The 17th Annual
Peptide Therapeutics


October 20-21, 2022

Register Now!

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.

Lutz Jermutus, PhD FRSC FFPM (Hons)

PDTL & Senior Director R&D, Astra Zeneca

Lutz Jermutus is Product Development Team Leader and Senior Director, R&D, in the cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases unit of AstraZeneca. He is responsible for leading novel candidate drugs to clinical proof-of-concept including MEDI0382, a GLP-1/Glucagon dual peptide agonist for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes.
MEDI0382 was discovered during his previous position as Global Head, Research Technology, overseeing teams in the UK and US. In this role, he delivered and advanced novel biopharmaceutical discovery platforms including the initiation of a peptide discovery team, multi-selective antibodies, antibody conjugates and oligonucleotides. His team also established a phenotypic screening platform that delivered novel antibody leads for the treatment of cancer (oleclumab, an anti-CD73 antibody) and infectious diseases (MEDI3902, a bispecific anti-Psl/PcrV antibody). His responsibilities included numerous biotech collaborations eg. Evotec, Direvo, PeptiDream, Molecular Partners, Silence Therapeutics, Xenome and Retrogenix.
Previously at Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT), until its acquisition by AstraZeneca, Lutz was Director of Discovery Oncology, and Director of Protein Engineering where he developed CAT’s leading protein optimisation platform resulting in a number of clinical leads including (eg. tralokinumab, an anti-IL13 antibody, for the treatment of atopic dermatitis).
Following studies in chemical engineering in Karlsruhe (Germany) and biotechnology in Strasbourg (France), he completed his PhD in biochemistry in Zurich (Switzerland) with Andreas Plückthun.
He was a pre-doctoral Kekulé-Fellow of the German Chemical Industry Association, a recipient of a graduate fellowship at the German National Academic Foundation and in 2009 was admitted as Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2013 Lutz was elected Industrial Fellow at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, and in 2015, he was appointed Honorary Fellow in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians.
Lutz has published over 60 manuscripts and is an inventor on 16 product and technology patents.

Nick Cox, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Discovery Chemistry, Novo Nordisk

Dr. Cox is the Associate Director of Discovery Chemistry at the Novo Nordisk Research Center in Seattle, WA. He is leading the chemistry department to drive peptide, protein, and other therapeutic discovery efforts targeting chronic conditions including rare endocrine and blood disorders, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Prior to joining Novo Nordisk, he completed his training as a Postdoctoral Scholar in Stanford’s ChEM-H institute (2014-2016) under the mentorship of Prof. Chaitan Khosla and Dr. Mark Smith, serving as chemistry lead on numerous projects in early stage drug discovery. Dr. Cox received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Washington (2013) in the laboratory of Prof. Gojko Lalic, where he studied organic methodology and transition metal catalysis

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.

Adam Mezo, PhD

Sr. Distinguished Scientist, Peptide Research,Neurocrine Biosciences

Adam Mezo PhD

Neurocrine Biosciences


Peptide Therapeutic Foundation 

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