8:00 am Registration & Coffee

8:20 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Gary A. Piazza Department Head, Drug Discovery & Development, Auburn University

Getting a Grip on Wnt Biology to Theorize the Latest Opportunities & Understandings

8:30 am New Ways to Attack an Armadillo – Latest Approaches to Inhibit β-Catenin Signaling

  • David Carbone Professor of Medicine, The Ohio State University
  • Stephen Horrigan Chief Scientific Officer, Iterion Therapeutics
  • Elmar Nurmemmedov Principal Investigator & Director of Drug Discovery, Saint John’s Cancer Institute


• Sharing lessons learned on the various therapeutic mechanisms
• Explore different modalities including Creb, siRNA, PROTAC and bispecifics – what is the best route to tame Wnt and β-catenin?
• Debate the optimal approach of cellular target engagement

9:15 am Discovery of Direct Small-Molecule Modulators of β-Catenin

  • Elmar Nurmemmedov Principal Investigator & Director of Drug Discovery, Saint John’s Cancer Institute


• Explaining why small-molecule direct modulators of β-catenin are an underexplored space
• Highlighting that direct modulators of β-catenin provide novel pharmacology to target Wnt signaling
• Apply β-catenin direct modulators to target oncology and regeneration

9:45 am Exploiting Receptor Conformations for Targeted Agonism & Antagonism in the Wnt Pathway

  • Rami N. Hannoush Senior Principal Scientist and Group Leader, Early Discovery Biochemistry, Genentech


• Divulging targeted pharmacological ligands with high affinity and specificity
• Detailing modulation of Wnt signalling in the gut
• Exploring therapeutic strategies in tissue regeneration

10:15 am Speed Networking Break


Network with other attendees in our quick-fire networking session. Grab a hot drink and let the computer match you randomly with a range of attendees in 1-1 formats. Make sure to click “connect” to swap virtual business cards

11:00 am Novel PDE10 Inhibitor Activates cGMP/PKG Signaling to Selectively Suppress Oncogenic Wnt/β-Catenin Transcriptional Activity

  • Gary A. Piazza Department Head, Drug Discovery & Development, Auburn University


• Signaling mechanism – understand the effects of gene silencing and known PDE10 inhibitors
• Assess anticancer activity of ADT-061 for treatment of colorectal adenomas
• Review anticancer activity of ADT-030 for lung cancer treatment

11:30 am FT-A/Kinesin Requirements for Nuclear Translocation of β-Catenin: Binding & Inhibitive Opportunity

  • Marek Mlodzik Chair of the Department of Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine


• Reveal microtubule requirement in Wnt-signaling
• Evaluate nuclear translocation of β-catenin and inhibition
• Exploit the non-ciliary functions of ciliary proteins in Wnt-signaling

12:00 pm Combining Drosophila & Mammalian Systems to Uncover Pathway Complexities in Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling

  • Ken M. Cadigan Professor of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, University of Michigan


• Investigating the role of Sox9 and MAML2 in negatively regulating β-catenin
• Evaluating the context-dependent synergy between Sox9 and TCF/β-catenin
• Understanding the importance of biomolecular condensates in β-catenin action

12:30 pm Networking Lunch

Opportunities to Aid Drug Discovery & Further Research Efforts

1:30 pm Harnessing Organoids for Pre-Clinical Research


• Narrating the behavior and mechanistic actions of organoids and cell culture
• Detailing the pre-clinical applications of organoids

2:00 pm Seeing Wnt/β-Catenin Through the Lens of AI


• The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is heavily studied with many causal correlations validated experimentally. Well, how many exactly?
• Can we test in a computer if the Wnt/β-catenin pathway has any potential impact on any other pathway, disease, or patient subpopulation?
• What types of drugs can we target against this pathway and how would we determine the safety of the pathway as a target in human disease?

2:30 pm Working With the DTRF for Symbiotic Grant & Research Opportunities

  • Maneesh Kumar Research Director, Coordinating Center, Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation


• Investigating the β-catenin pathway in desmoid tumors
• How working with patient advocacy and non-profit organization can help you expedite your molecule into clinic
• Explore new ways to accelerate your Wnt and β-Catenin research programs

3:00 pm Afternoon Refreshments & Networking

Delving into Immuno-Oncology to Further Oncological Treatment Efficacy

3:30 pm Immunotherapeutic Potential of Targeting the Wnt Pathway in Gynecologic Malignancies

  • Rebecca Arend Associate Professor, University of Alabama of Birmingham


• How Wnt and β-Catenin can address gynecologic malignancies and chemotherapy resistance
• Identifying biomarkers that can be used in the future to guide treatment decisions
• Exploring mechanisms behind immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments and implications for treatment

4:00 pm Targeting Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway for Fibroproliferative Diseases

  • Weilin Xie Professor, Shandong First Medical University


• Articulating how to achieve a therapeutic window through targeting
• Discussing a specific targeting strategy with findings from different models
• Sharing mechanisms of action for Wnt and fibrosis, and underlining its potential implications in immuno-oncology

4:30 pm Updates on Immuno-Oncology – A New Therapeutic Focus through Wnt & β-Catenin

  • Donald J Buchsbaum Senior Advisor for Cancer Immunology, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama of Birmingham
  • Rebecca Arend Associate Professor, University of Alabama of Birmingham
  • Brent A. Hanks Associate Professor of Medical Oncology, Duke University, Duke Cancer Institute


• Sharing experience from within the IO field of key challenges and opportunities with combinational Wnt treatment
• What have we learned from latest research on the tumor microenvironment with applications on Wnt?

5:15 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks

  • Gary A. Piazza Department Head, Drug Discovery & Development, Auburn University

5:20 pm Poster Session


Share your scientific poster with the community to reveal your R&D findings!