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2010 News

4th ICB&DD Annual Symposium

On Thursday, October 14, 2010, The ICB&DD hosted its fourth ICB&DD Annual Symposium, “Drugs, Biologics, Devices, and the FDA” at the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University. The symposium featured five distinguished Plenary Lecturers and three Invited Speakers from Stony Brook University. The event was very well attended by a wide range of audience from faculty, research staff and students on campus as well as Brookhaven National Laboratory, universities and industries in the greater NY metropolitan area. The Poster Session equally attracted a broad participation of students from Stony Brook University, New York University, OSI Pharmaceuticals and Brookhaven National Laboratory among others. There were 69 papers presented at the Poster Session.

deanDr. Maria Ryan, Professor and Chair of the Symposium Organizing Committee, opened the Symposium and introduced Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Senior Vice President of the Health Sciences and Dean, School of Medicine, Stony Brook University. Dean Kaushansky gave very visionary remarks about the accomplishments and advances of the Stony Brook School of Medicine, Hospital and its affiliates. He emphasized that the active participation and collaboration of all clinicians and scientists is vital to make innovative medical breakthrough possible. Dr. Ryan introduced Dr. Iwao Ojima, Distinguished Professor and Director of ICB&DD. Dr. Ojima briefly summarized the accomplishments, current and future goals of the ICB&DD. Dr. Francis Johnson, Professor of Chemistry introduced the first Plenary Lecturer, Dr. Glenn Prestwich, Presidential Professor and Director, Center for Therapeutic Biomaterials and Department of Chemistry, University of Utah. He is a former Stony Brook colleague in chemistry, but also was the Director of the Center for Biotechnology. Dr. Prestwich gave a lecture entitled “From Organic Chemistry to Regenerative Medicine: Realizing the Promise of Translational Research”. He presented how he implemented policies at the University of Utah encouraging faculty and student entrepreneurial activities by describing two case studies for commercialization of university technologies in the areas of regenerative medicine and inflammation modulation. Dr. Richard Lin, Professor of Medicine, introduced the second Plenary Lecturer, Dr. Jeffrey Pessin, the Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg Professorial Chair in Diabetes Research and Director of Diabetes Research Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is the ex-chair of the Department of Pharmacological Sciences at Stony Brook University. Dr. Pessin gojimaave a very stimulating lecture entitled “Fyn-LKB1 Interaction as a Target for the Treatment of Insulin Resistance and Obesity”, describing how a novel pathway linking the tyrosine kinase Fyn to LKB1 function controls the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). He also highlighted the advantages of targeting the Fyn/LKB1/AMPK pathway for the treatment of metabolic diseases. Dr. Stanley Zucker, Professor of Medicine, introduced the first Invited Speaker, Dr. Lorne Golub, Distinguished Professor, Department of Oral Biology and Pathology, School of Dental Medicine, Stony Brook University. Dr. Golub gave a lecture entitled “From Bench Top to Bedside: The Development of the First FDA-Approved Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitor”. He summarized his research on the application of tetracyclines (TCs) into new therapeutic formulations to reduce pathologically excessive connective tissue breakdown, including bone resorption. He is the inventor of Periostat® for the treatment of chronic periodontitis, as well as Oracea® for the treatment of rosacea, a chronic inflammatory skin disease. Dr. Isaac Carrico, Assistant Professor of Chemistry introduced the third Plenary Lecturer, Dr. Barbara Imperiali, Professor, Department of Chemistry, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Imperiali’s lecture was entitled “Fluorescent Tools for Chemical Biology”. She presented her fascinating research on co-translational protein glycosylation and the design and implementation of new chemical probes for the study of complex biological systems. Dr. Stephen Walker, Associate Professor of Oral Biology and Pathology introduced the second Invited Speaker, Dr. Peter Tonge, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Stony Brook University. Dr. Tonge gave a lecture entitled “Slow Onset Inhibitors of Bacterial Fatty Acid Biosynthesis: Drug-Target Residence Time, In Vivo Activity and In Vivo Imaging”. He described his innovative research program on the design, synthesis, and characterization of novel antibacterial agents for treating disease caused by drug resistant bacterial pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Dr. Anil Dhundale, Executive Director, Long Island High Technology Incubator, introduced the fourth Plenary Lecturer, Dr. Harvey Arbit, President, Arbit Consulting, LLC and Adjunct Associate Professor, OVPR Research Integrity and Oversight Programs, Department of Pharmaceutical Care, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota. Dr. Arbit presented a lecture entitled “Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trials: Where Do I Start?” His very informative lecture provided a comprehensive view about thegroup IND process and the obligations of an IND sponsor-investigator, with examples of how things can go wrong and the consequences of non-compliance. Dr. Jian Cao, Associate Professor of Medicine, introduced the third Invited Speaker, Dr. Lawrence Hurst, Professor and Chair, Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, Stony Brook University. Dr. Hurst gave a lecture entitled “Development of Xiaflex for Dupuytren’s Disease”. He presented a comprehensive and informative lecture, describing his innovative research on the safe and efficacious use of collagenase treatment in Dupuytren’s disease. He discussed the initial proof of concept and preliminary investigations, leading to the development of injectable clostridial collagenase, which obtained FDA approval recently for the treatment of Dupuytren’s disease. Dr. David Green, Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, introduced the fifth Plenary Lecturer, Dr. Francisco Villarreal, Professor of Medicine and Co-Director of the San Diego Institutional Research and Academic Care Development Award, Professor for the Future, University of California at San Diego. Dr. Villarreal gave a lecture entitled “Navigating Academia and Technology Transfer Office: The Seeding of a New Biotech Start-up”. He presented his research on the beneficial effects of cocoa flavanols and cardioprotective effects of tetracyclines, which in the past few years led him to file several patents. He described how, as a result of these research efforts, he co-founded Therapeutics Inc. and Cardero Consumer Health Care Inc.


Dr. Ryan gave the closing remarks, thanking the Plenary Lecturers and Invited Speakers for their outstanding presentations as well as the Organizing Committee members for the successful planning and execution of the 4th Annual ICB&DD Symposium.

mariaThere were 69 papers presented at the Poster Session. The best two posters were selected for the Poster Awards. The award-winning posters this year were by Kanishk Kapilashrami from the laboratory of Dr. Tonge, Department of Chemistry, Stony Brook University and by Mia Huang from Department of Chemistry, New York University.

The 4th ICB&DD Symposium culminated with a splendid dinner at the Chapel of the Charles B. Wang Center. Among other attendees were Dr. Eric Kaler (Provost), Dr. John Marburger (Vice President for Research), Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky (Dean, School of Medicine) and Dr. Benjamin Hsiao (Chair, Chemistry Department), who expressed their appreciation for the outstanding lectures presented at the Symposium. They all congratulated Professor Ojima for his numerous contributions and successful leadership of the ICB&DD.


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The symposium was cosponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, Office of the Provost, School of Medicine Office of Scientific Affairs, Department of Chemistry, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Forest Laboratories Inc. and Chem-Master International, Inc.

$2.7M Phase II STTR/SBIR award from NCI to develop a new anticancer agent

Congratulations Dr. Iwao Ojima (Director, ICBⅅ Project Leader) and Dr. Ramesh Gupta (Vice President, ChemMaster International, Inc.; PI) on receiving a Phase II STTR/SBIR award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the project entitled “Preclinical studies on Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid-Taxoid Conjugate for IND Filing” The NCI scored this Phase II STTR/SBIR proposal outstanding and awarded $2.7M for two years.

The aim of this STTR/SBIR Phase II project is to advance a new tumor-targeting chemotherapeutic agent, PUFA-Taxoid (invented by Dr. Ojima), to treat a variety of human tumors associated with pancreatic, colon, breast, and lung cancers as well as to perform preclinical toxicology studies required for IDN filing and FDA approval for clinical studies. Thus, the key technical objectives in the Phase II studies are (i) further expansion of the current in vivo studies on tumors that are refractory to the currently used anticancer agents; (ii) Pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) studies including half-life, distribution, metabolism and maximum tolerated dose, as well as all other preclinical toxicology studies necessary for IND filing; (iii) optimization of the preparative methods in 200g scale for the reliable production of PUFA-Taxoid in GMP and the development of validation methods for the various intermediates in the synthetic sequence.

Currently there are no really effective drugs that can abolish human colon and pancreatic cancers because of the overexpression of MDR phenotypes as well as other drug resistance mechanisms involved in these cancers. Remarkably PUFA-Taxoid (omega-3 fatty acid–taxoid conjugate) can penetrate into these tumors selectively and bypass the MDR and other drug-resistance apparatuses, thereafter inducing cancer cell death. The development of PUFA-Taxoid for a possible efficacious treatment of colon, pancreatic, lung, breast and other forms of cancer would benefit increasing number of these cancer patients.

This STTR/SBIR project involves ChemMaster International, Inc. (Dr. Francis Johnson, President) and ICB&DD as well as two contract research organizations (CROs). The ICB&DD team includes Dr. Ojima, Thomas Zimmerman (Director, DLAR, SOM), Peter Tonge (Director, Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory, SOM and Chemistry), and Stanley Zucker (Medicine).


ICB&DD congratulates Dr. Balaji Sitharaman, for receiving a Director’s New Innovator Award from the National Institutes baluof Health. This award is given only to a select group of early-career biomedical researchers nationwide, which includes a 5-year $1.5 million grant. Dr. Sitharaman is engineering a nanotechnology-based theranostic (integrating therapeutic and diagnostic) technology for combined non-invasive imaging and targeted treatment of bone loss, a major health problem worldwide due to trauma, disease, and aging, including menopause. The NIH Director’s New Innovative Award was created as part of the NIH’s commitment to increasing opportunities for new scientists who are exceptionally creative and propose highly innovative research projects. Congratulations Dr. Sitharaman.

william greenleeICB&DD welcomes  Dr.  William J. Greenlee to its Advisory Board. Dr. Greenlee received his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University (R. B. Woodward) in 1976 and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University (G. Stork) in 1976-1977. He joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1977 as a member of the New Lead Discovery department where he became part of the Merck team that discovered potent inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme, including enalapril (Vasotec™) and lisinopril (Prinivil™). He and his group worked on angiotensin II receptor antagonists, renin inhibitors, endothelin receptor antagonists and other cardiovascular projects. He was promoted to Director in 1989 and to Senior Director in 1992. In 1995, he joined the Schering Plough Research Institute (SPRI) as Senior Director for Cardiovascular and CNS Chemical Research, and then promoted to Vice President, CNS and Cardiovascular / Metabolic Chemistry in 2002. After the merger with Merck Research Laboratory in 2009, he assumed Vice President Chemistry and Chemistry Site Head, Kenilworth, N.J. Currently, he is responsible for the Chemical Research in Kenilworth (232 chemists) in support of six Merck franchise areas: Cardiovascular, Diabetes/Obesity, Neurosciences, Infectious Diseases, Oncology and BRID (Bone, Respiratory, Immunology, Dermatology). He received the Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry in 2004 and was inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2006. He was elected to a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007 and to a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2009. He has served as Chair for both the Medicinal (2003) and Organic (2004) Divisions of the American Chemical Society. He is the Perspectives Editor for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.He has authored more than 180 research publications and holds over 70 U.S. patents. He was a Distinguished Speaker at the 3rd ICB&DD Annual Symposium in 2009.

mariaICB&DD congratulates Dr. Maria Ryan, the receipient of a "Victress" Award in Health for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for the management of periodontal disease. The Victress Award is an international award that recognized her work in advancing women’s health care by focusing her research efforts on the development of risk assessment strategies and biochemical testing for early identification of periodontal disease. The Victress Initiative is a non-profit organization that aims to increase the percentage of women in leading positions and to promote leadership by presenting modern role models, innovative solutions for companies and inspiring young women on their way to the top. Victress was founded in 2005 by men and women who combine their individual strengths and networks to promote Victress and its mission. The Victress Award in Health was created to honor a scientist or doctor who is researching or developing in a field that is gender specific or who provides a breakthrough for women’s health. The winner also serves as a role model for young women who want to follow a similar career path. The award recognizes that women have different medical needs, sometimes show different symptoms or respond differently to medication, and is meant to promote some of the brilliant women in science who are usually not as visible as their male colleagues. Dr. Ryan was presented with the first ever Victress Award in Health at an August gala attended by 750 people in a historic Berlin theater in Berlin, Germany. Congratulations Dr. Maria Ryan.

ICB&DD announces its newly established Strategic Research Laboratories, (a) Anti-Inflammatory Research Laboratory and (b) Cancer Stem Cell Research Laboratory.

The Tadashi HondaAnti-Inflammatory Laboratory is directed by Dr. Tadashi Honda, Senior Research Scientist at ICB&DD. He is an established medicinal chemist who recently joined ICB&DD from Dartmouth College. The aim of this Laboratory is to develoGalina Botchkinap new anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective agents through rational drug design and/or empirical methodology and exploring the new chemistry that is derived from their syntheses and modifications.

The Cancer Stem Cell Research Laboratory is directed by Dr. Galina Botchkina, Research Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, SOM. The current research in this Laboratory is focused on studying the prostate and colon tumor-initiating cancer stem cells (CSCs), their biological characteristics and CSC-targeted anti-cancer drug development. Another direction is mathematic modeling of the stem cell proliferation and responses to drugs in collaboration with the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Applied Biomathematics, Inc.


4th ICB&DD Annual Symposium

"Drugs, Biologics, Devices, and the FDA”

The ICB&DD is pleased to announce the 4rd ICB&DD Annual Symposium on "Drugs, Biologics, Devices, and the FDA” which will be held at the Charles B. Wang Center on Thursday, October 14, 2010 (9:30am – 6:30PM; Reception 5:20-6:30PM). The ICB&DD Annual Symposium is thematically focused in areas of research interest in drug discovery, chemical and computational biology, cancer and infectious diseases. The Symposium invites renowned scholars as well as highly-recognized researchers of Stony Brook University (SBU) to convey their most advanced accomplishments and exchange innovative ideas in biomedical research among speakers, faculty, staff, and students on campus as well as researchers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and industries in greater NY metropolitan area. The Plenary Lecturers this year are: Dr. Barbara Imperiali (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Dr. Harvey Arbit (University of Minnesota), Dr. Jeffrey Pessin (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Dr. Glenn Prestwich (University of Utah), Dr. Francisco Villarreal (University of California at San Diego), Invited Lecturers are: Dr. Lorne Golub (SBU, Oral Biology and Pathology), Dr. Lawrence Hurst (SBU, Orthopedics) and Dr. Peter Tonge (SBU, Chemistry). There will be Poster sessions on recently completed and on-going projects conducted in the ICB&DD member's laboratories as well as relevant research laboratories in the area. Once again, we are looking forward to another stimulating and productive symposium!


ojmaICB&DD Congratulates Professor Iwao Ojima for being elected to the 2010 class of Fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The ACS Fellows Program recognizes and honors members of the American Chemical Society for their outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science, the profession, and service to the Society. To be selected as an ACS Fellow, a member must have demonstrated contributions in these two defined areas: (i) Excellence in Science/Profession; and (ii) Outstanding Service to the American Chemical society. The 2010 ACS Fellows will be honored at a special ceremony during the ACS National Meeting in Boston on Monday, August 23, 2010. Congratulations Professor Iwao Ojima.

ICB&DD congratulates Drs. Nicole Sampson (PI) and  Peter Tonge (Co-PI), for receiving a T32 National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Predoctoral Training nicole sampsonGrant Program entitled: “SBU Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program”. It is a five-year program funded by the National Institutes of Health. This interdisciplinary and interdepartmental Program offers chemical biology training opportunities for PhD students selected from four participating units: Biochemistry & Structural Biology, Chemistry, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology and Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology graduate programs. The program has 29 participating faculty mentors with research interests in infectious diseases, cancer and toxicology, immunology, developmental biology, energy-harvesting, cell-signaling, organic synthesis, physical organic chemistry, enzymology and materials chemistry. The program provides research training in the principles and techniques of both chemistry and biology in order to perform biomedical research as well as educating trainees on how best to disseminate their results in order to improve public understanding of scientific research. The training program will provide well-prepared researchers for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Congratulations Dr. Nicole Sampson. For further information about the SBU Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program, please see

peter tongeICB&DD congratulates Dr. Peter Tonge for his research recently cited in Chemical Engineering News and The Medical News in an article entitled: "Stick-To-Itiveness   Underemphasized In Drug Design". See link below.  Congratulations Dr. Tonge!


Jonh HaleyICB&DD would like to welcome  Dr.  John Haley as Advisory Board Member.  Dr. Haley has thirty years of experience in biochemical research in the fields of endocrinology, oncology, signal transduction and pharmacology, in which he has published over 50 manuscripts. Dr. Haley obtained B.Sc. cum laude in Chemistry from Tufts University, Medford, MA and a Ph. D. in Molecular Endocrinology from the Howard Florey Institute for Experimental Physiology and Medicine, Melbourne University, Australia. He served as a Research Fellow at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (London) and at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (London). He currently holds the position of Senior Research Director, Translational Research at OSI Pharmaceuticals, and his group is focused on drug target pathway identification, validation and biomarker discovery through a scientific understanding of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer recurrence. proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis using the science of epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

ICB&DD Receives $1.4 M Grant from DOD (DTRA) on Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibitors

Congratulations the ICB&DD team, consisting of Drs. Subramanyan Swaminathan (PI) BNL Department of Biology, Iwao Ojima (Co-PI), Peter Tonge (Co-I) SBU Department of Chemistry, Robert Rizzo (Co-I) SBU Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics on receiving a research consortium grant award from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA, DOD). This grant award is for the project entitled “Structure-Based Discovery of Pan-Active Botulinum Neurotoxin Inhibitors”. Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent toxins known to humans and are considered to be potential biowarfare agents. As a consequence, CDC has classified these neurotoxins as Category A priority pathogens. Currently the only treatment for botulism is antibody based which will not be effective once the toxin enters the cell. Thus, there is a compelling need to develop novel chemotherapeutics against these neurotoxins. This multi-disciplinary drug discovery project includes, (1) Structure determination of enzyme-inhibitor complexes; (2) Virtual screening using DOCK or AUTODOCK to identify small molecules, transition state analogs or peptidomimics of substrate peptides that can be accommodated in the active site of multiple serotypes; (3) Synthesis of novel compounds and further modifications required for a broad spectrum of BoNTs, and (4) Enzymology and SAR for additional compound design. This exploratory grant award ($1.4 M) is for two years, which can be expanded to a larger project grant, and the first research consortium grant that ICB&DD has received with BNL.



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