Jared Cumming, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Head of Chemistry

Jared Cumming, Ph.D.

Dr. Cumming is a passionate, accomplished drug hunter who can tackle a broad range of never-before drugged targets, novel mechanisms of action, and architecturally complex chemotypes. His broad drug discovery experience has run the gamut from target validation to lead optimization through IND-enabling studies and clinical development strategy. He has led and been a part of teams that invented and progressed seven novel molecules into the clinic, including verubecestat (MK-8931), a beta-secretase inhibitor that advanced to Phase 3 trials for Alzheimer’s disease, and MK-1454, a STING agonist for oncology.

Prior to LifeMine, Dr. Cumming was Executive Director, Discovery Chemistry at Merck. As his career progressed, first at Schering-Plough and then at Merck following their merger, he held positions of increasing responsibility working in neuroscience, cardiometabolic disease, and immuno-oncology. Across numerous programs in those diverse therapy areas, Dr. Cumming impacted all facets of drug discovery with a comprehensive approach to challenging chemistry that encompassed high-throughput experimentation, fragment-based screening and design, in silico modeling and computational tools, and bespoke structure-guided craftsmanship. He has championed development of adaptive research operating plans to drive unambiguous, data-driven decision making as well as development of stage- and priority-appropriate intellectual property protection strategies. He is an inventor on more than 50 issued US patents and a co-author of more than 30 publications.

Dr. Cumming earned his Ph.D. in synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry from Johns Hopkins University with Professor Gary Posner and was an NIH post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University with Professor Barry Trost. He received his B.A. in chemistry from Williams College.