Plenary Speaker

Kate Holloway picture

M. Katharine Holloway, PhD

Principal Scientist, GFree Bio, LLC

During a highly successful 30 year career at Merck, Dr. Holloway provided structure-based design guidance for a wide range of therapeutic targets, particularly in the areas of infectious diseases and neuroscience. She is perhaps best known for the design of protease inhibitors for the treatment of HIV/AIDS (Crixivan™, approved 1996) and Hepatitis C infection (Vanihep™, approved 2014; Zepatier™, approved 2016). She has been honored with several awards as a co-inventor of Crixivan™ including the Intellectual Property Owners National Inventor of the Year Award in 1997, the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention in 1999, and the EU Inventor of the Year Award (non-EU country) in 2007. In 2017, she received the American Chemical Society Heroes of Chemistry award recognizing the Merck team who invented Zepatier™, a significant new treatment for chronic Hepatitis C Virus infection. She was also profiled in the 2002 book “Patently Female: From AZT to TV Dinners, Stories of Women Inventors and Their Breakthrough Ideas” by Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek and was featured in the 2004 Chemical Heritage Foundation exhibit and website titled “Her Lab in Your Life: Women in Chemistry”.

Kate received a BS in Chemistry and French from the University of Southern Mississippi and a PhD in theoretical Organic Chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a co-author or co-inventor of ~100 publications and issued patents. She is a former chair of the Computer-Aided Drug Design Gordon Research Conference and the Computers in Chemistry division of the American Chemical Society. She was selected as an American Chemical Society Fellow in 2013, reflecting both scientific excellence as well as long-standing leadership within the organization. She currently serves as a regular member of the AIDS Discovery and Development of Therapeutics (ADDT) NIH study section.