Hakim Djaballah, PhD

Personal Statement

Dr Hakim Djaballah joined the University of New Mexico (UNM) in August 2020 as the new Director of the Center for Molecular Discovery, member of the UNMCCC Cancer Therapeutics, and a Research Professor in the Department of Pathology. He received his PhD in 1992 from The University of Leicester, England. He has over 26 years of industrial and academic experience in drug discovery gained at Johnson and Johnson, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Triad Therapeutics, Medarex, MSKCC, and more recently as the CEO of the Institut Pasteur in South Korea. He has particular expertise in the areas of fluorescence technologies, assay development, automation, HTS, compound & screening data management, & novel assay technologies. He has been involved in developing and screening over one hundred targets in various therapeutic areas, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, diabetes, CNS, cardiovascular, oncology & inflammation. The p38 kinase program he co-led at Triad Therapeutics yielded an orally bio-available drug candidate for rheumatoid arthritis which was sold to Novartis. At MSKCC, Dr. Djaballah established the screening facility in 2003, designed the lab and commissioned the building of the robotic platform, equipped the facility with all necessary hardware for day to day operation, negotiated access to over 380,000 compounds and currently manages the outside collaborations with the five chemistry based compound providers. Dr Djaballah is accredited with the discovery and repurposing of cardiac glycosides for the treatment of retinoblastoma, and 6-thioguanine for the treatment of AML, which benefited many patients already; and with several other small molecules currently under development for the treatment of various cancers.