19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Team

Operational Team

Mike Solomon

Mike Solomon, Ph.D.

About Mike

Katie Warner

Katie Warner, Ph.D.

About Katie

Kevin Weeks

Kevin Weeks, Ph.D.

About Kevin

Buck Phillips

Buck Phillips, BA

About Buck

John Reardon

John Reardon, Ph.D.

About John

Don Hertzog

Don Hertzog, Ph.D.

About Don

Kendra Hightower

Kendra Hightower, Ph.D.

About Kendra

Aaron Goetz

Aaron Goetz, M.S.

About Aaron

Pamela Hay

Pamela Hay, JD

About Pam

Denise Kilpatrick

Denise Kilpatrick, M.S.

About Denise

Jonathan Kearns

Jonathan Kearns, CPA

About Jonathan

Andy Lavender

Andy Lavender, Ph.D.

About Andy

Brittani Patterson

Brittani Patterson, B.S.

About Brittani

Caleb Sutherland

Caleb Sutherland, Ph.D.

About Caleb

Derek Parks

Derek Parks

About Derek

Devon Blake

Devon Blake, Ph.D.

About Devon

Elizabeth Dethoff

Elizabeth Dethoff, Ph.D.

About Elizabeth

Gunjan Arya

Gunjan Arya, B.H.M.S., M.S., PMP©

About Gunjan

Karolina Stumbraite

Karolina Stumbraite, B.S.

About Karolina

Krista Marran

Krista Marran, B.S.

About Krista

Matt Smola

Matt Smola, Ph.D.

About Matt

Melissa Mantilla

Melissa Mantilla, B.S.

About Melissa

LaShanda Williams

LaShanda Williams, B.S.

About LaShanda

Melissa Porter

Melissa Porter, M.S.

About Melissa

Natalie McDonald

Natalie McDonald, Ph.D.

About Natalie

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor

About Nick

Samir Lalani

Samir Lalani

About Samir

Delita Thompson

Delita Thompson

About Delita

Ariel Mason

Ariel Mason, BS

About Ariel

Megan Alexander

Megan Alexander, BS

About Megan

Brad Henke

Brad Henke, Ph.D.

About Brad

Chris Echeverri

Chris Echeverri, Ph.D.

About Chris

Scientific Advisory Board

David Corey

David Corey, Ph.D.

About David

Alain Laederach

Alain Laederach, Ph.D.

About Alain

William Marshall

William S. Marshall, Ph.D.

About William

Joshua Mendell

Joshua Mendell, Ph.D.

About Joshua

Matthew Sigman

Matthew S. Sigman, Ph.D.

About Matthew

Gene Yeo

Gene Yeo, Ph.D.

About Gene

Board of Directors

Mike Clayman

Mike Clayman, MD

About Mike

Kevin Weeks

Kevin Weeks, Ph.D.

About Kevin

Mike Ross

Mike Ross, Ph.D.

About Mike

John Gustofson

John Gustofson, MBA

About John

Mike Dial

Mike Dial, Ph.D.

About Mike

Hakan Goker

Hakan Goker, Ph.D.

About Hakan

William Marshall

William S. Marshall, Ph.D.

About William

Mike Solomon, Ph.D.

Mike Solomon

Mike has more than twenty years of experience in the biotechnology industry, with the last seventeen focused on creating and operating early stage therapeutic-focused companies.

Most recently, Mike was a Venture Partner at SV Health Investors which led the seed round for Ribometrix. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer at Decibel Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on broadly treating hearing disorders. Mike’s involvement at Decibel was part of his work as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Third Rock Ventures; he led a team that created Decibel’s business plan resulting in a $52 M Series A round.

Prior to Decibel, Mike was Chief Operating Officer at Ember Therapeutics, a Third Rock Ventures company focused on obesity and diabetes, and Chief Business Officer at Link Medicine, a neurodegeneration focused biotechnology company that was sold to Astra Zeneca. Mike was also a founder and VP of Discovery at Epizyme Therapeutics, a company focused on epigenetic modulators that is now a publicly traded company, and VP of Discovery at Hypnion, Inc a sleep disorder company that was sold to Lilly in 2007 for $325 million. Mike also spent two years as a biotechnology analyst at Bank of America Securities. He started his career at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was project leader for multiple programs.

Mike received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, and completed postdoctoral work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry at Scripps.

Katie Warner, Ph.D.

Katie Warner

Kevin Weeks, Ph.D.

Kevin Weeks

Kevin is a founder of Ribometrix and a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The vision of his laboratory is to use chemical principles to explore the central role of RNA in biology with a focus on real-world problems and understanding human disease. RNA SHAPE technologies, invented in his laboratory, are used worldwide. The Weeks laboratory is applying SHAPE and other chemical technologies to challenging problems in biology, including the RNA-mediated reactions central to functions of mRNAs, lncRNAs, and viral RNAs.

Dr. Weeks obtained his BA with Honors and Department Honors in Chemistry from the College of Wooster and completed his Ph.D. at Yale, securing the Richard Wolfgang Prize for most Distinguished Dissertation in Chemistry. Dr. Weeks is a Fulbright and a Searle Scholar, an NIH EUREKA awardee, a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Life Member in Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, and has taught many hundreds of undergraduates their first year chemistry.

Buck Phillips, BA

Buck Phillips

Buck spent the last 30 years in the biotechnology industry, most recently as the managing member of Domantle Consulting LLC.
From 2008 to May 2019, Buck served as the Chief Financial Officer for three separate NASDAQ listed, development stage biotechnology companies; G1 Therapeutics, Inc., GTHX, Novavax, NVAX, and Micromet, acquired by Amgen in 2012 for $1.2B. In addition to carrying the CFO role, he also held the title of SVP Corporate Development at G1 Therapeutics. During his tenure as CFO, Buck was responsible for all finance and accounting functions, financing strategy, successfully raising over $1.4B, Wall Street and investor relations, public relations and corporate strategy and corporate development.

Prior to his CFO experience, Buck had extensive experience in life science venture investing and public market investing, serving for 9 years as the Managing Director of Vector Fund Management, a late-stage life sciences venture capital fund with over $250 million in committed capital and approximately 30 venture investments in biotechnology, medical technology and healthcare services companies. In addition, he was Biotechnology Analyst and Director of Venture Investments for INVESCO Funds group, a no-load mutual fund family with a healthcare sector fund franchise totaling over $3.5 billion in assets under management.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

John Reardon, Ph.D.

John Reardon

John has more than thirty years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with the last twelve spent in operational roles within small, virtual or partially virtual therapeutic-focused companies.

Most recently, John was Head of Research and Development at HemoShear Therapeutics and Chief Scientific Officer at Revivo Therapeutics; biotechnology companies focused on children’s rare diseases and neurodegeneration, respectively.

Prior to HemoShear and Revivo, John was Chief Scientific Officer at Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals where he led the discovery and non-clinical development of two drugs for treatment of acute decompensated heart failure. Cardioxyl was sold to Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2015 for $2.2 billion. John was a founder and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Integrated Oncology Solutions, a spin-out from Duke University prior to joining Cardioxyl.

Prior to John’s career in small biotech, he spent nineteen years with Burroughs Wellcome, Glaxo Wellcome and Glaxo Smith Kline, rising to the position of Senior Vice President of Discovery Research Biology where he oversaw all of the early lead discovery activities across all of the therapeutic areas at GSK.

John received his BS in Chemistry from Willamette University. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry at The Ohio State University and completed postdoctoral fellowship in Enzymology at Brandeis University.

Don Hertzog, Ph.D.

Don Hertzog

Don Hertzog, Ph.D., comes to Ribometrix from HemoShear Therapeutics where he was Head of Chemistry, leading all aspects of chemistry for HemoShear’s drug discovery programs in rare diseases. He previously served as Vice President of Early Lead Identification at Abide Therapeutics where he led a team of chemists devoted to identifying hit molecules and transforming them into leads worthy of further optimization to drug candidates.

Before joining Abide, Don was the site head for the Molecular Discovery Research Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Director of Medicinal Chemistry for Metabolic Diseases at GlaxoSmithKline, GSK, overseeing a team that progressed several molecules into preclinical development and clinical trials. This work was highlighted by Don’s leadership of the chemistry team that discovered GW856464, GSK’s clinical entry in the highly competitive field of MCH R1 antagonists for the treatment of obesity.

Don began his industrial career at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, where he was part of a team that advanced a glucagon antagonist into human trials for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Dr. Hertzog earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Emory University and a B.A. degree in chemistry from Hendrix College. He completed an NIH-sponsored postdoctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute and has more than 40 total publications, patents, and invited presentations. Don was co-chair of the 2014 ACS National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium and has served as a member of the Long Range Planning Committee of the Medicinal Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society, ACS.

Kendra Hightower, Ph.D.

Kendra Hightower

Kendra has over 25 years of experience in the chemical and biological sciences encompassing pharmaceutical, academic, and government R&D and pharmaceutical manufacturing. She spent 14 years at GlaxoSmithKline where she provided biochemical support and leadership for drug discovery programs across a wide range of drug targets and therapeutic areas including infectious diseases, oncology, and metabolic diseases. Ultimately, she co-led the Biological Sciences department at RTP which carried out reagent preparation, biochemical and cell-based assay development, compound screening, hit characterization, medicinal chemistry support, and mechanism of action studies for drug discovery and development programs. While at GlaxoSmithKline Kendra worked on two efforts that led to marketed drugs, the HIV integrase inhibitor Tivicay and the BRaf inhibitor Tafinlar. For Tivicay, biochemical studies conducted during the drug development process helped to differentiate the drug from competitor molecules and to better understand clinical response and integrase inhibitor resistance.

Outside of R&D, Kendra led a group which supported in-process bioassays, data analytics, compliance documentation, and process development for bulk live virus generation and vaccine fill/finish efforts at Merck Manufacturing Division. Prior to joining Ribometrix, Kendra was a Senior Study Director at Metabolon. In this role she was engaged in enabling and interpreting metabolomics studies to provide biological insights for projects across the pharmaceutical and life sciences including target identification, mechanism of action evaluation, biomarker discovery, and clinical trial support.

Kendra obtained a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She then obtained her Ph.D. in Biology, with a concentration in biochemistry, from The Johns Hopkins University. She was a Damon Runyan Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University Medical Center.

Aaron Goetz, MS

Aaron Goetz

Aaron is part of the Lead Discovery team with over 30 years' experience in drug discovery and hit identification screening platforms. He leads a group focused on HTS, compound management and automation. His expertise is in cellular assay development and validation, hit identification and lead optimization.

Prior to joining Ribometrix, Aaron spent 30 years at GlaxoSmithKline where he provided leadership for drug discovery programs across a range of drug targets and for multiple global IT projects. He was also a group leader, focused on assay development, screening and compound profiling processes. Aaron is a published researcher, and has a Master's degree in Project Management with a BS in biology.

Pamela Hay, JD

Pamela Hay

Pamela Hay provides interim management and strategic advisory services to biotech/biopharma companies, including assignments as acting CEO or CBO during periods of transition and rapid growth. She is a founding partner of Red Sky Partners and has 30 years of executive or advisory experience at numerous companies that span the start-up through Phase 3 product development stages across multiple therapeutic indications and modalities.

Previously, Pamela was Chief Commercial Officer of Domantis Ltd and SVP, Corporate Development at Dyax Corp. Her earlier positions include General Counsel of T Cell Sciences and Corporate Attorney at Biogen. Pamela has a BA in Biology from Cornell University’s School of Arts and Sciences, and a JD from the University of Wisconsin School of Law.

Denise Kilpatrick, MS

Denise Kilpatrick

Denise leads the company’s Human Resources department, including organizational development, talent acquisition, and total rewards management. She has over thirty years experience driving organizational performance improvement and building highly engaged and productive teams. Since 1996 she has managed a successful consulting practice working with a diverse client base including many of the areas prominent biotech, pharma, med devices, and technology start ups.

Denise has managed and provided strategic oversight for all aspects of Human Resources for both start up and larger organizations. Denise holds B.S. degrees in Industrial Relations and Communication from UNC-CH and an M.S. in Adult Education/Organizational Development from NCSU where she graduated with honors.

Jonathan Kearns, CPA

Jonathan Kearns

Jonathan Kearns serves as Director Finance & Controller for Ribometrix. Prior to joining the company in January 2019, he worked as Managing Director for Ironshore Capital Partners, LLC - a value oriented investment firm. In the past he has served as the chief financial officer and controller for several companies including the environmental and pharmaceutical testing industry.

Jonathan is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.

Andy Lavender, Ph.D.

Andy Lavender

Andy joined Ribometrix in 2019, bringing experience in RNA biology, genomics, and data science. He received his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Kevin Weeks and pioneered novel applications in the characterization and prediction of RNA structures.

Andy continued as postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Supervised by Dr. David Fargo, he studied the epigenomic environment of human promoters and created web applications targeting life scientists. Andy received his BS in Chemistry from New York University.

Brittani Patterson, B.S.

Brittani Patterson

Brittani joined the RNA biology team of Ribometrix in 2020. She previously worked for Integrated DNA Technologies with a focus on HPLC purification of synthetic custom DNA and RNA oligonucleotides. During her tenure at IDT, she led process development for the high-throughput GMP purification manufacturing group.

Brittani received a BS in biochemistry from Iowa State University, where she worked in Dr. Alan Dispirito’s lab studying particulate and soluble methane monooxygenases from methanotrophic bacteria.

Caleb Sutherland, Ph.D.

Caleb Sutherland

Caleb joined the Molecular Biology team at Ribometrix in 2018. He brings his passion for drug discovery and over 10 years of experience in cell-based and biophysical functional assays. While attaining his PhD in Cancer Biology, from the University of Arizona, he validated and targeted unique DNA structures found in the MYC promoter with small molecules to treat cancer.

Caleb received a BS in Molecular and Cell Biology from Boise State University, where he was a McNair Scholar and INBRE Research Fellow.

Derek Parks, BS

Derek Parks

Derek is part of the Lead Discovery Group at Ribometrix supporting biochemical and biophysical assay development and hit identification processes. He brings over 30 years of research and pharmaceutical drug discovery experience to Ribometrix.

Derek has worked with companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, BioAgilytix, and Vitrisa Therapeutics where he established expertise in assay development, high throughput screening, compound profiling, and mechanism of action characterization. He also has experience with project and CRO management.

Derek is a published researcher and received bachelor’s degrees in both Chemistry and Zoology from North Carolina State University.

Devon Blake, Ph.D.

Devon Blake

Devon joined the Ribometrix team in 2019, bringing his passion for cancer research with experience in a variety of fields including cancer biology, cell biology, drug discovery, and assay development. He received a BS in Biochemistry from Brigham Young University, where his scientific career began as an undergraduate researcher characterizing conditional knockout mice in the lab of Dr. Barry Willardson.

Devon earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the lab of Dr. Channing Der, where he received a F31 Predoctoral Fellowship funded by the National Cancer Institute. In graduate school he studied the regulation of the MYC oncoprotein in KRAS-mutant pancreatic cancer and also helped elucidate the function of novel RHOA mutations in diffuse gastric cancer

Elizabeth Dethoff, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Dethoff

Elizabeth joined Ribometrix in 2019. She has over 10 years of experience in RNA structure determination. As a graduate student in Hashim Al-Hashimi’s lab she developed and applied NMR and computational methods to study the dynamics of RNA stem-loops, including “invisible” excited state structures.

As a postdoctoral fellow in Kevin Week’s lab, she used SHAPE technology to characterize the structure of the entire dengue RNA genome and identify regions with complex, three-dimensional folds. Elizabeth earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Lafayette College, Easton, PA. and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Gunjan Arya, B.H.M.S., M.S., PMP©

Gunjan Arya

Gunjan is a part of the RNA team at Ribometrix. She brings in a gamut of work experience including clinical medicine, molecular and cell biology, genomics and data analyses. She got her B.S. degree in Homeopathic medicine and surgery from Pune, India. She worked at a Gynecology & Obstetric hospital in Mumbai prior to moving to the U.S. She acquired her master’s in biology with a specialization in Genetics under the advisement of Dr. Tomkiel at University of North Carolina, Greensboro where she worked on the characterization and localization of teflon gene product in male Drosophila melanogaster.

Gunjan gained experience in the field of microbiology and immunology while she worked with Dr. Hiltbold at Wake Forest University School of Medicine where she studied the etiopathology of systemic lupus erythematosus. She joined the laboratory of Drs. Anholt and Mackay at North Carolina State University in 2006. She worked on studying the gene expression networks in the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP). Most recently in 2018 she joined the laboratory of Dr. Smart at North Carolina State University to study the role of long noncoding RNA and C/EBPs in apoptosis, skin cancer development and regression.

Karolina Stumbraite, B.S.

Karolina Stumbraite

Karolina is part of the Lead Discovery team at Ribometrix where she focuses on hit validation via cellular assays. She spent the last four years at the Broad Institute gaining experience in high-throughput screening as well as becoming an expert in tissue culture. Karolina also brings a wide range of experience in biological assays, large-scale metadata curation, and laboratory management. Karolina graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Virginia Commonwealth University.

Krista Marran, B.S.

Krista Marran

Krista, a member of the Molecular Biology team at Ribometrix, brings cell-based and biochemical assay development expertise for screening small molecules. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Hamilton College in 2004 and then quickly began her career in Dr. Gregory Hannon’s lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. There her efforts focused on improving shRNA library design and executing loss-of-function RNAi screens for genes involved in drug resistance in breast and prostate cancers. More recently, she participated in the dedicated RNA biology group at Novartis - evaluating miRNAs as therapeutic targets.

Matt Smola, Ph.D.

Matt Smola

Matt is an experienced RNA biologist and brings a diverse set of skills to Ribometrix. He began his career as a graduate student under the supervision of Dr. Kevin Weeks, where he developed new analytical tools and creative adaptations of SHAPE technology in studying long non-coding RNA in living cells. Upon completion of his Ph.D., Matt moved to Boston for postdoctoral training at Novartis where he worked to develop new cell-based screening assays, implemented strategies for structural characterization of small molecule-ribonucleoprotein complexes, and provided his RNA expertise to several project teams.

Matt holds a BS in Biochemistry with Department Honors from Miami University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Graduate Research Fellow of the National Science Foundation.

Melissa Mantilla, B.S

Melissa Mantilla

Melissa is part of Lead Discovery at Ribometrix where she focuses on high-throughput screening and compound management. She comes to the company with 12 years or experience in the pharmaceutical industry focusing on small-molecule and protein therapeutics.

Melissa has a wide back-ground of skills from analytical development, robotics, screening, and biological and chemical sample management. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.

LaShanda Williams, BS

LaShanda Williams

LaShanda started her Scientific career at the University of Chapel Hill Gene Therapy Center. That initial exposure led to her interest and exploration in Genomics, Cancer Biology, and Immunology. Upon her exploration of these areas of Science, she acquired multiple skills in microbiology, and molecular biology. LaShanda joins the Ribometrix Team with experience in experimental design, High-throughput screening, and proficiency in Laboratory Logistics.

LaShanda attained her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biological Sciences with Honors from North Carolina Central University, of Durham, NC, where she was also a member of the Howard Hughes’ Medical Institute Science Education Alliance.

Melissa Porter, M.S.

Melissa Porter

Melissa is part of the Screening team at Ribometrix. She comes to the company with over 10 years of experience in drug discovery and has led numerous high-throughput screening campaigns. Her expertise is in assay development and validation as well as hit follow-up and characterization.

Melissa earned a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences from the University of Kentucky. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, scuba diving, food and wine, Kentucky basketball, and greyhounds!

Natalie McDonald, Ph.D.

Natalie McDonald

Natalie joined Ribometrix as a Screening Scientist in 2017. She has over twenty years of experience in molecular biology and genomics. Her work has included projects in early stage start-ups ranging from host responses to RNA and DNA virus infection, contract-based whole genome and transcriptome sequencing of widely-varied species, and data analysis. She brings working expertise in RNA biology, high-throughput sequencing and assay optimization and scale-up.

Natalie was awarded a B.S. in Biology with Honors from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, in 1994 and a Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University, Atlanta, GA, in 1999.

Nick Taylor, BS

Nick Taylor

Nick joined the screening team with several years of experience in troubleshooting and operating liquid handling robots. Previously, he spent several years working with Myriad Genetics Laboratories in the Companion Diagnostics lab. During his time with CDx they screened cancer patient samples for AstraZeneca’s Lynparza drug trial by searching for large rearrangements in patients’ BRCA1 & 2.

Nick received a BS in Biochemistry from Brigham Young University, where he worked as an undergraduate research assistant specializing in Cre/Lox mouse colony handling for the Barry Willardson Lab.

Samir Lalani, BS

Samir Lalani

Samir joined the Ribometrix team in 2019 with a strong background in molecular biology and genetics. He is a part of the RNA biology group where he works in technology development to develop and optimize assays.

Samir obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Wake Forest University where he studied epigenetic gene regulation through heterochromatin remodeling in fission yeast.

Before coming to Ribometrix, he worked in Dr. Vann Bennett’s lab at Duke University studying the role of the axon initial segment in neuronal plasticity and how it relates to neurodevelopmental disease.

Delita Thompson, BS

Delita Thompson

Delita is a part of the Lead Discovery Group at Ribometrix supporting biochemical and cell-based assay development and high-throughput screening efforts. She brings nearly 20 years of assay development and project management experience to Ribometrix.

Delita previously worked at Duke University, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, GlaxoSmithKline, and G1 Therapeutics. Her work history has allowed her to obtain expertise in areas of drug discovery from research and development to NDA. She is a published researcher and received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University.

Ariel Mason, BS

Ariel Mason

Ariel joined the RNA Biology Team at Ribometrix in early 2020. Her experience with cell-based assays and organization projects lends to her position as head of the cell culture facility.

Prior to her role in cell culture, she worked in the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at Duke University where she studied various viruses in both BSL-2 and BSL-3 capacities. She specialized in working with the influenza virus across multiple assays and in ferret models.

Ariel obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Virginia

Megan Alexander, BS

Megan Alexander

Megan is a part of the Lab Management Team at Ribometrix. She comes to the company with a background in Biology from East Carolina University where she graduated in 2019. At East Carolina University, Megan worked for the Biology department as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant and at the Academic Success Center as a Life Sciences Calculus Tutor.

Prior to Ribometrix, Megan worked at Metabolon, Inc. as a research and development intern in her undergrad, and after graduating college, was offered a position at Metabolon running HPLC-MS instruments with the Analytical Platform Team. In her spare time, she enjoys playing lacrosse, running, reading novels, and playing with her boxer Bruce!

Brad Henke, Ph.D.

Brad Henke

Brad is a chemistry consultant for Ribometrix. He has over twenty-five years of experience in small molecule and peptide-based drug discovery. Prior to starting his own consulting business, Opti-Mol Consulting, LLC, in 2015 Brad was Director of Chemistry in the Metabolic Diseases Division at GlaxoSmithKline’s RTP, NC, site.

Brad earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Miami University. He recevied his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois, and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He has authored over thirty scientific publications and is an inventor on seven patents.

Chris Echeverri, Ph.D.

Chris Echeverri

Chris was originally trained as a cell and molecular biologist before entering the biotechnology industry in 1999, where he has since built up a broad range of top management experience focused on outsourced preclinical drug discovery and the development of novel gene modulation technologies.

Much of this came from fifteen years as the lead founder, CEO and CSO of Cenix BioScience GmbH, a discovery-stage preclinical CRO with operations in Germany, Belgium and the US. Along the way, he built up a highly successful 40-staff team focused on high-throughput screening using high content assays, which combined RNAi gene silencing and compound treatments to complete nearly 100 major target discovery, target validation and drug mode of action projects.

Advancing programs in most of the top pharmaceutical companies across a very broad scope of disease indications and biological pathways, this work was also complemented by highly innovative technology development programs, including the design and development of the first commercially-available human genome-wide libraries of siRNAs, sold at the time under the Silencer™ brand by Ambion, now a part of Thermo.

More recently, Chris has been consulting for investor groups and top management teams toward advancing the build-up of young biotech startups focused on innovative therapeutic discovery and development programs.

Chris received his BSc and MSc in Biology from the University of Ottawa. He then earned his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, before carrying out postdoctoral work in Cell Biology at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL, in Heidelberg, Germany.

David Corey, Ph.D.

David Corey

David Corey received his Ph.D. in 1990 from Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley under the guidance of Professor Peter Schultz and did his postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco under the direction of Professor Charles Craik. In 1992 he joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and specializes in the molecular recognition of cellular nucleic acids.

Alain Laederach, Ph.D.

Alain Laederach

Alain Laederach, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Biology department and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His main area of expertise is RNA bioinformatics, with a focus on developing algorithms and computational methods to study RNA structure and transcriptome scale.

Alain received his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from Iowa State University, and then went on to a post-doc at Stanford University (Genetics). His main area of research focuses on integrating large scale whole genome sequencing data with RNA structural probing experiments to identify structured, functional regions in the human transcriptome.

William S. Marshall, Ph.D.

William S. Marshall

William S. Marshall, Ph.D., is the President, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and Director of miRagen, a company dedicated to improving patients’ lives through the discovery and development of innovative RNA-based therapeutics, with a specific focus on microRNAs. Prior to establishing miRagen, Dr. Marshall was Vice President of Technology and Business Development for Bioscience at Thermo Fisher Scientific. In this role, he was responsible for leading technology assessment and strategic planning for the Thermo Fisher Biosciences Division, a unit with revenues of approximately $1 billion that manufactures and supplies a wide range of products and services across the general-chemistry and life-sciences arenas.

Dr. Marshall was one of the scientific founders of Dharmacon, Inc., which was acquired by Fisher Scientific International, serving as the Executive Vice President for Research and Operations and General Manager. Prior to joining Dharmacon, Dr. Marshall served in many capacities at Amgen, Inc., most recently as Associate Director of Research, Site Head for Research and Head of the Nucleic Acid and Peptide Technology Department. In these positions, he participated in a wide variety of therapeutic development approaches throughout the drug discovery process leading to the development of clinical candidates.

Dr. Marshall earned his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in the laboratory of Professor Marvin Caruthers at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is author and co-author of over 50 research papers and 80 patents. Dr. Marshall currently serves on the Board of FluoroFinder, LLC.

Joshua Mendell, Ph.D.

Joshua Mendell

Dr. Joshua Mendell is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, a Professor of Molecular Biology, and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center and the Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas, Texas.

Since 2004, Dr. Mendell has directed a research laboratory focused on investigating RNA biology in normal physiology and disease. In particular, the Mendell laboratory has devoted significant effort towards elucidating functions of noncoding RNAs, including microRNAs, miRNAs, and long noncoding RNAs, lncRNAs, and has made major contributions to our understanding of how these RNA transcripts contribute to diseases such as cancer.

For his work in this area, Dr. Mendell has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Allan C. Davis Medal for the Outstanding Young Scientist in the State of Maryland in 2007, the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research in 2010, and the O’Donnell Award from the Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas in 2016.

Matthew S. Sigman, Ph.D.

Matthew S. Sigman

Matthew S. Sigman, Ph.D., is the Peter J. Christine S. Stang Presidential Endowed Chair of Chemistry at the University of Utah. He earned his B.S. at Sonoma State University, 1992, his Ph.D. at Washington State University, 1996, and was a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, at Harvard University, 1997-1999.

Dr. Sigman's research program is focused on the discovery of new practical catalytic reactions with broad substrate scope, excellent chemoselectivity, and high stereoselectivity to access novel medicinally relevant architectures. He believes the best strategy for developing new classes of catalysts and reactions applicable to organic synthesis is using mechanistic insights to guide the discovery process. This allows him to design new reaction motifs or catalysts in which unique bond constructions can be implemented furthering new approaches to molecule construction.

An underlying theme to these methodologies is to convert relatively simple substrates into much more complex compounds allowing for access to known and novel pharmacaphores in a modular manner. This provides the ability to readily synthesize analogs enabling the understanding of important structural features responsible for a phenotypic response in a given biological assay. Dr. Sigman is currently engaged in several collaborative projects to evaluate his group's compound collections for various cancer types at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah and is engaged in follow-up investigations to identify improved compounds as well as understanding the mechanism of action.

Dr. Sigman's awards include the Peter J. Christine S. Stang Presidential Endowed Chair of Chemistry, 2012-present, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011, U of U Distinguished Scholarly & Creative Research Award, 2011, Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, 2010, Robert W. Parry Teaching Award, 2009, University of Utah Distinguished Honors Professor, 2008, NSF Faculty Early Career Development, CAREER Award, 2001-2006, Research Innovation Award, Research Corporation, 2000-2002, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2004, Pfizer Award for Creativity in Organic Chemistry, 2004, NSF Faculty Early Career Development, CAREER Award, 2001-2006, and a Research Innovation Award, Research Corporation, 2000-2002

Gene Yeo, Ph.D.

Gene Yeo

Gene Yeo is a Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, UCSD. Dr. Yeo has a BSc in Chemical Engineering and a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from the UCSD Rady School of Management. Dr. Yeo’s research interest is in understanding and manipulating RNA processing in development and disease using induced pluripotent stem cell and murine models. His lab demonstrated in vivo RNA targeting with CRISPR/Cas proteins with proof of concept in repeat expansion disorders. The Yeo research group members also developed enhanced CLIP for the purposes of large-scale mapping of protein-RNA interactions.

Gene's lab is an active participant in RNA genomics technology and therapeutics development. Dr. Yeo is on the Editorial Boards of the journals Cell Reports and Cell Research. Dr. Yeo is a recipient of Alfred P Sloan Fellowship in recognition of his work in computational molecular biology (2011) and the inaugural Early Career Award from the International RNA Society (2017). Gene is a co-founder of several biotech companies including Locana, Eclipse Bioinnovations, Enzerna and Proteona. Gene serves or had served on the scientific advisory boards of the Allen Institute of Immunology, Locana, Eclipse Bioinnovations, Proteona, Aquinnah, LGC, Nugen and Ribometrix.

Mike Clayman, MD

Mike Clayman

Mike Clayman, M.D., co-founded Flexion Therapeutics in 2007 and has since served as its president and CEO, guiding the discovery and development of ZILRETTA® for osteoarthritis-related knee pain. He also serves as chairman of the board of Anokion SA, a Swiss biotechnology company focused on treating autoimmune disease.

Before founding Flexion, Dr. Clayman had a distinguished career at Eli Lilly and Company, leading numerous divisions engaged in a broad range of activities, from discovery research to clinical investigation to global regulatory affairs. Among his roles, he served as general manager of Chorus, Lilly’s early-phase development accelerator, and as vice president of Lilly Research Laboratories. Prior to Lilly, Dr. Clayman was an assistant professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where his research centered on the immunopathogenesis of renal disease.

Dr. Clayman is the recipient of the Physician Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.D. from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Kevin Weeks, Ph.D.

Kevin Weeks

Kevin is a founder of Ribometrix and a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The vision of his laboratory is to use chemical principles to explore the central role of RNA in biology with a focus on real-world problems and understanding human disease. RNA SHAPE technologies, invented in his laboratory, are used worldwide. The Weeks laboratory is applying SHAPE and other chemical technologies to challenging problems in biology, including the RNA-mediated reactions central to functions of mRNAs, lncRNAs, and viral RNAs.

Dr. Weeks obtained his BA with Honors and Department Honors in Chemistry from the College of Wooster and completed his Ph.D. at Yale, securing the Richard Wolfgang Prize for most Distinguished Dissertation in Chemistry. Dr. Weeks is a Fulbright and a Searle Scholar, an NIH EUREKA awardee, a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Life Member in Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, and has taught many hundreds of undergraduates their first year chemistry.

Mike Ross, Ph.D.

Mike Ross

Michael Ross, Ph.D. serves as a Managing Partner of SV Life Sciences, SVLS. He was the tenth employee at Genentech, where he worked for 13 years in various roles including team leader and Vice President of Development. Dr. Ross also started Genentech's protein engineering and small molecule discovery effort as Vice President of Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry. He was the founding CEO of Arris Pharmaceutical, MetaXen, ExSAR and CyThera, now Novocell, and was also Managing Partner at Didyma, LLC, a biotechnology management consulting firm.

Dr. Ross currently serves or has served on the board of directors of several biotechnology companies, including Aderis Pharmaceuticals, Adimab, Alinea, Archemix, Arris Pharmaceuticals, Arsanis, Carta Proteomics, CyThera, Glycofi, Epimmune, Genencor, Ikano, Itero Biopharmaceuticals, Link Medicine, MetaXen, Mpex, NKT Therapeutics, Rempex, Rinat, Sutro Biopharmaceuticals and Xenova. He also serves on the faculty of Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.

Dr. Ross received his Bachelor of Arts, A.B., from Dartmouth College, his Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D., degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, Caltech, and completed a Post-Doctorate program in Molecular Biology at Harvard University.

John Gustofson, M.S., MBA

John Gustofson

John Gustofson is a Managing Director of AbbVie Ventures and invests across AbbVie’s therapy areas of Immunology, Oncology, and Neuroscience.

Prior to joining AbbVie, John worked at AstraZeneca as a Director of Strategic Partnering and Business Development focused on oncology licensing. John has 20+ years professional experience as a bench scientist and in various roles of market and business development. In addition John has worked in numerous biotechnology companies including Altus Pharmaceuticals, Therion Biologics, Boston Life Sciences and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals. John also spent approximately 4 years in strategy consulting to the life sciences industry.

John holds a Master Degree in Molecular Biology from the Miami University and an MBA from the Boston University.

Mike Dial, Ph.D.

Mike Dial

Experienced investor and scientist, Mike Dial has over a decade of experience working with early-stage life science and healthcare companies. Mike joined Hatteras in 2009 from Silicon Valley Bank, where he was a Vice President in the Corporate Finance Group focused on emerging tech and life science companies and venture capital funds. Prior to SVB, he held research scientist positions in the Department of Biochemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Laboratory of Structural Biology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the UNC-Duke Michael Hooker Proteomics Center. He has performed research in the fields of cell cycle regulation, proteomics, and cancer therapy.

Mike is a Professor of the Practice at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the Manager for the Carolina Research Ventures Fund, a $10M fund dedicated to UNC-Chapel Hill related start-ups. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Mike serves on the boards of Ribometrix, StrideBio, and Genturi and is a board observer at Spyryx. Previously, Mike was involved with G1 Therapeutics, Viamet, Lysosomal Therapeutics, Artizan Biosciences, and Curoverse among others, and has held various operational roles in Hatteras portfolio companies. Mike has also served on committees and panels for the North Carolina Biotech Center, Council for Entrepreneurial Development, SEBIO and PTP NEXT.

Hakan Goker, Ph.D.

Hakan Goker

Hakan Goker, Ph.D., is a senior investment director at M Ventures, corporate venture arm of the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Hakan has been investing for the past 12 years and joined M Ventures in 2013. Previously Hakan was a partner at Aescap Venture and prior to that was part of Atlas Venture life sciences team.

Since 2006, Hakan has been instrumental in the creation, financing, and corporate strategy of multiple biotechnology companies globally including Artios, Asceneuron, Storm, Bicycle, and F-star. Hakan received his PhD in cancer biology from the Institute of Cancer Research/ University of London and continued his scientific career with post-doctoral work at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Centre/Royal Marsden Hospital. He gained his BSc Honours, from University College London. Hakan currently is a board member at Artios Pharma, Asceneuron, Forendo, Macrophage Pharma, Ribometrix Inc., Storm Therapeutics, Synaffix, Tocopherx, and is the chairperson of iOnctura.

William S. Marshall, Ph.D.

William S. Marshall

William S. Marshall, Ph.D., is the President, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and Director of miRagen, a company dedicated to improving patients’ lives through the discovery and development of innovative RNA-based therapeutics, with a specific focus on microRNAs. Prior to establishing miRagen, Dr. Marshall was Vice President of Technology and Business Development for Bioscience at Thermo Fisher Scientific. In this role, he was responsible for leading technology assessment and strategic planning for the Thermo Fisher Biosciences Division, a unit with revenues of approximately $1 billion that manufactures and supplies a wide range of products and services across the general-chemistry and life-sciences arenas.

Dr. Marshall was one of the scientific founders of Dharmacon, Inc., which was acquired by Fisher Scientific International, serving as the Executive Vice President for Research and Operations and General Manager. Prior to joining Dharmacon, Dr. Marshall served in many capacities at Amgen, Inc., most recently as Associate Director of Research, Site Head for Research and Head of the Nucleic Acid and Peptide Technology Department. In these positions, he participated in a wide variety of therapeutic development approaches throughout the drug discovery process leading to the development of clinical candidates.

Dr. Marshall earned his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in the laboratory of Professor Marvin Caruthers at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is author and co-author of over 50 research papers and 80 patents. Dr. Marshall currently serves on the Board of FluoroFinder, LLC.