You are here
Scientific Advisory Boards
Karoly Nikolich, Ph.D., Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Karoly Nikolich has been director and SAB member of several biotech companies. He served as CEO of Amnestix, Inc, between 2007 and 2010; during this time he was also US partner and advisor of dievini investments. Earlier, he was executive director of the Neuroscience Institute at Stanford University. Dr. Nikolich co-founded several biotech companies, including AGY Therapeutics with Bob Swanson in 1998. He started his career in the biotech industry as a scientist at Genentech during the early 1980s where he initiated and built the company’s first neuroscience research program. Later, he was VP Research at Lynx Therapeutics (acquired by Solexa/Illumina). Dr. Nikolich is currently Consulting Professor at Stanford University Medical School and was formerly Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California. As a scientist he co-authored 130 publications. He has been an investment advisor to several public and private venture funds. Dr. Nikolich is a graduate of Eotvos University in Budapest, Hungary, and conducted postdoctoral studies at Tulane University in New Orleans and at the University of California San Francisco.
Richard Béliveau, Ph.D., Scientific Founder
Dr. Richard Béliveau obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Université Laval in 1980 and completed postdoctoral studies at Cornell University. He is full professor of biochemistry at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) since 1984. Dr. Béliveau is an associate Professor of Surgery and of Physiology at the Université de Montréal, and is a member of the Group of Experimental Therapy of Cancer at the Oncology Department of the Jewish General Hospital. He also holds the Claude Bertrand Chair of Neurosurgery at the Centre Hospitalier of Université de Montreal. Since 1996, he has been the Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Medicine at UQAM and holds the Chair in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer. He is the Head of a research team composed of over 25 researchers at UQAM, and he has authored 250 articles and 300 communications.
Quentin Smith, PhD
Dr. Quentin Smith is currently a Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Sciences at Texas Tech University. Dr. Smith holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Utah. He worked for 17 years at the National Institutes of Health attaining the rank of Section Chief in the National Institute on Aging. He transferred to Texas Tech in 1997 to help build the new School of Pharmacy. His primary research interests are in the structure and function of the blood-brain barrier as well as in drug development and delivery to the central nervous system for the treatment of brain tumors and ischemic disease. He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed research papers, and is a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists as well as a Grover E. Murray Professor. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.
Robert Coffin, MD
Robert Coffin received his PhD in virology in 1990 from Imperial College London following which he conducted research at University College London as a lecturer and senior lecturer in virology and gene therapy. Here he led a research group studying basic virology and developing gene delivery technology based mainly on herpes simplex virus before founding BioVex (then NeuroVex) in 1998 intended to commercialize the work of his group. At that time the technology consisted of a toolkit of gene delivery vectors for the central and peripheral nervous systems, and a cancer immunotherapy platform allowing the delivery of multiple full length tumor antigens to dendritic cells in an ex vivo approach. In the early 2000's BioVex also initiated development of oncolytic virus-based products and live attenuated vaccines for genital herpes and other viral diseases. Dr Coffin oversaw all aspects of research and clinical development at BioVex, taking the lead product (OncoVEX GM-CSF; talimogene laherparepvec) into pivotal phase 3 clinical trials in melanoma and head and neck cancer under SPA. With these pivotal studies ongoing the company was sold to Amgen in early 2011 in a groundbreaking deal valuing BioVex at $425m upfront and with an additional $575m in potential milestones. Dr Coffin has authored ~70 peer reviewed scientific and medical publications and is inventor on ~20 families of patents and patent applications. He currently provides consultancy services to a number of biotechnology companies in the areas of his expertise.
Philippe Sarret, PhD
Dr. Philippe Sarret is an Associate Professor at the University of Sherbrooke. Recipient of a CIHR New Investigator award, he is the Co-Director of the Quebec Pain Research Network funded by the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec (FRSQ). He is also Director of the Neuroscience center at the University of Sherbrooke, which counts over 80 graduate students in clinical and basic research. Dr. Sarret is an awardee of the Canadian Pain Society Early Career Award for his important contribution to the understanding of the role of G-protein-coupled receptors in the underlying pain mechanisms. He is active as a pharmaceutical adviser and emphasizes translational research relevant to clinical applications. Since his recruitment in 2004, his work has been supported by various funding agencies (e.g., CIHR, FRSQ, NSERC, SRC) and industrial partners (Pfizer, Tranzyme Pharma, Angiochem). His team is currently composed of 15 M.Sc. and PhD students, 2 animal care technicians and 1 research assistant.
Steven U. Walkley, DVM, PhD
Dr. Steven Walkley is Professor of Neuroscience, Pathology and Neurology and Director of the Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His research efforts are focused on lysosomal diseases affecting the brain, an interest that began during his early training in Comparative Medicine and Neuroscience. He has published extensively in the area of pathogenic cascade analysis in lysosomal disease, defining key changes in neuronal structure and function as a consequence of lysosomal compromise. Dr. Walkley’s lab has also been at the forefront of new treatments for these disorders, including the development of the first and presently only approved therapy for Niemann-Pick type C disease. Dr. Walkley was a co-founder of the newly developed Gordon Research Conference on Lysosomal Diseases and is an active member of the scientific advisory boards for numerous lysosomal disease organizations.
Patrick Y. Wen, MD
Dr. Patrick Wen is the Clinical Director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center and an Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wen graduated from the Medical College of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, University of London, in 1981. He completed his internal medicine training at the University of London postgraduate hospitals and his neurology residency in the Harvard-Longwood Neurology Training Program. His research is focused on novel treatments of brain tumors, especially targeted molecular agents. His other clinical interests include neurologic complications of cancer.