2024 UCSF-Stanford CERSI Immersion Course in Drug Discovery, Development, and Regulation

Friday, September 13, 2024 - 10:00 am to Friday, November 22, 2024 - 1:00 pm
Virtual Event - Times Shown in Pacific Time


The UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) is pleased to announce the 2024 Immersion Course in Drug Discovery, Drug Development, and Regulation. Participants will have the opportunity to learn the scientific and regulatory aspects of drug discovery and development from leading scientists and experts in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industries and academia. Different therapeutic modalities will be covered, including small molecules, biologics, and gene therapies.

This is a virtual course comprised of eleven 3-hour sessions held on Fridays, with some exceptions, from September 13, 2024 through November 22, 2024 from 10 am - 1 pm Pacific Time. Each session may include pre-reading assignments, lectures, and discussion of case studies. Participants who successfully complete the course will be issued a Statement of Completion from the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI). Sessions will be recorded and available to all participants for the duration of the course.

Note: This course is intended for professional development and is not accredited for CME or PMP credit.

Learning objectives

  • Discuss the current regulatory system and structure relevant to drug development and describe two key FDA submissions: the Investigational New Drug (IND) Application and New Drug Application (NDA) / Biologics License Application (BLA)
  • Discuss contemporary approaches to small and large molecule drug discovery, including target identification, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization
  • Explain the role of toxicology, pathology, and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics in the selection and evaluation of drug candidates for clinical testing
  • Describe CMC and quality considerations in the manufacture of drugs and biologics to support all phases of development
  • Explain the different types and applications of biomarkers in clinical drug development
  • Describe the current state and future directions of applications of real-world data (RWD) and real-world evidence (RWE) to drug development
  • Explain the principles of first-in-human studies and starting dose determinations (Phase 1 studies)
  • Describe study design and regulatory considerations for proof-of-concept (Phase 2) and pivotal (Phase 3) clinical studies
  • Discuss key factors for regulatory decision-making, such as benefit-risk assessments
  • Explain the fundamentals of a portfolio strategy and corporate development
  • Discuss emerging and evolving topics such as immuno-oncology and gene therapies

Target audience

  • Early- to mid- career industry scientists and regulatory professionals who would like a broad overview of the latest developments in the field
  • Faculty members interested in understanding drug development to advance discoveries into products
  • Trainees who would like to complement their training and research in basic and applied sciences with a course on the nuts-and-bolts of drug discovery and development


Register Here
The registration fees for this course are shown below.
A group registration discount is available when registering 10 or more people at the same time. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

Deadline to register: Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 11:59 pm PT

Deadline for refunds: Saturday, August 31, 2024

Information on course access will be sent to registrants in August 2024.

Registration Category Registration Fee
General Admission $2,990
Early Bird (by 8/1/2024) $2,500
University/Government * $1,000
University/Government-Affiliated Trainees ** (students/residents/fellows/postdocs) $250

*To be eligible for the University/Government rate, you must be currently affiliated with a university or government institution and sign up using an email address ending in .edu/.gov/.mil.

**To be eligible for the University/Government-Affiliated Trainee rate, you must provide proof of CURRENT affiliation with a university or government trainee program, and you must sign up using an email address ending in .edu/.gov/.mil. Examples of acceptable documents include an enrollment verification certificate, class schedule for the current academic term, or acceptance letter into the current trainee program. Please email proof of trainee status to [email protected] upon registering.

Course Schedule

Date Topic(s) Instructors


September 6, 2024

Welcome and Networking

This will take place in person at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

RSVP will be required.

Mark Dresser, PhD (SVP, Biomarker Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology, Gilead Sciences)
Dolo Diaz, PhD (Global Head and SVP, Development Sciences, Altos Labs)


September 13, 2024


Overview of Medical Product Development and Regulation

Mark Dresser, PhD (SVP, Biomarker Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology, Gilead Sciences)
Dolo Diaz, PhD (Global Head and SVP, Development Sciences, Altos Labs)

Richard Graham, PhD (Advisor, Mirador Therapeutics/Co-founder, TruLab)
Terrell Baptiste, MBA (Associate Director, Regulatory Policy and Intelligence, Gilead Sciences)


September 20, 2024

Drug Discovery (e.g., Target Identification, Small Molecule and Protein-based Therapeutics Discovery)

Max Osipov, PhD (Associate Director, Small Molecule Discovery, NICO Therapeutics)
Rob Wells, PhD (Principal Scientist, Denali Therapeutics)


September 27, 2024

Translational Preclinical Evaluations (DMPK, Toxicology, Risk Assessment)

Rebecca Erickson, PhD, DABT (Senior Director, Toxicology, DICE Therapeutics)
Jonathan (Jon) Maher, PhD, DABT, ATS (Head of Nonclinical Safety, Pliant Therapeutics)


October 4, 2024

Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls of Drugs and Biologics

Gayle Derfus, PhD (Executive Director, Pre-Pivotal Cell Line & Cell Culture Biologics Development, Gilead Sciences)
Eric Gorman, PhD, MS (Director, Formulation & Process Development, Gilead Sciences)


October 11, 2024

Clinical Biomarkers and Companion Diagnostics: Development and Regulation

Rhea Nersesian, MS (Companion Diagnostics Project Leader)
Felix Yeh, PhD (Director & Senior Principal Scientist, Genentech)



October 21, 2024

Applications of Real World Data and Real World Evidence to Drug Discovery and Development Janie Shelton, PhD, MPH (Director, Translational Epidemiology, Bristol Myers Squibb)
Kim Van Naarden Braun, PhD (Senior Scientific Director, Translational Epidemiology, Informatics and Predictive Sciences, Bristol Myers Squibb)
Anand Chokkalingam, PhD (Executive Director and Head, Real-World Evidence, Virology, Gilead Sciences)


October 25, 2024

First-in-Human and Clinical Proof-of-Concept Studies

Nag Budha, PhD (Executive Director, Clinical Pharmacology, BeiGene)
Mika Derynck, MD (Chief Medical Officer, Amunix Pharmaceuticals)


November 1, 2024

Pivotal Clinical Trials (e.g., study design and regulatory considerations)

Mika Derynck, MD (Chief Medical Officer, Amunix Pharmaceuticals)
Cornelia (Conny) Irl, PhD (Vice President, Global Head Data & Statistical Sciences – Oncology, Genentech)


November 8, 2024

Medical Product Regulation and Decision Making (e.g., overview, benefit-risk assessments, case studies)

Rajanikanth (Raj) Madabushi, PhD (Associate Director, Guidance and Scientific Policy, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, FDA)
Jeffry Florian, PhD (Associate Director, Division of Applied Regulatory Science, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, FDA)
Anuradha (Anu) Ramamoorthy, PhD, FCP (Master Scientist & Policy Lead, Guidance and Scientific Policy, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, FDA)
Hobart (Bart) Rogers, PharmD, PhD (Reviewer, Division of Translational and Precision Medicine, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, FDA)
Cristina Miglis, PharmD, MS (Reviewer, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, FDA)


November 15, 2024

Portfolio Strategy and Corporate Development

Andrew McKee, MD (Founder, CEO, and President, Headland Strategy Group)
Melissa Metcalf, PhD (Associate, Headland Strategy Group)
Heather Rogan, PhD (Engagement Manager, Headland Strategy Group)


November 22, 2024

Discovery and Development of Immuno-Oncology Therapies and Gene Therapies

Virtual Career Panel

Mary Newman, MS (Founder and CEO, Alchemy Development Partners)
Justine Cunningham, PhD, DABT (Vice President, Development Sciences, REGENXBIO, Inc.)

Dolo Diaz, PhD (Global Head and SVP, Development Sciences, Altos Labs)


Mark Dresser, PhD
Course Co-Director

Senior Vice President, Biomarker Sciences & Clinical Pharmacology, Gilead Sciences
Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF

Dolo Diaz, PhD
Course Co-Director

Global Head and Senior Vice President, Development Sciences, Altos Labs

Holly Ly, PharmD
Course Administrator

Education Coordinator, UCSF-Stanford CERSI

Nathan Dang, PharmD
Course Administrator

Program Coordinator, UCSF-Stanford CERSI




Please email [email protected] with any questions.