Richard J. White is Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Vicuron Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company specializing in antimicrobial agents. For the last thirty years he has worked in pharmaceutical research, specializing in infectious diseases and natural products-based drug discovery. His research was carried out at Glaxo, Lederle and Bristol Myers Squibb in positions of increasing responsibility. He was Vice President for Infectious Disease Drug Discovery at Bristol Myers Squibb for twelve years and was involved in the discovery and development of cefepime and cefprozil. He has published more than 60 research papers, most of which are on the discovery, mechanism of action, mechanism of resistance, and biosynthesis of antibiotics. Dr. White has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Antibiotics for 15 years. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and a Ph.D.in Microbial Biochemistry from the University of Oxford in 1966.
Gerard D. Wright is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, and the Director of the McMaster Antimicrobial Research Centre. He received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry (1986) and his Ph.D. in Chemistry (1990) from the University of Waterloo. He followed this up with 2 years of postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School in Boston and joined the Department of Biochemistry at McMaster in 1993. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Antibiotic Biochemistry and has received Canadian Institutes of Health Research Scientist (2000-2005) and Medical Research Council of Canada Scholar (1995-2000), Premiers’ Research Excellence (1999) and Polanyi Prize (1993) awards. He is a member of the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network Centre of Excellence and the Director of the American Chemical Society Short Course on Antibiotics and Antibacterial Agents. Dr. Wright is co-founder, with Dr. Eric Brown, of the McMaster High Throughput Screening Facility.
Dr. Wright’s laboratory conducts research on the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance including resistance to aminoglycoside, glycopeptide and streptogramin families of antibiotics, on the mechanisms of antibiotic biosynthesis, and on the discovery of new antimicrobial targets, in particular antifungal agents. He is the author of over 90 published papers and book chapters.