LECTURE: “Aspartyl(Asparaginyl)-beta-Hydroxylase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Cancer” by Mark Olsen, Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy – Glendale Midwestern University
Mark Olsen, Ph.D. is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Midwestern University. He began working in a medicinal chemistry laboratory at Adria Laboratories (now part of Pfizer) at the age of 14, and soon began training with Dr. Donald T. Witiak from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, The Ohio State University from 1987-1994. His work involved proprietary projects in collaboration with Adria for the synthesis of arylhydroxytetronic acids and bisdioxopiperazines. Dr. Olsen graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BS in Pharmaceutical Science, and attended graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Chemistry, where he worked under Dr. Brent Iverson and Dr. George Georgiou on the synthesis of fluorescent probes for high throughput enzyme engineering in the Department of Chemistry. Due to the success of the high-throughput enzyme screening enabled by custom organic synthesis, Dr. Olsen did his post-doctoral studies with Dr. Dane K. Wittrup at MIT in the field of yeast cell surface display anti-EGFR antibody engineering. Other projects included isolation of antibodies to glycosaminoglycans in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Ram Sasisekharan, and participating in a collaborative project for the high-throughput screening of HRP enzymes with Dr. Alexander Klibanov.
In April of 2004, Dr. Olsen accepted a faculty position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Math., Chemistry, and Physics at West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) in Canyon, Texas (outside of Amarillo, Texas) on the Texas Panhandle. In November of 2004, Dr. Olsen had a son born with a severe neurological birth defect. Despite his professional success in creating a robust research program and recruiting high quality chemistry graduate students, Dr. Olsen needed to find a location with a major Children’s Hospital.
In December of 2008, Dr. Olsen began his current position as Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Pharmaceutical Science at Midwestern University – College of Pharmacy Glendale in Glendale, Arizona. Dr. Olsen has developed an interest in inhibition of prolyl-4-hydroxylase for the treatment of spinal cord injury and epilepsy, and has recently synthesized a novel family of blood-brain barrier penetrating 2-oxoglutarate mimics that include inhibition of KDM, PHD, FTO, and ASPH. These compounds have potent epigenetic activities, including the modulation of microRNA resulting in novel antiepileptic and antiepileptogenic activities. Dr. Olsen’s laboratory is ideally equipped for traditional medicinal chemistry, with a full complement of chemical fume hoods, glassware, organic solvent storage, HPLC with numerous detectors, various vacuum systems, UV-vis and FTIR, and lyophilizer. A full-time departmental research technician and abundant student labor have resulted in synthesis of a significant number of biologically active analogs, and establishment of collaborations with Eli Lilly, NIH for anticonvulsant screening, Dr. Raj Ratan and Dr. Irina Gazaryan at Burke Rehabilitative Hospital, Dr. Christopher J. Schofield at the University of Oxford, Dr. Chuan He at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Jack Wands at Brown University. Based upon a US patent application, two PCT applications covering FTO and ASPH modulators (with Dr. Jack Wands) have been filed, an additional US provisional has been filed and license negotiations are pending.
B. Positions and Honors.
1994 - 2002 Graduate Assistant, University of Texas, Austin, TX
2002 - 2004 Postdoctoral Associate, MIT, Cambridge, MA
2004 - 2008 Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX
2008 - Associate Professor of Pharm. Science, Midwestern University College Pharmacy-Glendale, AZ
Other Experiences and Professional Memberships
1994 - present Member, American Chemical Society, USA
2009 – present Member, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, USA