A team of scientists dedicated to making a difference


BIO5 Drug Discovery Team

Our scientists have extensive and diverse expertise in industrial settings, having run projects in a variety of therapeutic areas including oncology, neurodegeneration, and metabolic disorders. They have played key roles in both target and operations-related project teams at Sanofi-Aventis, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Telik, Semafore, and other smaller biotech companies.

Laurence H. Hurley, PhD

Director, BIO5 Drug Discovery Center

Dr. Hurley embraces an overall objective to design and develop novel antitumor agents that will extend the productive lives of patients who have cancer. His research program in medicinal chemistry depends upon a structure-based approach to drug design that is intertwined with a clinical oncology program in cancer therapeutics directed by Professor Daniel Von Hoff at TGen at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. Please contact Dr. Hurley directly at hurley@pharmacy.arizona.edu.

Chris Hulme

Chris Hulme, PhD

Director, Medicinal Chemistry Drug Discovery Center Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy

Dr. Hulme is intimately involved in leading several projects and managing the portfolio of targets at BIO5's Drug Discovery Center. Potential collaborators and partners from academia and research institutions may contact Dr. Hulme at hulme@pharmacy.arizona.edu.

Vijay Gokhale, PhD

Director, Computer Aided Drug Discovery

Dr. Gokhale manages the Computer Aided Drug Discovery Center at BIO5's Drug Discovery Center. His work ranges from structure-based drug design to virtual screening of compound libraries, as well as docking and development of pharmacophore models using QSAR, DISCO techniques. Please contact Dr. Gokhale at gokhale@pharmacy.arizona.edu.

Leslie Gunatilaka

Leslie Gunatilaka, PhD

Director, Natural Products Center

Dr. Gunatilaka is the Director of the Natural Products Center. He is engaged in many different areas of natural products research, ranging from screening to isolation, structure elucidation, and partial and total synthesis of bioactive molecules. Dr. Gunatilaka is focused on the development of natural products-based pharmaceuticals to treat cancer, AIDS, infective (bacterial, fungal, viral) diseases, and biocides to control insect and plant vectors. He is the contact person for all natural products-related research. Please contact Dr. Gunatilaka at leslieg@ag.arizona.edu.

Kristen Keck

Kristen Keck

Associate Director, Analytical Sciences

Kristen Keck directs the Analytical Chemistry Center and her work spans from high-throughput purification to various analytical support services. At this moment, the lab is equipped with UHPLC high-throughput analytical and preparative LC-MS, GC-MS, FTIR, NMR and various analytical instruments to support BIO5's drug discovery efforts. Inquiries about services available to external partners should contact Ms. Keck at keck@pharmacy.arizona.edu.

Hong Yu Li

Hong Yu Li, PhD

Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Dr. Li has extensive experience in drug discovery and development and his research focuses on discovering the next generation of kinase inhibitors as drug candidates for cancer. Dr. Li is the contact person for kinase targets via the "call-for-target" mechanism. Please contact Dr. Li at hongyuli@pharmacy.arizona.edu.

Paul Myrdal

Paul Myrdal, PhD

Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice & Science

Dr. Myrdal has significant expertise in the area of drug delivery with an emphasis on aerosol and topical delivery. He acts as the contact for small molecule physico-chemical property measurements. Please contact Dr. Myrdal at myrdal@pharmacy.arizona.edu.

Jon Njardarson

Jon Njardarson, PhD

Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Njardarson's research is focused on natural products and the development of new methods in organic synthesis. He is one of the key contributors in providing valuable small molecule diversity for the Center's screening collection. Please contact Dr. Njardarson at njardars@email.arizona.edu.

Samuel Yalkowsky

Samuel Yalkowsky, PhD

Professor, Pharmaceutics

Dr. Yalkowsky has 40 years of experience in the formulation of orally and parenterally administered drugs. His area of expertise includes formulations of poorly soluble and/or poorly stable drugs. For all drug formulation needs, contact Dr. Yalkowsky at yalkowsky@pharmacy.arizona.edu.