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Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Dinesh Vyas

Dr. Dolatrai “Dinesh” Vyas’ experience includes medicinal chemistry (early phase and full phase drug discovery and lead optimization ), natural product based drug discovery, antibody drug conjugate (ADC) technology, prodrugs , early drug development process, talent development, in-licensing and due diligence process, NIH and CASE study sections, and Kinase Inhibitors research.

Dr. Dinesh Vyas received a B.Sc. dual degree in Chemistry and Geology from University College Nairobi, University of East Africa (Kenya) in 1967. He pursued graduate studies in Carbohydrate Chemistry under Prof. George W. Hay at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and received Ph.D. degree in 1972. Following postdoctoral studies in Carbohydrate Chemistry under Prof. Walter Szarek at the same institution, he joined the Carbohydrate Research institute at Queens University in 1975. In 1980 he joined Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) in Syracuse in the Antitumor Chemistry group involved in NCI/NIH collaborative research efforts on discovery of novel natural product cytotoxics. In 1984 he was promoted to Research Fellow and in subsequent years rose through the ranks (Director and Group Director) to Distinguished Research Fellow in Oncology Discovery Chemistry at the Wallingford (Connecticut) site.

Dr. Vyas is considered one of the pioneers of the BMS oncology medicinal chemistry efforts spanning the early (1980-90’s) discovery efforts on natural products derived cytotoxics including antibody drug conjugate (ADC) research to target cytotoxics to tumors to the present day personalized medicine research involving small molecule molecular targeted therapeutics. During his tenure at BMS Oncology Drug Discovery, he has participated in the discovery and development of 12 small molecule and one biologic (ADC) as clinical drug development candidates with one FDA approved NDA . He is the author/co-author on more than 110 publications and written numerous book chapters and review articles. He is also an inventor/co-inventor on over 40 patents. Currently, he is an active member of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering (CASE) and is on the editorial board of Medicinal Research Reviews. He has also participated in NIH and CASE study sections.

Prof. Tom Wandless, Stanford University

Prof. Tom Wandless is Associate Chair of the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford University. Tom moved to the Department of Chemistry at Stanford in 1995 and built a research program at the interface of chemistry and biology. He moved to the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology (f.k.a. Molecular Pharmacology) in 2003. Tom did his doctoral research at Harvard in Prof. Schreiber's lab working on use of synthetic chemistry to learn about how the immunosuppressive drugs FK506 and rapamycin work.
Wandless lab at Stanford focuses on interdisciplinary approach to studies of biological systems, combining synthetic chemistry with biochemistry, cell biology, and structural biology. More specifically, his lab concentrates on the invention of molecules and techniques that enable better studies of biological processes. One of the major objective of Wandless lab is to develop new approaches for conditional control of protein function. They developed a new experimental system on which the stability of a specific protein depends on the presence or absence of a cell-permeable small molecule. These new techniques his lab developed can tunably regulate the expression levels of two or three different proteins using different small molecules. They have also engineered a DD system that functions in the opposite sense. The fusion protein is stable in the absence of the ligand, and administration of the ligand causes the fusion protein to be rapidly degraded.

Prof. Wandless has won numerous awards and recognitions. The awards include Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award in Aging (2010-2014), Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (200-2002), Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar (2000), National Science Foundation CAREER award (2000-2004).