Dr. Gray recognized for developing first-in-class protein kinase inhibitors for cancer and other diseases

WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nathanael Gray, Ph.D., a scientific founder of Syros Pharmaceuticals and professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, was honored as the sole recipient of the prestigious 2013 Meyenburg Cancer Research Award. Gray was recognized for his groundbreaking work in developing first-in-class chemical inhibitors for wild-type and mutant forms of protein kinases, which are used to pharmaceutically validate new potential targets to treat cancer and other diseases.

Since 1981, the Meyenburg Foundation has acknowledged excellence in scientific accomplishments in the fields of cancer research and treatment with this annual award given under the auspices of the German Cancer Research Center. Previous award winners have included Nobel Laureates Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., Andrew Fire, Ph.D., and Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D.

“We congratulate Dr. Gray and are honored to name such a renowned researcher among our scientific founders,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Syros Chief Executive Officer. “His outstanding contributions to kinase inhibitors in cancer are integral to our efforts in developing drugs to novel gene control targets.”

Dr. Gray’s research uses synthetic chemistry and functional small molecule discovery to modulate biological pathways important in cancer. His research team has been responsible for the discovery of numerous first-in-class kinase inhibitors that have become widely used biological reagents and have inspired drug discovery programs.

Dr. Gray received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley with Professor Peter Schultz, where he discovered Purvalanol, one of the first selective inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases. His other awards include the Damon Runyon Cancer Innovator Award, the American Chemical Society (ACS) award for outstanding research in biological chemistry and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Award for Team Science and for outstanding young investigator.

About Syros Pharmaceuticals

Syros Pharmaceuticals is a life sciences company harnessing breakthroughs in gene control to revolutionize the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Syros’ proprietary platform identifies the master switches for disease genes, opening a whole new approach to novel therapeutics. Syros’ initial focus is in cancer, but the company platform will also be applicable to other therapeutic areas. The Company’s founders are pioneers in gene control research and translation. Co-founded and backed by Flagship Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners, Syros Pharmaceuticals is located in Watertown, MA. For more information, visit www.syros.com.

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Source: Syros Pharmaceuticals