Meet the Directors

Get to know more about the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery Co-Directors!


Celina Zerbinatti, PhD

Celina Zerbinatti, PhD, is Co-Director of the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery (ACDD) and Associate Research Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Tucson. Dr. Zerbinatti obtained her BS, MS and PhD degrees from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and completed her postdoctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, MO. Dr. Zerbinatti is an accomplished senior leader from the pharmaceutical sector. She gained extensive drug discovery experience at Merck Research Laboratories, where she led program teams in the area of neuroscience for almost 10 years. She then joined Evotec AG as the scientific and operational head of a broad drug discovery alliance on Huntington's disease with the CHDI Foundation. Expanding into the biotech sector, Dr. Zerbinatti was senior consultant for the Dementia Discovery Fund at SV Health Investors and Head of Biology at Escape Bio, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of small molecule drugs to treat genetically-defined neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Zerbinatti is currently a consultant for the Lieber Institute for Brain Development, a privately-funded institute affiliated with John Hopkins University focused on Schizophrenia research, and for Kisbee Therapeutics, a startup founded by Stuart Schreiber (Broad Institute), Ben Cravatt (Scripps) and Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz (HHMI Janelia) that is focused on the development of apolipoprotein E-based therapies for neurological disorders.

Co-Director, Arizona Center for Drug Discovery
Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Wei Wang, PhD

As Co-Director of the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery and professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Wei Wang, PhD is responsible for advancing the mission of drug discovery at the UA Health Sciences, main campus and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. By uniting the UA’s state-of-the-art facilities, expertise and resources, he will help facilitate drug discovery and development while enhancing translational research collaboration. Dr. Wang received his doctorate in organic chemistry from North Carolina State University in Raleigh and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in chemistry at the UA. Before joining the UA, he was a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Dr. Wang is in the top 5 percent of authors cited in the field of chemistry with an h-index of 70, an indicator of his productivity and influence in research. His research interests include organic synthesis, molecular imaging and recognition, chemical biology and medicinal chemistry (drug discovery). He is an author or co-author of more than 240 original research papers and 17 books/book chapters. He has six scientific patents and is a peer reviewer for more than 60 national and international journals.

Co-Director, Arizona Center for Drug Discovery
Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
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