Dr. Cui is an internationally renowned oncology drug designer with more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery and project management at major pharmaceutical and biotech companies. She is the lead inventor of Pfizer’s precision oncology medicine, crizotinib (Xalkori), and created the drug’s novel chemical scaffold based on co-crystal structure, as well as the final clinical compound. Crizotinib gained fast-track approval from the FDA in 2011 for ALK-positive late-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Dr. Cui also worked on several other oncology projects at Pfizer, including its FDA-approved therapy Sutent. She created the clinical c-MET specific inhibitor PF-04217903 and designed the ALK second-generation clinical compound lorlatinib (PF-06463922).
Her achievements in drug discovery and development have earned her many prestigious awards including the American Chemical Society’s Hero of Chemistry (2013); Pfizer Worldwide R&D Achievement Awards (2006 and 2012); Pfizer Innovation Award (2011); and CABS K. Fong Award for Life Sciences (2013). Dr. Cui earned her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from The Ohio State University, and earned an M.S. and B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China.