Adjunct Research Mentor Bios
John Dillon is a pharmaceutical process R&D professional with 35 years’ experience in global executive leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Honeywell, Schering-Plough, Wyeth, Pﬁzer and, most recently, Porton USA.
John was Director of Chemical Development Labs at Bristol Myers Squibb where his team developed processes for several breakthrough therapies such as Taxol® (paclitaxel). At Schering-Plough he was responsible for the transfer of processes to international sites in Singapore and Ireland for both small molecules and biologics.
As Vice President of New Products Process Development at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, he was responsible for building a global group to develop and commercialize new products from the Wyeth Pipeline based on the principles of Quality by Design (QbD). After the acquisition of Wyeth by Pﬁzer, he served as the Vice President of API Technology responsible for second gen process development including use of chemical, engineering and enzyme technology for API production.
John earned a B.S. from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from SUNY Binghamton. Additionally, John served as Chairman of the prestigious Organic Reactions and Processes section of the Gordon Research Conference and received numerous awards including three Presidents Awards at Bristol-Myers Squibb. He holds over thirty patents and publications.
Gerald Bills was a professor in the Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science at Houston, and more recent a visiting scientist in the Department of Plant Biology, Rutgers University. His lab has studied how and why fungi produce bioactive natural products in order to deliver molecules that can intervene in human diseases and infections. His lab has characterized the biosynthesis of pneumocandin B0, the starting molecule for the antifungal drug, CANCIDAS, and has worked on reprogramming pneumocandin biosynthesis to produce new derivatives with improved potency, spectrum and pharmacokinetics. His lab has identified the biosynthetic pathway for enfumafungin, the starting natural product for the clinical candidate, Ibrexifungerp. Earlier in his career he worked at Merck Research Laboratories in the USA and Spain (1988-2008) where he established new strategies for generating fungal and other microbial metabolites for drug discovery. He was a member of teams that discovered some of the most significant fungal natural products of the past three decades. Before returning to the USA in 2012, he was the head of Microbiology at the Fundación MEDINA, Granada, Spain (2009-2012), an institute devoted to the discovery of antiinfective and therapeutic agents from microbial metabolites. He received his Ph.D. in mycology/botany from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. He is Fellow of the Mycological Society of America.
Dr. Govindasamy is a highly qualified research scientist with extensive knowledge in the field of the molecular biology of infectious diseases. Dr. Govindasamy received her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi India. IARI is a reputed institute of higher education in India. Dr. Govindasamy completed her postdoctoral research at New Jersey Medical School - Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. During her postdoctoral research at Rutgers University, she published her research work in journals such as PLOS Pathogens ( 1st Author), Molecular Microbiology (1st author), Infection and Immunity (1st author), Nature Scientific Reports (1st Author), PNAS (co-author), PLOS One (2nd author), ACS Chemical Biology (co-author), Cell Reports Methods (2nd author, in press) and others. Dr. Govindasamy has developed for the first time a stable transfection method in B. microti parasite (Patented).
More importantly, she has more than 13 years of working experience with animal models including mice, rats, and rabbits. Her research expertise includes generating transgenic parasite lines (gene knockout, HA-tagged, conditional mutagenesis, single point mutation, and other parasite lines) using double and single homologous recombination methods.
Dr. Thomas W. Comollo possesses research strengths in both theoretical / computational studies and the experimental (“wet”) laboratory. He teaches Immunology at Kean University. He also has research experience in structure-based drug discovery/molecular modeling, ion channel molecular physiology and pharmacology. He earned his PhD thesis at Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School on gamma subunits of voltage gated calcium channels. He performed postdoctoral work at Columbia University – School of Physicians and Surgeons and Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School were his research included ion channels, electrophysiology, and calcium handling in the heart.
More recently, Dr. Comollo has performed structure-based drug discovery and enzymatic assays in search of anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID19. This work was done as part of Dr. Comollo’s company he has as a “hobby”, FSDP LLC (https://home.fatsilicodatapharm.com/) and in conjunction with Virendra Pandey’s laboratory at Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School. Not-for-profit portions of the project were funded by the Gaokerena Institute (https://www.gaokerenainstitute.org/). Dr. Comollo has patents from drug discovery efforts for potential immunotherapeutic and the before mentioned anti-SARS-CoV-2 compounds and has been published in journals such as Biochemistry and Scientific Reports. More recently his work was published in Frontiers in Physiology. He believes he can help students to achieve greater things.