GRC Connects: Natural Products & Bioactive Compounds

Antivirals and Biocatalysis

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
10:00AM - 11:30AM ET

Amber OnoratoChair, Northern Kentucky University

Philip Kym, Vice Chair, AbbVie

Bernhard Kepplinger, GRS Chair, Newcastle University

Gina Morgan, GRS Co-Chair, University of North Carolina

Event Description

Please join us in reconnecting with an exciting event!  Drs. Alison Narayan and Michael Natchus will be featured as Keynote Speakers at this GRC Connects titled "Antivirals and Biocatalysis”.  Dr. Alison Narayan, University of Michigan, will present a talk titled “Biocatalysis and Complex Molecule Synthesis” and Dr. Natchus, EIDD, will present a talk titled “Identification and Development of Monlupiravir as a Broadly Acting Antiviral Treatment and Its Application to the Treatment of SARS-COV-2”.  This free event is open to all members of the scientific community and scientists of all career-stages are encouraged to attend.  Drs. Samer Daher and Amber J. Onorato will serve to moderate and facilitate the discussion.  Please join us for engaging and informative presentations followed by a Q&A period with these excellent scientists. We look forward to seeing you at the frontiers of science!


9:45am     Event Arrival & Networking

10:00am   Keynote Presentation and Q&A with Dr. Alison Narayan 

10:45am   Keynote Presentation and Q&A with Dr. Michael Natchus

11:30am   Closing Remarks

Open networking will be available until the event closes at 12:00pm.

About the Speakers

Dr. Alison Narayan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Research Associate Professor at the U-M Life Sciences Institute and Co-Director at the Michigan Life Sciences Fellows Program.  Her main research interest is identifying enzymes from secondary metabolite pathways with potential synthetic utility and developing methods based on these biocatalysts to enable access to biologically active target molecules. Narayan holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her undergraduate studies in chemistry at the University of Michigan, where she later returned as a postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of David Sherman. She started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Life Sciences Institute at Michigan in 2015. Since this time Alison and her research group have been recognized as a part of C&ENs Talented 12, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a Cottrell Scholar and as the inaugural recipient of the Life Sciences Institute Outreach award.

Dr. Michael Natchus is the Director of Operations at The Emory Institute for Drug Development (EIDD) where he leads submission and execution of Federal contract and grant programs. This includes four federal contracts that supported the discovery and development of the broadly active antiviral agent Molnupiravir. He has 30 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and drug development within the pharmaceutical industry and has held positions of increasing responsibility in both drug discovery and development. He began his industrial career in 1994 at Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals where he led research teams on projects in the area matrix metalloprotease and kinase inhibition for application in both cancer and inflammation-based disorders. Since leaving Procter and Gamble in 2001, Dr. Natchus lead the chemistry and development efforts in the area of metabolic disorders at Somatocor Pharmaceuticals and was the Vice President of R&D at Metastatix. In 2008, he became a founding, senior member of the management team for the Emory Institute for Drug Development where he has focused his efforts on the Discovery and Development of antivirals for the treatment of pathogenic viral infections. Since its founding in 2008, the EIDD has discovered and advanced two antiviral compounds to licensing events with corporate partners and advanced two antiviral to clinical testing.  Among these, Molnupiravir is a broadly acting antiviral therapy active against various coronaviruses including SARS-COV-2, alphaviruses, influenza, RSV, and Ebola. It was recently advanced to phase 3 testing as a treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infections. Dr Natchus has published of 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts and three book chapters, and he is a key author on over forty patents and patent applications, many of which have issued in the US other countries throughout the world.


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