Thoughts on an Evolving Drug Discovery Strategy


Wed, June 3, 6pm – 7pm


10300 Campus Point Drive, Torrey Pines Conference Room, San Diego, CA 92121


Dr. Katerina Leftheris
Senior Director of Chemistry, Celgene Corporation

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

6:00 PM Social Hour, Light Supper
7:00 PM Lecture

10300 Campus Point Drive
Torrey Pines Conference Room
San Diego, CA 92121

By Tuesday June 2, 2015

Katerina joined Celgene in January, 2013 as Sr. Director of Chemistry, San Diego. She has over 24 years of drug discovery experience in the Pharmaceutical industry, both in large pharma and biotech. Katerina has built and led successful teams with strong and creative problem-solving skills. This has resulted in over 8 agents entering the clinic for inflammatory disease, oncology, diabetes, and CNS.

At Celgene, Katerina oversees the San Diego Chemistry team and is responsible for the internal SD chemistry effort associated with delivering high quality small molecule clinical candidates. In building an industry-leading chemistry capability, Katerina has introduced high throughput medicinal chemistry, enhanced analytical resources and initiated chemical biology efforts. She has also focused on enhancing diversification of the internal chemical equity. To date, under her guidance, her team has advanced multiple compounds into Development. Katerina is a member of several JRC/JSC committees with Celgene alliance partners.

Prior to joining Celgene, Katerina was Sr. Director of Chemistry for Vitae Pharmaceuticals, where she built a chemistry team and supervised research groups in medicinal chemistry, structure based drug design and process chemistry. As part of an alliance program with Boehringer-Ingelheim, she led the successful discovery and advancement of the 11betaHSD1 inhibitor program, currently in clinical trials. She initiated and advanced compounds in programs targeting nuclear hormone receptors and contributed to the advancement of several additional Vitae compounds currently in early development. Prior to this role, Katerina spent 17 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb where she held positions of increasing responsibility in the Oncology and Immunology Chemistry Departments. She and her teams initiated over 15 programs encompassing diverse molecular targets such as kinase inhibitors, GPCR's, PDEs and protease inhibitors. She helped to establish Immunology Chemistry at BMS and was responsible for advancing multiple compounds from inception into clinical trials across both I&I and Oncology.

Katerina received her BA degree in Chemistry from Smith College and her PhD degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, completing her postdoctoral training (NIH Postdoctoral Fellow) at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently has over 100 published papers and issued patents.

For more information, please click here: The San Diego Chemist.