Scientific Advisory Board

Kim Arndt, PhD

Pfizer Inc.

James Barsoum, PhD

Biotech Industry R&D Leader

Christopher Burge, PhD


David Chenoweth, PhD

University of Pennsylvania

Amanda E. Hargrove, PhD

Duke University

Melissa Moore, PhD

Moderna Therapeutics

Anna Marie Pyle, PhD

Yale, HHMI

Adrian Whitty, PhD

Boston University

Peter Worland, PhD

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Kim Arndt, PhD, Pfizer Inc.

Kim Arndt, PhD, is Vice President at Pfizer where he leads the Oncology Target Discovery group whose mission is to identify and validate novel targets for cancer. He got his PhD in 1981 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he used NMR to study protein/DNA interactions. He subsequently was a postdoctoral researcher in Gerry Fink’s laboratory at Whitehead Institute/MIT working on growth control using yeast as a model organism. After completing his postdoc, Dr. Arndt was a Senior Staff Investigator for 9 years at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where his group studied cell cycle control and identified novel regulators of cell cycle entry.  In 1996, Dr. Arndt moved to Wyeth Research, which was subsequently acquired by Pfizer. While employed by Wyeth, Dr. Arndt’s group discovered bosutinib, which is currently approved for CML.

Currently, Dr. Arndt’s group identifies and preclinically validates novel targets for oncology and immuno-oncology development for both small molecules and biologics.

James Barsoum, PhD, Biotech Industry R&D Leader

Jim is a PhD scientist and biopharmaceutical executive with thirty years of industry experience in drug discovery and development and nine years of academic research experience. Prior to retirement in 2021, Jim was the Senior Vice President of Research for Arrakis Therapeutics. Previously, he was the Chief Scientific Officer at RaNA Therapeutics, a biotechnology company using oligonucleotides to target noncoding RNA for the selective upregulation of gene expression to increase the levels of therapeutic proteins. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President and Head of Research at Synta Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on small molecule drug discovery and development in oncology and inflammatory diseases. For many years, Jim held various leadership roles at Biogen, primarily focused on technology development and biological therapeutics (protein and gene therapies). Jim received a PhD in Biology from MIT and held postdoctoral fellowship positions at Stanford University and the Whitehead Institute at MIT.

Christopher Burge, PhD, MIT

Chris Burge PhD, is Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A faculty member in the Department of Biology from 2002-present, he received tenure in 2006 and full Professorship in 2010. He was awarded the Schering-Plough Research Institute Award in 2007 for his outstanding research contributions to biochemistry and molecular biology, a Searle Scholar Award in 2003, and the Overton Prize for Computational Biology in 2001by the International Society for Computational Biology. He completed his Bachelor of Science at Stanford University (1990), continued his graduate studies in computational biology at Stanford, where he gained his PhD under Samuel Karlin’s supervision (1997), during which time he developed algorithms for GENSCAN used in gene prediction. Subsequently, he was a postdoctoral researcher in Phil Sharp’s laboratory working on RNA splicing and molecule evolution (1997-9). Chris is author of about 100 publications dealing with genomics, RNA splicing, and microRNA regulation in vertebrates and invertebrates.

The Burge laboratory studies mechanisms of posttranscriptional gene regulation using a combination of computational and experimental methods, with the goal of understanding RNA splicing code.

David Chenoweth, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

David Chenoweth PhD, was appointed Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry in 2011, in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Group in the Perelman School of Medicine in 2013, and in the Bioengineering Graduate Group in the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 2013. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 1999. After graduation, he completed an internship in organic chemistry at Dow AgroSciences prior to joining the Discovery Chemistry Research Department at Eli Lilly in 2000. David moved to California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2003 to pursue a PhD degree with Professor Peter B. Dervan. While at Caltech, David received the Chemistry Department’s Herbert Newby McCoy PhD thesis award for outstanding contribution to the science of chemistry. After graduation in 2009, he moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to work with Professor Timothy Swager as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow.

Research in the Chenoweth laboratory is grounded in organic chemistry and molecular recognition with applications to biological and materials problems. The Chenoweth group uses chemical principles to design and synthesize new molecular tools for probing, manipulating, and imaging biological systems and dynamic processes. The group is particularly interested in developing new small molecule approaches for selectively modulating nucleic acid structure and function. Current research areas include: (A) Development of new small molecule platforms for targeting RNA; (B) development of new tools for spatial and temporal control of cellular events; (C) fundamental studies of macromolecular assembly and folding events; and (D) new technologies for imaging, sensing, and drug delivery.

Amanda E. Hargrove, PhD, Duke University

Amanda E. Hargrove is Associate Professor of Chemistry at Duke University.

Dr. Hargrove joined the Duke faculty in 2013. Congruent with the interdisciplinary nature of her program, Dr. Hargrove holds a secondary appointment in the Biochemistry Department and membership in the Duke Cancer Institute, the Pharmaceutical Sciences Training Program, and the Center for Biological and Tissue Engineering. Dr. Hargrove earned her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin followed by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Hargrove currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Medicinal Research Reviews.

The Hargrove laboratory has focused on developing small molecule probes to investigate the structure and function of RNA molecules relevant to human disease. The lab works to understand the fundamental drivers of selective small molecule-to-RNA recognition and to use this knowledge to functionally modulate viral and oncogenic RNA structures.

Melissa Moore, PhD, Moderna Therapeutics

In her role as Chief Scientific Officer of Moderna’s mRNA research platform, Dr. Melissa Moore is responsible for leading all mRNA biology research at Moderna. She joined Moderna from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), where she served as Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair in Cancer Research and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Dr. Moore was also a founding Co-Director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute (RTI) at UMMS, and was instrumental in the creation of the Massachusetts Therapeutic and Entrepreneurship Realization initiative (MassTERi), a faculty-led program intended to facilitate the translation of UMMS discoveries into drugs, products, technologies and companies.

Dr. Moore’s research at UMMS and HHMI encompassed a broad array of topics related to the role of RNA and RNA-protein (RNP) complexes in gene expression and touched on many human diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and preeclampsia. Prior to UMMS, she spent 13 years as a professor at Brandeis University. She began working on RNA during her postdoctoral training with Phillip Sharp, PhD at MIT, where she also received her PhD in Biological Chemistry under the mentorship of Christopher T. Walsh, PhD. Dr. Moore holds a BS in Chemistry and Biology from the College of William and Mary.

Anna Marie Pyle, PhD, Yale, HHMI

Anna Marie Pyle PhD, is the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Professor of Chemistry at Yale University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 1997. Anna received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Princeton University (1985), her PhD in Chemistry from Columbia University (1990) and was a postdoctoral fellow in Thomas Cech’s laboratory (1990-2). She formed her own research group in 1992 in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University Medical Center, and in 2002 moved to Yale University, where she now leads a research group specializing in structure and function of large RNA molecules and RNA remodeling enzymes. She serves on the Science and Technology Steering Committee at Brookhaven National Laboratory and on Beamline Advisory Teams at the NSLSII light source. Previously Anna served as the Chair of the MSFA Study Section, and she has also served as a permanent member on the MSFE, and MGB Study Sections. She has authored more than 160 publications.

The Pyle laboratory uses a diverse set of biochemical and biophysical techniques to understand the structural complexity of RNA architecture. She pioneered the study of RNA helicase enzymes and other RNA-stimulated ATPases that serve as translocases, RNA remodeling enzymes, folding cofactors and signaling enzymes in the cell. Her experimental work is complemented by efforts to develop new computational tools for modeling, analyzing and predicting RNA structure.

Adrian Whitty, PhD, Boston University

Adrian Whitty is Associate Professor of Chemistry and of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University. Dr. Whitty earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago and B.Sc. in Chemistry from King’s College, University of London. Prior to joining the Boston University faculty in 2008, Dr. Whitty worked for 14 years at Biogen. He rose from Scientist to the position of Director in the Drug Discovery Department and Head of Physical Biochemistry, leading a department that encompassed quantitative biochemistry, assay development and compound profiling, structural biology, and molecular modeling. During his tenure at Biogen, Dr. Whitty participated in or led multiple drug discovery project teams. He also maintained an active research program in the areas of receptor signaling and protein-ligand binding. In addition, he directed the Biogen Idec Postdoctoral Program, developing a highly regarded reputation as a post-doctoral mentor.

The Whitty Group studies protein-protein and protein-ligand recognition, with an emphasis on how binding energy from these intermolecular interactions can be utilized to achieve biological function or inhibition.

Peter Worland, PhD, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Peter is Senior Vice President, Integrative Sciences at Bristol-Myers Squibb. For approximately the last 10 years, Peter has been actively identifying and creating collaborations (academic and corporate) that extend the reach of the company’s internal Research & Development Programs and expanding into new therapeutic areas or new technologies. He has been integral to creating over 30 collaborations with biotechnology companies in that period, both within the US and abroad. He leads a group of senior and experienced scientists focused on continually working to maximize the value of existing partnerships and identify new potential that complements the company’s strategic plan. Prior to this, Peter had responsibility for Experimental Therapeutics at Celgene. Before Celgene, Peter held leadership positions at both large and small companies (Pharmacia, Mitotix, Millennium) and while at Pharmacia oversaw the academic collaboration with the European Institute of Oncology. After completing his PhD in the Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Australia, Peter worked as a Visiting Scientist at the NCI in Bethesda for several years before entering Industry. He has been a major contributor for a number of molecules, both small molecules and biologics entering clinical development.

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