June 25 – 26, 2018    •    1:00 pm    •    Founders Hall, George Mason University

A symposium themed “Building Drug Discovery Partnerships”
featuring presentations by successful entrepreneurs who have translated basic research into
biotech companies, by university researchers who have promising drug candidates in
development, and by industry and government leaders

Who should attend?

  • Scientists with drug discovery related research
  • Investors looking for promising new drug start-up companies
  • Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies looking for new leads

This meeting is hosted by the Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium and Virginia Bio

Symposium Program



Keynote speakers

Michael Weingarten

NIH, Head of NCI Development Center

Michael Weingarten is the Director for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Development Center at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. In this role, Mr. Weingarten leads a team of nine Program Directors who manage all aspects of the NCI SBIR & STTR Programs including a portfolio of $158M in grants and contracts annually.

Talk: “NCI’s multi-faceted Support for Early Stage Biotechnology Innovation”

Jeff Gallagher

Director, Virginia Bio

Jeffrey M. Gallagher, CEO of Virginia Bio, is responsible for leading the premier statewide trade group that promotes the considerable scientific and economic impact of the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Talk: “An Overview of Biotech/Pharma Businesses in VA”

Dan Paone


He began his medicinal chemistry career at Merck (West Point) in 2001 where he contributed significantly to the design of multiple preclinical candidates, including telcagepant, a CGRP receptor antagonist for acute migraine which advanced through Phase III clinical trials.  In 2014, Dan joined GlaxoSmithKline as a member of the Discovery Partnerships with Academia team. In his current role, he coordinates the medicinal chemistry efforts of multiple small molecule drug discovery programs, leading large chemistry matrix teams and serving on project joint steering committees while working collaboratively with scientists at academic institutions.

Talk: “Characteristics of Successful Academic-Pharma Partnerships”


University of Virginia Inn at Darden

Address: 10 Duffy Blvd, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Phone: (434) 243-5000