484: Discovering Drugs for Targeted Treatment in Brain Damage and Disease - Todd Zankel

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Dr. Todd Zankel is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Mercaptor Discoveries, Inc., a biotech company focused on developing molecules to treat brain injury and degeneration. Todd studies chemistry and molecular biology to develop new drugs to treat diseases of the central nervous system and brain. The molecules they are working on now help reduce side effects by making drugs only active in the parts of the body they are supposed to target. When he’s not working, Todd likes to read non-science books and take his dog for walks in the hills and woods near his house. Todd received his B.A. in Chemistry from Reed College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University. Afterwards, he accepted a position as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Plant Gene Expression Center in Berkeley, California as well as the Chemistry Department of ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. Todd then worked for BioMarin Pharmaceutical for about eight years. Before co-founding Mercaptor Discoveries, Todd co-founded Raptor Pharmaceuticals in 2006, acting as Chief Scientific Officer and head of discovery research until 2016 when the company was acquired. In our interview, Todd shared more about his life and science.

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