In an Industry Shake Up, Cyclica Announces the Addition of Dr. Melissa Landon, former Director of Applications Science at Schrödinger, as VP, Chief Strategist.
Melissa brings to Cyclica a wealth of strong scientific expertise in informatics, computational chemistry, and structural biology, along with extensive industry knowledge working in drug discovery across multiple therapeutic areas with globally renowned drug discovery companies and academic institutions.
Prior to this role, Melissa held several key senior management positions, including most recently Director of Applications Science and at Schrödinger.
In her industrial career, Melissa has worked in various roles across tech and pharma. In the discovery technologies group at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, she vetted and supported early-stage infectious disease drug discovery programs. Advancing Canadian research and innovation, Melissa worked with teams across Canadian institutions including McMaster University, the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, and the Structural Genomics Consortium at the University of Toronto to develop novel small molecule and biologic agents. In her six years at Schrödinger, she wore many hats, ranging from head of education in the US to Director of Business Development and Director of Applications Science. Currently, Melissa also serves as the president of the Boston Area Group for Informatics and Modelling (BAGIM).
Melissa received her PhD in structural bioinformatics from Boston University, working in the laboratory of Dr. Sandor Vajda, where she developed novel methods for characterization of protein binding sites for small molecule design. The recipient of an NIH Kirschstein fellowship, Melissa completed her post-doctoral training in X-ray crystallography and enzymology with Drs. Greg Petsko and Dagmar Ringe at Brandeis University, with a focus on the development of pharmacological chaperones to treat neurodegenerative disorders. In Melissa's academic journey, she received several first author and co-author publications in top-tier journals, including the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Bioinformatics, Computer-Aided Molecular Design and Chemical Biology and Drug Design.
Melissa had this to say about her appointment, "It's a dream come true to join a tremendously bright, passionate, creative team who are focused steadfastly on accelerating the discovery of cures for hard to treat diseases. Combined with their visionary leadership, Cyclica's innovative technologies are poised to revolutionize the application of AI in drug discovery. I'm excited and honoured to be a part of their story."
Cyclica’s President and CEO, Naheed Kurji had this to say, “Melissa is a rare talent and a welcomed addition to our leadership team. Her deep technical expertise and experience, business acumen and savvy, and passion for storytelling will play a key role in elevating Cyclica’s brand globally, all while maintaining our commitment to scientific integrity and innovation. This is necessary as we continue to decentralize the discovery of new medicines by empowering emerging biotech companies to tackle the challenges that were previously thought to be unaddressable.”
About Cyclica, Inc.
Cyclica is a Toronto, Canada based biotechnology company that is decentralizing the discovery of new medicines with its integrated structure-based and AI-augmented drug discovery platform, Ligand Design and Ligand Express. Taken together Ligand Design and Ligand Express design advanced lead-like molecules that minimize unwanted off-target effects, while providing a holistic understanding of a molecule's activity through integrated systems biology and structural pharmacogenomics. Cyclica’s differentiated platform opens new opportunities for drug discovery, including multi-targeted and multi-objective drug design, lead optimization, ADMET-property prediction, target deconvolution, and drug repurposing for a wide range of indications. With a world-class team with deep roots in industry and a first-in-class integrated drug discovery platform, Cyclica will spark a surge of innovation through a combination of venture creation and partnerships with early-stage and emerging biotech companies. By doing more with AI, Cyclica will revolutionize a system troubled with attrition and costly failures, accelerate the drug discovery process, and develop medicines with greater precision.
Source: Cyclica, Inc.