David I. Stirling, Ph.D. - Chief Executive Officer
Dr. David Stirling was the Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research & Development for Celgene Corporation. Dr. Stirling is one of the original founding members of Celgene. In 1986, Celgene was spun-off from the parent company Celanese Corporation. Dr. Stirling was responsible for the science and research within Celgene and was responsible for initiating the Thalidomide Clinical and Research Program, which led to Celgene's first clinical product, Thalomid® (Thalidomide) approved by the FDA in 1998. A novel class of compounds derived from Thalidomide, known as IMiDs® (Immunomodulatory Drugs), was developed under Dr. Stirling's vision and leadership. The success of those compounds has led to several regulatory approvals around the world. As a result, Celgene was transformed into a major biotechnology company with a market capitalization of over $30 Billion USD. Prior to joining Celgene, Dr Stirling held various scientific and management positions within the biotechnology group of Celanese Research Company, the central R & D center for Celanese Corporation. Dr. Stirling received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Warwick in England, where he studied the industrial applications of novel oxygenase enzymes. Dr. Stirling is the author of numerous publications and holds over 30 US patents.
Lawrence Zaslow - President
Lawrence Zaslow was a founding Managing Director of Amphion Innovations Plc., a company which creates, operates and finances life science and technology companies in partnership with corporations, governments, universities and entrepreneurs. Mr. Zaslow was also a consultant to Amphion until July, 2009. Prior to joining Amphion, Mr. Zaslow was primarily engaged for over 25 years in raising capital for a number of start-up biotechnology companies, including the initial public offering for Celgene in 1987. Mr. Zaslow received his BA in economics from Brandeis University and his MBA in finance from the Columbia Graduate Business School.
Frank Mercurio, Ph.D. - Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Mercurio has over 20 years of research experience studying the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer and inflammation. Dr. Mercurio was Senior Director of Discovery Biology at Celgene where he initiated and successfully managed numerous Target and Drug Discovery programs. Among his key discoveries, Dr. Mercurio's team elucidated the mechanistic process regulating activation of the NF-kB signaling pathway, which plays a critical role in the onset and progression of many types of cancer and inflammation. This program resulted in the identification of several novel therapeutic targets within the NF-kB pathway, creating several internal and partnered drug discovery programs. Dr. Mercurio also pioneered development of an internal E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Program to identify small molecule modulators of protein degradation, an emerging area of drug development with enormous therapeutic potential. Another major focus of Dr. Mercurio's work was to develop technologies that enable elucidation of drug mechanism of action. While at Celgene, he implemented these technologies to advance understanding of Thalidomide and Lenalidomide (Revlimid®) mechanism of action. Dr. Mercurio received his Ph.D. from the departments of Pharmacology and Biology at the University of California, San Diego.
Kyle W.H. Chan, Ph.D. - Chief Technology Officer and Global Head of Translational Medicine
Dr. Chan has extensive experience in physical and life sciences that includes both drug discovery and diagnostics, from a start-up diagnostic company (NovaDx) to a top five biopharmaceutical company (Celgene) where he was the Senior Director of Discovery Research. He co-founded NovaDx in 1994, a diagnostic company that developed a novel biomarker assay currently marketed by Quidel for arthritis and breast cancer. While at Celgene, Dr. Chan led efforts to study the mechanism-of-action of Thalidomide and Lenalidomide (Revlimid®) using clinically relevant cellular models and to incorporate these compounds into translational studies to identify novel clinical uses. In the 9 years at Signal Research Division of Celgene, Dr. Chan built and headed technology programs in genomics, proteomics, and informatics as well as successfully managed therapeutic programs in virology, estrogen physiology, and the development of small molecule modulators of epigenetic programming and adult stem cells for regenerative medicine. He has served on scientific advisory boards for a number of biotech companies. Dr. Chan received his Ph.D. in electroanalytical chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Scientific Advisory Board
Miles Houslay, Ph.D., FRSE, FMedSci - SAB Chairman
Dr. Houslay heads BioTheryX European laboratories in Glasgow, Scotland and is CEO of BioGryffe Consulting Ltd. He held the Gardiner Chair of Biochemistry at the University of Glasgow in Scotland (UK) from 1984 to 2012. He currently holds part-time academic professorial appointments at both King's College, London, UK (Chair of Pharmacological Innovation) and at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland (Chair of Pharmacology) as well as holding an Emeritus professorship (Gardiner Chair of Biochemistry) at the University of Glasgow. He is internationally recognized for his work on cell signaling processes where he has published over 450 research articles including ones in the prestigious journals, Nature, Science and Molecular Cell and has a publication H-index of 78. His particular expertise is in cell signaling processes and he is internationally known for his work on PDE4 cAMP phosphodiesterase isoforms and their role in underpinning cAMP signal compartmentation. This has a focus on identifying novel targets and approaches for developing anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic and anti-cancer therapeutics. His academic work has been funded by major program grants from the Medical Research Council (UK), the Foundation Leducq (Paris) and the European Union. Dr Houslay has consulted for many international pharmaceutical companies and has had major input at the inception of programs that, ultimately, led to the development of Viagra at Pfizer and Apremilast at Celgene. He has also served as a Chair or member of numerous grant panels and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Cellular Signaling. He has been elected to the prestigious academies of both the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) and the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci). He has been confirmed to a Selby Fellowship of the Australian National Academy of Sciences and a Burroughs Wellcome / Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Visiting Professor. He has also been awarded the Colworth Medal from the British Biochemical Society and was the 2012 recipient of the Joshua Lederberg Award from Celgene Corp for his contribution to drug discovery. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge (UK) and a BSc from the University of Cardiff (Wales, UK).
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