Newswise — PHILADELPHIA—(Feb. 1, 2017)—The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research leader in cancer, immunology, infectious diseases, and vaccines, announces the appointment of Joseph M. Salvino, Ph.D., as professor in the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program and Scientific Director of the Institute’s Molecular Screening Facility.

Salvino’s research is directed at drug discovery and development. He focuses on early development and in vivo validation of small molecules as tools to confirm the pharmacological relevance, and “drugability” of a therapeutic target. Through the design and creation of novel chemical analogs, Salvino can develop structured activity relationships critical for optimizing an early stage compound series and identify a potential preclinical drug candidate or future therapeutic agent against a new biological target.

“Wistar offers a unique research environment and an opportunity for me to collaborate across multiple programs to help establish strategies that will guide our researchers on their specific drug discovery projects and complement their efforts,” said Salvino. “By offering compounds to study biological mechanisms and proprietary novel cancer therapeutic agents (against their novel targets), I can provide tools for therapeutic target validation and advanced new therapeutic preclinical lead series attractive as out licensing candidates for potential clinical development.”

Salvino is the first medicinal chemist to join Wistar’s staff, and his work to identify novel small molecule lead compounds will provide a strong basis for collaboration with all Wistar researchers. His expertise provides a strong foundation for multifaceted collaboration across the Institute, particularly with its Business Development team.

“Biomedical collaboration and innovation are fundamental to Wistar’s mission, and Joseph’s appointment is key to applying our research knowledge toward finding cures and developing new therapies,” said Dario C. Altieri, M.D., Wistar president and CEO, director of the Cancer Center, and the Robert and Penny Fox Distinguished Professor. “Joseph joins the Institute at an ideal time: new researchers are coming onboard alongside established researchers, and all have an eye toward expanding our scientific enterprise within the framework of research and development and translating our basic science discoveries into future therapeutics.”

Salvino has more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery, including early stage hit-to-lead, lead optimization, and preclinical development where several candidates have successfully completed human clinical trials, including Entereg®, ADL-101, and Radezolid®. He joins Wistar from Drexel University College of Medicine where he was professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology. Prior to that, he held high level positions including vice president, senior director, and director in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries of Sterling Winthrop, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Aventis, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Adolor Corporation, and Cephalon. Salvino received a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Kutztown State College, followed by a M.Sc. in chemistry from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Brown University. He completed postdoctoral training in synthetic and medicinal chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of K.C. Nicolaou and Ralph F. Hirschmann.

# # #The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as