Staff Profile: Philip E. Sanderson

Philip Sanderson
Philip E. Sanderson, Ph.D.

Project Leader and Manager

Division of Preclinical Innovation
Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

National Institutes of Health

Email Philip E. Sanderson


Phil Sanderson is a project leader and manager in the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases program in NCATS' Division of Preclinical Innovation. In this role, he is responsible for managing all phases of a project’s life, from due diligence, selection and research plan development to closeout. Before joining NIH, Sanderson spent 20 years at Merck & Co, Inc., in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry. There he led discovery teams and contributed to the identification of drug candidates for the treatment of infectious disease, heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, psychiatric disease and cancer. He also led a preclinical and early clinical development team. Sanderson is an inventor on 27 issued U.S. patents.

Sanderson received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Cambridge.

Research Topics

Sanderson’s projects span the range of drug discovery to early development with small molecules, proteins and biologics. His research interests focus on novel collaborations and models for Intellectual Property generation and commercialization, the use of new technologies and processes to facilitate late-stage small-molecule lead optimization and development candidate identification, and drug repurposing. His programs to date involve the development of treatments for neglected tropical diseases, heterotopic ossification disorders, dystrophies and degenerative diseases of the eye, and leukemia.

Selected Publications

  1. Efficacious, orally bioavailable thrombin inhibitors based on 3-aminopyridinone or 3-aminopyrazinone acetamide peptidomimetic templates
  2. Identification of 53 compounds that block Ebola virus-like particle entry via a repurposing screen of approved drugs
  3. In vitro evaluation of imidazo[4,5-c]quinolin-2-ones as gametocytocidal antimalarial agents
  4. Drug combination therapy increases successful drug repositioning
  5. Synergistic drug combination effectively blocks Ebola virus infection