Spotlight Interview with Dr. Donald R. Kirsch, Author of “The Drug Hunters”March 28, 2017-“I wrote the book because…all drug discovery scientists have probably had a similar experience…people turn to you and they say “What do you do?”. And I say “Oh, well I’m in drug discovery”. And then people start asking you all these questions that you really can’t answer in an elevator conversation. So, that was really [...]
Spotlight Interview with Rick Keenan, Ph.D.October 11, 2016-“The other thing is, most of us scientists, we have some familiarity with computers, we use them all the time, we have smart phones, but we don’t want to know what’s going on behind the curtain computationally. We just want to use it. So it has to be user-friendly and intuitive. That’s what made Apple [...]
Spotlight Interview with Dr. Andrew Calabrese – VP of Chemistry at AgriMetisSeptember 6, 2016-Going from academic research to industrial research, came with the realization that bulk data drives industrial research, whether its pharmaceuticals or agrochemicals. In academia you might focus in on a very specific issue and track data very carefully, on individual data points. In industry it's all about bulk data, and it's about drawing plots of multiple compounds vs multiple data points, and trying to find correlations and find the outliers and find the reason why compounds are doing what they're doing. CDD Vault is a great tool for bulk data analysis...
CDD Spotlight Interview with Ronnett Seldon, University of Cape Town, South AfricaSeptember 15, 2015-Interviewed by Collaborative Drug Discovery, Inc.
When you joined H3-D were they already using CDD Vault?
Yes, CDD Vault is a central database so everybody has access to the data. I have been with the project for 18 months now, and I run a dose-response inhibition assay which generates a significant amount of data analysis. I had intended to use GraphPad prism or Stata for my analysis in which I have to define controls and use a 4 parameter logistic regression for the curve generation. For large data sets, this takes a lot of time. I am a clinical research microbiologist, so I have a fair amount of experience with large datasets.
While uploading data to CDD, I noticed in the help section of CDD Vault that the platform has a customized 4-parameter logistic regression that is used to process and analyze the data. This has changed, a whole lot and for the better, the amount of time I need to upload and process the data. CDD Vault is not just a database to which I bulk upload data, but I actually use it to analyze and process all my data...
CDD Spotlight Interview with Thale Jarvis, Crestone Inc.October 23, 2014-"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."
CDD Spotlight Interview with Dale Cameron, viDA Therapeutics Inc.July 28, 2014-"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."
CDD Spotlight Interview with Enrique Michelotti, NIMH/NIHMay 7, 2014- "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."
CDD Spotlight Interview with Paul Humphries, Reset TherapeuticsApril 17, 2014-"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."
Prof. Jonathan Baell of “PAINS” Filters Fame from Monash UniversityOctober 7, 2013-"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."
Dr. Robert Volkmann, Vice President of Chemistry – Mnemosyne & SystaMedicAugust 15, 2013-"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."
Orphagen CEO Scott Thacher, Ph.D. + Director of Chemistry Ruo Steensma, Ph.D.July 12, 2013-"We had Excel sheets all over the place and data from different projects that were just separated in different folders and after a while," says Dr. Ruo Steensma, "It got to the point that it was just hard to manage. We chose CDD, and we’re really happy with the service and the cost and the way the database is evolving."
Scott Myers, Ph.D., Director of Drug Discovery – NeurOp, Inc.June 19, 2013-"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."
Dr. David Matthews, Pathway Therapeutics, Vice President, Drug Discovery and Exploratory DevelopmentOctober 10, 2012-"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."
Eric Springman, Ph.D., Celtaxsys CSOAugust 30, 2012-"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."
Dr. Joel Freundlich, UMDNJJune 12, 2012-"When you see that activity in a mouse model with the compound that you designed and made and ushered through those early stages, that's really, really exciting... We use CDD Vault all the time for programs where we are evolving structure activity relationships, understanding how a small molecule modulates the target. We are able to track those changes in both graphical and numerical ways seeing how structure influences inhibition of a target. That is just incredibly valuable to us, together with the ability to share the information amongst many different collaborators whom I'm really privileged to have. It is extremely important to exchange data in a seamless fashion. And there is the immense amount of public data that's been archived on CDD Vault."
Stephen Bergmeier: From Shoebox to the Cloud, Collaboration Then and NowApril 19, 2012-"…I have sitting on my desk a shoe box kind of box and it’s got little four by six file cards and on each one of these four by six file cards I have a structure drawn and it’s got a compound identifier and we have someone’s name on there as the person who made the compound and on the various cards there are sort of little pencil marks indicating that we sent so much of it to somebody or we looked at it in a particular assay. And so, you know, actually this is another one of the reasons I really like CDD Vault, is I’m getting rid of my shoeboxes of file cards."
Dr. Michael Pollastri, Northeastern UniversityFebruary 15, 2012-"…being able to basically have a one-stop shop for people in my group to go and actually look for their data across multiple projects and also to have my collaborators to be able to just sort of access in an easy way the data that’s relevant to their projects without making it a really sort of arduous search to do. I mean basically it’s almost like the Project’s concept was designed for projects – for labs like mine."
Malcolm Kendall (President & CEO), Indel Therapeutics, Inc.December 9, 2011-"CDD Vault is a G=d-send. We are a virtual company. I’ve got people spread from Montreal to Vancouver to L.A. and we really needed some way to kind of bring it all together and capture the data that we were creating and be able to share and analyze it. So it’s become sort of a critical part of our existence, in a sense. Before we were capturing data on spreadsheets so having a web-served application like CDD Vault, allows you to collaborate real-time with your people, spread across two countries and several time zones. It is easy to use, has lots of features and because of it we can now better use and share the data we are creating."
Dr. Thomas J. Magliery, Ohio State UniversitySeptember 27, 2011-Thomas J. Magliery was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1974 and grew up outside of Chicago and Indianapolis. He conducted medical genetics research with M. Ed Hodes at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, leading to a semifinalist-winning project in the Westinghouse Science Search in 1992. Fast-forward a few years at Berkeley, Scripps and Yale, and Dr. Magliery joins the faculty of the Ohio State University in the fall of 2005 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biochemistry. He is a member of the Ohio State Biochemistry Program, the Biophysics Graduate Program and the Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program.
Dr. Ellen Berg, AsterandJuly 19, 2011-"I was always interested in sort of the bench-to-bedside areas; how do we do a better job of finding new drugs that are actually going to work in people safely."
Jim Wikel, Ex-Eli Lilly, Apex TherapeuticsMay 19, 2011-"I came from southern West Virginia, the coal fields of southern West Virginia, and it wasn’t that common for folks to go to college...when I retired, I was head of Computational Chemistry and Structural Biology with Lilly."
Dr. James McKerrow, UCSFMarch 29, 2011-As CDD’s first major customer, Dr. McKerrow guided us in our early days and introduced us to the Gates Foundation, making him perfect for our first CDD Spotlight.