Scientific Advisory Board
Gary J. Bridger PhD
Dr. Bridger completed his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UK) and subsequently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Boston College. Dr Bridger worked at Johnson Matthey, aiding the development of Atiprimod, currently in clinical trials at Callisto Pharmaceuticals.
Dr Bridger co-founded AnorMED Inc and served as Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer. He was responsible for research, development, and clinical programs within AnorMED; a leading company in the development of chemokine receptor inhibitors for a variety of disease applications. He was responsible for the development of AMD3100 (plerixafor, MozobilTM), a new stem cell mobilizing agent for treatment of multiple myeloma and non-hodgkins lymphoma patients, including the design and completion of two randomized Phase 3 clinical trials. In late 2006, AnorMED was acquired by Genzyme for US $600 million and Mozobil was approved by the US FDA in 2008. In June 2010, Dr. Bridger became a Ventures Partner at Ventures West, an active venture capital partner that invests in early stage technology companies. Dr. Bridger is named inventor on 34 granted US patents and is an author of more than 80 scientific publications.
Gideon J. Davies PhD
Dr. Davies completed his PhD at the University of Bristol. Dr. Davies carried out post-doctoral studies at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Hamburg outstation and the University of York. He carried out extended periods in Hamburg, Grenoble and Uppsala, and returned full time to York with a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Dr. Davies is a full professor and “40th Anniversary Professor”of the University of York. He has received numerous academic awards and his exceptional contributions to the study of carbohydrate processing enzymes were recently recognized through his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Dr. Davies is a leading expert in the structural biology of carbohydrate processing enzymes. His research interests are in the use of X-ray crystallography and enzymology to study the biology of carbohydrate processing enzymes and their accessory domains. He has advanced the conformational pathways harnessed by enzymes to effect catalysis and noted how this knowledge can be used to design inhibitors. Dr. Davies has published over 200 scientific papers.
Cheng-Xin Gong, M.D.
Dr. Cheng-Xin Gong received his medical degree from Xianning Medical College and an M.S. degree in Biochemistry from Tongji Medical University. Dr. Gong carried out postdoctoral research on the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Gong is the Head and Director of the Brain Metabolism Laboratory at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Dr. Gong investigates the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in various brain diseases, especially in Alzheimer’s disease. He has made significant contributions to the understanding of the role of protein phosphatases in Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies. He was the first to demonstrate a down-regulation of protein phosphatase 2A in Alzheimer’s brains and its role in the abnormal hyperphosphorylation of tau and neurofibrillary degeneration. He has forwarded a hypothesis explaining the mechanism by which impaired brain glucose uptake contributes to neurodegeneration. Dr. Gong is a leading expert in Alzheimer’s disease, neurodegeneration, protein phosphorylation, protein glycosylation, and signal transduction. He has authored over 90 scientific publications.
Robert Young, PhD
Dr. Robert Young received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, and continued postdoctoral studies at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, the University of Adelaide and the University of British Columbia. He was a Research Associate at the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles in Gif-sur-Yvette, France. He worked in various capacities with Merck Frosst Canada & Co. He was Vice-President and Head of Medicinal Chemistry at the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research before taking early retirement in 2006. Dr. Young is now a Professor of Chemistry and the Merck Frosst-B.C. Leadership Chair in Pharmaceutical Genomics, Bioinformatics and Drug Discovery in the Chemistry Department at Simon Fraser University.
His current research is focused on the design and use of novel pharmacological probes and proof of concept molecules for the discovery and validation of new drug targets. He is also director of the Division of Medicinal Chemstry of the Center for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) in British Columbia and consults for a number of Pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Young’s career has focused on the design and synthesis of novel drugs for asthma, inflammation, osteoporosis and related diseases and he is most noted for his part in the discovery of the asthma drug, SingulairTM. Dr. Young is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and his academic and professional honours and affiliations are numerous. Dr. Young is an author of more than 160 publications, review articles and patents.