Dr. De Vivo is Director of the Molecular Modeling and Drug Discovery laboratory at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT).  He is also Director of the Italian CECAM-IT-SIMUL node of the CECAM (Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire, https://www.cecam.org) organization, which promotes advanced computational methods for important problems in frontier areas of science and technology.  The lab develops and applies computational methods to achieve an atomic-level comprehension of chemical systems. This information is used to design potent inhibitors and nanoparticles with programmed properties as a promising starting point for drug discovery programs. His research activity is partially supported by the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC).

In 2017, he received the ACS COMP OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of scientific journals like JCIM (ACS Publications) and Chem (Cell Press), and sits in the Scientific Advisory Board of BiKi Technologies, a start-up company that provides innovative tools based on molecular dynamics for drug discovery. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation (ACS publication), which is the reference journal for the broad community of computational chemists.

Maria Laura Bolognesi earned her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with Prof. Carlo Melchiorre at the University of Bologna. She moved to the USA for postdoctoral studies in the lab of Prof. Philip S. Portoghese at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry of the University of Minnesota. In 1998, she started her academic career and eventually joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology of the University of Bologna, where she is currently Full Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Coordinator of Biotechnological, Biocomputational, Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences PhD Programme, and Rector Delegate for Latin America International Relations.

She has been selected as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2009 and Professeur invitée at the Université de Caen Normandie in 2018. For the 2014-2017 period, Maria Laura was awarded a Special Visiting Researcher scholarship through Brazil’s Science without Borders program.

She is currently an Associate Editor of Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and sits on the editorial committees of several medicinal chemistry journals, such as ChemMedChem, Chemical Biology and Drug design, Future Medicinal Chemistry, Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry. Maria Laura also serves on the Advisory board of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry. Her group has pioneered polypharmacology concepts and is dedicated to developing multi-target small molecules to improve human health.

Dr. Stephen Penrose is a client facing Medicinal Chemistry discipline lead with over 10 years’ experience working at Charles River for diverse clients including Patient Foundations, Biotechs and Big Pharma. He has worked across a variety of therapeutic indications including cystic fibrosis, chronic cough and Huntington’s Disease. Stephen has delivered numerous pre-clinical candidates with a strong publication record in molecules that target the CNS.

Stephen has recently moved to Anima Biotech where he is one of the Chemistry Leads for the Lilly neuroscience programme. Using Anima’s proprietary platforms he designs compounds that regulate mRNA translation, discovering highly selective drugs against a broad range of challenging and seemingly undruggable targets.

Stephen completed his PhD at the University of Bath in the field of asymmetric rhodium-catalysed conjugate addition chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Chris Frost, he has also had industrial experience at Pfizer and GSK.