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Team

Chris Langmead

Chris Langmead

Chris is Head of the Servier Drug Discovery Program at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) at Monash University, a collaborative and multidisciplinary discovery program targeting GPCRs across a range of therapeutic indications. He is also co-lead of the MIPS Neuroscience Therapeutic Program Area and a member of MIPS Executive. Prior to this he was Head of Pharmacology at Heptares Therapeutics Ltd., a UK-based biotechnology company (2009-2012). He is an acknowledged expert in GPCR drug discovery and analytical receptor pharmacology, and has led multiple projects into late stage preclinical development, many now in Phase I/II. Before joining Heptares, Chris was a neuroscience researcher at GlaxoSmithKline, UK (1998-2009). He has a degree and PhD in pharmacology from Queens' College, Cambridge and University College London, respectively, and is a corresponding member of NC-IUPHAR and a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society. Chris has published >60 papers, holds commercial and NHMRC funding and serves on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Pharmacology, ACS Chemical Neuroscience, ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science and Frontiers in Pharmacology.

 Monash University                                                        
  

Greg Stewart

Greg Stewart

Greg is the Project Leader and Research Fellow for CNS projects and co-leads the Molecular and Translational Drug Discovery Laboratory. He has 15 years of GPCR research with emphasis on molecular pharmacology, cell signalling and biology and neuropharmacology. Greg received his PhD from Monash University and subsequently received an FRM fellowship to undertake postdoctoral studies at the Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, France, investigating the role of neuronal GPCRs oligomers on receptor function and cell signalling.   His current work focuses on target validation and translational drug discovery. Greg manages academic and industry projects - the former delving into the mechanisms of action of select orphan GPCRs in cognition and potential role in schizophrenia; the latter more broadly investigates the role of GPCRs in neurodegenerative disease.

 Monash University                      
  

Roger Summers

Roger Summers

Roger Summers is Foundation Professor of Molecular Pharmacology in Drug Discovery Biology at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Honorary Professorial Research Fellow at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Honorary Fellow of the BPS and PhD honoris causa Stockholm University. He is a Scientific Advisor to both Servier, France and Atrogi AG, Sweden. Roger has a B. Pharm from the School of Pharmacy, University of London and PhD at the National Institute for Medical Research. His work examines GPCR signalling and function and he has an h-index = 63, >300 peer-reviewed publications and >12,600 citations. Roger was a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in 2019 and has been awarded the David Syme Research Prize, ASCEPT/BPS Visiting Lectureship, Kathleen & Lovat Fraser Award of the National Heart Foundation, Swedish Research Council Tage Erlander Visiting Professorship, Toho University Visiting Professorship, ASCEPT Life Membership and Michael Rand Medal, ASPET Emeritus Membership and British Pharmacological Society prize for contributions to Molecular Pharmacology. He is Chair of an NC-IUPHAR subcommittee and a member of seven learned societies and sits on the editorial board of Trends in Pharmacological Sciences and has been a guest editor for British Journal of Pharmacology and Frontiers in Pharmacology.

  
   Monash University        
  
Natalie Diepenhorst 

Natalie Diepenhorst

Natalie is a Research Fellow and coordinates structural biology work within the Servier Drug Discovery Program at MIPS, facilitating structure-based drug design for a range of therapeutic targets. She has over 10 years’ experience in GPCR biochemistry and pharmacology, including developing and running GPCR assays in both recombinant and primary cell systems for the characterisation of tool compounds and pharmacological target validation. She has a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Melbourne.

Sherie Ma 

Sherie Ma

Sherie is a Research Fellow and systems neuroscientist whose work focuses on understanding GPCR functions in the brain, particularly relating to cognition, mood and arousal.  Her preclinical research aims to discover their therapeutic potential in brain and mental disorders. She received her PhD from the University of Melbourne (Dept of Biochemistry) and Florey Institute. Her research career has included collaborations with pharmaceutical partners, such as Johnson & Johnson PRD and Prana Biotechnology.  Her recent research uses mouse and rat models to understand the effects of loss- and gain-of-function of GPCRs, achieved using viral vector approaches, such as over-expression of microRNA, agonist ligand, and chemogenetic DREADDs.  Sherie has published >45 papers and is a review editor for Frontiers in Integrative Physiology, Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, and Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience.

Tracie Pierce 

Tracie Pierce

Tracie is a Research Fellow and scientific project coordinator for the Servier Drug Discovery Program. Her research supports the structural biology work within the Servier Drug Discovery Program at MIPS and she additionally manages our interactions with Compounds Australia, Australian Red Cross Life Blood and other Monash platforms. She received her degree and PhD from Monash University.

Sheng Ang 

Sheng Yu Ang

Sheng is a post-doctoral research fellow within the Servier Drug Discovery Program.  He uses his expertise in GPCR pharmacology and receptor signal transduction to facilitate drug discovery efforts across multiple therapeutic areas. His current research focuses on discovery of novel drug candidates for the treatment of metabolic disorders. Prior to joining MIPS, Sheng was a pharmacist in Penang General Hospital (Malaysia). Sheng received his Bachelor of Pharmacy from The University of Sydney, and PhD in Pharmacology from Monash University in 2017.

Sanja Bosnyak-Gladovic 

Sanja Bosnyak-Gladovic

Sanja is a postdoctoral research fellow and since 2012 has been a part of the Servier Drug Discovery Team at MIPS working on an array of projects in GPCR-based drug discovery. With over 10 years’ experience in a laboratory her research has included projects in the areas of molecular pharmacology, neuropharmacology and immunopharmacology. Her current work focuses on in vivo / ex vivo biology with expertise in primary cell cultures as well whole animal chronic studies. Sanja received her PhD in 2011 from Monash University with an emphasis on cardiovascular pharmacology.

Rocio de la Fuente Gonzalez 

Rocio de la Fuente Gonzalez

Rocío is a post-doctoral research fellow specialised in GPCR-based drug discovery and functional biology. The main focus of her research is to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in the activation and subsequent transduction of the signal of orphan GPCRs implicated in Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and metabolic disorders. She graduated from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) with a degree in Cell Biology and Genetics, completing her studies with a Master in Developmental Biology and Genetics (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain). She finished her PhD in Molecular Pharmacology (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain) before joining MIPS in 2017.

Rachel Johnson 

Rachel Johnson

Rachel is a structural biologist who joined the Servier Drug Discovery Program in November 2019 as a postdoctoral research fellow, supporting GPCR structure-based drug discovery. Before joining MIPS, she obtained a PhD at the University of Leeds (UK). Her PhD project focussed on using cryo-EM as a tool in structure-based drug design programs.

Monica Langiu 

Monica Langiu

Monica is a behavioural neuroscientist and postdoctoral research fellow interested in understanding the role of GPCR function in the brain, focusing in particular on cognition and motivation. She has > 10 years’ experience with rodent behaviour applied to psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.  She has received a Master’s degree in Neuropsychobiology from the university of Cagliari (Italy) and a PhD in Pharmacy from the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main (Germany).  Monica is currently on a research sabbatical  in the  Endocrine and Neuropharmacology Laboratory with Dr Karen Gregory.

Jon Merlin 

Jon Merlin

Jon is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Servier Drug Discovery Program, working on projects related to orphan GPCR-mediated control of inflammation and has previously investigated potential treatments of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.  He has built over 10 years of analytical pharmacology experience investigating GPCR function from cell-based pathway analysis, to in vivo animal models, and much in between. Jon completed a PhD through Monash University investigating adipose tissue and adrenergic metabolic control.

Tess Vandekolk 

Tess Vandekolk

Tess is a research assistant for the MTDD lab; she supports the Servier Drug Discovery Program across multiple projects.  Tess recently graduated with a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) from Monash University (2020) in human stem cell derived microglia.

Cassie Hatzipantelis 

Cassandra Hatzipantelis

Cassie is a PhD student focussing on the validation of a novel class of antipsychotics for the treatment of cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia. Her work involves integrating various in vitro pharmacological methods with translational behavioural testing. Cassie graduated from Monash University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Advanced with Honours) majoring in drug discovery biology. Her passion for brain research stems from the under-representation of mental health disorders in pharmaceutical research and the unsatisfactory nature of currently marketed therapeutics.

Jackie Lu

Jackie Lu

Jackie is a PhD student investigating the role of functional selectivity in a novel class of potential antipsychotics for the treatment of schizophrenia. Her work involves pharmacological and structural characterisation of novel putative antipsychotic small molecules. Her research aims to provide a molecular explanation of small molecules for their pre-clinical efficacy and to support the design of novel therapeutics. Jackie has worked as a research assistant in the Servier Drug Discovery Program at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS). She completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) at the University of Melbourne at the Florey Institute, where she studied the roles of TAM receptor tyrosine kinases signalling in myelin regeneration in isolated rat oligodendrocyte precursor cells.

Julia Park 

Julia Park

Julia is a PhD student whose research investigates the role of novel GPCRs in resolving chronic inflammation, focusing on autoimmune disorders. She worked as a community pharmacist and then as a clinical research associate at AstraZeneca pharmaceuticals prior to joining MIPS in 2018. She completed her Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) from The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia).

Daisy Spark 

Daisy Spark

Daisy is a PhD student investigating the relationship between preclinical and clinical efficacy of schizophrenia therapeutics. Using a range of translational techniques, her work aims to provide better validation of the models and tests currently used to determine preclinical efficacy. Daisy completed a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science (Adv Hons) at Monash University in 2016, where her interest in schizophrenia drug discovery began with an Honours project investigating in and ex vivo pharmacology of a novel therapeutic.

Feng Tang 

Feng Tang


Feng Tang is an Honours  student whose research investigates the role of novel GPCRs in resolving chronic inflammation.

Collaborators

Servier:

  • Dr Stefano Chimenti, R&D Alliance Management
  • Dr Philippe Delerive, Dr Gisele Mautino & Dr Bjorn Tyberg, Cardiovascular & Metabolism Centre for Therapeutic Innovation
  • Dr Ross Jeggo, Dr Clotilde Mannoury la Cour &  Dr Jeanne Alline, Neurology and Immuno-inflammation Centre for Therapeutic Innovation
  • Dr Anne-Marie Chollet, Dr Arnaud Le Tiran, Dr Nicolas Faucher & Dr Philippe Gloanec, Medicinal Chemistry
  • Dr David Brown, Dr Isabelle Theret & Dr Laurent Vuillard, Structural Sciences
  • Dr Caroline Chemin, Formulation Sciences

Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences:

External Academic Collaborators: