Mark J. Suto, Ph.D.

Vice President, Life Sciences

P: 205-581-2522


Contact Mark J. Suto, Ph.D.

Mark J. Suto, Ph.D., is the Vice President of the Drug Discovery Division and is the Interim Vice President of the Drug Development Division of Southern Research. He received his Bachelor’s of Science and Doctorate degrees in Medicinal Chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1978 and 1982, respectively. He has more than 35 years of experience working in several large pharmaceutical companies (Parke-Davis and DuPont Pharmaceuticals) as well as smaller biotech and venture- backed organizations.  He has led multi-disciplinary programs that resulted in the identification of clinical candidates in several therapeutic areas.

Since joining SR in 2011, he has developed multiple research collaborations spanning a diverse array of diseases. In addition to several large division-wide programs looking at new treatments for CF and novel antivirals, he currently has several ongoing medicinal chemistry programs in oncology (3), chronic kidney disease, as well as a program focused on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  His major interest is on the identification of new therapeutics for unmet medical needs, as well as rare and neglected diseases.  As a medicinal chemist, he is not restricted to a single therapeutic area and relies on collaborations with fellow investigators for developing novel targets and approaches and for using various methodologies such as High-Throughput- or virtual- -driven screening to identify hits or leads that can be optimized and advanced into animal models.

Dr. Suto has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters and invited review articles. He is also an inventor on 45 US patents, with another nine additional U.S. patents pending.  Dr. Suto is Senior Scientist for University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC), Center for AIDS Research, and Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center, and is adjunct faculty for UAB’s Graduate Biomedical Sciences Program and Chemistry Department. Most recently (2018), he was appointed as Visiting Professor for Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital.   Dr. Suto is a member of the American Chemical Society and has served as Editor-in-Chief for Current Medicinal Chemistry and Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergy Agents scientific journals.  He serves as PI or Co-PI on multiple NIH and Foundation grants, including PI for the NCI’s Chemical Biology Consortium at SR and for a collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF).  He serves as Co-Core Lead for the Medicinal Chemistry and Lead Development Core of the Antiviral Drug Discovery and Development Center (AD3C) NIH NIAID CETR.  He also serves on the Steering Committee for multi-institutional collaborations, including the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance (with UAB) on the validation of new targets and the identification of novel small molecule drugs, and the Collaborative Research Network (CORNET) program (University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center; UTHSC) designed to launch drug discovery programs based on new and unique biology of disease.  He is an Executive Board member for Bio-Alabama and Alabama School of Math and Science, and in 2016, Dr. Suto was inducted as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in recognition of his wide-ranging contributions to pharmaceutical research and drug discovery efforts.

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