Mary Mader, PhD

Vice President of Molecular Innovation

Joined the IBRI in February 2022

Mary Mader, PhD, joins the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) with more than 20 years of experience as a drug hunter in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors at Eli Lilly and Company and Relay Therapeutics. She is passionate about exploring the intersection of lab-based chemistry and computer-based approaches for identifying and improving potential new drugs. 

Mader’s therapeutic area expertise is oncology. At Lilly and Relay, she addressed problems across the cycle of drug discovery from project initiation to delivery of new drugs into clinical testing, and she has been associated with seven novel compounds for clinical development.

Her involvement in national organizations that support basic and applied research includes the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the American Cancer Society (proposal reviewer) and the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). She is the chair-elect of the AACR Chemistry in Cancer Research (CICR) working group, as well as chair-elect of the MMV Expert Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC). 

She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and their Labrador retriever, Nicco. She is a veteran of many of the local half marathon runs (Carmel, Five Hundred Festival, Geist and Monumental) and one full marathon (Monumental). When sitting still and relaxing, she enjoys the nearly lost art of needlework.

Areas of Expertise

  • Cancer research
  • Computer-aided drug discovery
  • Epigenetics 
  • In silico methods for drug discovery
  • Kinases
  • Lead generation
  • Lead optimization
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Small molecule inhibitors


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Organic Chemistry), Notre Dame, 1991
  • Bachelor of Science (Chemistry), The Ohio State University, 1985