Chris is Professor, Deputy Director, and Better Medicines Theme Leader of the Neuromedicines Discovery Centre at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), a collaborative venture targeting new medicines development for poorly-treated mental health disorders. He co-leads the Molecular & Translational Drug Discovery lab with Dr Gregory Stewart, with whom he directs a collaborative drug discovery program with Servier (France). He also co-leads the Institute's Neuroscience & Mental Health Therapeutic Program Area and is a member of MIPS Executive. Prior to this he was Head of Pharmacology at Heptares Therapeutics (now Sosei-Heptares), a UK-based biotechnology company (2009-2012) and a neuroscience researcher at GlaxoSmithKline, UK (1998-2009). He is an acknowledged expert in GPCR and CNS drug discovery, and has developed multiple candidate drugs for psychiatric disorders that are now in clinical development. He has a degree and PhD in pharmacology from Queens' College, Cambridge and University College London, respectively, and is 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.
Greg is a Research Fellow and has co-led the Molecular & Translational Drug Discovery Lab since 2021. Prior to this he was CNS Projects Leader for the lab. 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, where he broadened his expertise in neuropharmacology. 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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
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.
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 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 in 2016 investigating adipose tissue and adrenergic metabolic control.
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 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.
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 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.
Maleesha is a PhD student studying the structure and molecular and cellular pharmacology of the 5-HT2C receptor in the context of substance use disorders.
Ishara is an Honours student studying the role of orphan GPCR (GPR52) signalling in the cortex and striatum in the context of schizophrenia.
Eleanor is an undergraduate intern from Deakin University, studying the investigational pipeline for next generation psychedelic medicines.
- Dr Stefano Chimenti, R&D Alliance Management
- Dr Ross Jeggo, Dr Clotilde Mannoury la Cour & Dr Jeanne Alline, Neuroscience and Immuno-inflammation Therapeutic Area
Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences:
- Professor Arthur Christopoulos, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Professor Patrick Sexton & Associate Professor Denise Wootten, Drug Discovery Biology
- Professor Jonathan Baell, Medicinal Chemistry
- Professor Sue Charman & Dr David Shackleford, Centre for Drug Candidate Optimisation CDCO
- Professor Chris Porter, Drug Delivery, Disposition & Dynamics
- Cameron Nowell, Drug Discovery Biology (Imaging Platform)
Florey Institute of Neurosciences & Mental Health:
- Associate Professor Jess Nithianantharajah, Synapse Biology & Cognition Lab
- Professor Andrew Lawrence & Dr Leigh Walker, Addiction Neuroscience
Other Academic Collaborators:
- Professor Alex Fornito, Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University
- Professor Andrew Tobin & Dr Sophie Bradley, University of Glasgow, UK
- Professor Craig Lindsley, Vanderbilt Centre for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, USA
- Dr Ben Rollo, Department of Neuroscience, Monash University
- Dr Sebastian Furness, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland