Nick Lydon, Ph.D., is a scientific founder of Blueprint Medicines. Dr. Lydon has extensive experience in drug discovery and development and is a recipient of the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research and other awards for his achievements in medicine. Before founding his current consulting company, Granite Biopharma, LLC, Dr. Lydon served as vice president, Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Amgen. Prior to joining Amgen, he founded and led Kinetix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of selective protein kinase inhibitors, a number of which are now advancing through clinical development. Kinetix was acquired by Amgen in 2000. Prior to Kinetix, Dr. Lydon worked at CIBA-GEIGY, in Basel, Switzerland, where he was responsible for the protein kinase inhibitor program. He and his team identified a number of protein kinase inhibitors. The most advanced drug from this program is Gleevec®, a selective Bcr-Abl inhibitor for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Dr. Lydon began his pharmaceutical career at Schering-Plough Corporation, where his research involved studies on recombinant alpha, beta and gamma interferons.
In 2009, Dr. Lydon was awarded the Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research for his work on developing Gleevec®, converting a fatal cancer into a manageable chronic condition. Other awards include the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, the AACR-Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award and the Charles F. Kettering Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation for his contributions to the discovery and development of Gleevec®.
Dr. Lydon earned a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Leeds, England, and received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Medical Sciences Institute, University of Dundee, Scotland. His thesis involved research work on adenylate cyclase and cAMP dependent protein kinase. Dr. Lydon served as an advisor and member of the board of directors of Ambit BioScience from 2004 to 2009 and assisted in the development of AC220, a FLT3 kinase inhibitor in Phase 2 clinical development in relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Brian Druker, M.D., is a scientific founder of Blueprint Medicines. Dr. Druker is an internationally known researcher and recipient of the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research, who has become well known for his groundbreaking work with Gleevec®, a molecularly targeted treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Currently, Dr. Druker serves as the director of the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute, JELD-WEN chair of Leukemia Research, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. More than a decade ago, Druker identified STI571, the precursor to Gleevec®, as a promising anticancer compound for its ability to kill CML cells by turning off the signal of the abnormal cancer-causing protein. He also conducted the first clinical studies of Gleevec®, demonstrating that the drug could effectively return blood cell counts to normal in CML patients, with only minor side effects. Dr. Druker is currently focused on developing more effective treatments for patients whose leukemia eventually recurs while taking Gleevec®. His current research projects are aimed at learning why each year some 4 percent of newly diagnosed patients with CML develop resistance to Gleevec® and why most patients on the drug have minute levels of cancer that linger even after treatment ends.
From his earliest days, Dr. Druker was a dedicated researcher, winning the President’s Undergraduate Research Award at the University of California, San Diego. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society and many other awards.
Dr. Druker received his M.D. from the University of California School of Medicine at San Diego, completed his residency in internal medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and performed his oncology fellowship at Harvard Medical School’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Charles L. Sawyers, M.D., is a scientific advisor of Blueprint Medicines. He is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and director of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he is building a program of laboratory-based translational researchers across various clinical disciplines and institutional infrastructure to enhance the application of global genomics tools to clinical trials. His laboratory is currently focused on characterizing signal transduction pathway abnormalities in prostate cancer, with an eye toward translational implications. His earlier research focused on BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase function in chronic myeloid leukemia. His work, and that of colleagues Brian Druker and Novartis, led to the development kinase inhibitor imatinib (Gleevec) as primary therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and the discovery that imatinib resistance is caused by BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations. Dr. Sawyers is past President of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and served on the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Councilors. He has won numerous honors and awards, including the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, the Dorothy Landon Prize from the American Association of Cancer Research, the David A. Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and in 2010 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He was associate editor for two of the AACR’s journals Cancer Research and Clinical Cancer Research, and currently serves on the editorial board of Cancer Cell. Dr. Sawyers attended Princeton University for his undergraduate degree, received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1985 and completed his postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
George Demetri is a clinical advisor and a scientific advisor of Blueprint Medicine. Dr. Demetri received an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University, followed by a Research Fellowship at the Université de Besancon, France, after which he received his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine, California, USA. After completing Internal Medicine residency and chief residency at the University of Washington Hospitals in Seattle, Washington, he completed the fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Harvard Medical School, where he has served as an attending physician since 1989. Dr. Demetri and the multidisciplinary team at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center have developed one of the largest centers of excellence for research and care of sarcoma patients, focusing on the development of novel therapies, enabled by directing the Ludwig Center at Dana-Farber Harvard and the Center for Novel Experimental Therapeutics at Dana-Farber.
Dr. Demetri’s research and clinical interests have centered on mechanism-based drug development for solid tumors, with a particular emphasis on molecularly-defined subsets of sarcomas such as gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). Dr. Demetri has contributed to the development of several new drugs for sarcomas and other malignancies, including imatinib, sunitinib, dasatinib, trabectedin, vemurafenib, everolimus, pazopanib, regorafenib and other new targeted therapies in development. Dr. Demetri serves as chair of the Medical Advisory Board for the Sarcoma Foundation of America as well as several scientific and editorial advisory boards. With an interest in internet-based patient support, he also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of ASCO’s CancerNet (www.cancer.net) as well as CancerCommons.org.
Giulio Draetta, M.D., Ph.D., is a scientific advisor of Blueprint Medicines. Dr. Draetta is currently the director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Prior to that, he was chief research business development officer and deputy director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. While at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, at EMBL Heidelberg and the European Institute of Oncology, Dr. Draetta spearheaded fundamental research in the biology of the eukaryotic cell division cycle and of DNA damage induced checkpoints. He was co-founder and head of research of Mitotix, Inc. He was also head of oncology drug discovery at Pharmacia and Merck where he focused on the discovery and development of inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, cell division cycle inhibitors, novel cytotoxics, developmental pathway inhibitors, epigenetics drugs. Dr. Draetta received his medical and post-graduate degrees from the University of Naples Medical School, Italy.
Scott W. Lowe is a Member of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City where he serves as the Associate Director for Basic Cancer Research. He is also Chair of the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center and an Investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Lowe received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he worked for several years studying the molecular basis of hypercholesterolemia. He performed his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of Dr. H. Earl Ruley, and received his Ph.D. for research on the role of the p53 tumor suppressor in oncogenic transformation, apoptosis, and chemosensitivity. After a brief postdoctoral position in the MIT Center for Cancer Research with Drs. David Housman and Tyler Jacks, Dr. Lowe initiated independent research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Fellow and then a member of the faculty. Dr. Lowe’s research has made important contributions to our understanding of the p53 tumor suppressor pathway, as well as the processes of multi-step carcinogenesis, cellular senescence, and tumor-cell drug resistance. Current research is based on the premise that the path of cancer evolution dictates a tumor’s subsequent response to therapy and creates unique vulnerabilities that represent therapeutic opportunities. Hence, the Lowe laboratory applies mouse models, RNA interference and cancer genomics in a coordinated effort to gain a more comprehensive understanding of tumor suppressor networks and identify cancer maintenance genes that will be useful therapeutic targets relevant to specific cancer genotypes. Dr. Lowe’s work has been recognized by several awards, including a Sydney Kimmel Foundation Scholar Award, a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar Award, the AACR Outstanding Investigator Award, AACR-NFCR Professorship in Basic Cancer Research, AlfredG. Knudsen Award in Cancer Genetics, and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research.
William C. Hahn, M.D., Ph.D., is a scientific advisor of Blueprint Medicines. Dr. Hahn is currently a medical oncologist and associate professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a senior associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He co-directs the Center for Cancer Genome Discovery, is the chief of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology and is the deputy chief scientific officer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Hahn is a founding member of The RNAi Consortium, Broad Institute-based effort to develop genome scale RNA interference reagents and the technologies for their use and is a member of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, where he is devoted to the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of prostate and other cancers. Dr. Hahn has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including the 2000 Wilson S. Stone Award from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for outstanding research in cancer, a Kimmel Scholar Award, the Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute, an Award for Outstanding Research from Nature Biotechnology and the Ho-Am Prize in Medicine (2010).
Dr. Hahn received his A.B. from Harvard University in biochemical sciences summa cum laude and his M.D and Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School. He then completed clinical training in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He conducted his postdoctoral studies with Dr. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.
Marc Lang, Ph.D. has more than 30 years of experience in medicinal chemistry from various fields of research related to antibiotics, antivirals and oncology. Until recently, he was Executive Director of the Medicinal Chemistry Unit for Oncology in Basel, and a member of the Global Oncology Decision Board at Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research. During his career, he contributed to three compounds currently on the market: Femara®(aromatase inhibitor); Reyataz® (HIV-protease inhibitor); Tasigna® (Bcr/Abl kinase inhibitor); and several promising compounds in clinical trials.
Dr. Lang holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Strasbourg and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Woodward Research Institute in Basel.