The 18th Annual
Peptide Therapeutics


October 16-17, 2023

Scripps Seaside Forum

Board Members

Phil Dawson, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry, Scripps Research

Phil Dawson is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Scripps Research in La Jolla, CA and Dean of the Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences. He received an A.B. (1992) in Chemistry from Washington University, and Ph.D. (1996) from Scripps Research under the guidance of Steve Kent. After pursuing postdoctoral work at Caltech, he returned to Scripps as an Assistant Professor. He has served as President of the American Peptide Society, the Board of Directors for FASEB and co-chaired the 22nd American Peptide Symposium and the 2016 GRC. He has published over 180 papers, and has been honored with an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellowship, the Vincent du Vigneaud Award, the Max Bergmann Kreis Gold Medal, the Zervas Award and the RSC MedImmune Protein and Peptide Science Award and the Akabori Memorial Award. Professor Dawson is a pioneer of chemoselective ligation methods for macromolecule synthesis and modification and has applied these tools broadly to better understand biological systems.

Robert Hagopian

Director Business Development, Polypeptide Group

Mr. Robert A. Hagopian received his M.S. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of California San Diego and his M.B.A from San Diego State University. His experience in peptide research and production spans over twenty five years which includes: Telios Pharmaceuticals (Manager, Peptide Production, 3 years) and NeoMPS, Inc. (Director, GMP Production 14 years). In his current position as Director of Business Development (13 years) at PolyPeptide Group, San Diego, Mr. Hagopian overseas the customer support activities for new and existing sales related to pre-clinical, clinical and commercial grade peptides.

Adrienne Day, Ph.D.

President, Blue Gum Advisors LLC

Dr. Day is the President of Blue Gum Advisors LLC, a consulting firm focused on providing business development support to the life science industry.  She is a seasoned business development professional with more than 30 years of experience in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries. Dr. Day has hands-on operational and executive management experience in the non-profit, for-profit and startup environments.

Most recently she was Senior Director of Business Development for Ferring  Pharmaceuticals.  Prior to that Dr. Day ran a successful consulting practice. She has previously served as Vice President of Business Development at what is now the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Vice President of Business Development Conforma Therapeutics, Senior Director of Business Development at Molecumetics Ltd., Associate Director of Corporate Development at Ligand Pharmaceuticals. She was Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ first Project Manager, and began her biotechnology career at Invitrogen Corporation where she held various positions.

Dr. Day received her B.Sc., B.Sc. Honors, and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Adelaide, Australia. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Southern California  and the La Jolla Cancer Research Center.

Johnny Zhu, PhD

Vice President Chemistry, Ferring Research Institute, Inc.

Dr. Zhu joined Ferring Research Institute in 2020, as head of discovery chemistry within an effort to expand Ferring drug discovery research to broad modalities. From 2012-2020, Dr. Zhu was the head of medicinal chemistry at UCB (UK) responsible for all NCE projects at the UK site. While at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) he was a member of the Target Validation and Lead Identification teams, the Anti-Infectious Franchise Research License Committee and the Design and Acquisition Team. At Schering Plough Research Institute (SPRI) he established and led the Global (compound) Library Evaluation Team, responsible for strategy, criteria of Schering compound collection and enhancement of compound file performance. He also co-led the Global Compound Acquisition Team (GCAT), served in the Hit-to-Lead, Privileged Structure Working Groups and the g-Secretase Modulator Early Development team.

Dr. Johnny Zhu obtained post-doctoral training (Columbia U.) and holds a Ph. D. (U. of Wisconsin-Madison), a MS and a BS (Beijing Normal U.) in organic chemistry and he is an inventor/co-inventor of over 30 granted US patents, over 60 patent applications and has published over 35 scientific articles. He has also presented at many scientific conferences.

Stefan Schunk, PhD

Senior Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Zealand Pharma

Stefan Schunk is Senior Director of Medicinal & Computational Chemistry at Zealand Pharma in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is leading the joint department to drive design and discovery of innovative peptide-based medicines, mainly focusing on metabolic and gastrointestinal diseases.

Prior to Zealand he spent 15 years at Grünenthal, a German specialty pharma, working in the fields of pain and inflammation. Here he served in various roles across research and early development – as External Innovation Lead scouting, evaluating, and in-licensing multiple research collaborations, as International Project Lead and heading the Medicinal Chemistry department. He started his Biotech career at Analyticon Discovery.

He performed postdoctoral work with Prof. Kocienski at Leeds University, UK in the field of natural product synthesis and received his Ph.D. in chemistry working for Prof. Enders at RWTH Aachen, Germany in the field of solid phase synthesis.

Antoine Henninot, PhD

Assoicate Director GI Chemistry, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Henninot is the Associate Director of Chemistry at Takeda, San Diego, CA. He is leading discovery efforts in the peptide chemistry and bioconjugation group to generate novel peptide and oligonucleotide therapeutics that target gastrointestinal disease. Before joining Takeda, Dr. Henninot was the lead on multiple drug discovery projects and peptide chemistry efforts at the Ferring Research Institute, San Diego, CA. He obtained his M.Sc. at the Universite de Lille 1 in France and his Pharm.D. at the Universite de Lille 2. He stayed on to complete his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology, under the supervision of Prof. Benoit Deprez and in collaboration with LFB Biotechnologie, working on identifying small molecule modulators of antibody post-translational modifications.


Peptide Therapeutic Foundation 

Click here to learn more about The Peptide Therapeutics Foundation or our Annual Peptide Therapeutics Symposium.