Professor of Chemical Biology and Molecular Therapeutics

Daniel K. Nomura, Ph.D.

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Professor of Chemical Biology and Molecular Therapeutics 

Department of Chemistry

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
(Molecular Therapeutics Division)

University of California, Berkeley

Director 

Novartis-Berkeley Translational Chemical Biology Institute

Co-Founder 

Frontier Medicines

Founder 

Vicinitas Therapeutics

Investment Advisory Board Member 

Droia Ventures

Scientific Advisory Committee Member 

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research

Contact

Daniel K. Nomura, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Innovative Genomics Institute
2151 Berkeley Way, Room 312G
Berkeley, CA 94720
Phone: 510-643-7258
E-mail: dnomura@berkeley.edu

Bio

Dan Nomura is a Professor of Chemical Biology and Molecular Therapeutics in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology in the Division of Molecular Therapeutics at the University of California, Berkeley and an Investigator at the Innovative Genomics Institute. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF. Since 2017, he has been the Director of the Novartis-Berkeley Translational Chemical Biology Institute focused on using chemoproteomic platforms to tackle the undruggable proteome. He is Co-Founder of Frontier Medicines, a start-up company focused on using chemoproteomics and machine learning approaches to tackle the undruggable proteome. He is also the Founder of Vicinitas Therapeutics based on his group’s discovery of the Deubiquitinase Targeting Chimera (DUBTAC) platform for targeted protein stabilization. He is on the Scientific Advisory Boards for Frontier Medicines, Vicinitas Therapeutics, Photys Therapeutics, Apertor Pharma, Ecto Therapeutics, Chordia Therapeutics, and the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and is on the Investment Advisory Board of Droia Ventures. He earned his B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Toxicology at UC Berkeley with Professor John Casida and was a postdoctoral fellow at Scripps Research with Professor Benjamin F. Cravatt before returning to Berkeley as a faculty member in 2011. Among his honors include the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award, Searle Scholar, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, and the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research ASPIRE award.

Major Research Directions

The Nomura Research Group is focused on reimagining druggability using chemoproteomic platforms to develop transformative medicines. One of the greatest challenges that we face in discovering new disease therapies is that most proteins are considered “undruggable,” in that most proteins do not possess known binding pockets or “ligandable hotspots” that small-molecules can bind to modulate protein function. Our research group addresses this challenge by advancing and applying chemoproteomic platforms to discover and pharmacologically target unique and novel ligandable hotspots for disease therapy. We currently have three major research directions. Our first major focus is on developing and applying chemoproteomics-enabled covalent ligand discovery approaches to rapidly discover small-molecule therapeutic leads that target unique and novel ligandable hotspots within undruggable protein targets and pathways. Our second research area focuses on using chemoproteomic platforms to expand the scope of targeted protein degradation technologies. Our third research area focuses on using chemoproteomics-enabled covalent ligand discovery platforms to develop new induced proximity-based therapeutic modalities. Collectively, our lab is focused on developing next-generation transformative medicines through pioneering innovative chemical technologies to overcome challenges in drug discovery.

Biography
  • Professor, University of California, Berkeley in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology (Division of Molecular Therapeutics) (2022-current)
  • Investment Advisory Board Member, Droia Ventures (2022-current)
  • Professor, University of California, Berkeley in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology (Division of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology) and Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology (2019-2022)
  • Co-Founder, Chair of Scientific Advisory Board, and Member of the Board of Directors for Vicinitas Therapeutics (2022-current)
  • Investigator, Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley (2019-current)
  • Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Frontier Medicines (2019-current)
  • Director, Novartis-Berkeley Translational Chemical Biology Institute (2017-current)
  • Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology (2015-2019)
  • Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology (2011-2015)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow at Scripps Research (2008-2011) in Chemical Biology (Advisor: Ben Cravatt)
  • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (2004-2008) in Molecular Toxicology (Advisor: John Casida)
  • B.A. University of California, Berkeley (1999-2003) in Molecular and Cell Biology (Advisor: John Casida)

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