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SBS Announces Keynote Speakers at its 12th Annual Conference

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The Society for Biomolecular Sciences (SBS) has presented renowned industry experts who will explore the future of drug discovery. 

This dynamic threesome will give attendees insights to ponder as well as to enhance their careers. 

American biologist Dr. Leroy Hood has been honored with numerous awards. In 2001 SBS presented him with the SBS Achievement Award; then in 2003 he won the Lemelson-MIT Prize for inventing "four instruments that have unlocked much of the mystery of human biology" by helping decode the genome. 

Dr. Hood also won the 2003 Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology, and the 1987 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. 

His inventions include the automated DNA sequencer, a device to create proteins and an automated tool for synthesizing DNA. Dr. Hood co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology.

One of this foremost goals is bringing hands-on inquiry-based science to K-12 classrooms. At the SBS event he will talk about A Systems Approach to Disease.

Dr. Roger Tung’s career spans 20 years in venture-backed startup and major pharmaceutical companies, including The Squibb Institute for Medicinal Chemistry, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he was a founding scientist. 

An active inventor, with 37 issued US patents and numerous US and international applications encompassing a wide range of therapeutic areas and technologies, Dr. Tung co-invented both of Vertex’s products, Lexiva and Agenerase. 

Both are marketed by Glaxo-SmithKline. He headed the development of the latter drug in collaboration with Glaxo-Wellcome to EMEA approval and US product rollout. 

In his various roles, including VP of Drug Discovery at Vertex’s San Diego site and previously VP of Chemistry at Vertex’s Cambridge headquarters, Dr. Tung oversaw the discovery of 10 clinically studied new chemical entities, of which seven have proceeded to or beyond clinical proof-of-concept studies, including the HCV protease inhibitor VX-950 and the p38 MAP kinase inhibitor VX-702. 

He is also co-inventor of the HIV protease inhibitor GW640385 (VX-385) that is scheduled to begin Phase III clinical evaluation at Glaxo-SmithKline this year. 

Dr. Tung owns and manages RT Discovery, LLC, which provides advisory and consulting services to both startup and established pharmaceutical companies. The title of his presentation is Risk-Balancing a Molecular Portfolio.

Dr. Sam Eletr currently serves as the interim CEO of Population Genetics, Ltd. He also serves as a Director for several organizations including Faust Pharmaceuticals, SpinX Technologies, Third Wave Technologies, i-STAT, and Solexa, Ltd.

From 1992 to 1999, Dr. Eletr served as Chairman of the Board of Lynx Therapeutics. In 1979, he co-founded Applied Biosystems, Inc. (now the Applied Biosystems Group of Applera Corporation). 

He served as Chairman and CEO from its founding until 1987. Previously, he was Manager of an Analytical and Medical Instruments Group at the Hewlett-Packard corporate research laboratories in Palo Alto. 

Dr. Eletr obtained an MA in Physics and a PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to his MA, he studied Electrical Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute in Grenoble, France.