I hold a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Tokyo and have a background in the pharmaceutical industry, specializing in sales and marketing at a multinational pharmaceutical company. I later joined Boston Consulting Group, where I engaged in various healthcare projects, including new business development and M&A. Now, I am dedicated to accelerating the implementation of scientific and technological advancements in Japan’s academia, actively involved in the biotech venture sector
Masahiko Hayakawa, Ph.D.- Head of Targeted Protein Degradation, Astellas: Masahiko has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, beginning his career at Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in 1994, one of predecessor companies of Astellas. Since then, he has led research activities in the field of oncology and urology, creating multiple clinical and launched products. He has served as Head of Modality Management, Modality Research Laboratories and Head of Venture Unit Tumor Directed Inhibition. Today, he serves as the Vice President, Head of Targeted Protein Degradation, where he’s leading research on Targeted Protein Degradation. He graduated from Nagoya University’s Faculty of Science. He holds a doctorate from Tokyo University of Science.
Jose S. Santos, Ph.D. has served as a Senior Director in Early Discovery at Nurix since June 2022. Since joining Nurix in 2018, Jose has focused on establishing the company’s Protein Sciences group and advising multiple early drug discovery degrader project teams including the discovery of novel E3 ligases for targeted protein degradation. In addition, Jose serves the Nurix-Gilead degrader alliance in a leadership capacity. In 2022, Jose added the responsibility of leading the DNA encoded library screening group to create a seamless pipeline from quality protein production to the identification of novel small molecule DEL derived ligands resulting from the integration of both groups. Prior to joining Nurix, Jose was a Scientist at DART Neurosciences where he led structural biology drug discovery efforts to discover novel GPCR ligands. Dr. Santos holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Michigan.
Juliet is currently Head of Research at Kymera Therapeutics, where she is responsible for building the portfolio and delivering developmental candidates and INDs for the clinic. She has more than 20 years of drug discovery experience and has contributed to multiple INDs and medicines during her time at Novartis, Sanofi, Millennium, and Curis. Prior to Kymera, Juliet was the Head of Oncology Biology and Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge and served in other leadership positions at both Novartis and Sanofi. Juliet holds a degree in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Developmental Biology from University College London. Juliet subsequently completed a Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship at University College London in Developmental Biology.
Hideyoshi Fuji is Senior External Advisor, Japan Operations at Iktos. Hideyoshi spent 13 years at Astellas Pharma Inc. in 2009-2021 as an expert in computational chemistry and chemoinformatics, and have led AI-driven drug discovery projects. Hideyoshi participated in the launch and operation of the MELLODDY consortium to develop a cutting-edge federated learning platform for drug discovery. After his career in Astellas Pharma, Hideyoshi founded a company named ChemoInfo in 2022. Hideyoshi holds the degree of PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Pharmacist License in Japan, and was certified as a Super Creator under the MITOU program in 2006 and studied high-performance molecular simulations for drug discovery under the Junior Research Associate program at RIKEN in 2007-2009.
Takahiro Iwasaki is a leader of protein purification group in TechnoPro R&D Kobe Research Center at TechnoPro Inc. He has been contributing as a protein scientist to analyze intermolecular interaction of proteins from E.coli, pichia, insect cells, mammalian cells and cell-free expression system. He got his PhD from Hiroshima University, and worked as a postdoc in cell biology at University of Massachusetts medical school. In Ehime University, he was engaged in the construction and screening of the genome-wide proteome array using wheat germ cell-free expression technology, which contains 23,000 human proteins including 600 GPCRs and 570 E3 ubiquitin ligases.
Byron DeLaBarre holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from McMaster University (Canada) and did postdoctoral work at Stanford University (USA) as an HHMI fellow. He is an experienced drug discovery scientist with a successful track record of discovering and developing therapeutic molecules. He is a co-inventor on multiple patents for several compounds in the clinic including three FDA approved drugs. After positions held at Millennium/Takeda, Agios & Nimbus he founded and runs a successful global biotech consulting company. He currently serves as the Head of Platform Discovery at Pin Therapeutics (S. Korea).
James Palacino has nearly 20 years of oncology drug discovery and development experience in both pharma (Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research) and biotech (H3 Biomedicine and currently as VP & Head of Biology at Orum Therapeutics). His R&D expertise includes both small molecule and antibody-drug-conjugate therapeutic modalities. He has led projects at stages from early discovery, through translational research, through candidate selection, IND-enabling and submissions, and partnered with clinical development for Phase 1/2 trials.
Dr. Lingbing Sun joined HD Biosciences since 2010 and currently holds Senior Director at Hits Discovery Department. He leads in vitro pharmacology teams, providing research service covering from protein production, biochemistry, biophysics, cellular biology, to target validation and mechanism study. Under his leadership, the TPD Platform at HD Biosciences started from 2017 and has supported for over 50 clients to deliver more than 100 projects successfully.
Dr. Kanemaki received his Ph.D. in 2001 from Chiba University in Japan. He then moved to the CRUK Manchester Research Institute as a postdoctoral fellow and used a ts-degron technology to study all essential genes of previously unknown function in budding yeast. In 2006, he moved to Osaka University as an Assistant Professor, where he developed the auxin-inducible degron for use in animal cells. In 2010, He moved to National Institute of Genetics, first as an Associate Professor and then from 2016 as a full professor. His group has applied the degron technology to many areas of cell biology, focussing on chromosome replication in his own group. In 2022, Masato became a Professor at the University of Tokyo, whilst still keeping his lab at National Institute of Genetics.
Agustina Rodriguez-Granillo is a Sr Principal Scientist at Schrödinger, where she leads the Applications Science team in the Northeast region of the US. Agustina got her PhD in Biochemistry at Rice University, and after a Postdoc in computational protein design at Rutgers University, she joined the Modeling group at Merck & Co. In 2018 she joined Schrödinger, where she has been working on developing workflows for bifunctional degrader modeling and design.
Behnam Nabet, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Human Biology Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. He received his B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from Northwestern University. He performed his postdoctoral studies at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Nabet’s laboratory is focused on developing strategies to target oncogenic signaling by controlling protein homeostasis. He pioneered the development of a versatile technology platform known as the dTAG system to rapidly degrade any target protein. Dr. Nabet’s work has led to the development of selective agents targeting cancer drug targets including CDK11, FAK, PIN1, and DCLK1. These promising compounds inhibit critical vulnerabilities and are under continued development as novel therapeutics. Dr. Nabet has been recognized with several scientific honors, including a Claudia Adams Barr Program for Innovative Cancer Research Award and an NIH/NCI K22 Transition Career Development Award.
Dr. Arimoto is a professor of Chemical Biology at Tohoku University, with a B.A. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Keio University. Since joining Tohoku in 2005, his research has focused on understanding antibacterial autophagy and its applications. His laboratory’s work has led to the development of AUTACs, the first autophagy-based bifunctional degraders, which can target and degrade specific proteins and impair fragmented mitochondria. Dr. Arimoto’s research has far-reaching implications for treating bacterial infections and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Ryosuke Shirasaki graduated from Teikyo University School of Medicine and became a hematologist specializing in multiple myeloma; since 2016, he has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute studying resistance mechanisms in myeloma. One of his works was the discovery of resistance mechanisms of protein degrader, and he reported on comparing CRBN- and VHL- degrader resistant mechanisms and CRBN- VHL- degrader sequential therapy. He is currently a member of the Multiple Myeloma Guideline Committee of the Japanese Society of Hematology.
David Komander studied in Germany and Scotland, working on protein kinase structures during his PhD in Dundee. As a postdoc in London, he initiated work on tumour suppressor deubiquitinases, leading to the first structures on CYLD and A20. Focussing on E3 ligases, ubiquitin binding domains and deubiquitinases, he went on to set up his own highly successful research group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. He was recipient for the Lister prize in 2012 and became an EMBO member in 2014.
At the end of 2018 David Komander moved to Australia to become head of the newly founded Ubiquitin Signalling Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Parkville.
I have extensive knowledge of drug discovery workflow, particularly in high throughput drug screening and early drug discovery. By leveraging my expertise, I provide valuable guidance and support to my clients in their quest to discover life-saving new drugs. I can assist them in selecting the most promising drug targets, designing and executing effective screening assays, and interpreting and analyzing the resulting data. With my help, my clients can more efficiently and effectively navigate the drug discovery process, increasing the likelihood of discovering novel and effective therapeutics that can improve and save the lives of patients.
Tasuku Ishida received his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 2005. After completing his Ph.D., he joined Eisai and worked as a medicinal chemist for more than 16 years. In 2019, he spent three years at the University of Dundee working with Professor Alessio Ciulli on the development of novel protein degraders for the treatment of cancer as a part of the Dundee-Eisai collaboration. Since returning to Japan in 2022, he has been working mainly on the development of novel protein degraders in the field of oncology.
Tomohiro Yoshinari joined Astellas in 2012 as a medicinal chemist. He has more than ten years of experience in small molecule drug discovery, including more than seven years of experience in TPD (Targeted Protein degradation) research. Through his experience in drug discovery and TPD research, he has expertise in molecular design of bifunctional molecules as well as conventional small molecules and has contributed research as a lead medicinal chemist in several drug discovery programs. He received Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2010 from Tokyo Institute of Technology, and then completed postdoctoral training at ETH Zurich.
Kanae Gamo is leading overall operations of R&D activities as a CSO. She co-founded FIMECS with her colleagues in 2018 as a curve-out biotech from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. She started her career at Takeda in 2009. She has expertise in many techniques of molecular biology, genetics, epigenetics and next-generation sequencing in oncology and immunology areas. Through her nine years of pharmaceutical experience at Takeda, she increased responsibility of roles across target identification and validation. In parallel with FIMECS work, she got Ph.D. at University of Tsukuba in 2020. Utilizing proprietary drug discovery platform, RaPPIDS, to internal and collaborative programs, FIMECS seeks to provide life-saving medicine to patients all over the world.
Dr. Naito is currently a Project Professor at the graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo. After he obtained his Ph.D. degree in the University of Tokyo, he studied anti-cancer drug resistance, cell death and anti-apoptotic proteins in the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, the University of Tokyo. Then he moved his lab to the National Institute of Health Sciences, and developed SNIPER compounds. In 2020, he moved again to the University of Tokyo.
Nan Ji, PhD, is co-Founder, President, and CEO of PAQ Therapeutics, a biotech company focusing on the development of autophagy-based degraders. He has 15 years of drug discovery experience. Before PAQ, he was VP of Chemistry at Kymera Therapeutics, where he led/contributed to 3 protein degrader INDs. Nan started his industry career at Novartis and subsequently spent two years at Mitobridge. Nan obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Harvard University.
Takumi Ito is currently an visiting associate professor at Tokyo Medical University. He received his PhD in Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology). From 2008 to 2012, he was a researcher at Tokyo Institute of Technology. From 2012 to 2013, he worked as an Assistant Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology. Then, he joined the faculty at Tokyo Medical University. His current research interests are small molecule-induced protein degradation and molecular mechanisms of cereblon- binding drugs.
1990-1996 B.Eng./ M.Eng. Tokyo Institute of Technology
2006 Ph.D. The University of Tokyo
1996-2008 Researcher, Meiji Seika Kaisha. Ltd.
2008-2019 Assistant Professor/ Lecturer/ Associate Professor, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo
2019-present Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
Danette L. Daniels, Ph.D. is a Vice President of the Protein Degrader Platform at Foghorn Therapeutics developing therapeutic degraders in the areas of epigenetics and oncology. She was an early leader in the field of targeted protein degradation, pioneering approaches to monitor cellular kinetics of degradation, understand mechanism of action, and most recently, co-developing a new PROTAC modality. She received her PhD in Biophysics at Yale University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford School of Medicine studying the Wnt signaling pathway.
Dr. Crews is the John C. Malone Professor of MCDB and professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology at Yale University. He graduated from the U. Virginia with a B.A. in Chemistry and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Biochemistry. On the faculty at Yale since 1995, his laboratory has developed the use of small molecules to control intracellular protein levels. In 2003, he co-founded Proteolix, Inc., whose proteasome inhibitor, Kyprolis™ received FDA approval for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Dr. Crews’ lab is also credited with founding the field of ‘Targeted Protein Degradation’ drug development technology, i.e., PROTACs, which has the potential to target currently ‘undruggable’ disease causing proteins. In 2013, Dr. Crews launched the New Haven-based biotech venture, Arvinas, Inc.
Manfred Koegl is a director in Oncology Research in Vienna, working on the discovery and implementation of new therapeutic concepts in cancer. Presently, his team focuses on targeted protein degradation in cancer cell signaling.
Before 2010, he worked at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany. He has worked at several small biotech companies in Heidelberg, including Phenex Pharmaceuticals. Manfred Koegl studied biology in Vienna and received his PhD in cell biology in 1994 at the EMBL, Heidelberg.
Miklós is Associate Director of Platform Biology at Arvinas, leading the Degrader Mechanisms Group, tasked with the discovery and characterization of novel small molecule ligands and PROTAC® protein degraders in the expanding TPD landscape. Prior to Arvinas, Miklós worked at Nurix Therapeutics, and conducted his post-doctoral studies in the ubiquitin space in New York City at New York University and at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Miklós earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from the University of California, San Diego conducting studies on ubiquitin’s cousin, SUMO. A lifelong scientific fan of #ubiquitin, he is passionate about using our mechanistic understanding of a cell’s degrader machinery to advance small molecule drug discovery and development in targeted protein degradation with the ultimate goal of potentially delivering benefit to patients.
Michael Plewe is SVP – Medicinal Chemistry at Cullgen Inc., a company dedicated to the development of novel E3 ligands for targeted protein degradation in oncology. Before joining Cullgen in 2018, he was Head of Chemistry at Arisan Therapeutics, a start-up focused on developing novel treatments for neglected viral diseases. Prior to Arisan, he was an Associate Research Fellow at Pfizer Inc. working in multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, ophthalmology, diabetes, and infectious diseases. He was a medicinal chemist at Agouron and at Vical, a gene therapy company. Dr. Plewe completed his postdoctoral training at the University of California at Irvine and earned his Ph. D. and Diploma in organic chemistry from the University of Konstanz in Germany.
Dr. Genfu Chen is an Executive Director at WuXi AppTec Co. Ltd. where he leads a team in research and providing services and solutions in the areas of in vitro ADME and PK to support drug discovery and development. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Pharmacology from Fudan University and earned his Ph.D. degree in Toxicology/drug metabolism from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prior to joining WuXi AppTec, his professional experiences include Abbott Laboratories, In Vitro Technologies, and NCTR of US FDA.
He is currently Board of Directors for Chinese Society for the Study of Xenobiotics and an expert for drug-drug interactions (DDI) for NMPA’s guidance for DDI and ICH M12.