Michelle Arkin, PhD
Michelle Arkin is theAssociate Director of Biology atthe Small Molecule Discovery Center and Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF. She directs the high-throughput screening facility at the SMDC and engages in grant-funded small-molecule discovery research. Dr.Arkin’s research interests are in developing innovative approaches to tackle challenging targets (such as protein-protein interfaces and allostery) and orphan/neglected diseases (including infectious and neurodegenerative diseases). Dr. Arkin receivedher PhD in chemistry at Caltech and then held aDaymon Runyon Cancer Foundation postdoctoral fellowshipat Genentech. She wasamong the firstscientistsat Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, where she helped to develop fragment-based approaches for inhibiting protein-protein interactions and biophysical tools to characterize protein/small-molecule interactions. From 2005 to 2007, she was the Associate Director of Cell Biology at Sunesis andled the translational science team for Voreloxin, an anti-cancer agent enteringphase 3 clinical trials.
Small Molecule Discovery Center
The Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC) is a core facility directed by Dr. Jim Wells at UCSF. The SMDC’s mission is to accelerate the path of drug discovery by assisting researchers in discovering small molecules that modulate biological processes and have the potential to alter disease states. The SMDC maintains a suite of modern robotic instrumentation for high-throughput biochemical and cell-based screening of small molecules and siRNA. The Center also specializes in fragment-based lead discovery and medicinal chemistry. Dr. Michelle Arkin, the Associate Director of Biology for the SMDC, oversees the HTS facility, which runs ~20 screens per year, and a group of postdocs and staff scientists who work collaboratively on lead-discovery programs in neurodegeneration, oncology, and neglected diseases. Dr. Adam Renslo, Associate Director of Chemistry at the SMDC, directs a team of ten medicinal chemists, including students, postdocs, and staff scientists, engaged in multiple lead discovery projects, including prion disease (with Stan Prusiner) and Chagas’ disease (with Jim McKerrow). Dr. Renslo’s group also works with the HTS core to evaluate screening hits and follow-up strategies. Major collaborations include the Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative (UCSF) and the Chemical Biology Consortium (NCI), and Genentech, Inc. The SMDC serves as a critical partner to research projects in life sciences by providing high-performance lead-discovery technologies and inter-disciplinary research expertise.