Our Director

Milton L. Brown, M.D., Ph.D is a physician scientist who has a passion for the design, synthesis, and evaluation of new drugs. Dr. Brown earned a Ph.D. in synthetic chemistry from University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1995 and then a medical degree at the University of Virginia in 1999.  In June of 2006, Dr. Brown accepted the position as Director of the Drug Discovery Program (CDD) at the Georgetown Medical Center which was tasked to manage and support University drug discovery and development efforts.  Dr. Brown was appointed as the Edwin H. Richard and Elisabeth Richard von Matsch Endowed Chair in Experimental Therapeutics and Tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology.  Dr. Brown also holds secondary faculty appointments in the departments of Neuroscience and Biochemistry. 

Dr. Brown has more than 18 years of experience in drug discovery and currently directs the CDD at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC).  The CDD is a research initiative established in July of 2006 to support translational research at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC) and the Basic Graduate Research Organization (BGRO) at GUMC.   As leader of the CDD, Dr. Brown forged a new paradigm to catalyze research at the medical center and the LCCC in the area of experimental therapeutics.  This has led to new initiatives, funded multi-PI grants, many scholarly publications and patents.

In the CDD, Dr. Brown directly managed more than 20 staff scientists including graduate students, technicians, instructors, post-docs and research assistant professors dedicated to the drug discovery program.   These individuals included synthetic chemist, medicinal chemist, pharmacologist, cancer biologist, ADME toxicity specialist, pathologist and spectroscopist. This program resulted in new grants that total more than $18 million dollars in private and government support since its inception. 

Dr. Brown has successfully served as the role of lead investigator on many collaborative projects that developed both therapeutic, theranostic and diagnostic entities (using antibodies and spectroscopic small molecules to correlate molecular target expression with disease).  In vivo imaging of active anti-cancer compounds is an emerging field and the development of novel agents for facile studies on target engagement early in the drug discovery process are critical.  Dr. Brown has developed and patented several small molecules with these in vivo animal imaging capabilities for use in therapy and diagnoses.   In particular, this program has been on the cutting edge of biomarker identification, development of personalized medicine and the discovery of theranostics (drugs that have efficacy and imaging in the same molecule). 

Dr. Brown has been recognized as a pioneer in STEM, and has impacted the training and mentoring of undergraduate, graduate, clinical and post-doctoral students and fellows. In March of 2013, Dr. Brown received the “Exemplar Mentor Award” from the Urban Education Institute (Greensboro, NC) in recognition of his contributions to raising the achievement and performance levels of People of Color in STEM fields.  Dr. Brown has a commitment to scholarship in education and has trained more than 18 PhDs and MD, PhDs students in the areas of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Tumor Biology.  Many of his former graduate students have matriculated to successful careers in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academia, government, law and private practice. 

Dr. Brown strongly believes that academia, industry and government must come together to develop new paradigms for drug discovery and development.  Under Dr. Brown’s leadership, Georgetown medical center was awarded a Chemical Diversity Center (CDC) to assist the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in its efforts to develop new cancer therapeutics.  This $70 million dollar initiative by NCI created 11 center participants and harnessing the NCI's drug discovery and development pipeline to be enabled from target identification through proof-of-concept (POC) clinical trials.

On a national level, Dr. Brown was appointed to a 4 year term by the U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius to serve as a scientific counselor on the National Toxicology Program Board.  Dr. Brown has served as a scientific reviewer of grants and programs for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Center Support Grants, Department of Defense (DOD) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  Dr. Brown was elected to the medicinal chemistry long range planning committee for the American Chemical Society (2006-2008) and helped to set the agenda policies for medicinal chemistry symposia during that time.  Dr. Brown has published >80 research articles national and internationally recognized peer reviewed journals.  Dr. Brown has given more than 80 invited lectures in the USA, China, Brazil and Europe on developing global strategies to drug discovery and developing pipelines for experimental therapeutics.