David I. Stirling, Ph.D. - Chief Executive Officer
Celgene Corporation founder Dr. David Stirling was the Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research & Development for Celgene. Dr. Stirling was responsible for initiating the Thalidomide Clinical and Research Program, which led to Celgene’s first clinical product, Thalomid®. Under Dr. Stirling’s leadership, the blockbuster franchise of Thalomid® derivatives (Revlimid®, Pomalyst®, Otezla®) were developed, and these have played a major role in propelling Celgene into the top-tier of public biotechnology companies worldwide. Prior to joining Celgene, Dr. Stirling held various scientific and management positions within the biotechnology group of Celanese Research Company (from which Celgene was spun off). 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 U.S. 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
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. 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.
David I. Stirling, Ph.D. - Chief Executive Officer, Biotheryx; Chairman of the board
Lawrence Zaslow - President, Biotheryx
Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D. - President and CEO, Leukemia & lymphoma society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. DeGennaro has more than 25 years of research, drug development and executive management experience in academic and private sector settings. He received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of California at San Francisco and did his post-doctoral research at the Yale University School of Medicine. His previous academic appointments include research group leader, Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, where his laboratory was among the first to clone genes expressed exclusively in the nervous system; and associate professor of neurology and cell biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School. DeGennaro's private-sector positions include senior director of molecular genetics at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Princeton, N.J., where his department contributed to the development of pantoprazole (Protonix®) to treat acid reflux disease, venlafaxine (Effexor®) for anxiety and depression, and gentuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg®) for leukemia; executive vice president for research and development, SynX Pharma, Inc., in Toronto, Canada, where he was responsible for the development of a point-of-care diagnostic test for congestive heart failure; and research manager at Streck, Inc., Omaha, Neb., where he helped develop an FDA-cleared diagnostic test for AIDS/HIV. DeGennaro was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2012 to serve as a member of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Advisory Council, and the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He also serves on the board of the Health Research Alliance, an alliance of non-profit funders of research.
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).
Robert Z. Orlowski, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Orlowski is Chairman, Ad Interim, Director of Myeloma, and Professor of Medicine in the Departments of Lymphoma/Myeloma and Professor, Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. Dr. Orlowski earned his doctoral degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University and his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Dr. Orlowski has published numerous book chapters, articles, and abstracts on cancer therapy, with a focus on the molecular pathogenesis of oncologic disease processes and the mechanisms of action of chemotherapeutics.