Kim Janda, Ph.D.
Dr. Janda currently holds the rank of the Ely R. Callaway, Jr. Chaired Professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Immunology and Microbial Science at The Scripps Research Institute and is the Director of the Worm Institute of Research and Medicine (WIRM) at The Scripps Research Institute. He was born in Cleveland Ohio in 1957 wherein 1975 he matriculated to the University of South Florida and obtained a BS in Clinical Chemistry in 1980 and a doctoral degree from the University of Arizona (1984) in natural product total synthesis. Janda’s current research efforts straddle the interface of chemical biology. Janda is a Skaggs Scholar within the Skaggs Institute of Chemical Biology also at The Scripps Research Institute. He is a current member of the NIH study section Vaccines against Microbial Diseases. He also holds the positions of Associate Editor of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry and PloS ONE. Janda and his group at the Scripps Research Institute California have made groundbreaking progress through the development of an antiheroin vaccine.
Brian Shoichet, Ph.D.
Dr. Shoichet serves as a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UC, San Francisco. From 1996 to 2002, he joined the faculty at Northwestern University in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Biological Chemistry, and was recruited back to UCSF in 2003. His postdoctoral research focused on protein structure and stability with Brian Matthews at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Eugene, Oregon, as a Damon Runyon Fellow. He received his Ph.D. for work with Tack Kuntz on molecular docking in 1991 from UCSF. His current work focuses on taking computational approaches to develop an opioid that has potent analgesic properties with reduced addictive potential. Research in the Shoichet Lab seeks to bring chemical reagents to biology, combining computational simulation and experiment. Broadly, the Shoichet Lab adopts a protein-centric approach that seeks new ligands to complement protein structures. Using a ligand-centric approach, his lab seeks new targets for established drugs and reagents. Whereas this lacks the physical foundation of the structure-based research program, it returns to an older, pharmacological view of biological relationships, bringing to it a quantitative model. A focus for both approaches is ligand discovery against G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs).
Steven Doberstein, Ph.D.
Dr. Doberstein has over 25 years of experience in biotechnology research and development. Since joining Nektar in January 2010, he has spearheaded the discovery team at Nektar, which led to the identification and growth of the company’s proprietary pipeline of drug candidates. This included development of NKTR-181 (a first-in-class opioid analgesic with strategic brain entry kinetics) and NKTR-214 (a CD122-biased agonist that is currently in multiple clinical studies across a wide range of tumor types). Dr. Doberstein also serves as a representative of Nektar for the National Institute of Health (NIH) Public/Private Initiative to Address the Opioid Crisis. Dr. Doberstein received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and completed his postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley. Earlier in his career, Dr. Doberstein held a variety of engineering roles at DuPont after receiving his B.S.Ch.E. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.
Rosalie Pacula, Ph.D.
Dr. Pacula is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She serves as director of RAND's BING Center for Health Economics and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. Her research at RAND over the last 20 years has largely focused on issues related to illegal or imperfect markets (health care markets, insurance markets, illicit drug markets), measurement of the size of these markets, the impact they have on behavior (suppliers and consumers), and the effectiveness of policy interventions at targeting behavior within these markets. More recently her work has shifted to evaluating the impact of recent opioid policies in the US. She has explored the influence of buprenorphine diffusion, OxyContin reformulation, insurance expansion, medical marijuana and naloxone distribution laws on opioid related harm. She has also done work examining the size of the market for illicit opioids. Pacula has been a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) since 1997, serves on the editorial board of several journals, and is a scientific reviewer for the National Institutes of Health's HSOD committee. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Duke University.
Melissa Durham, PharmD
Dr. Durham is a clinical pharmacist and lecturer in clinical pharmacy at both the Keck School of Medicine at USC and the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry from California State University-Long Beach in 2003 and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California in 2007. Dr. Durham then completed a residency in Community Pharmacy Practice at USC in 2008. She also has a certificate in teaching. Dr. Durham joined the Physician Assistant Program in 2008 and is responsible for teaching clinical pharmacotherapy to each of the three levels of students in the program. At the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Durham coordinates and teaches courses in Self-Care/Non-Prescription Therapies and in Travel Medicine. Dr. Durham also works as a clinical pharmacist for the USC Pain Center in the Department of Anesthesiology and at the USC International Travel Medicine Clinics. In May, 2014 Dr. Durham received an honorary membership to Pi Alpha Honor Society, which is the national honor society for physician assistants.
Chitra Mandyam, Ph.D.
Dr. Mandyam graduated from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Houston with a PhD in pharmacological sciences and continued her postdoctoral research at the department of psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center in neuroscience with a focus on addiction research. She later moved to San Diego, and after her tenure at the Scripps Research Institute, she moved her laboratory to University of California San Diego where she is an associate professor with joint appointments at the department of anesthesiology and Skaggs School of Pharmacy. She is also a research biologist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. The general goal of her laboratory is to understand the relationship between brain structure and function using state-of-the-art molecular and cellular approaches to study high-level mental functions such as illicit drug/alcohol taking and seeking. Her lab employs genetic, pharmacological, electrophysiological and histochemical techniques, and behavioral paradigms for understanding the role of neural stem cells and myelinating oligodendrocytes in neuropathology produced by illicit drug/alcohol use. These studies in her lab may reveal novel neuroprotective strategies to reduce propensity of relapse to drug use. Dr. Mandyam is a member at Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior Study Section at NIH and a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and serves as a reviewer of several journals.
Richard Z. Fond, PharmD
Dr. Fond attended UCLA as an undergraduate before being admitted to the doctor of pharmacy program at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. He practiced in community pharmacy settings for forty-one years, where he often mentored students, including pharmacy interns and technicians. He owned and operated the Glenoaks Rx Pharmacy in Burbank, CA from 1972 until 2006. From 1985 to 1992 he partnered in the ownership of Karen Pharmacy, also located in Burbank. Dr. Fond served on the board of the Pharmacists’ Society of the San Fernando Valley for fifteen years and as an officer for ten years. In 2015, Dr. Fond was granted a life membership in The California Pharmacist Association at its annual convention, at which he was a frequent delegate. In 2015 he was also honored by the California State Board of Pharmacy in recognition of his 50 years of registration and service to the public. Dr. Fond proposed to the Pharmacy Board at its March meeting this year that it publishes in its online monthly newsletter, The Script, an article that he had written titled “I Am a Drug Addict,” (based on the narcotic withdrawal symptoms he experienced after only one week post-surgery from the dosing of a medically prescribed opioid) as one means of helping to raise the awareness of licensees regarding the national crisis of opioid addiction, through the telling of his personal story.