Timothy Spicer, PhD

Scientific Director, Sr
Department of Molecular Medicine
Florida Campus


Research Focus

The focus of our research involves enabling technologies for High Throughput Screening (HTS) of any target of unmet therapeutic need. Our facility supports scientist and faculty locally as well as those in the US and throughout the world. We do this by implementing their biological applications into high density plates for HTS. The breadth of biology we deal with is virtually unlimited due to the diversity of skill sets of the scientist and engineers within our group as well as the expanded capability of the readers associated to our system. We operate a fully automated 1536 well compatible platform and perform HTS on large compound libraries such as the Scripps Drug Discovery Library (645K) or small focused collections (FDA approved drugs). We have expertise in microfluidics, low nanoliter volume liquid handling, ultra-sensitive plate reader technologies and informatics set-up to handle large volume data sets. Key components are high-content readers, imaging detectors such as the ViewLux and FLIPR Tetra, as well as pintool and acoustic transfer devices. Through collaborative efforts we have successfully translated multiple small molecules into the clinics. We are open to any pharmacology desired (agonist, PAMs, NAMs, inverse agonist, etc.) vs. kinases, GPCR, NHRs, proteases, phenotypic assays, etc. which can be applied to any therapeutic area; i.e. CNS, infectious diseases, cardiovascular, oncology, metabolic diseases. In addition, we are currently funded (R33CA206949) to develop 3D spheroid based uHTS assays for the purpose of testing molecules in a more phenotypically relevant format to cancer biology.


Ph.D. (Medicine), University of Queensland, 2019
M.S. (Microbiology), State University of New York Health Science Center, 1996
B.S. (Biology), State University of New York at Albany, 1990

Professional Experience

2015-2017 Assistant Professor of Molecular Therapeutics, Molecular Therapeutics, Scripps Research
2005-2013 Senior Staff Scientist, Lead Identification, Translational Research Institute, Scripps Research
2003-2005 Research Scientist II, Lead Discovery and Profiling, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Bristol-Myers Squibb
2000-2003 Research Scientist I, Discovery Technologies, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Bristol-Myers Squibb
1996-2000 Associate Research Scientist II, Department of Virology HIV-1 Novel Targets, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Bristol-Myers Squibb
1990-1996 Research Technician II, Department of Medicine, State University of New York Health Science Center

Awards & Professional Activities

Bristol-Myers Squibb President's Award
Delivered the World's First Ultra High Throughput Screening System at BMS
Bristol-Myers Squibb Applied Biotechnology Collaboration Award
Bristol-Myers Squibb Triumph Award
Bristol-Myers Squibb Applied Biotechnology Collaboration Award
Inducted into the SLAS Fellows (2017)

2015 SLAS, Associate Track Chair, Automation and HTS Technologies
2016 SLAS Track Chair, Automation and HTS Technologies
2017 NIH SBIR Study Section Reviewer
2018 SLAS Conference Co-Chair
Associate Editor of SLAS Discovery
Board of Directors and Vice President for the Society of Lab Automation and Screening (SLAS)

Selected References

All Publications

Hou S, Diez J, Wang C, Becker-Pauly C, Fields G, Bannister T, Spicer TP, Scampavia L, Minond D Discovery and Optimization of Selective Inhibitors of Meprin a (Part I) arrow Pharmaceuticals. 2021 January.

Wang C, Diez J, Park H, Spicer TP, Scampavia L, Becker-Pauly C, Fields G, Minond D, Bannister T Discovery and Optimization of Selective Inhibitors of Meprin a (Part II) arrow Pharmaceuticals. 2021 February.

Spicer TP. Drug Discovery Targeting COVID-19. SLAS Discov. 2020 Dec;25(10):1095-1096. doi: 10.1177/2472555220970966. PubMed PMID: 33215959.

Grandjean JMD, Madhavan A, Cech L, Seguinot BO, Paxman RJ, Smith E, Scampavia L, Powers ET, Cooley CB, Plate L, Spicer TP, Kelly JW, Wiseman RL. Pharmacologic IRE1/XBP1s activation confers targeted ER proteostasis reprogramming. Nat Chem Biol. 2020 Oct;16(10):1052-1061. doi: 10.1038/s41589-020-0584-z. Epub 2020 Jul 20. PubMed PMID: 32690944; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7502540.

Pan CH, Otsuka Y, Sridharan B, Woo M, Leiton CV, Babu S, Torrente Gonçalves M, Kawalerski RR, K Bai JD, Chang DK, Biankin AV, Scampavia L, Spicer T, Escobar-Hoyos LF, Shroyer KR. An unbiased high-throughput drug screen reveals a potential therapeutic vulnerability in the most lethal molecular subtype of pancreatic cancer. Mol Oncol. 2020 Aug;14(8):1800-1816. doi: 10.1002/1878-0261.12743. Epub 2020 Jul 4. PubMed PMID: 32533886; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7400780.

Wang L, Cheng CM, Qin J, Xu M, Kao CY, Shi J, You E, Gong W, Rosa LP, Chase P, Scampavia L, Madoux F, Spicer T, Hodder P, Xu HE, Tsai SY, Tsai MJ. Small-molecule inhibitor targeting orphan nuclear receptor COUP-TFII for prostate cancer treatment. Sci Adv. 2020 May;6(18):eaaz8031. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz8031. eCollection 2020 May. PubMed PMID: 32494682; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7190335.

Llamosas N, Arora V, Vij R, Kilinc M, Bijoch L, Rojas C, Reich A, Sridharan B, Willems E, Piper DR, Scampavia L, Spicer TP, Miller CA, Holder JL, Rumbaugh G. SYNGAP1 Controls the Maturation of Dendrites, Synaptic Function, and Network Activity in Developing Human Neurons. J Neurosci. 2020 Oct 7;40(41):7980-7994. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1367-20.2020. Epub 2020 Sep 4. PubMed PMID: 32887745; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7548701.

Smith E, Davis-Gardner ME, Garcia-Ordonez RD, Nguyen TT, Hull M, Chen E, Baillargeon P, Scampavia L, Strutzenberg T, Griffin PR, Farzan M, Spicer TP. High-Throughput Screening for Drugs That Inhibit Papain-Like Protease in SARS-CoV-2. SLAS Discov. 2020 Dec;25(10):1152-1161. doi: 10.1177/2472555220963667. Epub 2020 Oct 10. PubMed PMID: 33043784; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7550789.

Otsuka Y, Airola MV, Choi YM, Coant N, Snider J, Cariello C, Saied EM, Arenz C, Bannister T, Rahaim R Jr, Hannun YA, Shumate J, Scampavia L, Haley JD, Spicer TP. Identification of Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Neutral Ceramidase (nCDase) via Target-Based High-Throughput Screening. SLAS Discov. 2021 Jan;26(1):113-121. doi: 10.1177/2472555220945283. Epub 2020 Jul 31. PubMed PMID: 32734807; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7749003.

Smith E, Dukovski D, Shumate J, Scampavia L, Miller JP, Spicer TP. Identification of Compounds That Promote Readthrough of Premature Termination Codons in the CFTR. SLAS Discov. 2021 Feb;26(2):205-215. doi: 10.1177/2472555220962001. Epub 2020 Oct 5. PubMed PMID: 33016182; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7838340.


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