Michal Lebl, PhD a graduate of the The University of Chemical Technology, Prague Czech Republic (1974). He holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague (1978). He served as Head of the Department of Peptide Chemistry the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague until 1991. In 1992 he earned the DSc degree (the highest academic rank in the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic). Soon after he assumed the role as the Director of Chemistry in the startup Selectide Corporation in Tucson AZ, the first company founded to explore combinatorial chemistry for medicinal drug discovery. After Selectide Corporation was purchased by Marion-Merrel-Dow in 1995, he become engaged in creating of the Department of Automation for Houghten Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (eventually renamed Trega Biosciences, Inc), an early competitor of Selectide. At Trega he invented the technique of tilted centrifugation and successfully applied for SBIR grant from NIH to develop this technology. The technology was licensed exclusively to the Spyder Instruments, Inc. This company was formed in 1993 with Dr. Richard Houghten and Dr. Jutta Eichler. Spyder Instruments was merged, in 2000, with a new startup Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) where he worked until 2012 as the Senior Director of Automation.
He has published over 230 scientific papers and he is the co-inventor of over 50 patents. In 1990 he was awarded the Leonidas Zervas Award by the European Peptide Society for distinguished contributions to the field of peptide chemistry. In 2003 he received the Jouan Award from Association for Laboratory Automation for contributions to laboratory automation and laboratory process improvement.
He has an extensive record of service on several scientific advisory boards (Polypeptide Laboratories, USA; Combio, Denmark; HT-Labs, USA; IOCB, Czech Republic) and editorial boards of scientific journals (Molecular Diversity; Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry; Collection of Czechoslovak Chemical Communications; Current Drug Delivery). As a member of American Peptide Society and American Chemical Society he is active as an organizer of international scientific meetings (Co-Chairman of American Peptide Symposium 2001 and a member of Organizing committee of European Peptide Symposium 2004). He is a scientific contributor at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, consultant at Burnham Institute and Torrey Pines Institute, San Diego. He is an avid photographer, player of the game of go, involved in geocaching and orienteering.
Marketa Rinnova, PhD graduated from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, with Master of Science, in 1990. She obtained her PhD in Organic Chemistry at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague (1997) under partial supervision of Dr. Michal Lebl. She worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies (San Diego, CA) with Dr. Richard Houghten. In 2002 she briefly worked for Mixture Sciences, Inc. a startup company founded by Dr. Houghten. Later, she joined Senomyx, Inc., another startup that went public in 2004 (NASDAQ: SNMX). In 2008 she followed her husbands academic carrier to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she was fortunate to join a group of Professor John Katzenellenbogen. In 2010 she and Dr. Michal Lebl founded a new startup, Spyder Institute. Her interests include biking, backpacking, and skateboarding.
Zuzana Flegelova, PhD received her first degree in chemistry in 1968 at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Charles University in Prague. She was granted the PhD title at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in the laboratory of nucleosides headed by Dr. J. Farkas. She worked for 8 years at Leciva (Pharmaceuticals) on peptide synthesis (solution synthesis of neurohypophyseal hormones). Next 10 years she spent at VUFB (Research Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry) working on organic synthesis of substances influencing renin-angiotensin system, especially ACE inhibitors - Captopril-like drugs. Later she worked at BIOPHARM, Research Institute of Biopharmacy and Veterinary Drugs, a.s., on solid-phase peptide synthesis of analogues of releasing factor of growth hormone and protein-derived synthetic peptides for the detection of anti-protein antibodies in site-directed serology. In 1994 she joined Michal Lebl department in Selectide Corp. in Tucson, Arizona (now Aventis) and worked on synthesis of peptide and non-peptide libraries and developing organic chemistry on solid phase. After return to Czech Republic she worked back at BIOPHARM, and later at VIDIA s.r.o. In 2011 she formed Spyder Institut Praha s.r.o.