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
Eric K. Rowinsky, M.D. - SAB Chairman
Dr. Rowinsky is the Head of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Stemline Therapeutics, Inc. in New York. He was previously the Chief Medical Officer for ImClone Systems, Inc. Dr. Rowinsky has more than 25 years of experience managing clinical trials, as well as developing and registering therapeutics and diagnostics in oncology, including leading the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approval of Erbitux® for head and neck and colorectal cancers and advancing at least eight other biological therapeutics through clinical development while at ImClone, some of which have been subsequently registered for use in the United States and Worldwide by Eli Lilly/ImClone. He has also played integral roles in the development and registration of a wide range of cancer therapeutics, including paclitaxel, docetaxel, irinotecan, topotecan, erlotinib, gefitinib, panitumumab, lapatinib, and temsirolimus, among others. Dr. Rowinsky currently serves on the Board of Directors of Biogen Idec Inc., as well as several other public biopharmaceutical companies, and is an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Medicine. He completed a medical oncology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Rowinsky was an Associate Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins and then Head of Clinical Research and Director of the Institute for Drug Development of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Aaron Ciechanover, M.D., D.Sc.
Dr. Ciechanover was born in Haifa, Israel in 1947. He is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He received his M.Sc. (1971) and M.D. (1973) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Following national service as military physician (1973-1976), he continued his studies to obtain a doctorate in biological sciences (D.Sc., Technion, 1982). There, as a graduate student with Dr. Avram Hershko, they discovered that covalent attachment of ubiquitin to a target protein signals it for degradation. As a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Harvey Lodish at the M.I.T., he continued his studies on the ubiquitin system and made additional important discoveries. Along the years it has become clear that ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis plays major roles in numerous cellular processes, and aberrations in the system underlie the pathogenetic mechanisms of many diseases, among them certain malignancies and neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, the system has become an important platform for drug development. Among the numerous prizes Ciechanover received are the 2000 Albert Lasker Award, the 2003 Israel Prize, and the 2004 Nobel Prize (Chemistry; shared with Drs. Hershko and Rose). Among many academies, Dr. Ciechanover is member of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Foreign Fellow), the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of the USA (Foreign Associate), and the Russian Academy of Sciences (Foreign Member).
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