Mark is a passionate and seasoned drug hunter with an entrepreneurial spirit and intense desire to transform patient’s lives through the discovery and translation of breakthrough medicines. With more than two decades of small molecule drug discovery and development experience, Mark has a proven track record, having advanced numerous early cancer programs from a continuum of innovative discovery ideas (DNA-encoded libraries, natural products, small molecule-mediated protein-protein interactions, SBDD). Importantly, Mark has led these efforts from proof of concept/tool chemistry through to development/clinical candidate designation. During his career, Mark has held roles of increasing scientific and leadership responsibility, across a multitude of therapeutic areas in large pharma as well as the biotech sector. He has successfully led programs from the bench as a chemistry leader. This success provided additional opportunities for leadership growth with Mark transitioning to a global project leader, a senior project advisor and department head of chemistry at OSI/Astellas Pharmaceuticals. Armed with his 12 years of experience at OSI/Astellas, Mark transitioned to X-Rx, Inc. a startup company focused on the rapid progression of DNA-encoded library hits to partnered development candidates in a fully virtual outsourcing model. As the senior vice president of chemistry and CMC, Mark led two DNA-encoded library hits that were progressed through IND-enabling studies and out licensing. With a desire to return to his discovery roots, Mark accepted a position with Warp Drive Bio as the vice president of chemistry where he led chemistry and drug discovery efforts for the small molecule assisted receptor targeting, SMARTTM platform, as well as the natural product genome to molecules platform. During his tenure at Warp, Mark successfully led a team responsible for the generation of lead molecules against several critical oncology targets previously considered undruggable. Collectively, his leadership efforts have resulted in the identification and advancement of numerous development/clinical candidates across a variety of disease areas most notably, Lisitinib, OSI-027, X-022 and X-165.
Mark holds a B.S. in chemistry from Millsaps College, where he was awarded a Howard Hughes fellowship and performed research under the guidance of Dr. R. A. Berry. Mark then went on to earn his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Notre Dame under the mentorship and guidance of Professor Marvin J. Miller. Mark has a combination of over 100 publications, in the form of patents and applications thereof as an inventor and peer-reviewed journal articles as an author.