CABS Workshop: Small Molecule Drug Discovery

Date: February 16, 2019 @ 1:00 pm – @ 6:00 pm
Location: Hanhai BioLabs (1633 Bayshore Highway, Suite 280, Burlingame, CA 94010

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 Please note that our agenda has been updated below.


1:00 to 1:20 PM Check-in and networking.

1:20 to 1:30 PM Welcome remarks from CABS.

1:30 to 2:15 PM Application of Computational Tools in Structural Chemistry: A Retrospective Study of Lead Optimization of Potent Macrocyclic Cyclophilin Inhibitors for HCV. Devleena Shivakumar, PhD, Senior Scientist, Structural Chemistry, Gilead Sciences Inc.

2:15 to 3:00 PM Advances in Enzyme Engineering:  Application to the Discovery and Efficient Synthesis of Pharmaceuticals. Jim Lalonde, PhD, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Codexis.

3:00 to 3:15 PM Coffee Break

3:15 to 4:00 PM Reversal of Adenosine-Mediated Immunosuppression: Small Molecule Inhibitors of CD73. Brandon Rosen, PhD, Senior Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Arcus Biosciences.

4:00 to 4:45 PM Curing Hepatitis C: Ledipasvir and Velpatasvir, the NS5A Inhibitors in Harvoni® and Epclusa® John O. Link, PhD, Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry,Gilead Sciences Inc.

4:45 to 5:30 PM Refreshment and networking

Speakers Profile:


Devleena Shivakumar, PhD, is currently a Senior Research Scientist in the Structural Chemistry Department at Gilead Sciences Inc. in Foster City where she is contributing to projects from Immunology, Oncology and Antiviral space.

After finishing her Masters in Biotechnology from IIT Bombay, Devleena joined Prof Tom Bruice’s group at UC Santa Barbara for PhD in Computational Biochemistry, followed by couple of postdoctoral research projects with Prof David Case at the Scripps research institute and Prof Benoit Roux at University of Chicago towards development and application of Molecular Dynamics based tools for ligand design. After that Devleena joined Schrodinger as a Senior Applications Scientist in NYC where she worked on improving advanced methods for binding affinity prediction, and collaborated with several key pharmaceutical companies on the East and West coasts. She has published high impact papers on advanced computational methods and their applications to Drug Discovery, and has presented at several conferences worldwide. 

Jim Lalonde,PhD, is the Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Codexis, the leading developer of engineered enzymes.  Dr. Lalonde joined in 2004. Prior to joining Codexis, he held key R&D positions at Altus Biologics, Inc. and Vista Chemical Co. He is a co-author of more than 50 publications and patents in the development and use of enzymes for efficient synthesis. Dr. Lalonde performed post-doctoral research in Biocatalysis with Chi-Huey Wong and earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry in the lab of David Bergbreiter at Texas A&M.


 Brandon Rosen, PhD, has been a senior scientist in the department of Medicinal Chemistry at Arcus Biosciences since January 2015. At Arcus, he has worked on multiple programs against immuno-oncology targets, including the dual A2aR/A2bR antagonist AB928, the selective A2aR antagonist AB745, and the CD73 inhibitor AB680. Prior to joining Arcus, Brandon completed his Ph.D. at The Scripps Research Institute under the direction of Professor Phil Baran, where he studied the total synthesis of terpenes of mixed biosynthetic origin and developed new methods for electro-organic chemistry.


John O. Link, PhD, is a Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry at Gilead Sciences.  John received his PhD in Chemistry under the direction of EJ Corey at Harvard University in 1992 working on CBS reduction chemistry and a novel synthesis of amino-acids, now a named reaction (Corey-Link Reaction). From 1992-1996 John worked at Syntex/Roche Palo Alto and elucidated the inhibition mechanism of the immunosuppressant drug CellCept® along with the enzymatic mechanism of its target, inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase. From 1996-2006 John worked on protease inhibitors at Celera (South San Francisco) in inflammation and antiviral areas with three compounds entering clinical trials.  Since 2006 John has been at Gilead Sciences.  He led the project teams that discovered the hepatitis C NS5A inhibitors ledipasvir and velpatasvir (Harvoni® Epclusa®) and continued as the project leader through Phase I clinical trials. Additionally the NS3/4a protease inhibitor voxilaprevir was discovered in his organization (Vosevi®). He is co-inventor on those three drugs. He is also a co-inventor and was an early project leader on the first-in-class HIV Capsid inhibitor GS-6207 now in clinical trials.  John was awarded the American Chemical Society’s 2015 “Heroes of Chemistry Award” for his contributions to the discovery of Harvoni®


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