SAN DIEGO, Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sirenas, LLC, a leader in the application of deep data mining approaches to the discovery of new classes of therapeutics from the global microbiome, today announced establishment of their world leading scientific advisory board. This board, with unparalleled expertise in the fields of drug discovery, molecular medicine and medicinal chemistry, includes:
- Benjamin Cravatt, Ph.D., professor and co-chair of the Department of Molecular Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute, co-founder of Activx Biosciences, Abide Therapeutics and Vividion Therapeutics, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences
- Alan Ezekowitz, MBChB, D.Phil., president, co-founder and CEO of Abide Therapeutics
- Terry Rosen, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Arcus Biosciences
- Christopher Walsh, Ph.D., consulting professor to the Stanford University Department of Chemistry, emeritus professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and a member of the National Academy of Sciences
- Jin-Quan Yu, Ph.D., Frank and Bertha Hupp Professor of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute and 2016 MacArthur Fellow
"These scientists are icons in their respective fields and bring invaluable insights from their highly successful translational experiences. They recognize the untapped potential of natural products in the discovery and development of differentiated pharmaceuticals," said Phil Baran, Ph.D., co-founder of Sirenas and chemistry professor at The Scripps Research Institute.
Benjamin F. Cravatt is a professor and co-chair of the department of molecular medicine at The Scripps Research Institute. His research group is interested in understanding the roles that enzymes play in physiological and pathological processes, especially as it pertains to the nervous system and cancer. Dr. Cravatt obtained his undergraduate education at Stanford University, receiving a B.S. in the Biological Sciences and a B.A. in History. He then received a Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in 1996. Dr. Cravatt joined the faculty at TSRI in 1997. Dr. Cravatt is a co-founder and scientific advisor of Activx Biosciences, Abide Therapeutics, and Vividion Therapeutics. His honors include a Searle Scholar Award, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, a Cope Scholar Award, the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award, the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, the ASBMB Merck Award, and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Alan Ezekowitz currently serves as president and CEO of Abide Therapeutics, a company he co-founded in 2011. Prior to founding Abide, Dr. Ezekowitz was senior vice president and franchise head at Merck Research Laboratories, where he was responsible for the drug discovery and development process from target identification through proof of concept. He worked closely with his commercial general manager to develop life cycle strategies for approved drugs. Prior to Merck, Dr. Ezekowitz was the Charles Wilder Professor of Pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School and served as the chief of pediatric services at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Partners Healthcare System. He has served on multiple boards and committees, including the chair position of the executive committee on research at Massachusetts General Hospital, the board of directors of the Partners Healthcare System and the MassGeneral Physicians Organization. He has also served on the boards of Anika Therapeutics and Natimmune, a biotech company that he founded. He currently serves on the board of directors of Oxagen and Abide Therapeutics. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2008, he was honored with the establishment of the R. Alan Ezekowitz Professorship in Pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School. He is a pioneer in the field of innate immunity and has over 150 publications. Dr. Ezekowitz received his medical training at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University, where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship. At Children's Hospital in Boston, he completed a second postdoctoral fellowship in the division of hematology and oncology and his clinical training in pediatrics.
Terry Rosen has been leading successful drug discovery and development organizations in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries for over 30 years. In 2015, he co-founded Arcus Biosciences, a drug discovery company focused on the treatment of cancer by blocking tumor-induced immunosuppression. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Flexus Biosciences, a company created to develop small-molecule drugs to reverse tumor immunosuppression, which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb early in 2015 for $1.25 billion. Prior to Flexus, Dr. Rosen served as vice president, Therapeutic Discovery (TD) at Amgen and as the site head for Amgen South San Francisco, having joined Amgen with the acquisition of Tularik in 2004. He was named Amgen Washington site head in 2006, transitioned to a leadership role heading chemistry research and discovery in 2007 and became the head of protein sciences in 2011. He and his leadership team were responsible for the creation of the TD organization, a group of 550+ staff responsible for all of Amgen's large and small molecule drug discovery efforts. Dr. Rosen received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.
Christopher Walsh is a consulting professor to the Stanford University Department of Chemistry and an advisor to the Stanford ChEM-H Institute. He was the Hamilton Kuhn Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School from 1987 to 2013, when he took emeritus status. He has had extensive academic leadership experience, including chairmanship of the MIT Chemistry Department and of the HMS Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology Department, as well as serving as president and CEO of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Walsh is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a co-recipient of the 2010 Welch Prize in Chemistry. He has been involved in a variety of venture-based biotechnology companies since 1981, including Genzyme, Immunogen, Leukosite, Millenium, Kosan, Vicuron, Epizyme, Ironwood. Currently he is on the board of directors of Proteostasis, and the non-profits The Scripps Research Institute, California Institute for Biomedical Research and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He is a member of the scientific advisory groups at Hua, Abide, Cidara, and Flex Pharma, an advisor to Health Care Ventures and a limited investor in Health Care Ventures, MPM BioVentures, Clarus and the Longwood Venture Funds. Dr. Walsh received his bachelor degree in biology from Harvard in 1965, and his doctorate degree from Rockefeller University in 1970.
Jin-Quan Yu is the Frank and Bertha Hupp Professor in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. Among many honors, in 2016 he was selected as a MacArthur Fellow for his pioneering new techniques for the functionalization of carbon-hydrogen bonds. Dr. Yu's unconventional approach to C–H functionalization is creating a paradigm shift in the logic of organic synthetic chemistry and breaking down barriers to the development of versatile compounds with enormous benefits to academic, industrial and pharmaceutical research. Additionally, Dr. Yu was awarded the ACS Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator in 2014. He received an M.Sc. from Guangzhou Institute of Chemistry, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He was a research fellow and junior faculty member at the University of Cambridge, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, and assistant professor of chemistry at Brandeis University prior to his current affiliation with The Scripps Research Institute.
Sirenas aims to translate the high-value chemical language of the global microbiome – the microbial life existing in diverse ecosystems all over the world – into groundbreaking new discoveries for the most pressing unmet medical needs. Sirenas has uniquely combined this highly evolved chemical diversity with its Atlantis™ proprietary deep data mining technology and next-generation synthetic chemistry to create a fully integrated, rapid and validated approach to drug discovery. Sirenas drug discovery programs are focused on eliminating cancer through targeted therapy and immune modulation. Sirenas is headquartered in San Diego and has a presence at JLABS San Diego. For more information about Sirenas, please visit www.SirenasMD.com.
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