Philip Goelet Ph.D. Chairman

See Philip’s biography under Management.

Prof. Michael Bevan Ph.D. Board member

Michael is a Project Leader at the John Innes Centre (JIC), Norwich, UK. His expertise is in plant genomics and growth control. Until recently he has been a Strategic Programme Leader at JIC responsible for scientific planning and coordination. He has worked at the JIC for over 30 years, leading research projects in plant genetic engineering based on his early work on Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer. He initiated the first plant genome sequencing project on Arabidopsis, and most recently completed sequencing the complex and challenging wheat genome. His current research interests include exploring genetic variation in multiple wheat genomes and understanding how polyploidy influences genome function. He obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from Cambridge University and carried out post-doctoral research at Washington University in St Louis, MO. He was elected to EMBO in 2001 and FRS in 2013. He won the Rank Prize for Nutrition in 1987 for his work on developing plant transformation, and the Kumho Award in 2001 for his contributions to Arabidopsis genome sequencing.

John Halberstadt, MBA Board member

John is a retired DuPont executive with over 38 years of experience in the chemical and biochemical industries leading the formation and implementation of new ventures in a variety of technologies. His leadership roles included wholly owned DuPont ventures and two and three party joint ventures in the U.S. and such globally diverse locations as China, Brazil and Northern Ireland. In 2000, following his return from China, John transitioned from chemistry to biotechnology, joining DuPont’s newly formed Bio-Based Materials group where he led the negotiations and subsequently became founding president of DuPont’s Bio-PDO Venture resulting in the successful commercialization of Bio-PDO and Sorona® polymer. Since retirement he has devoted his time to consulting through his LLC venture, Lakeside Consultants, and to church and family. From 2008 – 2016 he served as President of the Council on Finance and Administration for the Peninsula-Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church (approximately 420 churches), leading them through the “great recession”. John is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an MBA from the University of Delaware.

Martin Mullins Board member

Martin is vice president and is the chief operating officer at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He previously served as: Vice President for Licensing, Georgetown University; Associate Vice President for Licensing, Case Western Reserve University; and, Senior Technology Licensing Manager and Interim Director, Office of Technology Licensing & Industry Sponsored Research, Harvard Medical School. Prior to arriving in the United States he held positions with IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Eli Lilly & Co. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biochemistry from University College Cork, Ireland.
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research is a nonprofit, independent research and educational institution. Wholly independent in its governance, finances and research programs, Whitehead shares a close affiliation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology through its faculty, who hold joint MIT appointments.

Peter Suzdak Ph.D. Board member

Peter joined Rexahn Pharmaceuticals in February 2013. Dr. Suzdak has over 25 years of diverse experience, including several management positions, in the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently, Dr. Suzdak was Chief Scientific Officer of Corridor Pharmaceuticals, a company developing small molecule compounds to treat pulmonary and vascular disorders. Prior to Corridor Pharmaceuticals, he was co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Previous to Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Artesian Therapeutics, a company engaged in the development of small molecule therapeutics for cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Suzdak’s experience also includes his position as Senior Vice President of Research and Development of Guilford Pharmaceuticals, a company that developed therapeutics and diagnostics for neurological diseases and cancer, and as Director of Neurobiology for Novo Nordisk. Dr. Suzdak holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Connecticut.

Mark Treherne Ph.D. Board member

Mark is an investor, fundraiser and research scientist with 30 years’ experience in the discovery and development of novel disease treatments. After an academic career in Switzerland, he became responsible for research into neurodegenerative diseases at Pfizer, UK, until 1997. On leaving Pfizer, he set up Cambridge Drug Discovery as Chief Executive, which was then sold to BioFocus in 2001 and is now part of Charles River. Since then, Mark has helped raise over £150 million for various early-stage biotechnology companies and taken some of them through to exit by trade sale or IPO. He has now served on the boards of 16 private and public companies over the last 15 years and worked for the UK Government until 2016. He has a PhD in Pharmacology from Cambridge University, which was awarded in 1987.

Simon Aspland, Ph.D. Board member

Simon has co-founded and participated in the management of four biotechnology companies: Stell (technology acquired by Sangamo Biosciences), Arginetix (acquired by AstraZeneca), ZuvaChem (merged with BioSyntha) and AgriMetis (cofounded with Syngenta Ventures). Simon transitioned from bench science to company creation and management in 2006 and is experienced at working in both the US and Europe. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Diego working on proto-oncogenes following graduate and postdoctoral work at the University of Cambridge on developmental genetics.

key advisors

Sydney Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.

Sydney is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, a recipient of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award, 1971, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for his pioneering work in genetics and molecular biology. He participated in the discovery of messenger RNA and, with Francis Crick, showed that the genetic code was composed of triplets. As an entrepreneur he cofounded Lynx Therapeutics (merged with Solexa and then was acquired by Illumina), Combichem (acquired by DuPont), Acidophil (innovation partnership with Philip Goelet) and Population Genetics. After receiving his MD from the University of Witwaterstrand and his DPhil in Chemistry from Oxford University, Sydney began his career in the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, and became the Director of its successor, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, in 1979. He became the Director of the MRC Unit of Molecular Genetics in 1987, retiring in 1992. He founded and directed the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley and he was the founding president of the Okinawa Institution of Science. He is now a Janelia Senior Fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Distinguished Research Professor of The Salk Institute, La Jolla, California and founded and leads the Molecular Engineering Lab at A*STAR Singapore.

Prof. David R. Spring D.Phil.

David is currently a Professor at the University of Cambridge within the Chemistry Department. He worked with Sir Jack E. Baldwin (University of Oxford) and Stuart L. Schreiber (Harvard University), before he joined the faculty at the University of Cambridge in 2001. David’s research spans the disciplines of chemistry and biology through the synthesis of small molecules, which are applied to problems in the life sciences. In particular, he has focused on diversity-oriented synthesis, new synthetic methodologies and chemical biology in order to discover new, biologically-functional small molecules. He has published six book chapters and co-authored more than 180 journal articles. His group’s laboratory has been awarded a number of research prizes including the Royal Society of Chemistry’s “Norman Heatley Award” and “Corday-Morgan Award”, the Spanish Chemical Societies’ “Felix Serratosa Award”, the MedImmune Protein and Peptide Science Award, and Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). He has collaborated with many international companies in the chemical industries.

Keith Bostian Ph.D.

Keith is an accomplished scholar, scientist and entrepreneur. He has held positions in higher education at Brown University and Kean University. He has also served as a lead executive for several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Merck & Co. and most recently with Kemin Industries, a drug discovery and development firm in Europe. Bostian holds 17 patents in drug discovery and genomics and has authored more than 60 publications. Most recently, he founded and became CEO of the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurism (ILSE) at Kean University, serving as a knowledge hub to connect scientists in academia and industry professionals to promote drug discovery.

Daniel J. O’Connell, M.B.A.

Dan has almost 20 years of experience in early-stage venture creation and investment with an emphasis on working with start-up life sciences companies and their scientific and entrepreneurial founders. He is a founding member and managing partner of NeuroVentures, a specialty venture capital firm he helped to established in 2001 to invest in early-stage biotech and medtech companies developing novel products and therapies for brain and Central Nervous System disorders. He currently serves as President and CEO of Acumen Pharmaceuticals, a pre-clinical biotech company developing more effective treatments and diagnostics for of Alzheimer’s disease. Dan also co-founded and was the start-up CEO of Functional NeuroModulation Ltd., a venture-backed medtech company developing deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other impaired memory conditions. Dan is also a co-founder and acting CEO of Direct Spinal Therapeutics, Inc. a seed-stage medtech company developing a novel spinal cord modulation product platform based on technology licensed from the University of Iowa and University of Virginia. During 2015-2016, Dan served as a corporate development advisor to Acidophil LLC assisting with portfolio review and investment strategy.

Dan currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Wyss Center in Geneva, on the Board of the Epilepsy Foundation and as a Business Advisor to the Alzheimer’s Drug Development Fund. He is a past advisory board member of the Brown Institute for Brain Science and the UVA Patent Foundation. He holds a B.A. from Brown University and M.B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Steve Schaefer

Steven Schaefer serves as CEO of ArmadaHealth, responsible for fulfilling the mission to transform specialty care access. Schaefer concurrently serves as enterprise CFO for ArmadaGlobal. Schaefer has over 22 years of executive experience with strategic development of emerging growth, life science and technology companies including nearly a billion dollars of capital raises and M&A deals. Most recently he co-founded CSA Medical, a medical device innovator of cryosurgical platforms, where he served as President, CFO and Board Member. Previously, Schaefer was CEO of Schaefer & Associates, providing corporate advisory and board service. Prior to this, he served as EVP and CFO for RewardsPlus/(RealLifeHR), President of RewardsPlus Investment, CFO for FiberTech Medical, Inc and practiced 6 years as a CPA. Schaefer earned a BS from Drexel University, with majors in finance and accounting.