Julen Oyarzabal


Julen Oyarzabal has spent almost 20 years working in the drug discovery and biopharmaceutical industry.

Dr Oyarzabal started his career as researcher at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and later he joined the University of Southampton (UK) where he got an extensive experience in pharmaceutical chemistry and drug design. In 2001, Dr Oyarzabal joined Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D where he led several projects, from molecular design perspective, in the CNS therapeutic area. Five years later, he set up and led the Computational Medicinal Chemistry section at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO). In 2010, Dr Oyarzabal joined the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), at the University of Navarra, to set up the small molecule discovery platform and led the Molecular Therapeutics Program. From 2013 to 2018 he was also director of Translational Sciences leading scouting activities, from the University Hospital and CIMA, as well as de-risking drug discovery processes; as a result, several collaborations have been established, as well as a license agreement, with big pharmaceutical companies.

Dr Oyarzabal is co-inventor of more than 25 patents and published more than 75 peer-reviewed scientific articles; he (co-)led publications in prestigious journals such as Nature Comm, Angew Chem, or J Med Chem. In addition, Dr Oyarzabal is on the Board of Directors for the Academic Drug Discovery Consortium (ADDC) and, from 2012, he is member of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) expert’s panel.

Julen Oyarzabal received a Bachelor in Physical Chemistry and a PhD in Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, extraordinary prize, from the University of the Basque Country (Spain).