2020 Division of Medicinal Chemistry Award Sponsored by the Thomas J. Perun Endowment Fund
My Journey in Academia Drug Discovery: from Targeting Protein-protein Interactions to Protein Degradation
Prof. Shaomeng WANG
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, Ann Arbor, United States Read more
Prof. Shaomeng WANG
I have been working on the discovery and development of novel small-molecules therapeutics for more than 20 years. One area of my research has been focused on targeting protein-protein interactions which regulate apoptosis, including the PPIs between the anti-death Bcl-2 and pro-death Bcl-2 members, the MDM2-p53 PPI, and the PPI of IAP proteins with Smac. My research in targeting apoptosis has resulted in the discovery and advancement of 8 compounds into Phase I/II/III clinical development targeting Bcl-2/Bcl-xL, MDM2 and IAP proteins. In more recent years, I have expanded my research program to target a number of PPIs, which regulate epigenetics, including histone readers, writers and erasers, and have advanced several classes of compounds into advanced preclinical development. To accomplish our goals of discovering highly optimized compounds suitable for clinical development and rapidly advancing them into clinical development, I have established extensive collaborations with basic scientists, translational scientists and clinical investigators at UMCCC and in other institutions. I have co-founded five UM start-up companies to help us to bring our drugs into clinical development and marketplace. I have published 300+ peer-reviewed papers and an inventor of 60+ issued US patents and hundreds of international patents. I was elected as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2014 and as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2019, was induced into Hall of Fame of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of American Chemical Society in 2020. I was the 2014 University of Michigan Distinguished Innovator. (H-index =94 with total citations = 30,801 by Google Scholar).
2020 IUPAC-Richter Prize
How I Spent my Summer Vacation: Insights from a 35-year Career in Drug Discovery (and Molecules that have Broken my Heart)
John Macor earned his B.S. degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1982 doing undergraduate research with Professor Marvin Miller, and earned his Ph.D. degree at Princeton University with Professor E. C. Taylor in 1986. John then joined Pfizer where he was engaged in a variety of CNS drug discovery efforts, moved to Astra Arcus in 1994 focusing on cholinergic drug discovery, and then moved to Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1997, starting in cardiovascular and moving to neuroscience in 2001 and immunosciences in 2013. He assumed the role as Executive Director of Neuroscience Discovery Chemistry in 2002 and Executive Director of Immunosciences Discovery Chemistry in 2013. In 2016, he accepted the role as Global Head of Integrated Drug Discovery for Sanofi with groups in Paris, Frankfurt and Waltham, MA.
John is a co-inventor of Relpax® (eletriptan), an anti-migraine agent (5HT1D¬ receptor agonist) discovered during his time at Pfizer. At BMS, he was also a co-inventor of Nurtec ODT® (rimegepant), a CGRP receptor antagonist for the treatment of migraine. At Astra he was co-inventor of AZD0328, an α7 neuronal nicotinic receptor agonist, which advanced to Phase 2 trials for schizophrenia. At BMS, he was also a co-inventor of BMS-346567 (sparsentan, a dual AT1/ETA receptor antagonist presently in Phase 3 clinical trials for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis) and BMS-708163 (avagecestat, a γ-secretase inhibitor for Alzheimer’s Disease that reached Phase 2). Dr. Macor is also a co-inventor of LX9211 (an AAK1 inhibitor for neuropathic pain, Phase 2) and zavegepant (intranasal CGRP antagonist for migraine, Phase 3).
John has authored/co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications, is an inventor on more than 130 issued US patents, and given more than 100 invited lectures. Dr Macor chaired the 2002 Gordon Research Conference on Medicinal Chemistry and the 2006 Gordon Research Conference on Heterocyclic Compounds. Dr Macor served as Editor-in-Chief of Annual Reports in Medicinal Chemistry for Volumes 42 – 46 (2006 – 2011). John was awarded the 2009 Scarborough Award in Medicinal Chemistry, and was made an American Society Fellow in 2011. Dr Macor served as Chair of the Medicinal Chemistry Division (MEDI) of the American Chemical Society in 2015 and served a total of ten years on the Executive Committee of MEDI in various roles. Dr Macor was awarded the 2014 Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry (a National Award from the ACS) and was inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2014. He was designated as the 2019 Smissman awardee from the MEDI Division of the ACS “given to a living scientist whose research, teaching or service has had a substantial impact on the intellectual and theoretical development of the field of Medicinal Chemistry.” In 2020 Dr. Macor was awarded the IUPAC-Richter Prize in “recognition of his outstanding creative contributions in the field of medicinal chemistry research on drugs for the treatment of migraine.”