Laurent Audoly, PhD
Dr. Audoly is a serial biotech entrepreneur and senior executive in the biotech/pharma industry. He has contributed to the identification and development of multiple novel drug approvals addressing unmet medical need across multiple disease areas, generating more than $2B in annual sales (Xeljanz®, Hemangiol®, Braftovi®, Renflexis®, Brenzys®, Ontruzant®, Hadlima®). He is co-founder of Cytovia Therapeutics, a cell therapy development stage biotech focused on targeting NK cells against tumors; and founder/CEO of Parthenon Therapeutics, a precision oncology biotech focused on breaking down the tumor’s barriers that prevent immune cells from infiltrating and eliminating tumors. He also serves as a board member and advisor to a number of biotech/pharma organizations. Prior to Parthenon, Dr. Audoly was at the helm of Kymera as its founding CEO (Nasdaq: KYMR). Earlier in his career, he held positions of increasing leadership responsibilities at Pfizer, Merck, and biotech companies as CSO and head of R&D, contributing to the advancement of 21 drug candidates into and through clinical development. Dr. Audoly has completed pharma/biotech transactions worth over $3B in biobucks and raised more than $250 million. He is an inventor and authored over 70 papers and patents. He studied chemistry and pharmacology (PhD) at Vanderbilt University and completed postdoctoral training at UNC/Chapel Hill and Duke University where he was the recipient of an American Heart Association Fellowship.
Christopher Bayly, PhD
Dr. Bayly Heads up the Affinity group at OpenEye Scientific Software, developing massively parallel computational approaches used in OpenEye’s cloud-native Orion platform for routine estimation of ligand binding free energies. He is also an advisor to the Open Force Field Initiative, a broad-based collaboration to develop next-generation small molecule and biomolecular force fields, an effort he helped found while on sabbatical in 2016. Prior to his time at OpenEye, Dr. Bayly founded and led the computational chemistry group at Merck Frosst for 18 years; his group was an early adopter of routine use of Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations in drug discovery. While there, he led the development of AM1-BCC, now a widely used small-molecule charging method for ligand binding simulations, necessary at the time to address what was then a bottleneck in the routine use of MD in discovery.
Dr. Bayly has a BSc in Biochemistry from Bishop’s University, an MSc in Synthetic Bioorganic Chemistry from L’Universite de Sherbrooke, and a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from the University of New Brunswick. This was followed by a postdoctoral term with Peter Kollman at UC San Francisco where he developed the RESP method still widely used to generate atomic partial charges. In 2006, he won the ACS Thomas Kuhn Paradigm Shift Award for his work in iterative focused screening for lead identification. He is an inventor on over 20 patents and an author on 70 papers.
John Chodera, PhD
Dr. Chodera is an experienced computational chemist and an Associate Member at the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research (MSKCC). His research combines the disciplines of statistical mechanics, biomolecular simulation, and biophysical measurements to develop quantitative models for predicting and understanding how small molecules selectively bind biomolecular targets, how binding modulates conformation and function, and how mutations can perturb drug binding affinities to cause drug resistance. Dr. Chodera holds a BS in Biology from Caltech and a PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, San Francisco. He completed postdoctoral studies at Stanford University and at University of California, Berkeley as a QB3 Fellow.
Tom Kurtzman, PhD
Dr. Kurtzman is a professor at Lehman College, City University of New York, where his research focuses on the development of computational methods that aid in the discovery and rational design of new drugs. Dr. Kurtzman's approach applies a combination of statistical mechanical theory and computer simulations to better understand the physical principles governing the molecular recognition between proteins and small molecule drug candidates. His research contributions provide a framework to account for and quantify the role that water plays in molecular recognition.
Dr. Kurtzman’s honors and awards include the OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the Computational Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Kurtzman earned a BA in chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a PhD in chemistry from Stanford University, and he pursued postdoctoral research at Columbia University.
Dennis Zaller, PhD
Dr. Zaller has more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He is currently serving as the Chief Scientific Officer at ROME Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing new therapies to treat debilitating diseases by leveraging insights into the biology of repeat elements. Prior to ROME, Dr. Zaller spent five years as Executive Director of Integrative Sciences at Celgene (later Bristol Myers Squibb). In this role, he provided scientific leadership across a large portfolio of external collaborations in immunology, fibrosis, oncology, and immuno-oncology. During his time at Celgene, Dr. Zaller participated in more than 20 Joint Steering Committees and Joint Research Committees that brought six novel molecules to the clinic. Prior to Celgene, Dr. Zaller spent 25 years at Merck Research Laboratories in a series of roles with increasing responsibility leading large drug discovery teams at Merck’s New Jersey and Boston sites. While at Merck, Dr. Zaller helped to advance 28 molecules into the clinic, resulting in eight marketed drugs. Before joining industry, Dr. Zaller conducted academic research at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Zaller has a BS from the State University of New York at Albany, and an MA, MPhil, and PhD from Columbia University. He is an author of more than 60 manuscripts in leading journals covering a variety of scientific discoveries and is an inventor on nine patents.