Board Officers

The Members of the BioNJ Board of Trustees are thoughtful, engaged, and committed to the work of BioNJ and we are deeply indebted for their passion for Patients and for inspiring our work each day.

Board Officers

Chairman: James Sapirstein, R.Ph., MBA

ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Former Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Sapirstein brings over thirty years of pharmaceutical industry experience to ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CTRV:NASDAQ).  After beginning his career in 1984 with Eli Lilly, he accepted a position at Hoffmann-LaRoche in 1987, where he served for almost a decade as part of its sales and marketing teams. He held a number of positions at Hoffmann-LaRoche, including Product Director and International Operations Manager, and was actively involved with numerous product launches including several antivirals. In 1996, he became the Director of International Marketing of the Infectious Disease Division at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). Mr. Sapirstein directed the international HIV product marketing strategy at BMS and was an integral part of the international development and launch of a number of infectious disease products while at BMS.

Mr. Sapirstein then decided to move into the Biotech arena at Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD). He served in the Global Marketing group at Gilead, beginning in 2000 where he led and developed the global marketing strategy for its flagship HIV drug, Viread. He played a key role in the development of the drug combination strategy that resulted in Gilead’s acquisition of Triangle’s nucleoside portfolio. That acquisition ultimately led to the launch of Truvada, Gilead’s multi-billion dollar combination HIV drug. In 2002, he accepted the position of Executive Vice President for Serono Laboratories where he led a team of over 100 professionals to rebuild a struggling HIV and pediatric growth hormone business. As the founding CEO of Tobira Therapeutics, a New Jersey based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel HIV and infectious disease compounds, he was instrumental in helping to raise over $60 million in venture capital and research funding to enable Tobira to further its scientific development. As a result of those efforts, he was named one of New Jersey’s top 50 most influential people in healthcare in 2010 by Tobira was acquired earlier this year by another New Jersey based company, Allergan. Just prior to joining Contravir, James was CEO of Alliqua Therapeutics at Alliqua, Inc., where he helped lead the transformation of transdermal wound care and drug delivery technology into a premier wound care organization. Mr. Sapirstein developed the growth strategies for the organization and was responsible for several key licensing opportunities which lead to an increased return on investment for all of the shareholders.

Immediate Past Chair: Stuart W. Peltz, Ph.D.

PTC Therapeutics, Inc., Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Peltz is a co-founder of PTC and has served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors since the company’s inception in 1998. Prior to founding PTC, Dr. Peltz was a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University. Dr. Peltz has published over 80 publications in the area of post-transcriptional control processes and has received a number of scientific awards, including being elected as a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Peltz received a Ph.D. from the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin. He was the 2014 recipient of the BioNJ Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation and Leadership.

President and CEO: Debbie Hart, MS, CAE, APR

BioNJ, President and CEO

Debbie Hart, founding President and CEO of BioNJ, is dedicated to the mission and work of BioNJ. She worked alongside New Jersey’s biotechnology industry leaders to establish BioNJ in 1994 and has been dedicated to the organization since then. Debbie has been active on the boards and committees of numerous government and academic institutions.

Debbie was recently named by the Governor and appointed as Chair to the bipartisan, bicameral New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force. She is also a founding board member and officer of OpportunityNJ, a non-profit organization working toward a strong and sustainable State economy; is on the board of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Board of Directors for Choose New Jersey.

Debbie serves on the New Jersey Presidents Council’s branding and marketing task force for New Jersey institutions. Debbie was appointed to the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships and to the NJ Council on Innovation.  She was named to the Advisory Boards of the New Jersey Innovation Institute and the Institute for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship at Kean University.  She served as a member of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) Technology Advisory Board and is a former member and Chair of EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT). Additionally, she served on the transition teams of two former New Jersey governors and was appointed by two Governors to the New Jersey Israel Commission for her work in economic development.

Past government support activities include the Prosperity New Jersey Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Cluster Study commissioned by a former Governor and conducted by Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School, the Jobs Growth and Economic Development Commission established by a former Governor and chaired by Dr. Roy Vagelos as well as the Task Force on Higher Education Quality and Competitiveness of the State. She also served on the Business Task Force established by the New Jersey State Legislature in 2011.

A strong advocate for advancing education, Debbie serves as a board member of the Rutgers University Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for the Study of Pharmaceutical Management at Rutgers University Business School, and has served on the Advisory Board of the College of Science and Mathematics at Montclair University, the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business and the Science Advisory Board at Rider University as well as the advisory boards for the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) Biomedical Engineering Program, Monmouth University’s School of Science, Technology and Engineering and as a Director of the Liberty Science Center’s Women’s Leadership Council.

Debbie served on the advisory board that guided the establishment of the nationally recognized Monmouth County Biotechnology High School and as a member of the New Jersey Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Advisory Board.  In 2005, she delivered the Commencement Address at Raritan Valley Community College’s graduation ceremonies.

As an advocate for the industry, Debbie has testified before State and federal legislative committees.  She is also a frequent speaker at industry events, including serving as the Keynote speaker at the Russian Pharmaceutical Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Knowledge for Growth Conference in Ghent, Belgium; the Women’s Clinical Leadership Forum at the Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference in Orlando, Florida; and the Shanghai Bio Conference in Shanghai.

Debbie was honored by the Women’s Fund of New Jersey as a Woman Advancing Science, and she and BioNJ were recognized by NJIT with a New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame Award.

Debbie is an NJBIZ New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business honoree. In March 2014 in commemoration of Women’s History Month, she was nominated by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt and honored by the New Jersey General Assembly as a Woman Advancing Science. In May 2014, Debbie was named to PolitickerNJ’s Health Care Power List of 2014.

More recently, Debbie was named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Biotechnology by Scientific American Worldview; to ROI-NJ’s 2018 Influencers Power List; as one of HudsonMod Magazine’s 2015 list of Women in Power; one of New Jersey’s top CEOs by COMMERCE Magazine; one of New Jersey’s 2015 Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners by Leading Women Entrepreneurs and for the sixth time in 2018 to the NJBIZ Power 100, a listing of the 100 most influential people in New Jersey business.

Debbie holds an M.S. from the S. I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University where she graduated cum laude and a B.A. from Trenton State College, now The College of New Jersey, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Vice Chairman: Daniel J. O’Connor, J.D.

OncoSec Medical, Inc., Chief Executive Officer

Prior to joining OncoSec Medical, Mr. O’Connor served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis Immunotherapies. He successfully turned around the company, raising more than $250 million in funding and transforming it into a patient-focused, leading cancer immunotherapy company. He was also instrumental in establishing major partnerships with companies that include Amgen Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol Myers Squibb. In addition, under Mr. O’Connor’s leadership, the company advanced four new cancer immunotherapy drug candidates into clinical trials, as well as several PD-1 combination clinical studies with Keytruda® and Opdivo®.  Previously, he was Senior Vice President for ImClone Systems where he supported the clinical development, launch, and commercialization of ERBITUX®, and the sale of the company to Eli Lilly in 2008. Mr. O’Connor served as General Counsel at PharmaNet (inVentiv Health) and was part of the senior leadership team that grew the company from a start-up contract research organization into a leader in clinical research.

Mr. O’Connor is a 1995 graduate of the Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and currently serves as an Entrepreneur Trusted Advisor to its Dean. He graduated from the United States Marines Corps Officer Candidate School in 1988 and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marines, attaining the rank of Captain while serving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. Mr. O’Connor is currently the Vice Chairman of BioNJ and was a former New Jersey criminal prosecutor.

Secretary: Christian Kopfli, Esq.

Chromocell Corporation, Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Kopfli co-founded Chromocell in 2002, serving initially as General Counsel before becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2005. Prior to joining Chromocell, he was an Associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell, working in its New York City, Tokyo and Frankfurt offices. At Davis Polk, Mr. Kopfli worked extensively in Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets and Private Equity Transactions.

Mr. Kopfli received a doctoral degree in law (magna cum laude) from the University of Zurich in 2000 and earned his LL.M. from Columbia Law School in New York City in 1998. He is a Board Member of BioNJ and admitted to the Bar in New York and Switzerland.

Treasurer: Monika A. Vnuk, M.D.

Vice President, R&D Business Development, Pfizer, Inc.

Dr. Monika Vnuk is Vice President of R&D Business Development for Pfizer Inc. In this role, Dr. Vnuk leads an international team responsible for executing all pre-clinical business development transactions for Pfizer.

Since joining Pfizer in 2008, Dr. Vnuk has been responsible for leading the evaluation, execution and negotiations of many business transactions, including licensing deals, collaborations, joint-ventures, and mergers and acquisitions, in support of Pfizer’s Innovative Medicines and Established Medicines businesses across developed and emerging markets.

Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Vnuk was a Vice President at Banc of America Securities. During her time with Banc of America, Dr. Vnuk helped life science companies complete initial public offerings, private placements and strategic transactions. Prior to her position at Banc of America, Dr. Vnuk was a Principal at Oxford Bioscience Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early stage biotechnology investments. During her five years with Oxford, she worked with the investment team in forming several biotechnology and medical device start-ups in addition to helping portfolio companies complete private financing transactions. Prior to her role with Oxford Bioscience, Dr. Vnuk was a Fellow at the Health Care Entrepreneurship Program at Boston University.

Dr. Vnuk is a 2000 Inductee to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Vnuk holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy from Boston University and an M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine.

Board Members

Sol J. Barer, Ph.D.

Former Chairman, Celgene Corporation
Chairman of the Board, Edge Therapeutics, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Barer spent most of his professional career with the Celgene Corporation. He was Chairman from January 2011 until June 2011, Executive Chairman from June 2010 until Jan 2011 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from May 2006 until June 2010. Previously he was appointed President in 1993 and Chief Operating Officer in 1994 before assuming the CEO position. He also served as Senior Vice President, Science and Technology, and Vice President/General Manager, Chiral Products, from October 1990 to October 1993, and Vice President, Technology, from September 1987 to October 1990. Dr. Barer was the founder of the biotechnology group at the Celanese Research Company which was subsequently spun out to form Celgene.

Dr. Barer serves as Chairman of the Board of the public companies Edge Therapeutics, InspireMD and Medgenics and private company Centrexion, is Lead Director of ContraFect and is on the Board of Directors of the public companies Amicus Therapeutics and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. He is a Venture Advisor to the Israel Biotechnology Fund as well as an advisor to biopharma companies.

In 2011 Dr. Barer was Chairman of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Governor’s Advisory Committee which resulted in sweeping changes in the structure of New Jersey’s medical schools and public research universities. He previously served as a Commissioner of the NJ Commission on Science and Technology. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Rutgers University (until 2013). He also served two terms as Chair of the Board of Trustees of BioNJ (2010-2012) the New Jersey biotechnology organization.

Dr. Barer was named to the “Worldview 100” (Scientific American’s 100 most influential figures in today’s world of biotechnology) in 2015, named one of “25 Leadership Legends of NJ” (NJBiz) in 2012, “The 50 Most Powerful People in N.J. Health Care,” in 2012, inducted into the NJBiz Hall of Fame in 2011 and was named as one of NJ’s top 10 scientists by New Jersey Business in 2008. Dr. Barer has received countless professional awards and honors.

Ambaw Bellete

Photocure, Inc., President

Mr. Bellete is the President of Photocure Inc a position that he has held since January 2012. He has nearly 27 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical and medical device industry. He has most recently ran two startup companies from inception to commercialization.  Mr. Bellete has held senior executive positions across multiple therapeutic areas in business development, commercial operations, managed care, marketing and sales at companies such as Pharmacia and Sanofi. Prior to joining Photocure, he was most recently President of Medical Compression Systems.  He has been a Trustee of BioNJ since April 29, 2015.

Bradley L. Campbell

Amicus Therapeutics, President and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Campbell is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Amicus Therapeutics and is also a member of the Board of Directors. He brings over 15 years of experience in the Orphan Drug industry. Mr. Campbell joined Amicus in 2006 and leads the global organization responsible for the commercialization of GalafoldTM for the treatment of Fabry Disease. He also oversees the Technical Operations, Market Access, and Program Management functions.

Prior to Amicus, Mr. Campbell spent time in various commercial and business development roles at Genzyme and Bristol-Myers Squibb and as a strategy consultant for Marakon Associates.

Mr. Campbell currently serves as a Director of Progenics Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PGNX) and as a member of the BioNJ Board and of the Corporate Advisory Board for the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association. He received a B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Tom Cavanaugh

President, Janssen Oncology

Tom Cavanaugh is President, Janssen Oncology, and a member of the Janssen Americas Leadership Team.

Tom is a results-focused leader with an ability to navigate through complex environments, develop talent and motivate diverse teams. He joined Janssen in September, 2017 after a successful career at Celgene where he led the U.S. Hematology/Oncology business. As Corporate Vice-President and General Manager, Tom’s leadership was instrumental to exceeding business objectives through innovative approaches, including an enhanced customer engagement initiative that better prepared the organization for future product launches and line extensions. Prior to this role, Tom was Vice President of U.S. Hematology Sales and Marketing, where he led the U.S. launch of REVLIMID® (lenalidomide) in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma and pre-launch activities for IDHIFA® (enasidenib).

Over the course of 14 years at Celgene, Tom held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in marketing, general management, medical affairs, and product development. He was responsible for the initial product launch of REVLIMID and life cycle strategy for REVLIMID and POMALYST® (pomalidomide). As Vice President and Global Head of Marketing for Hematology, Tom led the design and implementation of disease area strategies for new and in-line products, including portfolio prioritization and resource allocation. His extensive global experience includes two roles in Europe as General Manager of Celgene’s business in Spain and Head of EMEA Marketing in Switzerland.

Tom joined Celgene from Pharmacia, where he held roles in sales and product management. He began his career as a chemist and pharmacy technician. Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from North Carolina State University. He lives with his wife and three children in New Jersey.

Paul G. Howes

Mr. Howes is the former Executive Chairman and President of ThromboGenics, Inc., the U.S. operating subsidiary of Belgian biotech company ThromboGenics, NV. Prior to ThromboGenics, Mr. Howes was the President & CEO of Inotek Pharmaceuticals, a NASDAQ-listed junior biotech company active in ophthalmic drug development. Mr. Howes has over 25 years of commercial strategy, product development and sales and marketing experience in pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Prior to joining Inotek, Mr. Howes was President of the Americas Region for Bausch & Lomb with leadership responsibility for the United States, Canada, Latin America and South America across Bausch & Lomb’s Vision Care, Surgical and Pharmaceuticals business segments. Prior to joining Bausch & Lomb in 2003, Mr. Howes spent the previous 16 years in various senior management roles at Merck & Co. Inc. This experience included roles as Executive Director of Hospital Marketing, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Specialty Products, President & CEO of the DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company and President of Merck Frosst Canada, Inc. Prior to Merck, Mr. Howes spent 11 years at Price Waterhouse Canada.

Mr. Howes is a graduate of Harvard College and earned his MBA from York University in Toronto, Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants, and currently serves on the board of Prevent Blindness.

Michele Korfin

As former Vice President of Market Access at Kite Pharma, Inc., Ms. Korfin’s responsibilities included overseeing Payer Relations, Government Affairs, and Kite KonnectTM. Kite KonnectTM was developed to assure a positive personalized experience for health care providers and the patients who may receive a Kite CAR-T therapy.

Prior to joining Kite, Ms. Korfin spent over 11 years at Celgene in a number of different roles spanning Commercial and Project Leadership. These roles included the Global Project Leader for Lenalidomide in Lymphoma, Head of U.S. Market Access, Oncology Team National Sales Director and leadership roles in U.S. and Global Marketing. While at Celgene, she led the creation of the nationally recognized Celgene Patient Support program. Celgene Patient Support was developed to be a dedicated team to assist patients and health care providers with access to Celgene Hematology/Oncology drugs.  She also was integral for the successful launches of REVLIMID® for MDS and Multiple Myeloma, THALOMID® for Multiple Myeloma, ISTODAX® for CTCL and PTCL, and ABRAXANE® for NSCLC and Pancreatic Cancer.

Ms. Korfin also worked at Schering-Plough in Commercial roles, at Bain Consulting in Boston, and at Merck in the Manufacturing Division.  She has a B.S. in Pharmacy from Rutgers University and an MBA from Harvard University. Ms. Korfin is a licensed pharmacist in New Jersey.

John Maki

Vicus Therapeutics, President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Maki previously served as Managing Director of Technology Directors, Inc., as Managing Director of Audax Group and as Principal, Bain Capital, as well as consultant, Bain & Company.

Mr. Maki holds an AB degree from Harvard University. Mr. Maki has over 25 years of industry experience and has been founding investor and/or board member of eleven life science companies. In addition, four of Mr. Maki’s portfolio companies had successful IPOs and grew to a combined market capitalization exceeding $2.5 billion dollars. Mr. Maki currently serves on the boards of 3DMatrix, a wound healing device company and Vicus Therapeutics. Mr. Maki also serves on the Board of Trustees of BioNJ.

Anthony Marucci, MBA

Celldex Therapeutics, Inc., Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

Mr. Marucci is a Founder of Celldex and serves as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to his appointment as President and CEO in 2008, Mr. Marucci served as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary of Celldex. Celldex, founded in 2004 as a subsidiary of Medarex (Medarex is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bristol Myers Squibb), was initially spun out as an independent private company in October 2005 with the asset acquisition of CDX-110 from Alteris Therapeutics, Inc. and the acquisition of Lorantis Limited (Cambridge, UK). In addition to these acquisitions, Mr. Marucci is also responsible for the AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc. and Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. merger completed during the first quarter of 2008 and the acquisition of CuraGen Corporation completed in the third quarter of 2009. He was Treasurer of Medarex from December 1998 to March 2004, where he held a series of senior financial positions since December 1998. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of BioNJ and also served as its Treasurer through 2010. Mr. Marucci received a B.S. in Accounting from Kean University, an MBA from Columbia University and an MHL from Brown University.

Clive Meanwell, M.D., Ph.D.

The Medicines Company, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Meanwell is the Chief Executive Officer of The Medicines Company, a New Jersey company which he founded in 1997 while a Managing Partner and Senior Managing Director at MPM Capital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also Vice Chairman of BB Biotech and had been a director of the listed, Swiss corporation which invests in the field of biotechnology since 2003. Previously, Dr. Meanwell was Senior Vice President of Roche Life Sciences, Palo Alto and before then held a series of leadership positions in product development, regulatory affairs and marketing at Roche, mostly based in Switzerland. Earlier in his career he was a member of the Amgen-Roche team that developed and launched Neupogen®. Before joining the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Meanwell trained in medicine and then undertook a research fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Birmingham, and the Queen Elizabeth Medical Center, in the United Kingdom.

Greg Oakes

Celgene, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, US Inflammation and Immunology

Mr. Oakes joined Celgene in July, 2017 as Corporate Vice President & General Manager, US Inflammation & Immunology. He is responsible for commercializing Celgene’s I&I portfolio in the United States.

Previously, Mr. Oakes served as Vice President & Head Biopharmaceuticals, North America, Sandoz Inc., a Novartis Division. He led the Sandoz biopharmaceuticals business and was responsible for the development and commercialization of the portfolio, which includes biosimilars, in the US and Canada. Mr. Oakes has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical experience and serves as a member of the Sandoz US Executive Committee. He also served as Vice President and Head of Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporations (NPC) US Managed Markets, Market Access and Primary Care & Established Medicines Business Unit. In addition to having overall responsibility for marketing, sales and the Patient and Specialty Services group, he was able to affect change aligning and strengthening the company’s value proposition across the portfolio to leading customers, including Pharmacy Benefit Managers, Insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, Chain Pharmacies, Specialty Pharmacies, GPO’s, Wholesalers, and Systems of Care. Mr. Oakes served as a member of the US General Medicines Executive Committee.

Prior to joining Novartis in January, 2010, Mr. Oakes worked at Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical Corporation as General Manager, Czech Republic and Slovakia, where he led a high-performing team of more than 200 colleagues. He also held positions of increasing responsibility within sales and US managed markets, including Vice President, US Managed Markets responsible for the company’s Corporate Account, Specialty Market, Federal/Department of Defense, Customer Marketing, Hospital Account, Generic, Retail Trade and Distribution segments.

Greg has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing/Business Administration from Edinboro University, and a Master of Business Administration from Clemson University.

Matthew Roden, Ph.D.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Vice President and Head of Strategic Corporate Development

Dr. Roden is Vice President and Head of Strategic Corporate Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role, Dr. Roden works in close collaboration with leaders across the organization to recommend creative options and proactive strategies to expand the R&D and product portfolio. Dr. Roden also oversees the Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) team responsible for acquisitions, structured transactions and divestitures. Prior to joining BMS, he was a Senior Equity Analyst and Head of the Biotechnology Equity Research Team at UBS, leading coverage of large, mid- and small-cap biotechnology stocks. In this role, Dr. Roden strove to be a Street leader in clinical trial analysis, commercial ramp projections and the regulatory and payer landscape. Earlier, Dr. Roden was a Vice President and Senior Biotech Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan, the latter of which helped drive the Institutional Investor #2-ranked large cap biotech franchise. His equity research career started in 2005 at Credit Suisse First Boston as an Associate Analyst covering biotechnology. Dr. Roden holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and prior was a pre-IRTA Fellow in immuno-oncology at the National Cancer Institute. He also holds a M.S. degree from Georgetown University and a B.S. degree from George Mason University.


Spiro Rombotis

Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Rombotis joined Cyclacel as its first CEO in 1997 and has 30 years of experience with biopharmaceutical companies. He was previously Vice President, International Operations and Business Development; Managing Director, Europe; and Representative Director, Japanese joint venture, at The Liposome Company, subsequently acquired by Elan. He held various executive roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, most recently as Vice President, Pharmaceuticals Central and Eastern Europe. He was Head of European Marketing and Sales, Head of Corporate Development and one of the first employees of Centocor, subsequently acquired by Johnson & Johnson, and worked in Business Development at Novartis AG.

He holds a BA from Williams College and an MBA and Master’s degree in Hospital Management with honors, from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he serves on the Kellogg Biotech Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of BioNJ.


Alan L. Rubino

Emisphere Technologies, Inc., President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Rubino joined Emisphere in 2012 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Upon joining, he was also appointed as Class II Director of the Company. Mr. Rubino’s career spans over 30 years at every level of the biopharmaceutical industry.

Previously, he was President and CEO of New American Therapeutics Inc., a private specialty pharmaceutical company that acquired, marketed and developed therapeutic products. New American Therapeutics Inc. achieved major success through the acquisition, marketing and eventual sale of its herpes drug, Denavir® where the team tripled sales in 18 months. Denavir® was then sold to Renaissance Pharmaceuticals, for a multiple of three times sales. Prior to New American Therapeutics Inc., Mr. Rubino served as CEO and President of Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, where he and his team acquired Tirosint® and NitroMist®, two key NDA approved launch products. Rounding out his background, he had also been President and COO of another publicly-held entity, Pharmos Corporation, where he led the transformation of the company through the acquisition of Vela Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Rubino also spent four years in senior leadership positions on the strategic services side of the healthcare sector with two other public companies, Cardinal Health and PDI Inc.

A major portion of Mr. Rubino’s career includes his twenty-four years spent at Hoffmann-La Roche, now Genentech (a subsidiary of Roche) which remains one of the world’s top 10 biopharmaceutical companies. At Roche, he was a corporate officer and member of the U.S. Executive Committee. He held a variety of key senior executive positions that encompassed business operations, business strategy, human resources, marketing, sales, corporate development and strategic planning.

Mr. Rubino currently serves on the Corporate Boards of Vericel Inc., Genisphere, Inc. and Sanuwave Health, Inc. For the past 17 years, he has served on the Board of Rutgers University School of Business and the Lerner Center for Pharmaceutical Studies. Mr. Rubino holds a B.A. in economics from Rutgers University along with a full minor in biology and chemistry. He also attended multiple executive education courses at Harvard Business School and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He is also a on the Boards of BioNJ and HINJ.

Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D.

Soligenix, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Schaber has over 27 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Dr. Schaber has been Soligenix’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a director since August 2006. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Soligenix, he also serves on the boards of the Alliance for BioSecurity and f BioNJ. He is a member of the corporate councils for both the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD) and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT).

Prior to joining the company, Dr. Schaber served from 1998 to 2006 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Laboratories, Inc., where he was responsible for overall pipeline development and key areas of commercial operations, including regulatory affairs, quality control and assurance, manufacturing and distribution, preclinical and clinical research, and medical affairs, as well as coordination of commercial launch preparation activities. From 1996 to 1998, he was a co-founder of Acute Therapeutics, Inc., and served as its Vice President of Regulatory Compliance and Drug Development. From 1994 to 1996, he was employed by Ohmeda PPD, Inc., as Worldwide Director of Regulatory Affairs and Operations. From 1989 to 1994, Dr. Schaber held a variety of regulatory, development and operations positions with The Liposome Company, Inc., and Elkins-Sinn Inc., a division of Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.

Dr. Schaber received his BA from Western Maryland College, his MS in Pharmaceutics from Temple University School of Pharmacy and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Union Graduate School. During his career, Dr. Schaber has played a significant role in raising in excess of $200 million through both public offerings and private placements.

Marco Taglietti, M.D.

SCYNEXIS, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Taglietti joined Scynexis’ Board of Directors in 2014 as an independent Director becoming Scynexis’ CEO and President in April 2015. He served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Forest Laboratories, Inc. and also as President of the Forest Research Institute until its purchase by Actavis in 2014. During his career at Forest, Stiefel and Schering-Plough, Dr. Taglietti has brought to market more than 35 different products in the U.S. and internationally through a variety of regulatory strategies including NDA 505(b)1 and 505(b)2, 510k medical device, ANDA for generics and EMA MAA in many different therapeutic areas, including anti-infectives, oncology, psychiatry, neurology, cardiovascular, respiratory, dermatology, metabolism and internal medicine.

Ji Zhang, Ph.D.

Sanofi, Senior Vice President, Head of R&D Operations

As head of R&D Operations, Dr. Zhang’s teams integrate interdisciplinary scientific and clinical operations across the scientific platforms in preclinical, CMC development and clinical development areas, to provide expertise and high caliber support to R&D projects, delivering new medicines with high quality, reduced cycle time and well controlled cost.  He has overall responsibility for operational strategy, infrastructure and capital investment, and productivity improvements in R&D operations. Prior to joining Sanofi in 2003, Dr. Zhang worked at Merck Research Laboratories. Dr. Zhang has been extensively published in clinical development research areas. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in mathematics, probability and statistics from Peking University, China and earned a Ph.D. in statistics from North Carolina State University.

Board Advisors

Dan Barton

IQVIA, Vice President & General Manager, U.S. Healthcare Solutions and Integrated Engagement Services

In his role, Mr. Barton is responsible for leading IQVIA information, services and technology solutions for their payer, provider, medical device and government customers. He is also responsible for leading IQVIA’s Integrated Engagement Services solutions which encompasses contract sales, market access, medical affairs, call center services, clinical nurse educators and medical communications working with pharmaceutical and medical device customers. In addition, Mr. Barton is responsible for U.S. innovation initiatives and U.S marketing activities.

Mr. Barton joined IMS Health in November 2011 from SDI, a healthcare consulting firm specializing in providing advanced analytics to the life sciences industry where he was leading the patient analytics practice. Before that, he spent 18 years at GlaxoSmithkline (GSK) where he was Vice President of Data Management responsible for information management and commercial analytics supporting the North American Pharmaceutical Division. He also spent time in a variety of other roles at GSK including brand management, field sales and commercial operations. Mr. Barton holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Scranton.

Rajeev Dadoo, Ph.D.

SROne, Partner

Dr. Dadoo joined SR One in 2003 and is an alum of the Kauffman Fellows Program. He has been involved with SR Ones investments in Cydex, Hypnion, iPierian, Inc., Predix Pharmaceuticals, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Octoplus, Trigen, Nucleonics and Pinnacle Pharmaceuticals. In addition to his role at SR One, Dr. Dadoo spent time with the Competitive Excellence group within GSK working on company-wide strategic projects for GSKs Corporate Executive Team. Prior to SR One, he worked at Genentech, where his role included technology and clinical development, and at Bio-Rad Laboratories in a product development role. Dr. Dadoo also worked at Genome Therapeutics in the business development role. He was a co-founder of Unimicro Technologies, a company that was created to develop and commercialize instrumentation for biomedical analysis.

Dr. Dadoo received his BA degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Knox College, his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University.

Andrew L. Pecora, M.D.

Hackensack Meridian Health, Chief Innovations Officer and President of Physician Enterprise

Dr. Pecora is recognized internationally as one of the world’s foremost experts in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation, cellular medicine, and immunology research. A certified hematologist and oncologist, Dr. Pecora has transformed the cancer program at Hackensack University Medical Center into one of the nation’s top cancer centers. At Hackensack Meridian Health, Dr. Pecora holds the titles of Chief Innovations Officer and President of Physician Enterprise. He founded and serves as Executive Chairman of COTA, a healthcare software analytics company focused on enabling value-based care delivery. Dr. Pecora is instrumental in the continued expansion of Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), one of the largest oncology physician networks in the country. As Founder of RCCA, his goal is to create world class cancer care and access to research close to home for patients. Dr. Pecora also co-founded PCT Caladrius, L.L.C.; a company focused on development, manufacturing and delivery of cell-based therapies that sold to Hitachi.

Dr. Pecora is a professor of medicine and Oncology at Georgetown University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He has led award-winning research funded by the National Cancer Institute and the AHEPA Research Foundation. Dr. Pecora received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed his fellowship in hematology/oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Tony Torrington

Ernst & Young, Partner, Northeast Assurance Life Science Market Leader

Mr. Torrington is a partner in Ernst & Young’s assurance practice, with over 26 years of experience serving principally high growth life sciences clients at various stages of development. His technical background focuses principally on SEC accounting, auditing, and reporting matters. Mr. Torrington currently serves as the Assurance Market Leader for the NE Life Sciences Market Board (FY 2015-2018), and prior to that served as the SGM Leader for the NJ Market Board (FY 2014). He has extensive experience with life sciences companies and has successfully navigated through more than 25 initial public offerings, including the following most recently completed transactions: Myovant Ltd, Agile Therapeutics, Omthera Pharmaceuticals, PTC Therapeutics, Stemline Therapeutics, Ophthotech and ContraFect Corporation.

Mr. Torrington’s current public client responsibilities include Catalent, Aralez Pharmaceuticals, Axovant Ltd, Myovant Ltd and Insmed Pharmaceuticals. He has also served on numerous other public and private companies in the life sciences sector, including: The Medicines Company, Agile Therapeutics, Stemline Therapeutics, PTC Therapeutics and ContraFect Corporation, Covance, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Amicus Therapeutics, Medarex, Immunomedics, Delcath Systems, Genentech, Nektar Therapeutics, Barrier Therapeutics, Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Avigen Pharmaceuticals, Axys Pharmaceuticals, ESP Pharma, Esprit Pharma, Sangamo Biosciences, InterMune Pharmaceuticals, MIM Corporation, Titan Pharmaceuticals and many others.

Mr. Torrington is a certified public accountant in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania and is a member of the New Jersey State Society of Public Accountants, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He earned a BS in Accounting from Rider University.