Director, Discovery Chemistry

Tanweer A. Khan, Ph.D

Tanweer Khan, Ph.D., is Director, Discovery Chemistry, and joined atai Life Sciences in 2021.

Prior to Atai, Dr. Khan spent five years at Tri-Institutional Therapeutic Discovery Institute (Tri-TDI) as a Director, Medicinal Chemistry. He oversees and prosecutes a highly diverse portfolio of small molecules drug discovery programs in collaboration with academic institutions. In addition, he led an epigenetic oncology program and developed novel inhibitors of ENL-YEATS for the treatment of acute leukemias and solid tumors and licensing it to Bridge Medicines.

Before TDI, he was Program Lead/Associate Principal Scientist at Merck/Schering-Plough for nine years. He led multidisciplinary drug discovery programs targeting diseases in the CNS, cardiovascular, metabolic, and infectious diseases areas, advancing multiple drug candidates into clinical development.

He recognized the potential of re-purposing the Merck small molecules aspartyl protease inhibitors for a novel treatment for malaria. He contributed significantly to developing and defending proposals for Wellcome Trust funding to support collaborative malaria-focused research efforts.

He earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, UK, and conducted postdoctoral research with Prof. Robert A. Holton at Florida State University, USA. He worked with anti-cancer drug Taxol’s SAR studies and total synthesis of polyether antibiotics Lonomycin A. Dr. Khan is an active member of the Red Cross and has engaged in many volunteers works with the Greater New York Region.

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