bio sketch column
Douglas Johnson is a research fellow and head of Chemical Biology in the Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry group of Pfizer located in Cambridge, MA. During his tenure at Pfizer, he has played significant roles on teams that have developed the following clinical candidates – palbociclib (PD 0332991), a CDK4/6 inhibitor approved in 2015 for the treatment of breast cancer; PF-00217830, a D2 partial agonist, which advanced to phase II for schizophrenia; PF-04457845, a FAAH inhibitor for the potential treatment of CNS disorders; and PF-06648671, a compound for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, his group is interested in applying chemical biology methods to enable drug discovery projects. His group has used clickable photoaffinity probes to characterize the targets and the mechanism of action of gamma-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) and modulators (GSMs) and the off-target of first-generation BACE inhibitors responsible for the observed ocular toxicity. Prior to joining Pfizer, Doug was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the laboratory of Professor David A Evans. He obtained his PhD in organic chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute under the guidance of Professor Dale L Boger and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a BS in chemistry. He is an author or inventor on more than 80 publications and patents and is an editor of the Wiley Series on Drug Synthesis including The Art of Drug Synthesis, Modern Drug Synthesis and Innovative Drug Synthesis.