Lijun Sun, Ph.D
Director, Center for Drug Discovery and Translational Research
Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dr. Sun received his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from Emory University in 1995 and completed postdoctoral training in Biomaterial Research at Emory School of Medicine in 1997. He started his professional career in drug discovery and development in 1997, and oversaw drug discovery at Shionogi BioResearch Corp as Director of Chemistry (2000-2002), at Synta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Lexington, MA) as Senior Director (2002-2004) and Vice President of Chemistry (2004-2011), and at Theracrine, Inc. (Cambridge, MA) as Vice President of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2011-2012). He has more than 140 awarded and pending US patents, and as a senior executive in three biotech companies, he discovered a number of novel small molecules drug candidates, including PIKfyve inhibitor apilimod (phase-2 in inflammatory bowel disease), ROS inducer elesclomol (Phase-3 in metastatic melanoma, co-development with GSK), and CRAC channel blocker Ro-2959 (preclinical in arthritis, co-development with Roche).
In 2012, he joined the faculty of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) as the Director of The Center for Drug Discovery and Translational Research, and was promoted to Associate Professor of Harvard Medical School (HMS) in 2014. One mission of The Center is to cultivate collaborative research with investigators of the BIDMC/HMS research community. He has competed successfully for grant supports as the Principal or co-Investigator in a number of translational research projects, including NIH-funded syntheses and biological evaluations of complex glycopeptides. Since 2016, he has worked closely with Dr. Cummings as a Project Leader in the National Center for Functional Glycomics (NCFG).