Protein Methyltransferase Inhibitors as Personalized Cancer Therapeutics
The Koch Institute: Summer Symposium 2012
Epigenetics, Plasticity, and Cancer
The 2012 Symposium, on “Epigenetics, Plasticity, and Cancer” is the 11th Annual Oncology Research Symposium and was held on Thursday, June 14, 2012.
Vice President of Biological Sciences
Victoria M. Richon, Ph.D. joined Epizyme, Inc.in 2008 as Vice President of Biological Sciences. Epizyme is focused on the discovery and development of small molecule histone methyltransferase (HMT) inhibitors, a new class of personalized therapeutics for the treatment of genetically-defined cancer patients, based on breakthroughs in the field of epigenetics. Dr. Richon was a leading member of the scientific group that discovered the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat (SAHA). This discovery was the basis of Aton Pharma, Inc., a company that Dr. Richon co-founded and for which she served as Executive Director of Biology. Dr. Richon led the discovery of selective inhibitors of histone deacetylases as well as the development of vorinostat. Aton Pharma was acquired by Merck & Co, Inc in 2004 and Victoria continued supporting vorinostat through its approval by the U.S. FDA in October 2006 for the treatment of cutaneous manifestations in patients with advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Marketed under the name Zolinza™, vorinostat is the first histone deacetylase inhibitor approved for the treatment of cancer. In addition to supporting vorinostat at Merck, Dr. Richon served as the head of the department of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics. In this role, Dr. Richon led the department’s efforts for the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics for novel cancer targets. Dr. Richon received her BA in Chemistry from the University of Vermont and her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Nebraska. Her thesis research focus was on the development of resistance to cisplatin. Following her graduate work, she conducted post-doctoral research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research @MIT