Plenary Speakers

The Program Committee has selected interesting and timely speakers for the 2022 ACT Annual Meeting Plenary Lectures.

To ensure the safety of all attendees, we recommend that each individual select their seat for the entire duration of the lecture, including upon return from the break.

Monday, November 14, 8:00 AM–8:55 AM

Plenary Speaker Dr. Crooke

Stanley T. Crooke, MD, PhD

n-Lorem Foundation
Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board

Dr. Crooke is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of n-Lorem, a nonprofit foundation focused on providing treatments for patients with nano-rare diseases. Dr. Crooke founded and was chairman, chief executive officer, and lead scientist of Ionis Pharmaceuticals. During his tenure at Ionis, he led the scientific development of a new platform for drug discovery, antisense technology, and the creation of one of the largest and more advanced development pipelines in the biotechnology industry, as well as commercializing several antisense drugs, including Spinraza and Tegsedi. Early in Dr. Crooke’s career, he led the creation of the first broad anticancer program in the industry at Bristol-Myers, bringing numerous anticancer drugs to the market in the first five years of his career. He then assumed responsibility for worldwide R&D (president) at SmithKline Beckman (now GSK). During his tenure at SKB, Dr. Crooke led the restructuring of R&D and the development of several drugs that were commercialized. Dr. Crooke has also contemporaneously led a successful academic career, becoming a full professor at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, where he trained a number of PhD students and won several teaching awards. Dr. Crooke has been an active scientist throughout his career as well.


Title: Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms of RNA Targeted Drugs and Using That Knowledge to Advance the Technology and Treat Nano-Rare Patients

Description: RNA Targeted Drug Discovery (RTD) is a novel, substantially more efficient and effective, broadly enabling drug discovery technology that has been developed over the past three decades and continues to advance rapidly. Given that nothing was known about the medicinal chemistry of oligonucleotides or the properties of chemically modified oligonucleotides, targeting RNA with agents that interacted with their target sequences (receptors) or the molecular mechanisms resulting in the behaviors of RTDs, to create, advance, and validate a large pipeline of innovative ASOs required more than three decades of integrated innovation across many disciplines. In this presentation. This lecture will describe how the technology was created and how understanding the molecular mechanisms of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, cytotoxicity, and immunotoxicity has been coupled to novel medicinal chemistry to advance the technology. Then, the recent creation of the next generation of PS ASOs will be discussed. Finally, I will discuss how the efficiency of the technology is supporting the first industrial-scale mutation-directed drug discovery effort and the creation of a nonprofit model to deliver ASO treatments to nano-rare patients (worldwide prevalence of 1–30 patients).

Wednesday, November 16, 8:00 AM–8:55 AM

Plenary Speaker Dr. Dart

Richard C. Dart, MD, PhD

Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety, Denver Health and Hospital Authority

Dr. Dart is the director of Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety. He is the executive director of the Researched Abuse, Diversion, and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System. He has published more than 350 papers and chapters and three textbooks. Dr. Dart has been recognized by US FDA for his work on antivenoms and has received multiple awards for excellence and career achievement for his work on antidotes, acetaminophen, and substance abuse. He also serves as a deputy editor of the medical journal Annals of Emergency Medicine and is past president of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.


Title: Not an Epidemic? Controversies in Substance Abuse

Description: The opioid crisis is a near-daily news item in the US. It is a remarkably persistent phenomenon—the “War on Drugs” just passed its 50th anniversary. The opioid crisis is a combined social and biological phenomenon that has twisted and turned throughout history. The last 25 years have seen the advent of new issues and improved understanding, yet the human toll simply keeps increasing. The number of deaths from substance abuse rivals COVID. Why are deaths at an all-time high? What has happened to supply and demand in the era of electronic communication? The presentation will address the complexities and extraordinary misunderstandings commonly perpetuated by politicians, the press, and pharmaceutical companies.

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