Healthcare Industry News: Third Rock Ventures
News Release - September 9, 2009
Constellation Pharmaceuticals Appoints Renowned Cancer Biologist Edward E. Harlow, Jr., Ph.D. as Company's CSOCompany Leading Emerging Field of Epigenetics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 9--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that it has appointed Edward E. Harlow, Jr., Ph.D. as the company’s Chief Scientific Officer. This appointment reflects the Company’s strong scientific heritage and its progress in building the leading biopharmaceutical effort focused on discovering and developing new drugs targeting epigenetic regulation of the human genome. Dr. Harlow will direct Constellation’s research and drug discovery efforts, initially focused on new treatments for cancer.
Dr. Harlow, a distinguished molecular biologist, is an internationally recognized leader in cancer biology who is best known for his discoveries regarding the control of cell division and critical changes that allow cancer to develop. He most recently served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and Associate Director of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Previously he served as Scientific Director for the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and was Associate Director for Science Policy at the National Cancer Institute, where he helped direct U.S. cancer research planning. Dr. Harlow has received numerous scientific honors, including election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, appointment as Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and receipt of the American Cancer Society’s highest award, the Medal of Honor.
"We are delighted and proud that Ed is joining the leadership of Constellation at this pivotal point as we grow our team and make important progress with our R&D programs," said Mark A. Goldsmith, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Constellation Pharmaceuticals. "He has an outstanding record of achievement in science and he has collaborated with and advised both young and established pharmaceutical companies. Our company is built on a tradition of rigorous science, and Ed’s proven ability to lead breakthrough research coupled with his deep relationships across academia and industry will help us to achieve high impact on behalf of patients.”
“I am excited to join this impressive organization and believe the depth and quality of Constellation’s scientists and drug discovery platform position it to continue leading the field,” said Dr. Harlow. “Epigenetics is an intriguing window into the complex biology of multiple diseases, and Constellation offers a compelling opportunity to leverage my experience in order to create innovative medicines."
Dr. Harlow has served on a number of influential advisory groups, including the Board of Life Sciences for the National Research Council, External Advisory Boards for UCSF, Stanford, UCLA, and NYU Cancer Center, and Scientific Advisory Boards for the Foundation for Advanced Cancer Studies and numerous biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Onyx, Alnylam, 3V Biosciences, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. He received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Oklahoma and his Ph.D. at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London.
About Constellation Pharmaceuticals
Constellation Pharmaceuticals is the first biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel therapeutics in the emerging field of Epigenetics, a new field of science that focuses on selective regulators of gene function and expression. Constellation’s initial focus is in oncology, and the Company’s platform will also be applicable to other therapeutic areas including autoimmune, inflammatory and neurological diseases. The Company’s academic founders represent the core thought leaders in epigenetics responsible for key advances, insights and discoveries in the field. Constellation Pharmaceuticals is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.constellationpharma.com.
Constellation Pharmaceuticals was founded by three of the foremost authorities and leaders within the field of Epigenetics: Danny Reinberg, Ph.D, Professor of Biochemistry at the New York University School of Medicine and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Institute; Yang Shi, Ph.D., Professor of Pathology at the Harvard Medical School and David Allis, Ph.D., Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Chromatin Biology at The Rockefeller University.
Constellation’s Board of Directors include: Anthony Evnin, Partner, Venrock; David Goeddel, Ph.D., Partner, The Column Group; Mark Levin, Partner, Third Rock Ventures; Tom Maniatis, Ph.D., Professor, Harvard University; Robert Tepper, M.D., Partner, Third Rock Ventures; and Mark A. Goldsmith, M.D., Ph.D., CEO, Constellation Pharmaceuticals.
Also supporting the Company’s efforts is a Scientific Advisory Board featuring some of the most renowned scientific experts within the field of Epigenetics and oncology, including; Richard Klausner, M.D., Managing Partner, The Column Group and former Director of the National Cancer Institute; Arnold Levine, Ph.D., Professor, Institute of Advanced Study; David Livingston, M.D., Deputy Director, Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Institute; Julian Adams, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Infinity Pharmaceuticals; Xiaodong Cheng, Ph.D., Professor, Emory University; Thomas Jenuwein, Ph.D., Director, Max Planck Institute; and Scott Lowe, Ph.D., Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Epigenetics is an exciting new field of biology that involves chemical modifications of both DNA and of its packaging proteins (“chromatin”), which are collectively called the ‘epigenome.’ The genome, or DNA, is the “blueprint” for the human body, consisting of thousands of genes, which are the fundamental units of information necessary for normal cell growth and development. In contrast, the epigenome plays a critical role in regulating the expression of genes, that is, switching genes on or off – or in the case of disease, for switching genes on or off incorrectly. This new field of Epigenetic science provides the opportunity to create a broad new class of human therapeutics targeting selective regulators of epigenetic function.
Source: Constellation Pharmaceuticals
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