Arizona Center for Drug Discovery to Host Virtual 2020 Symposium June 30


The Arizona Center for Drug Discovery (ACDD) will host their 2020 Symposium, virtually, on Tuesday, June 30.  

The symposium will take place via Zoom from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event will bring together a group of interdisciplinary professionals, to highlight via talks and posters, key areas of drug discovery research including antibody, small molecule, and peptide drug discovery. Registration is required to attend.  

“This is the center’s 2nd annual symposium, I am excited that we could line-up such an excellent group of drug discovery researchers across therapeutic modality and disease areas,” explained Jutta Wanner, PhD, co-director of the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery. “Our goal for this symposium, and the accompanying poster session, is to continue highlighting the broad expertise of UArizona researchers in all aspects of drug discovery, development and delivery. I am very much looking forward to June 30th."  

The Arizona Center for Drug Discovery was established in October of 2018, with the goal of connecting researchers at the University of Arizona in Tucson and Phoenix with pharmaceutical partners to advance drug discovery throughout the state. The center has created the necessary infrastructure to bridge Arizona researchers with pharmaceutical partners to establish a collaborative environment to advance novel disease intervention finding beyond the laboratory setting. Now with the recent renovation and expansion of the Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center, the ACDD has a permanent medicinal chemistry laboratory space, just one of the many resources offered to ACDD researchers.  

Over the years, the University of Arizona Health Sciences has seen several successful drug discovery spin-offs. Examples include DesertRx, a molecular diagnostic company, Reglagene, a company that discovers new medicines to fight cancer, and Regulonix, which develops non-opioid drugs to treat chronic pain.  

“The topics are broad and dynamic from antibodies, proteins, peptides, and small molecules, and cover the important therapies in drug discovery,” shared Wei Wang, PhD, co-director of the Arizona Center for Drug Discovery. “This is a great opportunity to learn modern drug discovery happening at the univeristy.”  

The symposium will kick things off by highlighting antibody drug discovery research with three plenary speakers: John Delany, PhD, Director, Amgen Research, Joe G. N. “Skip” Garcia, MD Endowed Professor, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine – Tucson, and Guy Reed, MD, MS, Dean, College of Medicine – Phoenix.  

Additional sessions will focus on critical areas for new drug discovery, including small molecule and peptide drug discovery, followed by a virtual poster session. 


Small Molecule & Peptide Drug Discovery Speakers  

  • Minying Cai, PhD, Research Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry – Sci, UArizona
  • Eli Chapman, PhD, Associate Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, UArizona
  • Tally Largent-Milnes, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pharmacology, College of Medicine – Tucson, UArizona
  • Timothy Marlowe, PhD, Director of Molecular Discovery Core; Research Assistant Professor, College of Medicine – Phoenix, UArizona  
  • Robin Polt, PhD, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry-Sci, UArizona
  • Elisa Tomat, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry-Sci, UArizona
  • Lori Jean Van Orden, PhD, Senior Director of Preclinical Sciences, BlackThorn


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