Peter Schafer is an executive director at Celgene, who leads the Translational Medicine Research group in Summit and Cambridge, MA, USA. Dr Schafer is also currently a guest lecturer at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. He gained his BSc in Biological Chemistry from the University of Chicago, IL, USA, and obtained his PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, before conducting postdoctoral research at The R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute.
Dr Schafer’s research is focussed on inflammation and immunology, including preclinical and clinical development of products for the treatment of rheumatological, dermatological, gastrointestinal and fibrotic diseases. Upon joining Celgene as a scientist in 1999, and later in his role as Director of Biology for Drug Discovery, he was part of the team responsible for bringing the phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor apremilast (Otezla) into clinical development, and has contributed to its global regulatory approvals for psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. Dr Schafer also conducted basic research unravelling the mechanism of action of the cereblon-targeting compounds lenalidomide (Revlimid) and pomalidomide (Pomalyst) in haematology and oncology, and contributed to their global regulatory approvals. His team identified Aiolos and Ikaros as key cereblon substrates, which are now known to be lupus risk genes, leading to the CC-220 systemic lupus erythematosus clinical development programme.