Bruce Ellsworth, Director of Fibrosis Discovery Chemistry at Bristol-Myers Squibb, will deliver a seminar entitled, "GPCR Agonists for the Treatment of Diabetes; Synthesis Facilitates Drug Discovery." Hosted by Keith Woerpel.
Bio: Bruce A. Ellsworth, Ph.D.
B.S, Chemistry, SUNY-Oswego, 1987
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, UC Berkeley (Paul A. Bartlett), 1996
Postdoctoral appointment, UC Irvine (Scott Rychnovsky), 1998
Staff Biochemist, Bethesda Research Labs, Gaithersburg, MD 1987 – 1988
Synthesis Chemist, Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA 1988-1991
Bristol-Myers Squibb Research and Development, Princeton, NJ, 1998 – present
Director, Head of Fibrotic Diseases Discovery Chemistry
Bruce was raised in upstate NY, and completed undergraduate studies in Chemistry at SUNY-Oswego in 1987. Upon graduation, Bruce worked at Bethesda Research Labs (BRL) as a Staff Biochemist synthesizing biotinylated nucleotides for non-radioactive detection of DNA. In 1988, Bruce moved to California to work for Applied Biosystems, Inc. (ABI) as a Synthesis Chemist, synthesizing DNA monomers and oligomers for automated DNA synthesis and sequencing. It was an exciting time in the field of DNA synthesis and sequencing, being at the early stages of the human genome project that relied heavily on the sequencing technology developed at ABI.
In 1991, Bruce returned to academics to obtain a Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Paul A. Bartlett at the University of California at Berkeley. He synthesized phosphorus-containing dipeptide analogs as potent inhibitors of bacterial D-Ala-D-Ala ligases (collaboration with Chris Walsh, Harvard), an enzyme that is implicated in resistance to antibiotics. He also made progress toward a designed taxol mimetic.
In 1996, Bruce moved to the University of California at Irvine and the laboratories of Scott Rychnovsky where he engaged in Prins methodology to form tetrahydropyrans, and studied a Mukaiyama-Prins cascade toward the synthesis of the natural product, phorboxazole.
In 1998, Bruce moved to BMS Metabolic Disease Discovery Chemistry, where he worked in both discovery and development (as a member of both Discovery Chemistry and Process Chemistry departments) on the SGLT2 project for the treatment of diabetes, which produced three clinical compounds. He is a co-inventor of dapagliflozin (Farxiga®), which has now gained regulatory approval around the world. He was awarded a Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in 2009 in recognition of his contributions to this project.
He is currently leading the Chemistry department that is focused on Fibrotic Diseases such as lung and liver diseases. He has previously served as Discovery Working Group co-chair for programs that have advanced development candidates; his work in Discovery Chemistry has spanned many projects for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and, most recently, fibrosis, as well as collaborations with other departments in Immunology and Oncology. He is listed as inventor on >20 published patents and patent applications, and is co-author on >20 publications.