The initiation of a small molecule drug discovery project invariably involves the identification of potential small-molecule start points from which we must develop novel advanced proprietary compounds that are safe, stable, and active in vivo. The road to these drug candidates is paved with challenges so how can we best navigate hit finding to ensure that we prepare for entry to lead optimization by identifying better hits, more rapidly? How might this provide impact on reduced attrition and more efficiently lead to superior drug candidates?
This webinar is moderated by Tom Coulter (Integrated Drug Discovery Director) and is delivered by Rob Young (Blue Burgundy and ex-GSK), Tomasz Fraczek (Senior Scientist, Selvita), and Mateusz Biernacki (Head of HTS, Selvita).

The Webinar will:

  • Incorporate discussion of the background to HTS and other popular screening approaches.
  • Visit current thinking on hit identification.
  • Then consider future technological opportunities and working practices which together will enhance the process of finding high quality hits and leads.


Rob Young

Rob joined Wellcome on Valentine’s day in 1990, following BA/DPhil degrees at University of Oxford and Post Doc at Ben May Institute, University of Chicago. His subsequent career navigated changes, mergers and acquisitions and positions of increasing responsibility to become a Scientific Leader and elected GSK Fellow. Early career charted significant contributions to six development candidates in antivirals (HIV/HBV/Herpes), iNOS and Factor Xa, before a move to early stage discovery (2006) fulfilling leadership roles numerous H2L programs, using diverse technologies including HTS, fragments, focussed & designed screens and DNA-encoded libraries. Substantive transnational working included close ties with the GSK Diseases of the Developing World group in Spain encompassing leadership of several H2L programmes, plus mentoring and SAB roles. Expertise in Physical Properties and the Property Forecast Index were developed in a productive partnership with Alan Hill spanning many years, instrumental in setting new standards in drug discovery with chromatographic methods.

Mateusz Biernacki

Dr. Mateusz Biernacki is a Head of High-throughput Screening Laboratory and supervised the development and implementation of HTS platform at Selvita. Dr. Biernacki’s competencies include biochemical and cell-based assays development, verification, and adaptation for screening purposes. He is leading the team of highly motivated scientists who combine theirs scientific and technical skills to support the projects in the drug discovery area.

Tomasz Frączek

Tomasz Frączek received his master’s degree in pharmacy at the Medical University of Lodz, Poland. Then he started his academic career at Lodz University of Technology, where he spent 6 years and received his PhD in Chemistry. During his academic years, he worked as both synthetic and computational chemist, where he employed Computer-Aided Drug Design to discover new antiviral compounds.
Tomasz Frączek joined Selvita in 2019, first as a synthetic chemist, then after few months, he switched fully to computational chemistry, where he is a senior scientist now. He is responsible for molecular modeling and CADD in FTE projects, building and managing internal computational and cheminformatic tools, workflows, and datasets. He also supports Selvita’s Artificial Intelligence group, bridging the world of chemistry and machine learning. Tomasz was also involved in building Selvita’s new screening library.

Tom Coulter

Dr. Tom Coulter is a seasoned medicinal chemist with diverse experience spanning small molecules, protein-based therapeutics, drug delivery, and Integrated Drug Discovery Director at Selvita, where he is focused on the development of enhanced drug discovery capabilities. Dr. Coulter’s professional experience includes a sixteen-year tenure at Evotec, where he was Senior VP Drug Discovery and senior drug discovery positions at several British biotech companies, including Syntaxin, Karus Therapeutics, and Midatech Pharma. His achievements include the management of diverse discovery programs delivering multiple drug development candidates