Matthew Valli

Senior Staff Scientist

Joined the IBRI in April 2024

Matthew Valli

Matthew Valli joins the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) with more than 25 years of experience in drug discovery and manufacturing, focusing on small molecule design and synthesis. At the IBRI, he works to enhance the pharmaceutical lead generation capabilities of the group, and optimize promising leads to evaluate as novel drug candidates.

Prior to starting work at the IBRI, Valli was a member of the discovery chemistry research and development group at Eli Lilly for more than 25 years. He fulfilled multiple roles in the lead generation and lead optimization process enabling the identification of eight clinical candidates.

Post-Lilly, he further expanded his expertise in drug discovery by entering the world of chemical process development and API manufacturing, where he designed processes and prepared late-stage toxicological study material or Phase I clinical trial material under cGMP regulations.

Lastly, he honed his leadership skills by supervising the opioid and chemical threat group at the Indiana State Department of Health. Under his guidance, methods to detect and identify over 100 fentanyl derivatives were implemented along with surveillance of intravenous drug use in central Indiana.

Valli is a veteran of 12 marathons and an avid woodworker and bird-watcher. He loves being outdoors and, most often, you can find him walking, hiking, canoeing, camping and fishing with his family and friends. He and his wife are empty nesters and live in Zionsville, keeping watch on their four children from afar.

Areas of Expertise

  • cGMP synthesis
  • Drug discovery
  • Lead generation
  • Lead optimization
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Process development
  • Small molecule synthesis
  • Structure-activity relationships


  • Master of Science (Medicinal Chemistry), University of South Carolina, 1990
  • Bachelor of Science (Chemisty/Biology), Belmont Abbey College, 1987

Awards & Certifications

  • Lilly Research Laboratories President's Award
  • Eli Lilly Central Nervous System Research Innovation Award