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Claudine Welti; Dr. Sydney Gary, Director of Research Operations, CSHL; Dr. Nicholas Tonks, Dagnia Zeidlickis, Trudy Calabrese, Bryan Amico

ST. JOHNLAND NURSING CENTER, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and U.S. Trust Company co-sponsored their thirteenth annual symposium at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on “Drugging an Undruggable Target – a Scientific Journey from Discovery Research to a Clinical Trial”.

The speaker, Nicholas Tonks, Ph.D, F.R.S., Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, CSHL, detailed his work and personal journey that began with his discovery 25 years ago of a key enzyme involved in cell signaling. Although it was clear that this enzyme was a potentially powerful target for new drugs to treat human diseases, Dr. Tonks was discouraged from pursuing this line of work by major pharmaceutical firms, which pronounced the enzyme “un-druggable” – an impossible target to hit. Today, several enzyme-inhibiting drugs based on molecules Tonks designed are in development to treat diabetes, obesity, and breast cancer.