11/12/16 -9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
AbbVie Workshop: Professor Jef De Brabander
AbbVie Workshop Series in Synthetic Organic & Medicinal Chemistry
"Role of chemistry in biomedical research, the difficulties with target identification studies, and some personal views on the future of synthetic chemistry and chemical biology in academia and industry."
Jef K. De Brabander is a native of Belgium where he pursued his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Ghent (with Professor M. Vandewalle, Ph.D. 1993). Following post-doctoral studies with the late Wolfgang Oppolzer at the University of Geneva (94-95) and Paul Wender at Stanford University as a NATO and Fulbright-Hays fellow (95-96), he began his independent career at the University of Geneva. In 1998, he was recruited to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where he was promoted to full professor in 2007 and appointed co-director of the “Chemistry and Cancer Scientific Program” of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. He currently holds the Julie and Louis Beecherl Jr. Chair in Medical Science.
In 2014, De Brabander was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow (2001-03), received the “Journal Award” from the editorial boards of Synlett and Synthesis (2006), and an Academic Development Award from the Chemistry Council of Merck Research Laboratories (2004-08), and is serving on the Scientific Advisory Boards of SunnyLife Pharmaceuticals, Reata Pharmaceuticals, SynAlpha Therapeutics, and Elizabeth Therapeutics, of which the latter three companies he co-founded.
The De Brabander laboratory focuses on the synthesis and biological evaluation of complex molecular architectures. Taking advantage of the multi-disciplinary research environment at UT Southwestern, we integrate our synthetic program with molecular pharmacology, biochemistry, and cancer biology. Our group also collaborates on various biomedical research projects including the discovery of novel small-molecule activators of programmed cell death, orexin receptor agonists for the treatment of narcolepsy, antitumor agents that selectively target tumor-derived neuronal stem cells and colon cancers with APC truncations, anti-trypanosomal agents for the treatment of African Sleeping Disease, and V-ATPase inhibitors and their role in cancer and as anti-viral agents.
De Brabander has documented his scientific contributions in more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and 9 patents, and at more than 40 major conferences and named lectureships. He was a member of the National Institutes of Health Study Section, the chair of the 51st Gordon Research Conference on Natural Products (Tilton, New Hampshire, July 2010) and the ESF-COST conference on Natural Products Chemistry, Biology and Medicine III (Maratea, Italy, September 2010).