granted patents.

During his postdoctoral training, Dr. Deng was focused on the identification of the trigger signal of obesity-induced adipose inflammation, which is the major contributor of most obesity related diseases.  He made the paradigm shattering discovery that adipocyte MHCII (class II major histocompatibility complex) triggers obesity-induced adipose inflammation by initiating adipose resident T cell activation, suggesting that the adipocytes act as antigen presenting cells to initiate obesity-induced adipose inflammation and systemic complications. This study was published in Cell Metabolism as a cover story and, in turn, attracted attention with editorials in many of the leading scientific journals and in the local and national press and formed the basis of his successful AHA young scientist award. At this stage of his career, Dr. Deng has continued to investigate adipose inflammation and obesity-related diseases.

Dr Guo

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, United States

Dr Guo

Associate Editor: Dr Qiongyu Guo

Dr. Guo is a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She earned her BS degree in Polymer Science and Engineering from University of Science and Technology of China in 2004. She obtained her PhD in Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in 2010. She has authored 16 peer-reviewed research publications and review articles. Her research focuses on engineering biomaterials through translational approaches so that the clinical use may be realized to enhance human health and well-being. She specialized in developing drug delivery systems and functional biomaterials for tissue engineering and cancer treatments. She has extensive experience on biodegradable drug-eluting stent, light activated cell migration, biomimetic artificial cornea and musculoskeletal regeneration.

Dr Lymperopoulos

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nova Southeastern University, United States

Dr Lymperopoulos

Associate Editor: Dr Anastasios Lymperopoulos (PhD, FAHA, FESC)

My career started by earning M.Sc. in Medicinal Chemistry followed by Ph.D. in Pharmacology, after graduating from the School of Pharmacy of the University of Patras, Greece. Its major turning point was in 2004, when I joined the lab of Dr. Walter Koch, a former postdoctoral fellow of Nobel laureate Professor Robert Lefkowitz`s lab at Duke University. During my 5-year postdoctoral tenure there, I had several successes, awards and honors, most prominent among which my elections as Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) with its Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS) and as Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC), as well as a 5-year Scientist Development Grant award from the American Heart Association (AHA). In addition, I have been an AHA post-doctoral research fellow for a total of three years in the past, and, in fact, my postdoctoral fellowship application with AHA in 2007 got an unusual 1-year extension based on its exceptionally high score. I have also been a finalist for the AHA-sponsored Melvin L. Marcus Young Investigator Award in Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, and for the Cardiovascular Research Award of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), I hold three (provisional) research patents, and I currently serve as associate editor of four peer-reviewed journals, published by esteemed publishers (British Pharmacological Society, Wolters Kluwer Health, Dove Medical Press). I have edited one textbook published by Springer and authored several book chapters. I also serve as a regular peer-reviewer for several prestigious journals, including “British Journal of Pharmacology”, "Circulation Research", and “American Journal of Cardiology”. Finally, I have published in various prestigious scientific journals: Nature Medicine; Circulation; JACC; PNAS; JBC, Circ. Res., to name a few (for an extensive list of my >50 peer-reviewed publications see MEDLINE) and my h-index is 13 (>1000 total citations, as of January 2016). I currently serve as NSU College of Pharmacy faculty at the Associate Professor level and mentor several PhD and PharmD students in cardiovascular research in my lab.

Professor Ogris

Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Austria

Professor Ogris

Associate Editor: Professor Manfred Ogris

Dr Ogris is Professor for Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Vienna and Head of the Laboratory for Macromolecular Cancer Therapeutics (MMCT). After studying biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, he carried out his PhD at the Vienna Biocenter on the development and in vivo application of tumor targeted, polycation based gene delivery systems. During his postdoctoral stay at the CRC Institute of Cancer Research, University of Birmingham/UK, he worked on peptide based endosomal escape mechanisms to improve synthetic gene delivery systems. In 2001, Dr Ogris joined the Faculty of Pharmacy and Chemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich as a work group leader at the Chair of Pharmaceutical Biology and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. The focus of his ‘Vectorology’ research group was to develop specific and efficient plasmid and siRNA based nucleic acid vectors for treatment of metastatic cancers in combination with chemo- and radiation therapy. In 2009, Dr Ogris obtained his venia docendi (habilitation) for Pharmaceutical Biology and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. In 2013, he was appointed as a full professor for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the Department for Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences of the University Vienna, where he founded and heads the MMCT lab. The lab has a strong focus on the development of macromolecular formulations for targeted drug delivery and the development of nucleic acid based therapies.

Dr Panos

Department of Ophthalmology, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust (affiliated to the University of Cambridge), United Kingdom

Dr Panos

Associate Editor: Dr Georgios D. Panos

Dr Georgios D. Panos graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2007. Following his graduation, he completed a research fellowship in Ophthalmology (Cataract & Anterior Segment Unit) at Papageorgiou Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (2007-2009). He accomplished his residency training in Ophthalmology (2009-2013) at the Cantonal Hospital of Fribourg, Switzerland, at the University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Greece and at the Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland. From October 2012 to December 2014 he was "Chef de Clinique" (Chief Resident – Junior Faculty Staff Member) in Ophthalmology (Neuro-ophthalmology & Paediatric Ophthalmology Unit) at the Geneva University Hospitals. In 2013 he obtained his Doctorate Degree in Medicine (research MD, Clinical Research, Retina, Ophthalmology) from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Since February 2015, he has been Clinical Fellow (Medical Retina & Cataract Surgery) at the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, University of Cambridge, UK.  

His main areas of research interest are ocular pharmacology, medical retina, uveitis, glaucoma, cataract and vitreoretinal surgery.

Professor Sun

Microbiology and Immunology, Guanghua School of Stomatology at Sun Yat-Sen University, China (PRC)

Professor Sun

Associate Editor: Professor Jianbo Sun

Dr. Sun is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Guanghua School of Stomatology at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou. The two main interests of Dr. Sun's lab are molecular mechanism of promoting and suppressing immune response by B cells, and the application of  immunotherapy drugs immobilized by magnetic nanoparticles in cancer prevention and precision treatment.

Dr. Sun received his Ph.D in Microbiology and Nanomedicine in 2007 in China Agricultural University after studing the high yield technology, biocompatibility and application of magnetosomes as nano drug carriers in tumor therapy. He obtained his first postdoctoral training in Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai from 2008 to 2011. He studied there the mechanistic characterizations and functions of transcriptional factor and phosphatase Eya1 and its cofactors Six1, Sox2 and AthoI during the development and growth of vertebrate inner ear and kidney as well as in sensory neurogenesis. Then he moved to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. There, he served as Postdoctoral Research Scientist and then Associate Research Scientist. He studied molecular mechanism of regulatory B cell biogenesis and function, and the mechanism of antibody diversification, genomic instability and oncogenesis resulted from AID and its cofactors such as RNA Exosome, RNA polymerase II and others.

Dr. Sun has 3 authorized patents, 2 book chapters, and 17 papers published in prestigious journals. And his publications are cited more than 450. Dr. Sun also serves as editor for The Internet Journal of Medical Informatics, guest editor for Bio-Medical Materials and Engineering, Technology Program Chair of The 3rd and 4th International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology (iCBEB 2014 and 2015), and Reviewer for 8 reputable journals.

Dr Voruganti

Biochemistry, UT Southwestern Medical Center, United States

Dr Voruganti

Associate Editor: Dr Sukesh Voruganti

Dr. Voruganti is a Research Scientist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center after earning Bachelors of Pharmacy from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India. He currently serves on editorial boards of four peer-reviewed international journals, as a regular peer-reviewer for several prestigious journals. Dr. Voruganti is an expert research scientist with a rare combination of molecular biology, pharmacology, and drug delivery. His research interests have been focussed on cancer drug discovery and development, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamic evaluations, gene and drug delivery with focus on developing formulations for improved bioavailability, safety and targeting.

Professor Zhu

Tianjin Key Lab of modern Chinese medicine, Tianjin Univ. of TCM, China (PRC)

Professor Zhu

Country Editor (PR China): Professor Yan Zhu

Professor Yan Zhu obtained his PhD from Harvard University and completed postdoctoral trainings at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He started his research career as assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, as one of the founding members and an investigator of the Molecular Cardiology Research Center. He also served as director of Laboratory of Molecular Physiology at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, and director of research operation in Molecular Cardiology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center. He held several adjunct lecture professorships in China, including Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Nankai University. In 2011, he returned to China as a recruit of the Tianjin “Qian-Ren Ji-Hua” talent program and now works full-time as a professor of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He currently serves as the executive associate director of the Tianjin State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine and director of R & D Center of Chinese Medicine at Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine.

Professor Zhu has been engaged in cardiovascular studies by combining molecular biology, physiology and pharmacology. His research has been supported by grants from NIH RO1 in USA and MOST 973 project in China. He has published more than 70 research articles in peer-reviewed international journals such as Science, Nature Medicine, and PNAS. His current research focuses on phenotype-based drug screen and discovery from herbal and other natural resources, applying systems biology and network pharmacology techniques to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of complex formula of Chinese medicine in chronic, metabolic and degenerative diseases such as thrombosis, diabetes, and aging. 


Editorial Board

Janice Aldrich-Wright, Professor, Academic lead of the WSU Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative, School of Science and Health, Conjoint Position School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, Australia

Francis Ali-Osman, Professor, Department of Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine, NC, USA

Mansoor M. Amiji, University Distinguished Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Advanced Nano-Delivery Systems (BANDS), Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Soo Kyung Bae, Associate professor, College of Pharmacy, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon, Republic of Korea

Bruce Baguley, Professor and Co-Director, Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Jonathan B. Chaires, Professor of Medicine, James Graham Brown Endowed Chair in Biophysics, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA

James M. Cook, University Distinguished Professor, Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Wei Duan, Professor of Cancer Therapeutics, Deakin University School of Medicine, Melbourne, Australia

Martin Egli, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA

Sanjay Garg, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Centre for Pharmaceutical Innovation and Development, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

Victor J Hruby, Regents Professor of Chemistry, the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

Thomas R Kosten MD, Waggoner Professor, Psychiatry, Baylor and Houston VAMC, Houston, TX, USA

Cyrus R Kumana, Emeritus Professor (Clinical Pharmacologist), Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China

Beom-Jin Lee, Dean and Professor, College of Pharmacy, Ajou University, Korea

David M. Lubman, Maude T. Lane Professor of Surgery, Professor of Pathology and Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Cezary Marcinkiewicz, Associate Professor in Bioengineering, Department of Bioengineering, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

John J. Rossi, Lidow Family Research Chair, Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Dean, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Insitute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA, USA

Wolfgang Sadee, Dr.rer.nat., Felts Mercer Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Director, OSU College of Medicine Center for Pharmacogenomics, The Ohio State University Columbus, OH, USA

Holger Stark, Univ.-Prof. Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf, Germany

Alan Stiles, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Sr. Vice President Network Development and Affiliations, UNC Health Care, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Valter Travagli, Professor in Pharmaceutical Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Siena, Siena, Italy

Mark Trudell, Research Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Gretchen M. Unger, Chief Scientific Officer, GeneSegues, Inc, Chaska, MN, USA

Scott Waldman, Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Michael J. Waring, Professor of Chemotherapy, University of Cambridge, Jesus College, Cambridge, UK