Nereid Therapeutics was born from discoveries and technologies developed by academic founder Clifford Brangwynne, Ph.D., a pioneer of the biomolecular condensate field and one of the world’s leading experts in intracellular liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS).
If you’ve seen a lava lamp in motion, then you’ve seen LLPS in action. LLPS also occurs in living cells, where it underlies the formation and function of membrane-less compartments. It is increasingly understood that such membrane-less droplets inside cells play dynamic roles in gene regulation and in a host of disease processes. However, until now there has never been a way to systematically measure intracellular LLPS and determine the impact of therapeutics on the process. Enter Nereid Therapeutics.
New technologies developed by the Brangwynne laboratory and deployed by Nereid illuminate the formation and behavior of these droplets and enable the precise measurement of LLPS in mammalian cells. Combined with state-of-the-art proprietary microscopy and computer vision, Nereid scientists are using LLPS to discover small molecules that can modulate protein interactions found in disease states, in ways that have not been possible before.
Nereid marries soft matter physics to cell biology to pioneer a new way to fight intractable diseases— cancers, neurodegenerative illnesses, and inflammatory disorders, among others. Nereid starts with unparalleled approaches to see and measure the biomolecular forces driving phase separation, amplifying insights with machine learning, and accelerating translation with state-of-the-art cell biology and medicinal chemistry. Nereid’s platform charts a new path, using physics to discover therapeutics that can modify the phase behavior of living cells.
Cliff Brangwynne, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University
Clifford Brangwynne is a biophysical engineer and leading expert in soft matter physics who is currently a professor at Princeton University in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Cliff has devoted his career to advancing understanding of membrane-less biological phase separation and biomolecular condensate formation in living cells – pioneering work which has been recognized with numerous awards, including a Macarthur Fellowship (2018), Wiley Prize (2020), Blavatnik Award (2020), and Nakasone Award (2021). He earned a bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2001 and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems from 2007 to 2010, prior to joining the faculty of Princeton University in 2011.
Cigall Kadoch, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School
Cigall Kadoch is an associate professor of pediatric oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School and an institute member and co-director of the Epigenomics Program at the Broad Institute. Her laboratory studies chromatin regulation, with a strong focus on the structure and function of the mammalian SWI/SNF or BAF family of chromatin remodeling complexes in human health and disease. She is also the Scientific Founder of Foghorn Therapeutics and currently serves on its Board of Directors. Cigall completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley and her graduate research at the Stanford University School of Medicine before assuming her faculty position in Boston.
Spiros Liras, Ph.D.
Venture Partner, Apple Tree Partners (ATP)
As a venture partner at Apple Tree Partners (ATP), Spiros Liras has led ATP’s creation of and investment in several portfolio companies, including Nereid Therapeutics. He also has led scientific innovation and discovery at some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. At Biogen, he established and helmed the External Portfolio Innovation unit within Research and Development. Prior to that, Spiros was vice president of Medicinal Chemistry at Pfizer, where he led teams to deliver clinical pipelines in disease areas including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and neuroscience. Under his leadership, his divisions explored cutting edge drug discovery concepts including selective protein translation inhibition, design of macrocycles for drug discovery in tough target space, allosterism, and tissue targeting design strategies for the delivery of small molecule, oligonucleotide therapeutics and other modalities. Spiros earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Iowa State University and completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Alice Ting, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics, Biology, and Chemistry, Stanford University
Alice Ting is Professor of Genetics, Biology, and Chemistry at Stanford University and an investigator of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. Prior to joining Stanford, she was a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for 14 years. Her lab develops molecular technologies for studying proteins and signaling pathways in living cells and organisms and applies them to neuroscience and mitochondrial biology. Her work has been recognized by the NIH Pioneer Award, the McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Award, and the ACS Arthur Cope Scholar Award. Alice studied chemistry as an undergraduate at Harvard, earned her Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley working with Peter Schultz, and completed postdoctoral training at the University of California San Diego with Roger Tsien.
Jared Toettcher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Molecular Biology, Princeton University
Jared Toettcher is an Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. His work currently focuses on engineering optogenetic tools to control diverse intracellular processes and studying how growth factor signaling regulates cell fate in development and disease. His honors and awards include being named a 2019 Vallee Scholar, a 2018 NSF CAREER Award, a 2016 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, a Cancer Research Institute postdoctoral fellowship, an MIT Presidential Fellowship, and a UC Berkeley Regents’ Scholarship. Jared graduated with a B.S. in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, performed his graduate studies in Biological Engineering under Bruce Tidor (MIT) and Galit Lahav (Harvard Medical School), and completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco with Wendell Lim and Orion Weiner.
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