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Florence Wagner


Wagner FF, Benajiba L, Campbell AJ, et al. Exploiting an Asp-Glu “switch” in glycogen synthase kinase 3 to design paralog-selective inhibitors for use in acute myeloid leukemia. Sci. Transl. Med. 2018;10(431).

Wagner, FF, Bishop, JA, Gale, JP et al. Inhibitors of glycogen synthase kinase 3 with exquisite kinome-wide selectivity and their functional effects. ACS Chem Biol. 2016;11(7):1952–1963.

Wagner, FF, Lundh, M, Kaya, T et al. An isochemogenic set of inhibitors to define the therapeutic potential of histone deacetylases in β-cell protection. ACS Chem Biol. 2016;11(2):363–374.

Wagner, FF, Zhang, Y-L, Fass, DM et al. Kinetically selective inhibitors of histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) as cognition enhancers. Chem. Sci. 2015; 6, 804-815.

Florence Wagner, Ph.D.

Florence Wagner is director of medicinal chemistry in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and the Center for the Development of Therapeutics (CDoT) at Broad Institute, where she is also an institute scientist. At the Stanley Center, her group focuses on designing and implementing strategies for the development of novel therapeutics for psychiatric disorders, and, at CDoT, on novel strategies to treat inflammatory and metabolic disorders. These strategies include the rational design and development of novel, potent, and highly selective small molecules suitable for drug and biomarker development. Wagner’s projects span targets from epigenetic modulators and kinases to G-protein coupled receptors and ion channels. Her group’s recent accomplishments include the design of a toolkit of differentially selective histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors to explore the functional activity of individual isoforms and the discovery of first-in-class paralog selective inhibitors of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3). Wagner and collaborators discovered novel applications for these compounds as potential therapeutics for various diseases of unmet medical need. In addition, Wagner leads a number of academic and industrial collaborations focused on extending their therapeutic potential to new disease indications.

Wagner obtained her master’s degree from the Department of Chemistry and Process Engineering at the Lyon (France) School of Chemistry and Electronics. Her keen interest in drug discovery developed out of a yearlong internship at Scynexis, a biotech company in North Carolina. From there, she went on to North Carolina State University, where her doctoral research under the supervision of Daniel L. Comins focused on developing novel methods for the synthesis of nicotine derivatives for application in neurodegenerative disorders. Prior to joining the Stanley Center, Wagner worked for Altiris (formerly Metastatix, Inc.) in Atlanta, GA, on the discovery of chemokine receptor modulators. She joined the Broad Institute in 2008.

Aside from her primary area of expertise in medicinal chemistry, Wagner is knowledgeable on the subjects of structural biology, pharmacology, and intellectual property strategy. She was named a member of the Chemical and Engineering News “Talented 12” in 2017, and has produced 42 peer-reviewed articles, 4 review articles, and 12 patent applications, 9 of which have been granted.

Contact Florence Wagner via email at

March 2018