Anabella is currently the head of Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, Cambridge Laboratories. Anabella obtained her B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Panama and her Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas where she was a Fulbright-Hayes fellow. After two years as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University in synthetic organic chemistry, Anabella joined the Groton Laboratories at Pfizer in 1989. Among Anabella’s accomplishments are her contributions to the Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor program leading to the design and discovery of CP-118,954 (icopezil) which was advanced to Phase II clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease. This candidate became part of the agreement that led to the successful co-promotion of Aricept by Pfizer and Eisai. Anabella has significant drug discovery and development experience and has led multidisciplinary teams that have taken development candidates into Phase I and Phase II studies for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and sleep disorders. She is the author of multiple publications and patents.
Stephen W. Fesik, Ph.D. is the Orrin H. Ingram, II Chair in Cancer Research and a Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Chemistry in Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology (VICB) and the Center for Structural Biology (CSB). The focus of his research is on cancer drug discovery using fragment-based approaches and structure-based drug design. Prior to joining Vanderbilt in May 2009, Dr. Fesik was the Divisional Vice President of Cancer Research at Abbott (2000-2009) where he built a pipeline of compounds that are showing promising anti-cancer activities in early stage clinical trials. In addition, while he was at Abbott, he developed several new NMR methods, determined the three-dimensional structures of several proteins and protein/ligand complexes, pioneered a method for drug discovery called SAR by NMR, and applied this method to identify and optimize ligands for binding to many protein drug targets. His research has also involved the use of siRNA for target identification and target validation. Dr. Fesik has published more than 240 papers, trained 38 postdoctoral fellows, has been a reviewer for the NIH Biophysical Chemistry Study Section and the NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program. He is currently a member of Aileron Therapeutics SAB and the Bruker Board of Directors. He has obtained several awards, including the Chairman’s Award (1996), Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award (1997), and the Researcher of the Year Team Award (2008) from Abbott, the Servier Lecturer Award (1998) from the University of Montreal, the ASBMB-Fritz Lipmann Lectureship Award (1999), the Lifetime Achievement Award in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance from EAS (2003), the SBS Technology Innovation Award (2010), the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2010), the Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2010), and the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research (2012).