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Bringing Chemistry
to Medicine Symposium

Thursday, October 5, 2023: Transcription Therapy
Friday, October 6, 2023: Frontiers in Chemical Biology

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The 4th  Annual Bringing Chemistry to Medicine Symposium will feature talks by leading experts from around the globe working at the interface of chemical and biomedical sciences. Speakers represent expertise across various research areas, including therapeutic regulation of transcription and chromatin, computational biology, and chemical biology. The event will be hosted in a hybrid format with options to attend in-person or virtually. This two day event will focus on two themes:

  • Thursday, October 5: Transcription Therapy
  • Friday, October 6: Frontiers in Chemical Biology

Bringing Chemistry to Medicine is hosted by the St. Jude Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics and the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is a component of the institution’s strategic objective to establish a global hub focused on the emerging field of transcription-targeted therapeutics.

Attendees are encouraged to attend in person to enjoy enhanced networking and collaboration and experience the beautiful St. Jude campus in Memphis, TN.


Speakers and Topics


Thursday, October 5, 2023: Transcription Therapy



James Downing

Dr. James R. Downing
President and Chief Executive Officer
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital



Nada Jabado

Nada Jabado, MD, PhD
McGill University
Oncohistones in Disease: From Cancer to...Beyond 

Charles W.M. Roberts, PhD

Charles W. M. Roberts, MD, PhD
Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Executive Vice President
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Karen Adelman

Karen Adelman, PhD
Harvard University
Small Molecules inhibitors reveal direct targets of chromatin remodelers

Emikly Dykhuizen

Emily Dykhuizen, PhD
Purdue University
Chemically Targeting Specific Chromatin Remodeling Subcomplexes in Cancer 


Transcription Factors and Co-activators

Anna Mapp

Anna Mapp, PhD
University of Michigan
A General Strategy for Drugging Transcription Factors 

Cheryl Arrowsmith

Cheryl Arrowsmith, PhD
University of Toronto
Probing the Human Proteome for Therapeutic Opportunities 


RNA Modifications

T Kouzarides

Tony Kouzarides, PhD, FMedSci, FRS
University of Cambridge
Targeting RNA Modifying Enzymes in the Treatment of Cancer

Chuan He

Chuan He, PhD
University of Chicago
RNA Methylation in Gene Expression Regulation


Friday, October 6, 2023: Frontiers in Chemical Biology


Drugging Transcription

Jun Qi portrait

Jun Qi, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School

Aseem Ansari

Aseem Z. Ansari, PhD
Chair, Department of Chemical Biology & Therapeutics
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Gerald Crabtree

Gerald Crabtree, MD
Stanford University
Rewiring Cancer Drivers to Activate Apoptosis


Drugging RNA and Proteins

PS Arora

Paramjit Arora, PhD
New York University
Rational Design to Hijack Transcriptional Protein-Protein Interactions 


Danny Thomas Lecture Series

Kevan Shokat

Kevan Shokat, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Overcoming the Undruggable Nature of The Most Common Human Oncogene K-Ras


Chemical Control of Proteostasis

Jay Bradner

Jay Bradner, MD

Sara Buhrlage

Sara Buhrlage, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
Harnessing Deubiquitinases for Next-Generation Protein Stability Therapeutics


Folding and Design

David Baker

David Baker, PhD
University of Washington



Closing Remarks

Aseem Ansari

Aseem Z. Ansari, PhD
Chair, Department of Chemical Biology & Therapeutics
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


Watch our Archived Lectures

In 2020, 2021 and 2022, St. Jude hosted exciting two-day events focused on Transcription Therapy and Chemical Biology and Therapeutics.

Visit our video archive link


Transcription Therapy at St. Jude

Over decades of research, scientists in the St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center and others have discovered that several pediatric cancers emerge due to disruption in chromatin and epigenetic states and dysfunctional transcriptional regulation. While gene regulation in general has long been considered “undruggable,” scientists in the St. Jude Department of Chemical Biology & Therapeutics (CBT) have created synthetic gene regulators and are devising new chemical approaches to inhibit or degrade malfunctioning components of chromatin and gene regulatory machineries. This work builds on the history of St. Jude as a pioneer in the therapeutic use of small molecules targeting gene regulation, most notably the application of glucocorticoid receptor agonists into chemotherapy regimens for pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (ALL). The drugging of this transcription factor helped to dramatically increase overall survival rates for newly diagnosed ALL to 94% at St. Jude.

Learn more about transcription therapy at St. Jude    Learn more