Elmar Nurmemmedov, PhD, MBA

Director, Drug Discovery, Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics; Assistant Professor, John Wayne Cancer Institute

Dr. Elmar Nurmemmedov is Director of Drug Discovery in the Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at John Wayne Cancer Institute with experience in the field of oncology. As a translational scientist, his primary area of interest is therapeutic modulation of transcription factors, key regulatory proteins that control genesis and progression of cancers.

During his doctoral studies, Dr. Nurmemmedov studied functional and structural characteristics of WT1, a regulatory protein known to cause Wilm’s tumor. The main angle of his research was analysis of the biophysical properties of WT1 and identification of potential therapeutic approaches. The study led to elucidation of the molecular mechanism that allows WT1 to interact with nucleic acids in the cells.

Throughout his postdoctoral training, Dr. Nurmemmedov has joined high-risk drug discovery projects that spanned across hematology and oncology. At Harvard Medical School, he joined a drug discovery project on a transcription factor that controls hemoglobin maturation. He was able to successfully demonstrate that the target was amenable to drug targeting with small molecules, a critical step that enables subsequent drug discover efforts. Later at The Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Nurmemmedov initiated a drug discovery project for targeting beta-catenin, a key regulator of colon cancer. In collaboration with leading scientists, he was involved in discovery of two drug candidates that are being developed for clinical use. Dr. Nurmemmedov and his colleagues have successfully shown that these drug candidates have promising effect in glioma.

Dr. Nurmemmedov has keen interest in development of novel therapeutic strategies to target complex diseases such as cancer. He works with scientists from JWCI and PNI towards development of multidisciplinary therapeutic development program, particularly with focus on glioma and other neuro-oncology related diseases.

Medical Degree:PhD, Molecular Biophysics, Lund University, Sweden
Fellowship:Postdoctoral training, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Postdoctoral training, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA