David Kaelin

David Kaelin, Ph.D.
Medicinal Chemistry, Team Leader

Dr. David Kaelin earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from Penn State University and then went on to obtain his Ph.D. in organic chemistry under the tutelage of Professor Stephen F. Martin at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Kaelin then began his medicinal chemistry career at Merck Research Laboratories where he successfully worked on numerous drug discovery projects spanning a multitude of therapeutic areas including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, neuroscience and antibiotic resistant Gram-positive/-negative bacterial infections. Dr. Kaelin began his career working on the DPP4 backup inhibitor program that was focused on addressing liabilities with the currently marketed drug, Januvia®. After several years in the lead optimization space Dr. Kaelin transitioned to Merck’s Exploratory Chemistry Group, where he was tasked with new target identification, new target validation and lead identification. Dr. Kaelin was later recruited to join Merck’s External Discovery and Preclinical Sciences Group as a project lead. In this role Dr. Kaelin oversaw the execution of numerous drug discovery programs while exclusively utilizing contract research organizations to prosecute synthetic organic chemistry as well as in vitro and in vivo biology. Dr. Kaelin successfully advanced several projects toward preclinical candidacy including GPR120 agonists for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, PCSK9 antagonists for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, and bacterial DNA gyrase inhibitors for the treatment of antibiotic resistant infections. Dr. Kaelin is a co-inventor on 5 patents and has published 16 scientific papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.