SUCS Seminar: Dr Matthew Hall, National Institutes of Health
Friday, 21 July 11:00am – 12:00pm
This seminar will be delivered in Chemistry Lecture Theatre 4 and Online (Zoom) Please email email@example.com for zoom link and password.
Speaker: Dr Matthew Hall, National Institutes of Health
Host: Dr Johnny Liu
Title: Assays to Guide the Way: Drug Discovery at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Abstract: High-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry remain a centerpiece of the drug discovery process. A major roadblock to timely translation of target understanding into new therapies has been the inability to efficiently identify new areas of biologically active small molecule chemical space. And yet, despite monumental advances in assay screening and chemistry throughput, drug discovery continues to be plagued by high failure rates and increasing costs. Probe molecules play an important role in addressing these translational gaps by enabling characterization of underlying biology, and validation of therapeutic hypotheses in complex systems. This talk will describe the critical roles of assay development, high-throughput screening, and medicinal chemistry in developing optimized small molecule probes, and discuss NCATS’s (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH) long-running efforts to address bottlenecks in the therapeutic discovery process. Case studies will be drawn from the presenter’s research, as well as the COVID response.
Bio: Matt earned a BSc (Hons) in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry (as it was then called) and a PhD in the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney. His Honours and PhD research was conducted in the laboratory of Prof Trevor Hambley. While studying he was President of SUPRA and then elected a Fellow of Senate. He then earned an American Australian Association Sir Keith Murdoch Fellow for a one-year postdoc at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Hall then worked as a postdoctoral fellow then staff scientist at the NIH National Cancer Institute with Dr. Michael M. Gottesman. Hall then joined NCATS in 2015 as a Biology Group Lead.
Hall is the Director of the Early Translation Branch (ETB) at NCATS, where he oversees the activities of the branch’s early drug discovery efforts. His role includes building partnerships with other institutes at NIH to address unmet medical needs. He is currently co-chair of the NCI Chemical Biology Consortium for cancer drug discover, co-chair of the NIH ACTIV TRACE program addressing COVID variants and therapeutics, oversees an ETB collaborative program for the NIH HEAL Initiative for the opioid crisis, and established a $3 billion Antiviral Program for Pandemics with NIAID and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to prepare for the next pandemic.