Meet our Team
Board of Directors
Matthew P. Jacobson, Ph.D. - CO-Founder of Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GBT) and Relay Therapeutics
Matt Jacobson, Ph.D., has been a faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF since 2002, and was appointed the Chair of the Department effective January 2016. He earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at MIT, and completed post-doctoral research at Oxford and Columbia. Matt’s research focuses on computational biophysics and computer-aided drug design; he is the author of over 120 publications. Software written by Matt and his collaborators is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry; he serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Schrödinger, LLC, and is a co-founder of Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ: GBT). Matt received the NSF CAREER award, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and a School of Pharmacy teaching award. He has served on the editorial boards of several journals, including Biochemistry and PLoS Computational Biology.
R. Scott Lokey, Ph.D. - Co-Founder and SAB Chairman
R. Scott Lokey, Ph.D., has been a faculty member in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California Santa Cruz since 2002. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from University of Texas, Austin in bioorganic chemistry. Scott held a NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology, where he worked on the identification of cyclic peptide modulators of actin dynamics. His current research interests include the basic science underlying cell permeability of cyclic peptides, and the development of methodologies for synthesizing libraries of cyclic peptides for the discovery of bioactive ligands against intracellular targets. Scott and Matt Jacobson have collaborated for more than a decade on the application of computational approaches for predicting membrane permeability in “beyond Rule-of-5” molecules, with a particular focus on macrocyclic peptides.
David J. Earp, J.D., Ph.D. - President & CEO
David received his B.Sc. (with first class honours) in microbiology from the University of Leeds, his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Cambridge, and his J.D. (magna cum laude) from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley / USDA PGEC.
Pablo D. Garcia, Ph.D. - Director, Oncology Research
David C. Spellmeyer, PhD - Interim Chief Scientific Officer
Mahesh Ramaseshan, Ph.D. - Senior Principal Scientist
Siegfried S.F. Leung, Ph.D. - Senior Computational Scientist
Cayla M. McEwen - Operations Manager
Andrew T. Bockus, Ph.D. - Scientist
Douglas Crawford, Ph.D. - Mission Bay Capital
Douglas Crawford, Ph.D., is a founder and managing director of Mission Bay Capital, a seed-stage venture fund that makes pivotal early-stage investments in bioscience companies. Mission Bay Capital has helped 25 entrepreneurial teams launch cool companies. He is also the associate director of QB3, the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences. He is a board member of Circle Pharma, Delpor, Magnamosis, Magnap, Ocular Dynamics, and SiteOne Therapeutics. Doug received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from UCSF.
Walter H. Moos, PhD - ShangPharma Innovation
Walter H. Moos, Ph.D., retired as President of SRI Biosciences in early 2016 after more than a decade at the independent nonprofit SRI International (Stanford Research Institute). Prior to SRI he served as Chairman and CEO of MitoKor (Migenix), and as a Vice President at Chiron (Novartis) and Warner-Lambert / Parke-Davis (Pfizer). His teams have advanced numerous pharmaceutical products from discovery to commercialization. He has served on about 20 business and scientific boards, including Amunix, Oncologic (Aduro), Onyx (Amgen), Rigel and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Walter holds Ph.D. and A.B. degrees in chemistry from UC Berkeley and Harvard, respectively.
James C. Lu - W.I. Harper Group
Jimmy Lu is Managing Director of the WI Harper Group. Jimmy brings to the firm over 25 years of high technology and venture capital experience. In addition to Circle Pharma, his WI Harper portfolio company board service includes China Diagnostics Medical Corporation, StemCyte Inc., CNano Technology Limited, Kindstar Global Co. and StemCyte Inc. Prior to joining WI Harper, Jimmy co-founded and was a General Partner of iD Ventures America (formerly Acer Technology Ventures), which managed numerous funds, including the Acer Technology Venture Fund and IP Fund One. The funds were early investors in iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ: IRBT), Harmonix Music (Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, acquired by MTV/Viacom; NYSE: VIA), ArtX Inc. (acquired by ATI Technologies; NYSE: AMD), Allayer Communications (acquired by Broadcom; NASDAQ: AVGO), Monolithic Power Systems (NASDAQ: MPWR) and Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT). Earlier in his career, Jimmy was the General Counsel of Acer Inc. where he was responsible for the company’s international joint ventures, M&A activities and strategic alliances. He was also previously with Bingham McCutchen in San Francisco, specializing in corporate and securities work, and JP Morgan in New York City as a banker. Jimmy earned a B.A. from Yale College, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).
Ronald Newbold, PhD, MBA, - Board Observer
Ronald (“Ron”) Newbold is Vice President, External Science & Innovation and Head of Global Scouting at Pfizer, Inc. Ron and his group establish and support Worldwide Research & Development (WRD) alliances with numerous universities and biotechnology companies across the globe. Ron also supports Pfizer’s investments into early-stage technologies by leading the Pfizer Seed Fund, supporting scientific opportunities in alignment with Pfizer’s research interests and in partnership with Pfizer Ventures. Ron has previously held senior roles at Merck, Sentigen Biosciences, Celldex Therapeutics and Auspex Pharmaceuticals. In addition to Circle Pharma, Ron is currently also a Board Observer for Carterra, Ab Initio, and for Molecular Stethoscopes, and is a former board observer to Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), to Storm Therapeutics and to Neoantigenics. He is also a Scientific Advisory Board member at Neomed. Ron obtained his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Rochester, and was a post-doctoral fellow with E.J. Corey at Harvard. He also holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Spiros Liras, Ph.D. - Board Observer
Stefan Knapp, Ph.D. - SAB Member
Stefan Knapp, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Goethe University in Frankfurt (Germany) and a visiting Professor at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) at Oxford University (UK), where he was previously a Professor and Director for Chemical Biology at the Target Discovery Institute. His research interests are the rational design of selective inhibitors that target protein kinases as well as protein interactions modules acting as reader domains of the epigenetic code. He studied chemistry at the University of Marburg (Germany) and at the University of Illinois (USA). He did his Ph.D. in protein crystallography at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (Sweden) and continued his career at the Karolinska Institute as a postdoctoral scientist. He was also a principal research scientist in structural biology and biophysics at Pharmacia Corporation.
Daniel F. Veber, Ph.D. - SAB Member
Jack Taunton, Ph.D. - SAB Member
Barbara Weber, M.D. - Senior Advisor, Oncology Therapeutics
William Weis, Ph.D. - Advisor
Bill Weis, Ph.D., has been a faculty member at Stanford University since 1993, where he is a Professor in the Departments of Structural Biology, of Molecular & Cellular Physiology, and of Photon Science. He has been Chair of the Department of Photon Science since 2013 and Chair of the Department of Structural Biology since 2014. Bill received his Bachelor’s of Arts in biochemical sciences from Princeton, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard in 1987, and then completed post-doctoral research in biophysics at Yale and Columbia. His current research interests focus on the molecular basis of the development and maintenance of eukaryotic cell and tissue structure, with the principal areas of focus being intracellular adhesion, cell polarity, and the Wnt signaling pathway.
William G. Kaelin, Jr. M.D.
Dr. Kaelin is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Director, Basic Science, for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He obtained his undergraduate and MD degrees from Duke University and completed his training in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he served as chief medical resident. He was a clinical fellow in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, during which time he was a McDonnell Scholar. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, has been a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator since 1998, and has received numerous recognitions for his work, including the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award (2016), the Princess Takamatsu Award (AACR, 2016), the Science of Oncology Award (ASCO, 2016) and the Canada Gairdner International Award (2010). Dr. Kaelin’s research seeks to understand how, mechanistically, mutations affecting tumor-suppressor genes cause cancer. His long-term goal is to lay the foundation for new anticancer therapies based on the biochemical functions of tumor suppressor proteins.
Richard Kriwacki, Ph.D.
Zaneta Nikolovska –Coleska, Ph.D.
Dr. Nikolovska-Coleska is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of the Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Program at the University of Michigan. Her research group focuses on the discovery, design and development of new molecularly targeted therapies for cancer, particularly protein-protein interactions that are involved in programmed cell death and epigenetic regulation. Dr. Nikolovska-Coleska was the recipient of several awards including the Chemical Structure Association Trust (CSA Trust), New Investigator Award from Leukemia Research Foundation and Innovator Award from Harrington Discovery Institute. She is an inventor on more than 13 international and US patents and patent applications, contributing to the discovery and development of clinical candidate AT-406, an XIAP inhibitor, which is in Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of human cancer. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors of the International Chemical Biology Society. Dr. Nikolovska-Coleska received her PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, and was a post-doctoral fellow in drug discovery at the University of Michigan.
Steven Olson, Ph.D.
Dr. Olson is an Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, where he leads drug discovery research into neurodegenerative diseases. He was previously a medicinal chemist at Merck Research Laboratories and Amgen where he was the chemistry lead for Amgen’s MDM2:p53 project, deploying structure based design to develop small moleciule inhibitors of this protein-protein interaction, leading to the discovery of AMG-232, which is currently in clinical studies. Dr. Olson holds a PhD from Yale University, where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Samuel Danishefsky, and conducted postdoctoral research at U.C. Berkeley.
Ronald Zuckerman, Ph.D.
Dr. Zuckerman is the Facility Director of the Biological Nanostructures Facility at the Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The focus of his research team there is on sequence-defined peptoid polymers. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley in bioorganic chemistry with Dr. Peter Schultz, and became a founding chemist at Protos Corp, a combinatorial chemistry company, where he developed robotic combinatorial library synthesizers and a novel class of heteropolymers called peptoids. Following the acquisition of Protos by Chiron, he continued his work at Chiron until joining Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.