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From drug design and development to solutions for environmental concerns, Southern Research has experts that are well-equipped to assist with the challenging landscapes of technology development and market viability. For over 75 years, we have successfully collaborated and assisted external academic, industry and government agencies with solving complex problems. Southern Research has a proven track record of overcoming some of the biggest challenges in science and engineering.

Our drug discovery and development experts can assist clients traverse the complexities of developing new therapeutics through target identification and validation, lead identification, as well as product development and manufacturing. Learn more about our expertise in this space.

Target Identification, Target Validation, Assay Development

Medicinal Chemistry

Computational Chemistry

Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics

Parenteral Drug Delivery Systems (Microspheres and Implants)

Manufacturing in accordance with cGMP

Meet our Experts

Corinne E. Augelli-Szafran, Ph.D. | Senior Director, Chemistry Department

Dr. Augelli-Szafran is an organic and medicinal chemist with over 30 years of drug discovery and management experience in the pharmaceutical, academia and nonprofit research industries. At Southern Research, she is responsible for a vast number of chemistry research initiatives at various drug discovery stages aimed towards the identification of new therapies in areas such as oncology, infectious diseases, diabetes, tuberculosis, neurodegeneration, cystic fibrosis and virology. Prior to SR, she was director of the Laboratory for Experimental Alzheimer Drugs at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She held several leadership roles at Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research and Pfizer Global Research and Development in neurodegeneration, psychotherapeutics and inflammation and pain. Her scientific record includes more than 160 publications, presentations and patents covering Composition of Matter and Use. She is highly qualified to consult in the areas of identification and conversion of novel, tractable compounds into clinically useful drugs with optimized biological and biophysical properties. This includes consultation in the areas of assay development, hit identification (screening) and lead development and optimization, as well as in vitro and in vivo pharmacokinetic (PK) studies.

J. Robert Bostwick, Ph.D. | Director, High-Throughput Screening Center

Dr. Bostwick has nearly 40 years of combined experience in academia and the pharmaceutical industry involving work in more than 50 drug discovery programs. His breadth of experience includes conducting and managing research projects, directing scientific operations, and building and successfully implementing scientific programs and teams. He has served in various leadership capacities in the pharmaceutical industry including project leader, department head and executive director. In his role leading SR’s High-Throughput Screening (HTS) Center, he oversees the management and screening of large compound libraries in biochemical and cell-based assays for government and commercial clients, as well as academic collaborations. Additionally, he directs Southern Research’s biology efforts involved in lead generation for proprietary drug discovery programs. Bostwick has held senior positions at various pharmaceutical companies, and he has authored more than 30 publications. He can consult in the development and implementation of biochemical and cell-based assays employing methodologies across multiple technology platforms amenable to HTS.

Rita Cowell, Ph.D. | Fellow & Chair, Neuroscience Department

Dr. Cowell brings over 20 years of experience and focused expertise in the area of transcriptional and cellular processes underlying selective neuronal vulnerability. She has been independently funded as PI and Co-PI for numerous government and private foundation grants. This also includes experience with rodent models. She has more than 30 publications in high-impact factor journals, and she has authored four book chapters and nearly 50 published abstracts. Cowell can consult in the area of experimental design and complete execution of projects related to neuronal injury and disease, including selection of appropriate animal models of neurodegenerative or neuropsychiatric illness; quantitative analysis of gene and protein expression in discrete brain regions or neuronal populations; confocal microscopy; brain cell structural analyses; and selection and/or design of appropriate rodent behavior protocols.

Charles D. Hébert, Ph.D. | Director of Toxicology and Pathology Services

Dr. Hébert is a board-certified toxicologist (D.A.B.T., 1993) with more than 35 years of laboratory and contract research experience in toxicology. He has served as a study director or PI on more than 200 nonclinical studies in multiple laboratory species, ranging from one-day acute studies to two-year chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity studies. These studies have been designed to meet the regulatory requirements of the U.S. FDA and other international regulatory agencies. He is author or co-author on more than 60 abstracts and peer-reviewed publications related to toxicology, as well as author and PI of more than 200 safety assessment reports for commercial and government sponsors. Hébert can consult in the area of study design for general toxicology nonclinical studies, with a focus on studies for biologics, such as vaccines and viral vectors.

Michael E. Hudson | Director, Pharmaceutical Consulting

Michael Hudson has over 32 years of product development experience with a focus on drug delivery systems. He has held management positions in formulation development, process development, engineering, facilities/operations, manufacturing, and business management. Over his career, he has obtained an in-depth knowledge of parenteral processing equipment, aseptic operations, facility design, and regulatory requirements for manufacturing. His technical background includes polymeric microsphere and implantable drug delivery systems, and he is an inventor and co-inventor of patented technology in this field. Hudson’s broad range of experience allows him to assist clients with formulation optimization and scale up, equipment and facility evaluations, manufacturing guidance, and technology/diligence assessments. He also manages CRO/CMO relationships for domestic and international clients.

Jay Liu, Ph.D. | Director of Technological Development & Innovation

Dr. Liu has more than 20 years of drug discovery experience. He has held senior positions at several pharmaceutical and biotech companies within the U.S. and in China. He cofounded a company in which he built the capacity for CNS drug discovery and established external alliances with academic labs and CROs worldwide. As a project leader and team leader, Liu has delivered five investigational new drugs (IND) – two having completed Phase II clinical studies. He has more than 30 publications and holds 10 patent applications. He is available to consulting in assay development and pre-clinical drug profiling for drug candidate selection and IND-enabling studies.

Mark J. Suto, Ph.D. | Vice President, Drug Discovery

Dr. Suto has over 35 years of industrial drug discovery and management experience serving in a range of capacities, from bench medicinal chemist to drug discovery program leader for major pharmaceutical companies. He has scientific and operational executive level experience in large pharmaceutical, biotech and not-for-profit research based organizations. He has managed programs that identified clinical candidates in several therapeutic areas, developed and managed research projects with large pharmaceutical partners, participated in due diligence exercises, and developed research strategies for collaborations. In 2016, Suto was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in recognition of his wide-ranging contributions to pharmaceutical research and drug discovery efforts. He currently holds 45 U.S. patents and has four additional U.S. patents pending covering Composition of Matter and Use. He has more than 60 publications, and he has authored nine invited papers and book chapters. At Southern Research, he has overall responsibility for the research direction and strategy, scientific operations, talent, acquisition/development budgets, and P & L for the Drug Discovery division.

Southern Research oncology
Bo Xu, M.D., Ph.D. | Distinguished Fellow and Chair, Oncology Department

Dr. Xu is an internationally recognized cancer biologist and radiation oncologist with more than two decades of experience studying molecular radiation biology and cancer biology. Serving as Distinguished Fellow and Chair of Oncology and a Senior Scientist for the NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), his major focus is on molecular targeted drug discovery in combination with cancer radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Xu can provide specialized consultation in areas focused on molecular cancer biology, genome instability, DNA damage response, as well as cancer drug discovery.

Our energy and environmental experts help clients assess new technologies and provide process development support for energy generation, chemical synthesis, air and water purification, and more. Learn more about our expertise in this space.

Technology development

Economic development, innovation, and business strategy

Meet our Experts

Southern Research
Corey A. Tyree, Ph.D. | Senior Director, Energy & Environment

Dr. Tyree has over 10 years of experience in the energy and environmental sectors. He has a deep knowledge of power generation, emission controls, and plant operations gained from his positions at Alabama Power – Southern Company and Georgia Power – Southern Company. As a director within Southern Research Energy and Environment, Tyree is working in emerging growth areas such as industrial wastewater treatment, continuous water-quality monitoring, and resource recovery. He regularly provides consulting services to energy sector clients and also serves as the senior policy advisor for the Energy Institute of Alabama. He is well-positioned to assist clients developing new technologies for the energy sector ranging from fossil fuels to cutting-edge environmental control technologies.

We have experts who understand the numerous requirements that go into bringing a technology or idea to completion. Learn more about our expertise in this space.

Technical analysis

Due Diligence

Policy

Expert Witness

Patent Litigation

Market Survey

Data Assessment and Interpretation

Expert Opinion

Meet our Experts

Corinne E. Augelli-Szafran, Ph.D. | Senior Director, Chemistry Department

Dr. Augelli-Szafran is an organic and medicinal chemist with over 30 years of drug discovery and management experience in the pharmaceutical, academia and nonprofit research industries. At Southern Research, she is responsible for a vast number of chemistry research initiatives at various drug discovery stages aimed towards the identification of new therapies in areas such as oncology, infectious diseases, diabetes, tuberculosis, neurodegeneration, cystic fibrosis and virology. Prior to SR, she was director of the Laboratory for Experimental Alzheimer Drugs at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She held several leadership roles at Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research and Pfizer Global Research and Development in neurodegeneration, psychotherapeutics and inflammation and pain. Her scientific record includes more than 160 publications, presentations and patents covering Composition of Matter and Use. She is highly qualified to consult in the areas of identification and conversion of novel, tractable compounds into clinically useful drugs with optimized biological and biophysical properties. This includes consultation in the areas of assay development, hit identification (screening) and lead development and optimization, as well as in vitro and in vivo pharmacokinetic (PK) studies.

J. Robert Bostwick, Ph.D. | Director, High-Throughput Screening Center

Dr. Bostwick has nearly 40 years of combined experience in academia and the pharmaceutical industry involving work in more than 50 drug discovery programs. His breadth of experience includes conducting and managing research projects, directing scientific operations, and building and successfully implementing scientific programs and teams. He has served in various leadership capacities in the pharmaceutical industry including project leader, department head and executive director. In his role leading SR’s High-Throughput Screening (HTS) Center, he oversees the management and screening of large compound libraries in biochemical and cell-based assays for government and commercial clients, as well as academic collaborations. Additionally, he directs Southern Research’s biology efforts involved in lead generation for proprietary drug discovery programs. Bostwick has held senior positions at various pharmaceutical companies, and he has authored more than 30 publications. He can consult in the development and implementation of biochemical and cell-based assays employing methodologies across multiple technology platforms amenable to HTS.

Rita Cowell, Ph.D. | Fellow & Chair, Neuroscience Department

Dr. Cowell brings over 20 years of experience and focused expertise in the area of transcriptional and cellular processes underlying selective neuronal vulnerability. She has been independently funded as PI and Co-PI for numerous government and private foundation grants. This also includes experience with rodent models. She has more than 30 publications in high-impact factor journals, and she has authored four book chapters and nearly 50 published abstracts. Cowell can consult in the area of experimental design and complete execution of projects related to neuronal injury and disease, including selection of appropriate animal models of neurodegenerative or neuropsychiatric illness; quantitative analysis of gene and protein expression in discrete brain regions or neuronal populations; confocal microscopy; brain cell structural analyses; and selection and/or design of appropriate rodent behavior protocols.

Charles D. Hébert, Ph.D. | Director of Toxicology and Pathology Services

Dr. Hébert is a board-certified toxicologist (D.A.B.T., 1993) with more than 35 years of laboratory and contract research experience in toxicology. He has served as a study director or PI on more than 200 nonclinical studies in multiple laboratory species, ranging from one-day acute studies to two-year chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity studies. These studies have been designed to meet the regulatory requirements of the U.S. FDA and other international regulatory agencies. He is author or co-author on more than 60 abstracts and peer-reviewed publications related to toxicology, as well as author and PI of more than 200 safety assessment reports for commercial and government sponsors. Hébert can consult in the area of study design for general toxicology nonclinical studies, with a focus on studies for biologics, such as vaccines and viral vectors.

Michael E. Hudson | Director, Pharmaceutical Consulting

Michael Hudson has over 32 years of product development experience with a focus on drug delivery systems. He has held management positions in formulation development, process development, engineering, facilities/operations, manufacturing, and business management. Over his career, he has obtained an in-depth knowledge of parenteral processing equipment, aseptic operations, facility design, and regulatory requirements for manufacturing. His technical background includes polymeric microsphere and implantable drug delivery systems, and he is an inventor and co-inventor of patented technology in this field. Hudson’s broad range of experience allows him to assist clients with formulation optimization and scale up, equipment and facility evaluations, manufacturing guidance, and technology/diligence assessments. He also manages CRO/CMO relationships for domestic and international clients.

Jay Liu, Ph.D. | Director of Technological Development & Innovation

Dr. Liu has more than 20 years of drug discovery experience. He has held senior positions at several pharmaceutical and biotech companies within the U.S. and in China. He cofounded a company in which he built the capacity for CNS drug discovery and established external alliances with academic labs and CROs worldwide. As a project leader and team leader, Liu has delivered five investigational new drugs (IND) – two having completed Phase II clinical studies. He has more than 30 publications and holds 10 patent applications. He is available to consulting in assay development and pre-clinical drug profiling for drug candidate selection and IND-enabling studies.

Mark J. Suto, Ph.D. | Vice President, Drug Discovery

Dr. Suto has over 35 years of industrial drug discovery and management experience serving in a range of capacities, from bench medicinal chemist to drug discovery program leader for major pharmaceutical companies. He has scientific and operational executive level experience in large pharmaceutical, biotech and not-for-profit research based organizations. He has managed programs that identified clinical candidates in several therapeutic areas, developed and managed research projects with large pharmaceutical partners, participated in due diligence exercises, and developed research strategies for collaborations. In 2016, Suto was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in recognition of his wide-ranging contributions to pharmaceutical research and drug discovery efforts. He currently holds 45 U.S. patents and has four additional U.S. patents pending covering Composition of Matter and Use. He has more than 60 publications, and he has authored nine invited papers and book chapters. At Southern Research, he has overall responsibility for the research direction and strategy, scientific operations, talent, acquisition/development budgets, and P & L for the Drug Discovery division.

Southern Research
Corey A. Tyree, Ph.D. | Senior Director, Energy & Environment

Dr. Tyree has over 10 years of experience in the energy and environmental sectors. He has a deep knowledge of power generation, emission controls, and plant operations gained from his positions at Alabama Power – Southern Company and Georgia Power – Southern Company. As a director within Southern Research Energy and Environment, Tyree is working in emerging growth areas such as industrial wastewater treatment, continuous water-quality monitoring, and resource recovery. He regularly provides consulting services to energy sector clients and also serves as the senior policy advisor for the Energy Institute of Alabama. He is well-positioned to assist clients developing new technologies for the energy sector ranging from fossil fuels to cutting-edge environmental control technologies.