Log in |

Our mission is to stimulate, educate, and inspire young researchers in a changing world, with changing employer expectations, and shifting U.S. and global demographics, about opportunities at the chemistry and biology interface along interesting and challenging career paths.

Perhaps the most important step in identifying a career path is to find someone who already works in that field who can offer guidance and advice. The aim of our annual meeting is to introduce students to such individuals with experience from various different careers associated with training at the chemical biology interface. In organizing these conferences, we hope to highlight the numerous paths accessible with scientific training in chemical biology; where there might be demand; and what skills and activities are necessary to succeed. We are now guiding our meeting format toward a sustainable model that may be applied to a range of scientific careers.

Executive Committee


Wilfred A. van der Donk
University of Illinois

Professor van der Donk received his B.S. from Leiden University, the Netherlands, in 1989 and his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1994. He went on to do postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined the faculty at Illinois in 1997. In 2008, he was appointed as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research interests are in organic chemistry and chemical biology.


Miles A. Fabian

Dr. Fabian is a program director in the Division of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biological Chemistry at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Prior to joining NIGMS, Dr. Fabian was a founding scientist at Ambit Biosciences in San Diego where he led efforts to develop the company’s core technology, KINOMEscan. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. ifrom the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Fabian was also an NIH Fellow at Yale University.


Brian Fahie
Biogen Idec

Dr. Fahie is a pharmaceutical and biotech product development leader with over 20 years of experience including 17 years as a technical manager and 10 years as a global functional leader. He has provided leadership to teams ranging in size from 30 to 150 scientists and portfolios ranging from 10 to 60 assets covering NCE’s and line extension projects as well as molecules requiring novel mechanisms of delivery. His teams have contributed to successful submission and approval of numerous regulatory submissions. Dr. Fahie’s leadership has been recognized with numerous leadership awards and he is often requested to speak on the topics of product development, leadership, and employee development.


Paul Hanson
University of Kansas

Paul R. Hanson graduated with a B.A. in chemistry from Luther College and went on to receive his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. As an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Stanford, he worked on cycloisomerization methods en route to vitamin D3 and analogs. He is currently a project leader in the Center for Chemical Methodologies and Library Development (KU-CMLD) at the University of Kansas and Director of the NIH training grant in Chemical Biology.


Nan Holda
University of Illinois

Nan Holda is the program coordinator for the CBI Training Program at Illinois. A true renaissance person, Nan received her B.S. in Horticulture from UIUC and has worked in several fields—from product support for the radio-controlled toy industry to marketing director for an Intel/HP Linux on Itanium project to music journalist to non-profit co-founder of the Institute 4 Creativity. Drawing on her diverse experience, Nan enjoys helping students explore various career paths and develop the skills needed to get there.


Laura Kiessling
University of Wisconsin

Dr. Kiessling received her undergraduate training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received her Ph.D. from Yale University. She began her independent career in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991. Laura was recently inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. Her honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, an ACS Frances P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, a Harrison-Howe Award, an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award and a Horrace S. Isabell Award.


Anna Mapp
University of Michigan

Anna Mapp completed her A.B. in chemistry at Bryn Mawr College before moving to the University of California-Berkeley to complete the PhD under the direction of Professor Clayton H. Heathcock. Following postdoctoral work with Professor Peter Dervan at Caltech, Mapp joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2000, where she is currently Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Program in Chemical Biology.


Gary A. Sulikowski
Vanderbilt University

Gary A. Sulikowski received a B.S. from Wayne State University and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After a postdoctoral stint at Yale University, he accepted a faculty appointment at Texas A&M University. Later he moved to Vanderbilt Chemistry University where he serves as Director of the VICB Synthesis Core and Vanderbilt Chemistry Biology Interface Training Program. Sulikowski was an AAAS Fellow and awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship along with numerous other fellowships and awards.


Michelle Sulikowski
Vanderbilt University

Dr Sulikowski received her B.S. at Rosemont College. She then went on to graduate studies in organic synthesis at the University of Pennsylvania and earned her Ph.D. under the director of Amos B. Smith. She accepted a teaching position at Texas A&M University. She joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University and later completed a MS in Science Education.