Sean Gardner is a scientific program manager in NCATS’ Office of Special Initiatives, where he supports A Specialized Platform for Innovative Research Exploration (ASPIRE). The goal of ASPIRE is to transform the way medicinal chemistry currently is performed into a modern, information-based science that will greatly accelerate the design-synthesize-test cycle in early-stage drug development. Incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques coupled with the automation of chemical synthesis and biological testing, the aim is to bring therapeutic candidates into in vivo and clinical testing in a far more efficient manner.
Before joining NCATS, Gardner most recently served as a medicinal chemist with the Division of Experimental Therapeutics at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, supporting the Army’s global efforts to combat drug-resistant malaria. He received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Drexel University and completed his graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus on synthetic organic chemistry, including natural product synthesis, main group chemistry, synthetic methodology and new reaction development.
Gardner’s research interests lie within the development of open-source technologies and tools to drive synthetic and medicinal chemistry efforts and decision-making forward through automation. Standardizing these efforts will reduce the initial time and cost barrier to therapeutic development and increase reproducibility in experimental science.