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Bringing Chemistry
to Medicine Symposium

Save the date: October 2-3, 2025

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The 5th Bringing Chemistry to Medicine Symposium will be held on October 2-3, 2025 at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The meeting will be held in a hybrid format. We hope to see you there!

Recap of 2023 event

The 4th Bringing Chemistry to Medicine Symposium featured talks by leading experts from around the globe working at the interface of chemical and biomedical sciences. Speakers represented expertise across various research areas, including therapeutic regulation of transcription and chromatin, computational biology, and chemical biology. 

In case you missed the 2023 event or you want to revisit an interesting lecture, please visit the 2023 Bringing Chemistry to Medicine Symposium video archive.

  1. 2023 Speakers and Topics


    Thursday, October 5, 2023



    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
    Chromatin Remodeler Mutations in Cancer: From Mechanisms to Emerging Therapies

    Rebecca Johnson

    Rebecca Johnson
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Antagonist Development for Chromodomain-Helicase DNA-Binding Protein 1 (CHD1)

    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 

    Emikly Dykhuizen

    Joshua Gruber, MD, PhD
    UT Southwestern Medical Center

    Acetyl-Click Screening Platform Identifies Small-Molecule and Peptide-based Inhibitors of Histone Acetyltransferase 1 (HAT1)


    Transcription Factors and Co-activators

    Anna Mapp

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

    PS Arora

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

    Samantha Bevill

    Samantha Bevill, PhD
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

    Impact of Supraphysiologic MDM2 Expression on P53Independent Chromatin Networks and Therapeutic Responses in Sarcoma


    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

    Deepak Nijhawan

    Deepak Nijhawan, MD, PhD
    UT Southwestern Medical Center

    Anticancer Benzoxaboroles Inhibit Pre-mRNA Processing by Direct Inhibition of CPSF3


    Closing Remarks

    Charles W.M. Roberts, PhD

    Charles W. M. Roberts, MD, PhD


    Friday, October 6, 2023


    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
    Transcription Targeted Therapeutics

    Gerald Crabtree

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

    Cheryl Arrowsmith

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

    Cheryl Arrowsmith

    Drew Adams, PhD
    Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

    Targeting the Chromatin-Binding of XPO1 Disrupts NFAT and T Cell Activation


    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
    Gene Control Medicines

    Sara Buhrlage

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

    Gihoon Lee

    Gihoon Lee, PhD
    Princeton University

    Time-Resolved Protein Synthesis Reveals Distinct Phases of Oncogenic Signaling and Identifies the ‘Achilles Heel’ of a Liver Cancer FL-HCC


    Folding and Design

    David Baker

    David Baker, PhD
    University of Washington
    Design of New Protein Function Using Deep Learning

    David Baker

    Arabinda Chaudhuri, PhD
    Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata

    In Vivo Dendritic Cells Targeted DNA Vaccination in Combination with Tumor-Selective Chemotherapy Eradicates Established Mouse Melanoma


    Closing Remarks

    Aseem Ansari

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


Watch our Archived Lectures

Each year since 2020, St. Jude has 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