Joseph Salvino, Ph.D.

Joseph Salvino, Ph.D.


The Salvino Laboratory



Professor, Molecular & Cellular Oncogenesis Program, The Wistar Institute Cancer Center

Scientific Director, Molecular Screening & Protein Expression Facility

About the Scientist

Salvino is the first medicinal chemist to join Wistar’s staff, and his work to identify novel small molecule lead compounds provides a strong basis for collaboration with all Wistar researchers.

Salvino has more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery, including early stage hit-to-lead, lead optimization, and preclinical development where several candidates have successfully completed human clinical trials, including Entereg®, ADL-101, and Radezolid®. Prior to joining Wistar, Salvino was a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine. Prior to that, he held high level positions including vice president, senior director, and director in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries of Sterling Winthrop, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Aventis, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Adolor Corporation, and Cephalon.

Salvino received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Brown University and completed postdoctoral training in synthetic and medicinal chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of K.C. Nicolaou and Ralph F. Hirschmann.

View Publications

The Salvino Laboratory

Salvino’s research is directed at drug discovery and development. His laboratory focuses on early drug discovery and small molecule tool compounds for in vivo target validation to confirm the pharmacological relevance and “drugability” of a therapeutic target. Medicinal chemistry optimization is focused on the design and creation of new chemical analogs to understand structure activity relationships (SARS) critical for optimizing an early stage compound series. This effort is important to help identify a potential preclinical drug candidate or future therapeutic agent against a new biological target.

Salvino is the Scientific Director of the Molecular Screening & Protein Expression Shared Resource which closely aligns screening capabilities for lead optimization and hit-to-lead activities that are ongoing in his laboratory. 

Current projects include development of HSP70 inhibitors, compounds blocking HIV and other antivirals, glutamate transporter (EAAT2) stimulators, Proteolysis Targeting Chimeras (PROTACs), small molecules targeting protein-protein interactions, chemical probes for assay development, and cancer or tissue targeting pro-drugs.      


Postdoctoral Fellows

Valli Venkata Srikanth Yellamelli, Ph.D.
Adi Narayana Reddy Poli, Ph.D.
Farheen Mohammed, Ph.D.
Jitendra Gour, Ph.D.
Irfan Khan, Ph.D.

Selected Publications

Dominici, M.D., Porazzi, P., Xiao, Y., Chao, A., Tang, H., Kumar, G., Fortina, P., Spinelli, O., Rambaldi, A., Peterson, L.F., et al. "Selective inhibition of Ph-positive ALL cell growth through kinase-dependent and -independent effects by CDK6-specific PROTACs."  Blood. 2020 Apr 30;135(18):1560-1573. doi: 10.1182/blood.2019003604.

Walden, M., Tian, L., Ross, R.L., Sykora, U.M., Byrne, D.P., Hesketh, E.L., Masandi, S.K., Cassel, J., George, R., Ault, J.R., et al. "Metabolic control of BRISC-SHMT2 assembly regulates immune signalling." Nature. 2019 Jun;570(7760):194-199. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1232-1. Epub 2019 May 29.

Falcucci , R.M., Wertz, R., Green, J.L., Meucci, O., Salvino, J., Fontana, A.C.K. "Novel Positive Allosteric Modulators of Glutamate Transport Have Neuroprotective Properties in an in Vitro Excitotoxic Model." ACS Chem Neurosci. 2019 Aug 21;10(8):3437-3453. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.9b00061. Epub 2019 Jul 11.

Salvino, J.M., Srikanth, Y.V.V., Lou, R., Oyer, H.M., Chen, N., Kim, F.J., et al. "Novel small molecule guanidine Sigma1 inhibitors for advanced prostate cancer." Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2017 May 15;27(10):2216-2220. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.03.030. Epub 2017 Mar 18.

Tikhmyanova, N., Paparoidamis, N., Romero-Masters, J., Feng, X., Mohammed, F.S., Reddy, P.A.N., Kenney, S.C., Lieberman, P.M., Salvino, J.M. "Development of a Novel Inducer for EBV Lytic Therapy." Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2019 Aug 15;29(16):2259-2264. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2019.06.034. Epub 2019 Jun 22.

View Additional Publications