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Florence Wagner


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 the medicinal chemistry group in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at Broad Institute, where she is also an institute scientist. Her group focuses on designing and implementing strategies that will enable development of novel therapeutic strategies for central nervous system-related psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism and neurodevelopmental disorders. These strategies include the rational design and development of novel, potent, and highly selective small molecules suitable for clinical development and the development of translatable biomarkers. The targets span from epigenetics (HDACs), kinases, G-protein coupled receptors, and voltage-gated ion channels. Recent findings of note include the design of a toolkit of differentially selective HDAC inhibitors to explore the functional activity of the individual HDAC isoforms and discovery of first-in-class isoform selective inhibitors of the glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3), which will provide key insights to direct therapeutic efforts.

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 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 legal (patent) issues. She is a two-time winner of the Outstanding Broad Retreat Poster award (in 2013 and 2014), and as of late 2016 had produced 38 peer-reviewed articles, 4 review articles, and 12 patent applications, 5 of which have been granted.

Contact Florence Wagner via email at

June 2017