Spotlight Interviews

CDD Spotlight Interview with Thale Jarvis, Crestone Inc.

Thale Jarvis

“People sometimes refer to it as drug hunting. It starts with early discovery, finding interesting compound libraries and screening for hits, followed by a lot of intensive medicinal chemistry, microbiological and biochemical characterization and preclinical testing. Once you have an IND candidate, the focus expands to include process chemistry and toxicology testing. And that’s before you even consider human clinical trials. It’s a long process, but terrifically engaging. You have to balance optimism with realism. It takes great teamwork; to succeed, your team has to be smart, tenacious and lucky in about equal measures.”

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CDD Spotlight Interview with Dale Cameron, viDA Therapeutics Inc.


“It was the first time in my career that I can remember, where creativity and outside the box thinking allowed for mixing and matching a lot of different and unrelated tools, to do something they weren’t originally intended, to generate a result that had immediate and positive effect on our research programs. Completely unpublishable work, I must admit, but…our own crystal structures would eventually come sometime later in the program, and when compared to our hand-made model of a model, we were very close, to the point where the crystal structure simply validated our model, which for a computational chemist, was intensely satisfying.”

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CDD Spotlight Interview with Enrique Michelotti, NIMH/NIH

Enrique Linkedin photo

“I think the biggest impact was people in academia that were not used to databases and with the training and the use, they came to realize how powerful it is to have a permanent central repository, where you can access the data very fast and correlate the most salient patterns. I think that is the most important impact by providing this new capability that was even useful for people that were just not used to databases. It really speaks to the ease of use and overall design of CDD Vault.”

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CDD Spotlight Interview with Paul Humphries, Reset Therapeutics


“As a company we all have to have a phenotypic drug discovery mindset, which means that we have to be prepared for any target (or working on an unknown target) that acts through any compartment (liver, CNS, etc) that modulates physiological endpoints for any disease. I’m no longer a target-based medicinal chemist working on metabolic diseases, I’m a phenotypic drug discovery scientist working on circadian modulators that are disease agnostic. It’s an exciting, challenging and hugely rewarding part of my career and I am relishing working with the Reset team to create a new path for drug discovery in this novel scientific area.”

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Prof. Jonathan Baell of “PAINS” Filters Fame from Monash University

Baell CDD

“People are just finding compounds with a bit of activity and really publishing screening hits as though they are genuine optimizable candidates. And these things can be subversive and they can look real, so these publications are kind of getting accepted and unfortunately there’s a lot of noise out there, a lot of pollution, and this is one of the things we certainly strive to do here is not to publish something for the sake of publishing, but to publish it after making optimizations showing these are absolutely real.”

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Dr. Robert Volkmann, Vice President of Chemistry – Mnemosyne & SystaMedic

Robert Bob Volkmann

“What you’ve done is you’ve designed a product that works for people like me. It not only works great for me but also works great for our biologists and our CRO chemists in India. … I just take it for granted that CDD Vault will work and it will work as planned. So I guess for me the test for the value of something is that you can use it without ever thinking about it.”

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Scott Myers, Ph.D., Director of Drug Discovery – NeurOp, Inc.

Scott Myers CDD

“I recall early on trying to understand what should I do if I’m interested in science, but I’m not interested in medicine so to speak, like, being a medical doctor. And I was reading some descriptions about pharmacology and then I realized that sounded pretty exciting and also fit what I really thought I would like to do. That took me to pharmacy school. And in pharmacy school, I really realized I was more interested in the research and so I went the research path… That was over 20 years ago. And between then and now (when I got this job at NeurOp) NeurOp was really what I always wanted to do. I think this level of the in-vitro pharmacology and evaluating novel molecules has always been my main interest.”

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Dr. David Matthews, Pathway Therapeutics, Vice President, Drug Discovery and Exploratory Development

David Mathews

“So I actually started out life as a physicist. My undergraduate degree was physics and during that time my undergraduate tutor was Professor David Blow, who was at Imperial College where I did my degree. He was one of the pioneers of x-ray crystallography, sadly passed away a few years ago, but I would say that David was certainly instrumental in fostering my interest in biology and as I went through my undergraduate degree, I realized that this was a field that was fascinating to me, that I really wanted to get into. So I guess that would be the first turning point was in making the decision to mutate from a physicist into a biologist.”

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Eric Springman, Ph.D., Celtaxsys CSO

Eric Springman

“It’s just amazing how science comes and goes in waves. Some of that is related to the tools that you have at your disposal, but when I started out in discovery science and my graduate work and post-doc, particularly the innate immune system, but neutrophils, and this is where I dwell right now, so it’s pretty fascinating to me how it’s coming around. Neutrophils were just viewed as pretty unsophisticated dumb cells in that they were, as we called them, terminally differentiated, which had a lot of implications to it, that they just basically couldn’t think anymore as cells think, they were just preprogrammed to do something and then die. And that really has turned around on its head to where even the cells that we have thought of for a long time now, for the last 20 years as primitive, are actually not at all, they’re very sophisticated cells.”

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