Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium

The Virginia Drug Discovery Consortium (VaDDC) has a threefold mission:

To promote the growth and advancement of drug discovery and development programs at universities and research institutes within Virginia, particularly through inter-institutional collaboration.

To help the pharmaceutical industry bring life-saving and quality of life solutions to patients through innovative collaborations with Virginia’s best and brightest researchers.

To promote and enhance the attractiveness of Virginia as an environment for pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

VADDRx Symposium May 30-31, 2024

Please join us for our annual symposium at the Westin Virginia Beach Town Center

Poster Abstract Submission!

Please submit your abstract following the template design by Wednesday May 1st at 11:59 pm. Email your abstract to

Keynote and Invited Speaker Schedule! More events are listed on our full program.

Session: Novel Antivirals, Antimicrobials and Cancer Immunotherapies
Chairs: Kathryn Cole and Paul Fisher
1:15-1:45 Keynote: Katherine Franz, PhD (Duke)
“Infectiously Inorganic: A Metallocentric View of Antimicrobial Drug Development”
1:55-2:15 Invited: Kylene Kehn-Hall, PhD (Virginia Tech)
“Antiviral Strategies for Emerging Infectious Diseases”
2:25-2:55 Keynote: Jeffrey Schlom (NCI)
“Rational Design of New Combination Immunotherapies for Cancer: Part 1”
3:05-3:35 Keynote: James Gulley (NCI)
“Rational Design of New Combination Immunotherapies for Cancer: Part 2”
5:30-6:30 VPR Panel: Milton Brown (Vice Dean for Research, Eastern Virginia Medical School), Lynn
Lambert (Associate Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, CNU), John Ryan
(Associate Vice-President of Research and Innovation, VCU)
Session: Development of Novel Therapeutics
Chairs: John Lazo and Nicholas Farrell
8:05-8:35 Keynote: Stephanie Davis, PhD (NIH)
“Supporting the Development of Novel Therapeutics through the NIH Small Business Programs”
8:45-9:05 Invited Talk: Umesh Desai, PhD (VCU)
“Pre-Clinical Studies on Allosteric Inhibitors of Human Factor XIa”

Session: Targeting the Lung
Chairs: John Catravas and Beth Sharlow
10:30-11:00 Keynote: Joe (Skip) Garcia, MD (University of Florida)
“Developing Drugs for the Management of Lung Disease”
11:10-11:30 Invited Talk: John Lazo, PhD (UVA)
“Developing microvascular targeted drugs for acute lung injury”
11:40-12:10 Keynote: Sadis Matalon, PhD (UAB)
“Developing drugs against chemical threats”

Session: Enabling Technologies
Chairs: Webster Santos and Cliff Stains
1:30-2:00 Keynote: Jetze Tepe, PhD (UVA)
“Targeting the undruggable through proteasome activation”
2:10-2:30 Invited Talk: Shantá Hinton, PhD (W&M)
“The Functionality of Pseudophosphatase MK-STYX through Biochemical Interactions”
2:40-3:00 Invited Talk: Robert Gourdie (Tiny Cargo)
“Reducing Radiation Injury with an Orally Administered Exosome-Based Therapeutic”
3:10-3:30 Invited Talk: Jessica Gilbertie (Qentoros)
“From Horses to Humans: A Centaur Approach to Drug Development”



Virginia Tech
Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation

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