Gregory R. Bluemling, Ph.D.

Program Manager - Antiviral Nucleosides

Education

Dr. Bluemling earned his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Berry College in Rome, Georgia and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Professional Background

Dr. Gregory Bluemling is a synthetic medicinal chemist with over ten years of carbohydrate and nucleoside chemistry experience. His past research experience has focused on the synthesis of halogenated nucleoside analogs and their phosphate prodrugs as well as investigating the use of substituted cyclobutyl rings as alternative carbohydrate scaffolds for generating novel nucleoside analogs to treat viral infections. In addition, Dr. Bluemling also has experience in protein expression and enzyme kinetics as well as virology training.

Dr. Bluemling has contributed to the EIDD’s antiviral nucleoside program for the past five years as its project leader overseeing the day-to-day operations of the chemistry effort to ensure their efforts are aligned with project goals. While at the EIDD, Dr. Bluemling has implemented a modular synthetic approach to generate rapid compound diversity. He maintains synergy with the biology and DMPK components of the program in order to generate internal in-vitro efficacy and ADME data on new analogs to guide project efforts. Leveraging his virology training and expertise, Dr. Bluemling designs and oversees the execution of efficacy screens via external collaborators. His work has contributed to numerous patent filings.

Dr. Bluemling sitting at a brightly lit window

Michael W. Hager, Ph.D.

Senior Development Scientist

Education

Dr. Hager graduated from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) with a BS in chemistry and then earned a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Emory University under the direction of Professor Dennis Liotta. After a postdoctoral appointment in the Professor Frost’s research group at Michigan State University involving research in biocatalysis reactions, he completed a second postdoctoral study in dendrimer chemistry in Professor Gorman’s research group at North Carolina State University.

Brief Background

Dr. Hager joined the medicinal chemistry group at FOB Synthesis (Kennesaw, GA) in 1999 as a research scientist where he focused on anti-infective research and development. As he advanced to the position of senior investigator, he led the efforts in various projects ranging from developing a new class of beta-lactam antibiotics to developing and synthesizing phospholipid nucleoside bioconjugates as highly effective antiviral agents with enhanced cellular uptake properties. Since joining the EIDD in late 2011, he has utilized his extensive experience in nucleoside prodrug strategies toward the preparation of many synthetically challenging antiviral nucleoside phospho- and diphospholipid conjugates.

Outside of science, he enjoys spending time with his family participating in outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling.

Dr Hager sitting at a lab desk surrounded by various apparatuses

Mark Lockwood, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Education

Dr. Lockwood received his Ph.D. degree in 1997 from Purdue University under the tutelage of the late Ian Rothwell. He was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Washington under the supervision of James Mayer. Dr. Lockwood has 30+ peer reviewed publications and has been a key author on several patents.

Brief Background

Dr. Lockwood has 15+ years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in both process and medicinal chemistry. He began his pharmaceutical career at Abbott Laboratories where he was part of the process chemistry group responsible for bringing Kaletra to market. This group received a corporate award for significantly improving safety during manufacturing. He moved from large pharma to be a part of several startup biotech companies in the Atlanta area including Somatacor Pharmaceuticals and Metastatix. While at Metastix, he was in charge of manufacturing the lead clinical compound. He is currently a Sr. Scientist at the newly established Emory Institute for Drug Development.

Dr. Lockwood sitting at a lab desk behind a row of beakers

Shuli Mao, Ph.D.

Development Scientist

Education

Dr. Mao earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Emory University in 2005 with Prof. Dennis Liotta and completed the postdoctoral research at University of Pittsburgh Center for Chemical Methodologies and Library Development (UPCMLD) and Chemistry Department of University of Pittsburgh under the supervision of Prof. Peter Wipf and Prof. Kay Brummond.

Brief Background

Dr. Mao has more than 15 years of research and development experience including two and a half years within the pharmaceutical industry. She has authored dozens of publications and patents. During her graduate study, she primarily focused on the design and synthesis of novel cyclobutyl nucleoside analogs as anti-HIV agents. At UPCMLD, she designed and executed the synthesis of four chemical libraries using Diversity-Orientated Synthesis (DOS) to find biologically active compounds. She also made significant contributions towards the total synthesis of Dnacin A1 and B1. After joining FOB Synthesis, Inc., an Atlanta biotechnology company, she synthesized carbapenem analogs as antibacterial agents and generated structure-activity relationship data against Acinetobacter spp. & Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Two of the compounds identified by her research team were licensed to AstraZeneca. After joining EIDD in 2011, Dr. Mao continued her research on nucleosides/tides as RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase inhibitors. Currently, she is the project leader for the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) team, responsible for designing compounds, supervising chemistry team members and collaborating with internal and external researchers.

Dr. Mao beside a piece of analysis equipment