Drug Discovery and Development Colloquium 2019

The goal of the colloquium is to showcase the synergistic interaction between chemistry, biology, pharmacology, and bioinformatics in the process of drug development. Our aim is to promote a professional dialogue between students and experts from different disciplines interested in the processes of drug discovery and development. This conference provides a platform for undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows to present their research. This conference will also include a professional development session, as well as providing great networking opportunities.





DDDC 2019 Schedule

Call for Participation

The Conference Program Committee invites you to submit an abstract for either a poster or oral presentation. Abstracts are limited to 300 words in length.

For registration click here

Important Dates

Oral abstract deadline May 30, 2019 June 3, 2019
Poster abstract deadline May 30, 2019 June 3, 2019

Oral presentation acceptance June 4, 2019
Poster presentation acceptance June 4, 2019

Poster Presentations

We have sufficient space for all poster abstracts to be accepted.
Poster size limitation: 48″W x 36″H (122cm x 91cm)

For Venue and Hotel details, click here

Keynote Speakers

William Slikker, Jr., Ph.D.
Director, National Center for Toxicological Research at US FDA

Dr. Slikker received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of California at Davis. He performed his postdoctoral training in the Perinatal Research Program at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research and at the Institute of Toxicology and Embryopharmacology, Freie Universität, Berlin. Dr. Slikker holds adjunct professorships in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He has held leadership positions in several scientific societies including the Teratology Society, the MidSouth Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Society, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and the Society of Toxicology. Dr. Slikker has authored or co-authored over 300 publications in the areas of transplacental pharmacokinetics, developmental neurotoxicology, neuroprotection, systems biology, and risk assessment. Dr. Slikker is a co-founder of the International Conference on Neuroprotective Agents. He has served on national and international advisory panels including those for the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute/International Life Sciences Institute, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization. Dr. Slikker is also an invited member of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and Associate Editor for NeuroToxicology and Toxicological Sciences.

Vishal Vaidya, Ph.D.
Global Head of Biomarker Analytics Laboratory in Drug Safety Research and Development at Pfizer, Inc.

Dr. Vaidya is the Global Head of Biomarker Analytics Laboratory in Drug Safety Research and Development at Pfizer, Inc. He is also an Associate Professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Vishal has led multidisciplinary teams in academe and industry with a goal of impacting patients’ lives by discovering disease-modulating targets and disease monitoring biomarkers. His team at Pfizer supports medicine development across all therapeutic areas to increase confidence in non-clinical safety & to provide clinical safety monitoring strategies by discovering, validating and implementing translational biomarkers. Vishal’s team at Harvard conducted innovative translational research to predict, prevent and treat kidney disease. He has been a recipient of NIH/NIEHS Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award, Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s Innovation in Regulatory Science Award, Society of Toxicology’s (SOT) Leading Edge in Basic Science Award and the SOT Achievement Award. Vishal is elected as a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences.

Weida Tong, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, National Center for Toxicological Research

Dr. Tong is Director of Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR/FDA). He has served a science advisory board member for several large projects involving multiple institutes in Europe and USA. He also holds several adjunct positions at universities in the US and China. His division at FDA works to develop bioinformatic methodologies and standards to support FDA research and regulation and to advance regulatory science and personalized medicine. The most visible projects of his group are (1) leading the Microarray Quality Control (MAQC) consortium to develop standard analysis protocols and quality control metrics for emerging technologies to support regulatory science and precision medicine; (2) development of liver toxicity knowledge base (LTKB) for drug safety; (3) in silico drug repositioning for the enhanced treatment of rare diseases; and (4) development of the FDA bioinformatics system, ArrayTrackTM suite, to support FDA review and research on pharmacogenomics. In addition, his group also specializes in molecular modeling and QSARs with a specific interest in estrogen, androgen, and endocrine disruptor. Dr. Tong has published more than 230 papers and book chapters.


Pravin R. Chaturvedi, PH.D.
CEO, Oceanyx Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Pravin Chaturvedi is an experienced drug developer and biotech entrepreneur. He is the Chairman of
the Scientific Advisory Board for Napo Pharmaceuticals and also serves as the CEO and Director for IndUS and Oceanyx Pharmaceuticals, both of which he also co-founded. Previously, he has served as the President and CEO of Pivot Pharmaceuticals and Scion Pharmaceuticals. Prior to his role at Scion, he was the Head of Lead Evaluation at Vertex and was in Product Development groups at Alkermes and Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert (Pfizer). Over his career, he has participated in the successful development of several new drugs for the treatment of CNS, viral and gastrointestinal disorders. In addition to the boards of IndUS and Oceanyx, Dr. Chaturvedi is also the Chairman of the Board of Cellanyx, a first-in-class live tumor biopsy phenotypic testing enterprise. He also serves as a board member for FuelEd Schools and Sindu Research Laboratories. He has previously served on the boards of Pivot, Scion, Bach Pharma, PRADAN USA, Sindu Pharmaceuticals and TiE Boston. He also serves on several advisory boards including Enlivity and MAG Optics and is as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown Medical School. He holds a Ph.D. from West Virginia University and received his Bachelor’s in Pharmacy from the University of Bombay.

Featured Speakers

Robert Doerksen, Ph.D. – The University of Mississippi
Associate Dean of the Graduate School, an Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, and a Research Associate Professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

David Ussery, Ph.D. – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Professor in the Biomedical Informatics Department and the Physiology and Biophysics Department in the College of Medicine
Director, Arkansas Center for Ecological and Genomic Medicine (ArC-GEM)

Khalid El Sayed, Ph.D. – The University of Louisiana at Monroe
Professor of Medicinal and Natural Products, Chemistry

Peter Crooks, Ph.D. – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Professor, Chairman of the College of Pharmacy

SANTOSH KUMAR, Ph.D. – The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Shraddha Thakkar, Ph.D.
Faculty National Center for Toxicological Research, US Food and Drug Administration
Adjunct Assistant Professor at UAMS College of Pharmacy and Graduate Faculty at UALR

Cesar M. Compadre, Ph.D. – The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences