OTM Office Hours: Idea to Drug

July 13, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Office of Technology Management, 4240 Duncan Ave. Suite 110, St. Louis, Missouri 63110

Are you working on an innovation you think should be spun out into a startup? What resources are available to help? How can you become involved in the innovation ecosystem in St. Louis?

Join us for “OTM Office Hours”, a program series from the Washington University Office of Technology Management covering the latest topics in tech transfer and innovation.

The OTM Office Hours series is back on July 13 with “Idea to Drug”. The seminar will consist of a panel discussion on drug discovery exploring the translation of idea to clinical drug validation and the roles of scientists from target validation to clinical proof of concept.  We will hear from scientists with years of drug hunting experience that will touch on the challenges of biopharma drug discovery from resources to competition. 

We welcome panelists:

Cory Berkland, PhD

Cory Berkland, PhD: Cory Berkland holds the Solon E. Summerfield Distinguished Professorship in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and in the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Kansas. He will be starting as a Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department and the Chemistry Department at Washington University, Fall 2023. He received MS and PhD degrees from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University in Ames. His lab studies pharmaceuticals and biomaterials with a particular emphasis on molecular design, drug formulation, and transport in the human body. Professor Berkland is a co-founder of Orbis Biosciences (acquired by Adare Pharmaceuticals), Savara Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SVRA), Bond Biosciences, and several other start-ups. Professor Berkland currently is CEO of Bond Biosciences and is an executive and chairman of the board for Kinimmine and Axioforce.

Heidi Hope, PhD

Heidi Hope, PhD: Dr. Heidi Rath Hope has 30 plus years of post-doctorate research experience in academic and industrial settings and serves as a Senior Research Fellow specializing in cell translational biology at Confluence Discovery Technologies, an Aclaris Therapeutics Company. Her areas of expertise include biochemistry, cell biology and signal transduction in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. Recent efforts have focused on the development and implementation of pharmacodynamic biomarker assays for the purpose of drug mechanism of action confirmation in clinical trials.  Dr. Hope is also involved in science education efforts in the St Louis area and is a Fellow of the St. Louis Academy of Sciences. Dr. Hope received her BS in Biological Sciences with Honors from Stanford University and her PhD in Biochemistry from Washington University in St Louis.

Ryan Sullivan, PhD

Ryan Sullivan, PhD: Ryan Sullivan is a cancer immunologist with a decade of drug discovery experience, including cell therapies, vaccines, antibodies, and cytokines. He received a PhD in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis in the laboratory of Todd Fehniger, followed by post-doctoral training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the laboratory of Glenn Dranoff.

After his post-doctoral studies, Ryan joined the Immuno-Oncology group of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he led several program teams focused on biologics that activate the innate and adaptive immune responses against cancer. This included leading the development of QEQ278, which is now in Phase I clinical testing, leading the biology teams for NIZ985 and Dodekin, and driving preclinical development for several additional undisclosed programs.

In 2020, Ryan moved back to St. Louis and joined Wugen, founded out of WashU science, as employee #12 to build their NK cell therapy platform. While there, he helped the company to grow to over 85 employees with several successful IND filings, and to raise a $172M Series B round.

Recently, Ryan joined the team of company builders and drug developers at Curie.Bio, a new model for venture capital in biotech, where he is focused on identifying promising early science and helping founders to build successful companies. 

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