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2020 Advisory Committee

Janice Bourque, Managing Director, Life Sciences, Hercules Technology Growth Capital

Janice Bourque is Managing Director of Life Sciences for Hercules Capital, a premier specialty finance company providing debt and equity to venture capital and private equity backed, and small cap public life science companies at all stages of development with $5.9 billion committed to over 350 life science, technology and renewable energy companies.  Deals include BIND Bioscience, Brickell, Cempra Pharmaceuticals, Concert Pharmaceutical, Cranford Pharmaceuticals, Dance Pharmaceuticals, deCode Genetics, Gamma Medica, Glori Energy, Medrobotics, Metuchen Pharmaceuticals, Ninepoint Medical and Pulmatrix.

Previously, Ms. Bourque provided strategic corporate investor fundraising for Commons Capital and Oxford Bioscience Partners for innovative healthcare investments for emerging and developing countries and was Senior Vice President, Group Head-Life Sciences for Comerica Bank. While at Comerica, notable deals included deals that led to several M&A exits including Hypnion/Eli Lilly; Adnexus/Bristol Meyers Squibb; and Morphotek/Eisai Pharmaceuticals.

Ms. Bourque was President/CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC) which was at the forefront of the biotechnology revolution as the first biotechnology association in the world. Ms Bourque held senior managerial positions at Cambridge Medical Technology Corporation and Coopers & Lybrand Emerging Technology Group.

Ms. Bourque is on several boards: Poxel Inc, The Village Bank, Commodore Builders, Forsyth Institute, Emeritus Director of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Springboard Enterprises Life Science Council and is a member of Women on Corporate Boards and the Women’s Forum.  She is also active in Newton and serves as co-president of the Crystal Lake Conservancy and Board member of The Hyde Community Center.  Ms. Bourque is a trustee for a privately developed community home for differently-abled young working women and men.  She was named one of Boston Magazine’s 100 most influential women and Newton Living Magazine’s 10 most influential women.  Ms. Bourque received her MBA degree in finance and accounting and her BS degree in veterinary science from the University of New Hampshire.

Aoife Brennan, MB, CHB, President and CEO, Synlogic

Aoife is currently President and CEO at Synlogic Inc. (Nasdaq:SYBX), a clinical stage biotechnology company applying synthetic biology to probiotics to develop novel, living medicines. She joined Synlogic as Chief Medical Officer in September 2016, served as interim CEO from April 2018 and was promoted to the permanent position in October 2018. Previously she was Vice President and Head of the Rare Disease Innovation Unit at Biogen where her work resulted in the approval of ALPROLIXTM, ELOCTATETM and SPINRAZATM as well as the advancement of several early-phase programs and external collaborations. Aoife holds a medical degree from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and completed residency and fellowship training in general internal medicine and endocrinology. She has completed post-doctoral training in clinical research and metabolism at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, is a graduate of the Harvard Medical School Scholars in Clinical Science Program and has > 40 academic publications. She serves as a Director of Ra Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:RARX) and is a member of the advisory board of the Harvard Masters in Clinical Investigation Program.

Noël Brown, Managing Director, Cantor Fitzgerald

Noël Brown is a Managing Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Cantor Fitzgerald where he advises biopharmaceutical companies on equity and debt capital markets, initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border transactions. He has advised on more than $15 billion of transactions over more than 20 years in the securities industry, including one of the largest biotech initial public offering in history.

Prior to joining Cantor, Mr. Brown was a Managing Director in the Healthcare investment banking groups of RBC Capital Markets and Piper Jaffray and a Director at Lehman Brothers/Barclays Capital. He currently serves on the National Board of Trustees of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, the Healthcare Advisory Board of the Partnership Fund for New York City, and the MIT Sloan School of Business Alumni Board. Mr. Brown received his MBA with a concentration in Financial Management from the MIT Sloan School of Business where he was a Sherburne Fellow, his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, and his B.A. from the University of Western Ontario.

Vered Caplan, CEO and Director, Orgenesis Inc.

Vered Caplan has been the Chief Executive Officer since August 14, 2014, prior to which she was Interim President and CEO since December 23, 2013. Since 2008, Ms. Caplan has been Chief Executive Officer of Kamedis Ltd., a company focused on utilizing plant extracts for dermatology purposes. From 2004 to 2007, Ms. Caplan was Chief Executive Officer of GammaCan International Inc., a company focused on the use of immunoglobulins for treatment of cancer. During the previous five years, Ms. Caplan has been a director of the following companies: Opticul Ltd., a company involved with optic based bacteria classification; Inmotion Ltd., a company involved with self-propelled disposable colonoscopies; Nehora Photonics Ltd., a company involved with noninvasive blood monitoring; Ocure Ltd., a company involved with wound management; Eve Medical Ltd., a company involved with hormone therapy for Menopause and PMS; and Biotech Investment Corp., a company involved with prostate cancer diagnostics. Ms. Caplan has a M.Sc. in biomedical engineering from TelAviv University specializing in signal processing; management for engineers from TelAviv University specializing in business development; and a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology specialized in software and cad systems. We believe that Ms. Caplan's significant experience relating to our industry and a deep knowledge of our business, based on her many years of involvement with our company, makes her suitable to serve as a director of our company.  

Jie D'Elia, PhD, Executive Director, Business Development Transactions, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Jie D’Elia is the Executive Director, Business Development Transactions at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role, Jie serves as the global lead in negotiating business development and licensing transactions.

Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2013, Jie served as the Corporate Vice President and Global Head of Business Development at Simcere Pharmaceutical, a fast growing leading Chinese pharmaceutical company with presence in North America and Europe. While at Simcere, she led the conceptualization and negotiation of a series of first-in-kind, high impact strategic partnerships, including a joint venture between Simcere and Merck Sharp & Dohme. Prior to joining Simcere, Jie worked at AstraZeneca and the Boston Consulting Group.

Jie holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacy from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A from Columbia Business School.

Peter Fong, PhD, Senior Principal, Flagship Pioneering

Peter Fong joined Flagship Pioneering as senior principal in 2018. At Flagship, Peter leads a team of entrepreneurial scientists to develop the science, intellectual property, and business strategy that form the foundation of Flagship’s next breakthrough startups. In addition, he works closely with Flagship’s leadership on key initiatives and programs.

Peter brings extensive experience in biotechnology, new ventures, and research to Flagship Pioneering. Previously, Peter worked in oncology business development at Genentech. In this role, he focused on advancing Genentech’s immuno-oncology partnering efforts, which included leading the company’s $310M partnership with BioNTech for their neoantigen cancer vaccine. Peter has also worked at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, where he managed their New Ventures and Business Development group. Prior to Memorial, he also co-founded Carigent Therapeutics. Peter is an inventor on multiple issued patents and authored numerous scientific journal articles.

He received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from Yale University, where he also completed his postdoctoral training. His distinctions while at Yale include a Brown-Coxe Postdoctoral Fellowship. He received his B.S. in biochemistry from Indiana University.

Andrew Gitkin, Managing Director, Co-Head of Healthcare Investment Banking, Raymond James

Bio coming soon. 

Lan Huang, PhD, Co-founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, BeyondSpring

Dr. Huang has more than a decade of entrepreneurial experience in the Chinese and U.S. biotechnology industry. She has invented and holds patents for a number of biotech products for oncology and dermatology indications.

Prior to founding BeyondSpring, Dr. Huang co-founded Wuxi MTLH Biotechnology Co. Ltd., whose self-designed cancer peptide drug’s China rights were acquired in 2010 by Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group, one of the top three pharmaceutical companies in China. She also co-founded Paramax International, a clinical CRO company in China, which was sold to RPS (a global CRO), then to Warburg Pincus in 2011. In addition, Dr. Huang worked with Forward Ventures, where she led partnering initiatives between Forward’s portfolio companies and Chinese pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Huang was trained at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where her breakthrough research in solving the first E2-E3 ubiquitin ligase structure involving P53 degradation was published in Science following 10 months of preparation. The immense importance of this field is illustrated by the 2005 award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to the founders of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in four-and-a-half years from the University of California at Berkeley, where she won the graduating Ph.D. woman award from Soroptimist International. Her translational research in cancer signaling pathways involving Ras was published in two Nature papers.

Dr. Huang received her B.A., Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Lawrence University, where she served as a trustee. She also studied at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Anna Kazanchyan, MD, Founder & CEO, Saghmos Therapeutics

Dr. Anna Kazanchyan is the Founder & CEO of Saghmos Therapeutics, a company with a late-stage product candidate for reducing the risk of major adverse renal and cardiac events (MARCE) and contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) in patients undergoing angiography and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). Dr. Kazanchyan serves as a member of the Board of Directors and as a member of the Compensation Committee of Foamix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: FOMX). She is also the founder and Managing Partner of Primary i-Research, where she provides due diligence to leading healthcare investment funds and evaluates investment prospects of biopharmaceutical companies based on the scientific, clinical, regulatory and commercial outlook for their products. In addition, she has been a strategic advisor to CEOs of biopharmaceutical companies (start-ups to global companies) and has advised companies on matters related to business development, clinical/regulatory strategy, marketing and commercial/competitive landscape. Dr. Kazanchyan has previously served as SVP, Business Development and SVP, Product Development at Ovid Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OVID), a company focused on rare neurological disorders. Previously, Dr. Kazanchyan was Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Wachovia Securities, and was a member of the #1 and #2 Institutional-Investor ranked Biotechnology Equity Research teams at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, respectively. She received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a B.A. in Biology, summa cum laude, from Clark University.

Ciara Kennedy, PhD, President and CEO, Amplyx

Ciara Kennedy was appointed President and CEO of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals in 2016.  Ciara is also a founder of Reneo Pharmaceuticals and Mirum Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Amplyx, Ciara served as COO at Lumena Pharmaceuticals, until the company was acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals in June 2014. Prior to Lumena, Ciara was VP of Operations at Cypress Bioscience Inc. Prior to joining Cypress Bioscience, Ciara held several positions in the Program and Alliance department of Biogen Idec. Ciara received her doctorate at the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland and her MBA from the Rady School of Management at UCSD.

Jonathan Leff, Partner, Deerfield Management; Chairman, Deerfield Institute

Mr. Leff is a Partner on the Private Transactions team and Chairman of the Deerfield Institute. He joined Deerfield in 2013, and focuses on venture capital and structured investments in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Deerfield, for more than sixteen years, Mr. Leff was with Warburg Pincus, where he led the firm’s investment efforts in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Mr. Leff has also been active in public policy discussions related to healthcare and medical innovation. He serves on the Emerging Companies Section Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization and is a member of several not-for-profit Boards, including the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, Friends of Cancer Research, and the Columbia University Medical Center Board of Advisors. In addition, he previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), and previously led NVCA’s life sciences industry efforts as Chair of NVCA’s Medical Innovation and Competitiveness Coalition (NVCA-MedIC). Mr. Leff received his A.B. from Harvard University, and earned his M.B.A. from The Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Lucy Lu, MD, President and CEO, Avenue Therapeutics

Dr. Lu has been Avenue Therapeutics’ President and Chief Executive Officer since its inception in 2015. Under her leadership, Avenue has been granted new patents on intravenous tramadol, completed an IPO, reported two positive Phase III study results, and signed a Stock Purchase and Merger Agreement with Cipla Limited, a leading global pharmaceutical company.  From February 2012 to June 2017, Dr. Lu was Chief Financial Officer of Fortress Biotech, Inc. Prior to working in the biotech industry, Dr. Lu had 10 years of experience in healthcare-related equity research and investment banking. She was the lead small-and-mid cap biotech analyst at Citigroup Investment Research from 2007 to 2012. Dr. Lu holds an M.D. degree from the New York University School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. Dr. Lu obtained a B.A. from the University of Tennessee’s College of Arts and Science.

Bibhash Mukhopadhyay, PhD, Principal, New Enterprise Associates

Kim Nearing

Bibhash is a Principal at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), where he focuses on investing in emerging therapeutics and device companies, assisting them grow and create value. Previously, he was at AstraZeneca / MedImmune as an Associate Director of Business Development, where his responsibilities spanned end-to-end in the deal-making spectrum, from search and evaluation to transactions, with focus on the immune-oncology and immunology spaces. He started his career at Johnson and Johnson, where he held multiple Business Development roles, at different times, in Global Surgery, Oncology and Emerging Technologies. Bibhash’s doctoral research work focused on pathophysiology of retinal diseases using tools of cell biology and mathematical modeling, during which he also consulted for venture funds and start-ups.

Sara Nayeem, MD, Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Kim NearingSara joined NEA's healthcare team in 2009 and focuses on investments in biopharmaceutical companies. She serves on the boards of Centrexion, Complexa, Cydan, Imara, and Tiburio. She previously served on the boards of Vtesse (acquired by Sucampo), Mersana (MRSN) and Therachon and as a board observer for Loxo Oncology (LOXO, acquired by Lilly), Tesaro (TSRO, acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Clementia (CMTA, acquired by Ipsen), Nightstar (NITE, acquired by Biogen), Ziarco (acquired by Novartis), Omthera (OMTH, acquired by AstraZeneca), Epizyme (EPZM), Millendo (MLND) and Zyngenia. She has also been involved in other NEA investments such as Prosensa (RNA, acquired by BioMarin), Metacrine, and 3-V Biosciences. She also serves on the board of BioHealth Innovation Management. She was selected three times as one of GrowthCap’s Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors. Prior to joining NEA, Sara was an Associate with Merrill Lynch’s Global Healthcare Group, where she advised biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies on numerous mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions. Previously, she worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley. She has conducted basic science research in mammalian cardiac development and clinical research in age-related macular degeneration. Sara concurrently earned her MD (cum laude) and MBA from Yale University, where she was a Yale MBA Scholar. She received her AB (magna cum laude) in Biology from Harvard University.

Kimberly Nearing, Managing Director, Head of Life Sciences, Cedrus Group; Regional Leader for BayHelix's NY/NJ/PA Chapters

Kim Nearing

Kimberly Nearing has over 20 years of life sciences experience, including in the capacity as a senior operations manager, an investor, an investment banker and a consultant.  Currently, as the Managing Director, Head of Life Sciences at the Cedrus Group, a global boutique investment firm headquartered in Hong Kong with offices in Shanghai, and Beijing, Kim is actively engaged in international business and finance activities, particularly in the Greater China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)  regions. She is also the regional leader (NY/NJ/PA) for BayHelix, an invitation-only organization of leaders of Chinese heritage in the global life sciences and healthcare community.

She was previously the Managing Partner of Phoenician Venture Partners, a late-stage biotechnology venture capital fund, and she had held various management positions at Amgen, Merck, and IBM’s Healthcare Group.  Kimberly received a Master of Science (MSc) with Honors from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with Distinction from the University of Michigan

Kuldeep Neote, PhD, Vice President External Innovation, Eli Lilly and Company

Kuldeep Neote, Ph.D. is Vice President External Innovation at Eli Lilly and Company and is responsible for integrating external innovation into Lilly Research Labs. He was Senior Director at J&J Innovation Center- Boston responsible for New Venture activities for the Janssen R&D in the East Coast. He has been responsible for several academic and biotech collaboration including two opportunities in Canada and also served as the interim Head of JLABS@Canada. Dr. Neote is trained as a Molecule Biologist with an extensive background in drug discovery. He has been focused in the area of Immunology, Inflammation and Oncology and has a passion for implementing cutting edge scientific discoveries into practical drug discovery programs. Throughout his career, he has looked at creative scientific and business development collaborative and partnering opportunities that have resulted in tangible clinical translation of new scientific discoveries working in conjunction with academic and biotech companies. Formerly, Dr. Neote was Research Advisor/Director in Global External R&D at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, IN and responsible for search and evaluation of Oncology in-licensing opportunities. Prior to Eli Lilly, he was a Discovery Scientist in Pfizer Inc. in Groton, CT. Dr. Neote initiated the Chemokine Receptor Drug Discovery platform that lead to several clinical candidates, and also discovered novel chemokines. Earlier in his career, Dr. Neote cloned one of the first chemokine receptors during his post-doctoral studies in Genentech. Dr. Neote earned her BSc. in Microbial and Cellular Biology at the University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada, and a Ph.D. in Human and Molecule Genetics at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, where he was a major contributor in the understanding of the molecular basis of lysosomal storage diseases, in particular Tay Sachs and Sandhoff’s disease.

Susan Peschin, MHS, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Aging Research

Susan Peschin, MHS, is president and CEO at the Alliance for Aging Research. Founded in 1986, the Alliance is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering medical research to improve aging and health. Since 2012, Ms. Peschin has continued to build on the Alliance’s reputation as a forward-thinking public policy and health education organization and has led efforts to: boost older adult immunization rates; increase NIH Alzheimer’s disease and aging research funding; raise awareness of geriatric cardiac issues; develop a senior patient and family caregiver research engagement network; and co-organize a first-ever NIH geroscience summit. Ms. Peschin participates in major industry and policy symposiums around the country each year and has published opinion pieces in news outlets nationwide. 

Prior to her work at the Alliance, Ms. Peschin worked at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America where she guided the “detection of any cognitive impairment” provision in the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. She worked for more than 10 years in gun control, and successfully led a coalition of organizations to advocate for the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban. Ms. Peschin currently serves on the Board of Heart Valve Voice U.S.; on the National Advisory Council for the National Institute on Aging at the NIH; and as a member of the Lifespan Domain Task Force for the Clinical & Translational Science Award program, funded by NCATS at the NIH. Ms. Peschin earned a B.A. in Sociology from Brandeis University, and a M.H.S. degree in Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dennis J. Purcell, Founder and Senior Advisor, Aisling Capital

Mr. Purcell is the original Founder of Aisling Capital LLC and currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Aisling. Previously, he served as the Senior Managing Partner. Prior to Aisling Capital, Mr. Purcell served as Managing Director of the Life Sciences Investment Banking Group at Chase H&Q (formerly Hambrecht & Quist, “H&Q”) for over five years. While at H&Q, he was directly involved with over two hundred completed transactions and supervised over $10 billion of financing and advisory assignments in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical products industries. During his tenure, BioWorld and other industry publications cited H&Q as the leading underwriter of life sciences securities. Prior to joining H&Q, Mr. Purcell was a Managing Director in the Healthcare Group at PaineWebber, Inc. Mr. Purcell is a frequent commentator on the industry and has been honored in the “Biotech Hall of Fame” by Genetic Engineering News, named to the Biotechnology All-Stars list by Forbes ASAP, honored as one of the top 50 Irish-American businessmen and cited as one of the top 100 contributors to the biotechnology industry. Mr. Purcell has served as a director of Aton Pharma, Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Cengent Therapeutics, Dynova Laboratories, Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Valentis and Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals. He has served as a member of the Advisory Council at Harvard Medical School, the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Association, as well as the New York Biotechnology Association, the Irvington Institute and on the Board of L.E.K. Consulting. He currently sits on the board of Real Endpoints, Summus Global, Inc., Life Science Leader Magazine–Editorial Advisory Board, NY BIO Association and is a member of The University of Delaware Investment Visiting Committee Member. Mr. Purcell received his M.B.A. from Harvard University and his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Delaware.

Yasmeen Rahimi, Ph.D, Managing Director & Senior Research Anlyst, Co-Head of Biotechnology Research, ROTH Capital Partners

Yasmeen Rahimi, Ph.D. is a Managing Director, Senior Research Analyst & Co-Head of Biotechnology Research at ROTH Capital Partners. Dr. Rahimi is focused on biotechnology with particular interest in therapeutic areas encompassing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH), metabolic and rare diseases. Dr. Rahimi joined ROTH Capital directly from H.C. Wainwright & Co., where she worked as an equity research associate and before that, she was a research associate at Guggenheim Securities. Dr. Rahimi also worked as a research scientist at Shire Pharmaceuticals where she developed biomarker strategies for a number of clinical programs.

Dr. Rahimi has extensive expertise in NASH and liver metabolism with 16 publications in highly prestigious journals. She trained at Yale University in the laboratory of Dr. Gerald Shulman, a world-renowned endocrinologist who pioneered the understanding of lipid-induced insulin resistance contributing to the pathogenesis of NASH. In addition, she completed her Ph.D. training in the laboratory of Dr. Robert A. Harris, a distinguished biochemist at Indiana University and a former trainee of Sir Hans Krebs, the “father of biochemistry”. Over the last several years, she utilized her understanding in NASH and metabolic diseases with bridging it to equity research through publications of in-depth industry notes, expert discussion series, and an investor conference.

Dr. Rahimi earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry with highest distinction from Indiana University School of Medicine. In addition, she has M.S. in Bioanalytical Chemistry from Purdue University, and a joint B.A. in German and Chemistry from Butler University.

Stephen Ritoch, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Blaise Group International

For the past eighteen years Stephen M. Ritoch has been the founding Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Blaise Group International, Inc. (BGI), a global leading retained executive and board search and strategic services firm exclusively focused in the Life Sciences.

Prior to co-founding BGI, Mr. Ritoch served on the senior executive search team of a national executive search firm.  Mr. Ritoch helped the company obtain a larger market-share for a desired IPO.  Previously, Mr. Ritoch was an operations and business development specialist with a focus on growth strategies, corporate partnering, talent acquisition and organizational development. He has served in many high profile capacities with a variety of domestic and multi-national companies.

Mr. Ritoch has been an entrepreneur with two prior start-up companies. Mr. Ritoch is a noteworthy executive advisor and coach to many high profile and influential senior executive leaders within industry, academia and government institutions. He is an investor and collaborative partner in several pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. Mr. Ritoch has been published in the business community, internal corporate enterprises, philosophy and ethics sectors.

He had previously served on the Boards of MyPage, Inc. and Sports Zombie, Inc.  Mr. Ritoch was also an Advisory Council member to Hope Funds For Cancer Research. 

Philip Ross, Vice Chairman, Healthcare Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan

Bio coming soon. 

Mahendra Shah, PhD, Managing Director, Vivo Capital

Mahendra G. Shah, Ph.D. is a highly successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur and executive who has been at Vivo Capital since March 2010. He is also the founder and executive chairman of Semnur Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Shah currently serves as chairman of the board of Essentialis Therapeutics, board member of Biotie Therapies (NASDAQ: BITI), and a member of the board of trustees of St. John’s University. He is also a board member and charter member of EPPIC and a charter member of TIE.

From September 2005 to December 2009, he was the founder, chairman and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, a pediatric focused specialty pharmaceutical company, which was sold to Pfizer for a total of $700 million in upfront and milestone payments. From 1993 to May 2003 he was the chairman and CEO of First Horizon Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company, where he raised over $200 million and built a highly profitable company before it was sold to Shionogi Pharmaceuticals for $1.4 billion. From 1991 to October 1999, he was vice president of E. J. Financial Enterprises, Inc., which manages a fund that invests in healthcare companies. He previously served on the boards of Unimed Pharmaceuticals (UMED), Introgen Therapeutics (INGN), Inpharmakon, Protomed, Structural Bioinformatics, and Zarix.

From 1987 to 1991 he was the senior director of new business development with Fujisawa USA (Astellas). Prior to that time he worked in various scientific and management positions with Schering-Plough and Bristol Myers-Squibb. Dr. Shah received his Ph.D. in industrial pharmacy from St. John’s University and his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Pharmacy from L.M. College of Pharmacy in Gujarat, India.

Jennifer Sheng, Managing Director, Healthcare Equity Capital Markets, Citigroup Global Markets

Jennifer is a Managing Director in the Healthcare Equity Capital Markets team at Citigroup based in New York. She has over 15 years of capital markets and banking experience advising both private and public healthcare companies on their capital raising needs. She has advised on more than $12 billion of capital raised for her clients over the course of her career.

Prior to joining Citigroup, Jennifer was the Head of Healthcare Equity Capital Markets at Deutsche Bank. She joined Deutsche Bank from Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she was a Director in Healthcare Equity Capital Markets. She started her career at UBS Investment Bank having worked in their New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong offices.

Jennifer earned a B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Marco Taglietti, MD, President and CEO, SCYNEXIS

Dr. Taglietti joined SCYNEXIS as President and Chief Executive Officer in April 2015 and has been a member of the board since November 2014. He became President of the Company in September 2015. He served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Forest Laboratories, Inc. and as President of the Forest Research Institute until its acquisition by Actavis in 2014. Prior to joining Forest Laboratories in 2007, Dr. Taglietti held the position of Senior Vice President, Head of Global Research and Development, at Stiefel Laboratories, Inc., a GSK company, for three years. He joined Stiefel Laboratories after 12 years at Schering-Plough Corporation, where he last held the position of Vice President, Worldwide Clinical Research for Anti-Infectives, Oncology, CNS, Endocrinology and Dermatology. Dr. Taglietti began his pharmaceutical career at Marion Merrell Dow Research Institute. Over the course of his career, he has brought to market 35 different products in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Taglietti currently serves on the Board of Directors of BioNJ, Inc. and Delcath (Nasdaq: DCTH). He received his medical degree and board certifications from the University of Pavia in Italy.