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ISAR Elections 2018
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ISAR ELECTIONS 2018

 

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President 


Prof. Andrea Brancale is a Professor in Medicinal Chemistry atCardiff University. He undertook his Ph.D. and postdoctoral work in synthetic medicinal chemistry under Professor Chris McGuigan, focusing on the design and synthesis of novel nucleosides and nucleotides as potential anticancer and antiviral drugs. With his appointment as lecturer in the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, he strategically directed his research interests on the use of computer-aided techniques to design and discover novel anti-viral and anti-cancer compounds. In 2017, he was promoted to Professor and he continued to establish his reputation as an internationally recognized drug design expert in the antiviral and anticancer field. He is author of more than 130 peer-review papers and actively collaborates with several academic groups in the UK and the rest of the world.His focus in drug discovery and development emerges also from his strong connection with the private sector. He was a scientific consultant for theNASDAQ listed biotech Synergy Pharmaceuticals and for the NASDAQ listed biotech Inhibitex. He is an active member of ISAR: he is an elected ISAR Board member, he has been the Chair of the ISAR Website Committee since 2008. He is also a member of theMembership and Program Committees.In 2013, he was presented with the Young Researcher William Prusoff Award for his contribution to the antiviral field. Currently, he is also the Editor-in-Chief of Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy.


Dr. Kara Carter is Head of Antiviral Drug Discovery at Sanofi. She started her virology journey as an undergraduate at Stanford University in the laboratories of Dr. Ann Arvin and Dr. Charles Prober, working in collaboration with Chiron to develop a diagnostic to differentiate between HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection. Her graduate work was in the laboratory of Dr. Bernard Roizman at the University of Chicago, studying molecular virology of HSV and receiving her PhD in 1996. As an NSF funded post-doc in the laboratory of Dr. Elliott Kieff at Harvard University she studied EBV transformation of human B cells, applying the emerging technology of transcriptional profiling in collaboration with Lou Staudt’s lab to characterize LCLs and established EBV containing cell lines. Moving into industry, at both PRAECIS Pharmaceuticals and Genzyme Corporation, Dr. Carter led a number of virology, immunology and oncology programs focusing mostly on small molecule drug discovery. While at Genzyme, she also played a role in the antiviral in-licensing efforts at Genzyme to support the transplant business unit and contributed to the acquisition of AnorMED. After Sanofi acquired Genzyme, Dr. Carter spent two years supporting in-licensing activities in Infectious Disease, Immunology, Multiple Sclerosis, and Rare Disease while working with the Infectious Disease unit to develop a strategy to start internal virology drug discovery. During this cross-training tenure in Business Development, she participated in five major in-licensing deals. In 2014, Dr. Carter founded the Antiviral Drug Discovery group at Sanofi focusing on HBV and HIV cure initiatives, emerging infections and viral respiratory diseases and managing a global team in the US, France and China. As part of this work, major collaborations have been established with INSERM, Institute Pasteur Shanghai, Fudan University, Vanderbilt University, Oregon Health Sciences University and NIAID. Since the start of this group, Sanofi virology has moved two programs into preclinical development with first in man studies planned for late 2018 and will shortly be initiating two POC studies, one each in HIV and HBV. Dr. Carter serves on the SAB for the Antiviral Drug Discovery and Development Center. A member of ISAR for 15 years, Dr. Carter has served on several committees including Finance, New Member, Publication and Women in Science. Dr. Carter has been a mentor through the ISAR Women in Science program and co-leads the ISAR Webinar Series. 


Board Of Directors (two seats) 


Dr. Robert W. Buckheit, Jr., Ph.D - Since 1989, Dr. Buckheit has been intimately involved in the preclinical development of therapeutic and preventative anti-infective agents with a focus on agents for use against HIV, HBV and respiratory viruses, as well as drug resistant microorganisms. Dr. Buckheit has developed and managed infectious disease research programs for biotechnology, pharmaceutical, academic and government organizations, including a variety of multi-million dollar and technically complex federal contracts, hundreds of programs with virtual and small biotechnology companies, research programs with pharmaceutical industry companies, and collaborative programs with academic investigators. Dr. Buckheit’s experience with anti-infective evaluations includes the evaluation of well over 500,000 anti-infective molecules and has resulted in over 200 publications in the peer reviewed literature as well as dozens of projects that have progressed compounds to the IND stage of drug development.

Dr. Buckheit founded ImQuest BioSciences in February 2004 and is ImQuest’s President and Chief Scientific Officer. ImQuest provides services to the government and pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors and collaborates with academic investigators. The company is dedicated to providing technical and professional support for the development of a broad spectrum of therapeutic agents and topical microbicides, including anti-infective and anti-cancer agents as well as treatments for other diverse human diseases such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Buckheit is also a founder of two biopharmaceutical companies (ImQuest Pharmaceuticals and Lubrinovation, Inc.) which develop products derived from the operations of ImQuest BioSciences. ImQuest BioSciences has been awarded as Frederick County’s Small Business of the Year, Dr. Buckheit was honored as an Entrepreneur of the Year by the Maryland Technology Council, and ImQuest has twice been named Best Places to Work in Frederick County.

Dr. Buckheit earned his Ph.D. in 1986 from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Duke University Medical Center. After obtaining his doctoral degree, Dr. Buckheit joined the molecular retrovirology laboratory of Dr. Ronald Swanstrom as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Buckheit joined Southern Research Institute in 1989, starting as a Research Scientist in the Birmingham, Alabama-based Microbiology Research Department and advancing to the role of Director of Infectious Disease Research in Southern’s Frederick, MD facilities. In 2002, Dr. Buckheit joined TherImmune Research Corporation as Director of Infectious Disease, Cancer and Immunology Research.

Dr. Buckheit has been a long time member of ISAR and has attended nearly all of the conferences of the Society. During his many years of association with the Society he has served in many roles, including participation or leadership of the Membership Committee, Poster Awards Committee, and Program Committee. Most recently, Dr. Buckheit has nearly completed his six year term as President of the Society. At the conclusion of his term as Past President this year at the meeting in Porto Dr. Buckheit hopes to continue his involvement with ISAR as a member of the ISAR Board of Director’s bringing his many years of knowledge and experience of Society operations to this new role.


Prof. Chris Meier, born 1962 in Berlin, Germany, received a diploma and a doctorate (Ph.D.) in Chemistry from the University of Marburg, Germany. During his Ph.D. thesis, he worked in the group of Prof. Gernot Boche on the synthesis of so-called ultimate carcinogens formed from aromatic amines by metabolic steps, metabolites which are involved in the induction of the chemical carcinogenesis. He joined the Organic Chemistry Division at the Pasteur-Institute in Paris, France, headed by Prof. Jean Igolen and Prof. Tam Huynh-Dinh as a Post-Doc and started working on nucleoside chemistry and prodrugs. He returned to Germany joining the University of Frankfurt/Main in 1991 as an Assistant Professor under the mentorship of Prof. Joachim Engels. In 1996 he obtained the Habilitation in Organic Chemistry from the University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany. He was appointed as Associate Professor at the University of Würzburg, Germany and then in 1999 he joined University of Hamburg, Germany as a full professor. He is the Scientific Director of the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) in Hamburg. Moreover, he is the current President elect of the International Society on Nucleoside, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids (IS3NA), after being Vice-President the previous two years. He received the Prusoff-Award in 2007 from the International Society on Antiviral Research (ISAR) and will receive the Antonin Holy-Award in 2018. He was involved with ISAR since many years ago, serving as chair of the program committee "medicinal chemistry” and being a long standing member of the poster award committee. Recently, he was awarded as being a Zhiquiang-guest professor from Shanghai University, China, and he has worked as an invited guest professor and visiting professor at the University of Montpellier II and Toulouse, France, and Shanghai, China. His research focuses are pronucleotide development, nucleoside chemistry, structure-based drug design of small molecule antivirals against Bunya viridae and hemorrhagic fever viruses, carbohydrate chemistry, phosphorylation methods in nucleoside chemistry and the synthesis of photocaged compounds, e.g. second messengers. He has published more than 220 scientific publications and is an inventor of record in 10 issued patents.


Dr. Joana Duarte Da Rocha Pereira is a Research Associate in the laboratory of Prof. Johan Neyts, at the Rega Institute for Medical Research, in Leuven (Belgium). Joana started her research career studying the replication of noroviruses in 2008, after graduating in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Porto, Portugal. She obtained a PhD degree in 2013 for her work on the identification of small molecule inhibitors of the replication of noroviruses. Since then, she joined the Neyts lab, where she has optimized norovirus mouse models of infection. As a part of her Marie Curie fellowship, she has been leading the (biology) efforts on a norovirus drug discovery campaign together with the Center for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3).

Her research interests extend to other enteric viruses and to bunyaviruses, on which she worked as a team member in two EU-funded consortia. She is the author of 15 papers in peer-reviewed journals (11 of which as first author) and has given a number of lectures on the topic of norovirus at international meetings. Joana is an Associate Editor of Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy and a member of the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Pharmacology.

Joana first attended the 25th ICAR in Sapporo, Japan (2012) and since then has become an enthusiastic and active member of ISAR. She is currently a member of the Publications, Membership, Poster Award, and The Chu Family Foundation Scholarship For Women Scientists Committees.


Dr. Aruna Sampath received her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry (on protein engineering using phage display technology) from the University of Delhi, India, in 1999. Prior to that, she received a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry from the University of Delhi, India, and a Master’s degree in Biotechnology at Madurai Kamaraj University, India. Dr. Sampath trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois, Chicago where she studied Human Papilloma virus E6 and E7 oncoproteins and their role in initiating tumorigenesis. She later moved to Rice University in Houston, TX where she studied the host take over mechanism of SPO1 bacteriophages. Dr. Sampath joined Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD), Singapore, in 2003 as a Principal Investigator and program team head for a dengue antiviral drug discovery program. In this role, she was responsible for developing functional assays to screen drug targets, managed structure based drug discovery efforts (fragment based and in silico screening) and leading medium and high throughput antiviral screens (> 1.2 million compounds) against dengue helicase. Dr. Sampath moved to Maryland in 2007 and took on the role of project manager for an anti-malarial consortium, a joint effort by the University of Mississippi, Olemiss, MS, and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD with a total funding of $8.7M. In this role, she managed research efforts by six institutes leading to development of in silico, in vitro, and animal models predictive of hemolytic toxicity of 8-Aminoquinolines. In 2010, Dr. Sampath took on the role of program manager for the Broad Spectrum Antimicrobials group at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) where she was the technical lead and program manager for advanced research and development and procurement contracts with a total budget of ~ $550M. Dr. Sampath joined Unither Virology LLC in 2012 as a program manager and later assumed the role of the principal investigator for a federal contract with a total funding of $45M. In this program, she led the scientific work involved in the development of a broad-spectrum dengue antiviral drugs. After the acquisition of Unither Virology by Emergent Biosolutions in 2015, Dr. Sampath joined Emergent Biosolutions as Senior Director, Product Development. In Emergent, she has led product development activities for a dengue antiviral, Zika vaccine, and the next generation anthrax vaccine with a budget of over $230M, as well as the product and site integration activities after the acquisition of ACAM2000 (from Sanofi) in 2017. She has authored several peer reviewed publications on the different research projects and products she has worked on. Dr. Sampath is a member of the ISAR publication committee where she has been the guest editor of the ISAR Newsletter and has been the co-organizer of the ISAR Webinars.


Dr. Pei-Yong Shi is the I.H. Kempner Professor of Human Genetics of the University of Texas Medical Branch. He received his B.Sc. from the Nanhing Normal University, China in 1989 and his Ph.D. from Georgia state University, USA, in 1995. He then completed his postdoctoral training in 1988 in Yale University, School of Medicine.

Dr. Shi has been working on flavivirus replication, antiviral drug discovery, and vaccine research for 27 years. His unique experience in public health laboratory (Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health; 8 years), pharmaceutical companies (Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb; total 10 years), and academia (University of Texas Medical Branch, Yale, and other universities; total 9 years) allows his work to focus on the interface between basic and translational research. His basic research illuminates the mechanism of viral replication that could be utilized for the development of novel diagnosis, antivirals, and vaccines. In return, his translational research provides unique tools and systems to discover the molecular mechanism of viral replication. Dr. Shi has published over 230 peer-reviewed papers in the leading journals in virology and general sciences, including Nature, Science, Cell, PNAS, Host Cell & Microbe, and PLOS Pathogens. His work has generated bodies of knowledge that have significantly advanced our understanding of flavivirus replication, diagnostics, antiviral discovery, and vaccine development. Besides his academic excellence, Dr. Shi has an also strong track record of senior leadership role at leading pharmaceutical company (e.g., Executive Director at Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases) where he set up antiviral strategies and executed drug discovery and development. Dr. Shi aspires to integrate his expertise in academia, industry, and government to advance basic and translational research. His recent work on Zika virus has established the first reverse genetic system for the virus, developed a live-attenuated vaccine currently advancing to clinical trial, developed rapid diagnostic assays currently under FDA approval, and identified genetic changes that may contribute to the recent explosion of Zika epidemics.


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