University of Southern California

Moving Targets 2014

New Horizons in Anti-Cancer Therapeutics


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August 22, 2014


The AAPS-USC student chapter proudly hosts the 13th annual Moving Targets symposium, focusing on New Horizons in Anti-Cancer Therapeutics. The one-day event will highlight current trends in cancer therapeutics, featuring topics such as nanomedicine, small molecules, antibodies, and regulatory affairs of cancer biologics. We are excited to welcome a prestigious panel of speakers from academia, industry, and government institutions, who have made influential contributions to the field. Each speaker will present and share their work, followed by a brief Q&A session. A panel discussion with all the speakers and attendees will follow the talks. The overall aim of the symposium is to provide an interactive platform for direct communication and collaboration. We want to inspire students to become the next generation of leaders and innovators in the field of anti-cancer therapeutics.

Event Schedule

  • 8:45 am - AAPS-USC Student Chair Address
    Jugal Dhandhukia, PhD candidate, Pharmaceutical Sciences, USC
  • 9:00 am - Dean's Address
    R. Pete Vanderveen, Ph.D., R.Ph
  • 9:10 am - Moving Targets Keynote Address
    Andrew MacKay, Ph.D.
  • 9:30 am - Light and Nanomedicine for Anti-Cancer Drug Delivery
    Fuyu Tamanoi, Ph.D.
  • 10:10 am - Tumor-penetrating Peptides
    Erkki Ruoslahti, Ph.D.
  • 11:00 am - Nanoparticle Cancer Therapeutics: From Concept to Clinic
    Mark Davis, Ph.D.
  • 2:00 pm - Antibody Drug Conjugates for Cancer Therapy: From Early Stage Research to a Clinically Approved Drug
    Peter Senter, Ph.D.
  • 2:40 pm - DMPK in Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery and Development
    Cindy Xia, Ph.D.
  • 3:30 pm - Stability Consideration of Antibody Therapeutics for Oncology
    John Wang, Ph.D.
  • 4:10 pm - Regulatory Affairs for Biologics in Oncology
    Karen Cha, M.A., M.B.A.
  • 4:50 pm - AAPS Address
    Mary Jo Bean, AAPS Outreach Manager
  • 5:05 pm - Panel Discussion
    Chaired by Andrew MacKay, Ph.D.
  • 5:35 pm - OCC Young Investigator Poster Awards

CLICK HERE for a PDF of the detailed program of events.

Previous Speakers

Speakers from the 2013 symposium on neurodegenerative disease:

  • Kelly Bales, Ph.D. - Neuroscience Research Unit, Pfizer, Inc.
  • Krystof Bankiewicz, M.D., Ph.D. - Kinetics Foundation Chair
  • Douglas Macdonald, Ph.D. - Director of Drug Discovery & Development
  • Emilie Marcus, Ph.D. - CEO of Cell Press and Editor of Cell
  • Suzana Petanceska, Ph.D. - NIA, Department of Neuroscience
  • Diane Stephenson, Ph.D. - Executive Director, Critical Path Institute
  • Eugenia Trushina, Ph.D. - Mayo Clinic
  • Fernando Vieira, M.D. - ALS Therapy Development Institute

Previous speakers from the 2012 symposium on Metabolic Syndrome and the 2011 symposium on Aging and Oxidative Stress:

  • Dr. Eric Ravussin - the Douglas L. Gordon Chair in Diabetes and Metabolism at Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Dr. Dominco Accili - director of Columbia University Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center
  • Dr. Robert Hegele - director of the Blackburn Cardiovascular Genetics Lab
  • Dr. Jeffrey Pfefferkorn - a senior director in the Cardiovascular, Metabolic & Endocrine Disease Research Unit of Pfizer
  • Dr. Ishwarlal Jialal - Robert E. Stowell Endowed Chair in Experimental Pathology at the UC Davis Medical Center
  • Bruce Ames - Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California
  • Felipe Sierra - Director of Aging Biology, National Institutes of Aging
  • Christiaan Leeuwenburgh - Director, Metabolism and Biomarkers Core Institute on Aging
  • Holly Van Remmen - UTAH Health Sciences Center, San Antonio
  • Eric Yuen - Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals
  • Zelton Sharp - UTAH Health Science Center, San Antonio
  • Dr. Jessica Grossman - medical director for the Metabolic Applied Research Strategy in Medical Affairs at Ethicon Endo-Surgery
2014 Moving Target Speakers
Dr. Fuyu Tamanoi is the Director of Signal Transduction and Therapeutics program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor in the Dept. of Microbiology, Immunology. & Molecular Genetics at UCLA. His work on Nanotechnology involves development of mechanized nanoparticles for targeted delivery and controlled release of anticancer drugs.
Dr. Fuyu Tamanoi

Professor and Vice Chair, Dept. of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, UCLA

Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti is a distinguished Professor at the Cancer Center, Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, CA and also holds an appointment at University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Helsinki, Finland. He joined Sanford-Burnham Institute in 1979 and served as President of the institute from 1989-2002.
Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti

Professor, Cancer Center at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Mark E. Davis is the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Professor of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology and a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Centers at City of Hope and at UCLA. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.
Dr. Mark E. Davis

Professor of Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

Dr. Xia is the Director of Discovery PK and in Vitro ADME group in DMPK at Takeda Boston. Her research interests are focused on understanding the roles of drug-related transporters and metabolism enzymes in drug disposition, efficacy, toxicity, and DDIs. Dr. Xia has more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and many invited oral presentations.
Dr. Cindy Xia

Director of Discovery PK and In Vitro ADME, Takeda Boston

Y. John Wang, Ph.D., graduated from Pharmacy Schools of NTU and University of Michigan, and is a Fellow of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. He has been working over ten years at Genentech in developing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Prior to that, he worked in the formulation department at Squibb, Ortho, Scios and Bayer.
Dr. Y. John Wang

Group Leader and Principal Scientist, Genentech

Dr. Peter Senter serves as the Vice President of Chemistry department at Seattle Genetics. His department conducts research in antibody-drug conjugates, potent drug payloads, novel linker systems, and mechanisms of action. Dr. Senter has previously worked at Cytokine Networks, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dr. Peter Senter

Vice President of Chemistry,
Seattle Genetics

Karen Cha, M.A., M.B.A. has 17 years of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance experience specializing in early development. She has filed over 20 original INDs to support Phase 1 clinical studies for both chemical drugs and biologics. Karen is currently Director, Regulatory Affairs at Agensys, a Santa Monica biotechnology company developing mAb and ADC products for oncology.
Karen Cha, M.A., M.B.A.

Director of Regulatory Affairs, Agensys

Poster Competition

The poster competition is open to all, regardless of research area. Please submit an abstract by 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 17th, if you intend to participate. Please note that there is a limit of 500 words. Submit your abstract in the above link. You will receive an email within 24 hours to confirm receipt. If you do not receive a confirmation, please let us know at Cash prizes up to $1000 will be awarded for the top three posters. Research does NOT have to be related to the theme of the symposium in order to be entered or considered, and we encourage research in any area to be presented. No preference will be given to posters relating to cancer. The judging panel will evaluate your poster based on scientific merit, clarity of presentation, and poster layout. We will be providing poster boards and easels with which to display the posters. Please note that the poster boards are 48 by 36 inches.

Submit Your Poster

Previous Winners

Moving Targets History

"Moving Targets" was one of the first student-sponsored symposia supported by AAPS in 2002. Students Hovhannes Gukasyan, Mohamed Qaddoumi, Jennifer Links, Jennica Zaro, Maureen Barnes and Melina Bayramyan formed the first Symposium committee. The support given by AAPS helps students in the pharmaceutical sciences face perhaps one of the biggest challenges for a new scientist: finding the time, and energy, to develop the other important skills that are earned along with the degree.

The goals of the chapter are to inform on the latest advances and discoveries in pharmaceutical sciences, to provide opportunities for professional advancement and leadership development, and to foster student participation in outreach activities that further the goals and objectives of AAPS at the local, regional, and national levels.

In its continuing efforts, AAPS-USC has successfully hosted and organized Moving Targets Symposium in the past on several themes:
2013 - Neurodegenerative Disease: Therapeutic Challenges & Opportunities
2012 - Metabolic Syndrome: Past, Present and Future
2011 - Aging and Oxidative Stress
2010 - Frontiers in Immunotherapy
2009 - Drug Delivery and Therapeutics to the Tumor Microenvironment
2008 - Diabetes: Mechanisms and Treatments
2007 - Stem Cell Technology


The AAPS University of Southern California (USC) Student Chapter was established in 1996 by graduate students Neil Mathias, Wilson Meng, and Silvia da Costa in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, which was recently renamed the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy.

The USC Student Chapter was one of the only four student organizations within AAPS in 1996. While its chapter members have continued to uphold the chapter's reputation for active involvement in speaker programs, social events, and networking, AAPS USC Student Chapter's main pride lies in the success of its annual "Moving Targets" multidisciplinary symposium.

Board Members

Jugal is a second year Ph.D. candidate in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program at USC. He completed his Bachelor’s in Pharmacy from University of Mumbai in 2010 before obtaining Master’s in Pharmaceutical Sciences at USC in 2012. His current thesis involves improving efficacy and pharmacokinetics of chemotherapeutic drug carriers.
Jugal Dhandhukia


Alick Tan is a second year Ph.D. student in the Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics program. He received his B.S. degree in Bioengineering: Premedical at UC San Diego in 2010. Under the direction of Dr. Kathleen Rodgers, he is developing novel therapeutics with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases.
Alick Tan

Vice Chair

Yuqian is a second year Ph.D. student in the department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She received her Bachelor's degree in biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. She is currently a student in Dr. Wei-Chiang Shen’s lab and doing research about using transferrin as a potential drug carrier for protein drug delivery.
Yuqian Liu


Ishan is a second year Master's student in the Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology program. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy at Pune University in India in 2012 before joining Dr. Enrique Cadenas's lab at USC. His research interests include Alzheimer's Disease and the metabolic syndrome.
Ishan Patil

Social Chair

Maunil Desai is a second year PhD student and working in the lab of Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton. He has a bachelor's degree (MBBS) in Medicine from Grant Medical College, Mumbai (India). His interest in research prompted him to seek a PhD. His area of research is Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics.
Maunil Desai


Jillian Romsdahl is a first year Ph.D. student in the Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology program at USC. She received her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2012. Jillian is currently conducting research in Dr. Clay Wang's lab where she is studying fungal secondary metabolism.
Jillian Romsdahl

Communications Chair

Dr. MacKay received his B.S. in chemical engineering and biology from MIT in 1999 after which he joined the Bioengineering department at UCSF-Berkeley in 2000. Upon completing his Ph.D. in 2005, he joined the Biomedical Engineering department at Duke University, where he earned a postdoctoral fellowship. He is currently an Assistant Professor at USC since 2009.
J. Andrew MacKay

Faculty Advisor


Location that you'll be looking for

Event Location

  • Radisson Hotel
    Los Angeles
    Midtown at USC

    3540 S Figueroa St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA
  • There will be limited sponsored parking at the Radisson Hotel, available on a first-come-first-serve basis. The usual daily rate of the Radisson and USC parking structure is $10.
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