Nathan Collins is responsible for the translation of strategic research and development programs in SRI Biosciences into advanced platforms that have societal and commercial impact.
Specializing at the interface between innovative, translational R&D, and commercialization, Collins has more than 25 years of experience in the biotechnology industry and has worked for more than 15 years as an executive manager. His research experience covers drug discovery from basic research through to clinical development. He is responsible for the development of SRI’s portfolio of drug discovery and diagnostics technologies. He previously led the organization’s operating Centers for Cancer and Metabolism, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and Chemical Biology located in Menlo Park, California and Harrisonburg, Virginia.
In addition to drug research, Collins and his teams have established a number of new technology platforms at SRI, such as the SynFini™ suite of tools to automate the synthetic chemistry discovery process, focusing on key areas of route design, reaction screening & optimization (RSO), and multi-step synthesis development; the FOX Three Molecular Guidance System™ which uses proprietary phage display bio-panning procedures to identify unique peptide delivery agents to specific cell types and subcellular locations; the SL platform that identified novel synthetic lethal molecular targets through AI based analysis of human genome databases; and the fiber‐optic array scanning technology (FASTcell™) circulating tumor cell detection system which can identify cancer cell types through a simple blood test. Nathan’s personal research interests focus diversely in chemistry automation and AI molecular design, as well folded non-natural sequence defined polymers with novel 3- dimensional structure as applied to affinity reagents, catalysts and therapeutics.
Prior to joining SRI, Collins was vice president of new product development for San Diego-based Discovery Partners International (DPI), where he established compound management as a business, winning the NIH Roadmap Small Molecule Repository and creating the new entity Compound Focus, which was ultimately acquired by the German drug discovery company Evotech. Prior to this, Collins was vice president of chemistry operations for DPI, where he helped build the high-throughput chemistry business. This led to a $100M+ collaboration with Pfizer, as well as several other multiple-year, multiple-million-dollar programs with companies such as Merck, Allergan, P&G, Aventis, and others. Collins started his industrial career at Arris Pharmaceuticals (later Axys Pharmaceuticals, and then Celera Genomics) in the discovery and development of small molecule drugs for protease inhibition, as well as small molecule cytokine mimetics.
Collins has a Ph.D. in chemistry and B.Sc. (Honors) in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Southampton in England. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Arizona’s Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
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