Jon H. Condra, Ph.D
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
3307 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140
office Room 501
phone (215) 707-1642
Biosketch | Selected Publications
Dr. Condra received his B.A. in biology from the University of California, San Diego and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, Riverside, where his research in the laboratory of Dr. Crellin Pauling focused on the genetic regulation of inducible, error-prone DNA repair pathways in E. coli. He then joined the laboratory of Dr. Robert A. Lazzarini at the National Institutes of Health as a Staff Fellow, studying the regulation of mRNA transcription, genome replication, and nucleocapsid assembly in vesicular stomatitis virus.
In 1983, Dr. Condra joined Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, PA and began a 28-year career in small molecule and biologics drug discovery. Most of his research at Merck focused on antiviral drugs, with a particular emphasis on HIV therapy. He served on the discovery and development teams for CRIXIVAN (indinavir sulfate), one of the first marketed HIV-1 protease inhibitors, and for STOCRIN/SUSTIVA (efavirenz), a potent HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitor. His group defined the genetic basis of resistance and cross-resistance to HIV protease inhibitors, formulating therapeutic principles and strategies to minimize the emergence of resistance and to preserve drug efficacy against drug-resistant viruses. He developed the "bell curve" model of resistance selection and introduced the concepts of "genetic barriers" to resistance (to maximize the long-term efficacy of regimens) and the "Inhibitory Quotient" ("IQ", to predict drug efficacy against wild type and resistant viruses). These fundamental principles helped lay the groundwork for the use of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), including "triple cocktail" regimens that provided the first effective, long term control of HIV replication in infected patients.
More recently, as Distinguished Senior Investigator and Head, Antibody Display and Hybridoma Technology in Merck's Department of Biologics Research, his work focused on the discovery and engineering of antibodies to treat cardiovascular and neurologic diseases. In that capacity, his group employed phage display technology to discover biologically active antibody inhibitors of PCSK9 for LDL lowering, as well as biologically active antibodies against targets in neurologic disease.
His current research is directed toward developing technologies to deliver therapeutic proteins across the blood-brain barrier. In addition, as a member of the Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research, he brings therapeutic protein discovery capabilities to bear on targets of interest to the Center.
Dr. Condra has co-authored over 140 research publications and abstracts, 13 patents, and has delivered over 400 invited lectures.