Bennett M. Shapiro, M.D. | PureTech Ventures, ex-EVP Merck
Dr. Shapiro, has served on our board of directors since September 2004 and has served as Chairman since 2007. In addition to serving on our board of directors, Dr. Shapiro has served as a senior partner at Puretech Ventures, an innovation enterprise, since 2004, and as chairman from 2009-2015; he now continues as a Non-Executive Director of PureTech HealthPLC-PRTC. Prior to this, he was Executive Vice President, Merck Research Laboratories (NASDAQ: MRK). He joined Merck in 1990 as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Basic Research, where he was responsible for all the basic and preclinical research activities at Merck; in 1999 he became Executive Vice President, Worldwide Licensing and External Research, where he directed all of Merck’s research relationships with the academic and industrial biomedical research community, and retired from Merck in 2003.
Previously, he was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington. He is the author of more than 120 papers on the molecular regulation of cellular behavior and the biochemical events that integrate the cascade of cellular activations at fertilization.
Dr. Shapiro received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Dickinson College and his doctorate degree in medicine from Jefferson Medical College. Following an Internship in Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, he was a Research Associate at the NIH, then a Visiting Scientist at the Institute Pasteur in Paris and returned to the NIH as Chief – Section on Cellular Differentiation in the Laboratory of Biochemistry, prior to joining the University of Washington. Dr. Shapiro has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and a Visiting Professor at the University of Nice. He has served on many institutional advisory boards and scientific review panels. Dr. Shapiro also currently serves as an external director on the board of directors of various private companies and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, an independent, non-profit development partnership. Dr. Shapiro previously served on the board of directors of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, and on the board of directors of Celera Corporation prior to its acquisition by Quest Diagnostics Inc.
Ruti Alon | Medstrada, Israel
Ms. Ruth Alon is the Founder and CEO of Medstrada, Israel. Since 1997, Ms. Alon has served as a General Partner in Pitango Venture Capital. With close to 30 years of international experience in the high-tech medical industry, Ms. Alon heads the Life Sciences activities at Pitango and has led several of its portfolio companies to successful acquisitions, among them Disc-O-Tech, Colbar, Ventor and Optonol. Ms. Alon previously worked on Wall Street where she held senior positions with Montgomery Securities and Kidder Peabody & Co., as a senior medical device analyst. She also managed her own independent consulting business in San Francisco, providing broad-based services to early-stage companies and venture capitalists in the medical devices industry.
Ms. Alon is the force behind the establishment in 2005 of ILSI, Israel Life Science Industry, a not-for-profit organization representing the mutual goals of approximately 700 Israeli life science companies. Ms. Alon is the current Chairperson of ILSI. Ms. Alon has a B.A. in Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an M.B.A. from Boston University, and an M.S. from the Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons.
Prof. Ruth Arnon, Ph.D. | Weizmann Institute of Science
Prof. Ruth Arnon is an immunologist with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and currently serves as the President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanity. Formerly vice-president of the Weizmann Institute of Science from 1988 to 1997, Prof. Arnon has made significant contributions to the fields of vaccine development, cancer research and to the study of parasitic diseases. She co-developed Copaxone®, a drug for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis presently marketed in the USA, Canada, the EU, Israel, Australia and many other countries worldwide.
Prof. Arnon earned her M.Sc. in Chemistry from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, and her Ph.D. from the Hebrew University. Prof. Arnon joined the staff of the Weizmann Institute in 1960. Prior to her appointment as vice-president, she served as Head of the Department of Chemical Immunology, and as Dean of the Faculty of Biology. From 1985 to 1994, she was the director of the Institute’s MacArthur Center for Molecular Biology of Tropical Diseases. She is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences, and served as its president from 2010 to 2015. Prof Arnon is also an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). She has served as president of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS), and as secretary-general of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS).
Over the years she served as a member of the Board of Trustees of many organizations including the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul (IVI). Her awards and honours include the Robert Koch Prize in Medical Sciences, Spain’s Jimenez Diaz Memorial Award, France’s Legion of Honour, the Hadassah World Organization’s Women of Distinction Award, the Wolf Prize for Medicine, the Rothschild Prize for Biology, and the Israel Prize. At the Weizmann Institute, Prof. Arnon is the incumbent of the Paul Ehrlich Professorial Chair in Immunochemistry
Ron Cohen, M.D. | Acorda Therapeutics, Inc
Dr. Ron Cohen, M.D. joined our board in February 2015. In addition to serving on our board of directors, Dr. Cohen has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., since 1995. Previously he was a principal in the startup and an officer of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc., a biotechnology company engaged in the growth of human organ tissues for transplantation, from 1986 to 1992. Dr. Cohen received his B.A. with honors in Psychology from Princeton University, and his M.D. from the Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical Center, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Cohen is Chair of the Board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). He previously served as Director and Chair of the New York Biotechnology Association. He is a recipient of the NY CEO Lifetime Achievement Award and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the New York Metropolitan Region, and has been recognized by PharmaVOICE Magazine as one of the 100 Most Inspirational People in the Biopharmaceutical Industry.
Prof. Dror Harats, M.D. | Chief Executive Officer, VBL Therapeutics
Prof. Harats founded VBL in 2000 based on more than 15 years of research in atherosclerosis, vascular biology and lipid metabolism. He is the Chairman of the Bert W Strassburger Lipid Center at Chaim Sheba Medical Center – Tel Hashomer and Chairman of its Institute Review Board and has consulted to major pharmaceutical companies. Prof Harats is an M.D. graduate of the Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel, and has carried out post-doctoral work at University of California, San Francisco. He is also a Professor of Medicine in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine of Tel Aviv University.
David Hastings joined our board in January 2018. Mr. Hastings has more than 18 years of finance, accounting and operations experience in the bio-pharmaceutical industry. He was most recently the Chief Financial Officer of Unilife Corporation. He was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Incyte from October 2003 until 2014. From February 2000 to September 2003 Mr. Hastings served as Vice President Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of ArQule Inc. Prior to his employment with ArQule, Mr. Hastings was Vice President and Corporate Controller at Genzyme Inc., and Director of Finance at Sepracor. David Hastings received his B.A. in Economics at the University of Vermont. He is a member of the Board Director of SCYNEXIS, Inc. and serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee.
Susan L. Kelley, M.D.
Susan Kelley joined our board in January 2018. Dr. Kelley received her M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine and completed oncology training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She was also a Fellow in Medical Oncology and Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine Dr. Kelley joined the pharmaceutical industry and worked with Bristol-Myers Squibb in Oncology and Immunology drug development from 1987 to 2001. From 2001 to 2008, Dr. Kelley worked with Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals as Vice President, Global Clinical Development and Therapeutic Area Head – Oncology. She led the Bayer team responsible for the development and worldwide regulatory approval of Nexavar (sorafenib) in kidney cancer and liver cancer, and was also responsible for clinical development of the early pipeline drug candidates. From 2008 to 2011, she was Chief Medical Officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, where her leadership responsibilities included the strategic design and management of clinical trials conducted by leading myeloma clinical research centers in North America. Dr. Kelley served as a member of the Board of Directors of Alchemia from 2013-2015, and Cerulean Pharma from 2014-2017. She is currently a Director at ArQule, Immune Design, and Daré Bioscience, all publicly-traded, US-based biotechnology companies.