Prof Laura Dugan was educated at Ohio State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is currently the Abram C. Shmerling Chair in Alzheimer’s and Geriatric Medicine working at the Brain Institute at Vanderbilt University.
Prof Dugan specializes in analysing how inflammation plays a role in the aging brain and how neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s progress. Her experience and acumen in this area means that she is the Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University.
Prof Dugan met Prof Sir Marc Feldmann during a conference in Oxford in 2015, and they have since been determined to use their complementary knowledge to aid the treatment of inflammation-caused diseases.
Prof Sir Marc Feldmann is an eminent immunologist currently working at the Kennedy Institute at the University of Oxford. He was responsible for the research and development that led to making anti-TNFs the largest drug class in the world. He conceived the idea that autoimmune diseases might be due to excess cytokines, identified TNF as the target, and verified benefit in cultures of diseased joint cells. Then with Sir Ravinder Maini led trials to prove benefit, using infliximab, which is now marketed as Remicade. The commercial success of this drug, one of the top-ten best-sellers in the world, was responsible for Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of Centocor in 1998 for $4.9 Billion USD.
The significance of his discoveries has been widely recognized, and Prof Sir Marc Feldmann has been elected a member of many renowned scientific institutions such as the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences. He was knighted in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his achievements, and received the Australian equivalent in 2016
Dr Chakraborty is an experienced synthetic organic chemist with decades of experience designing, synthesizing, and testing novel biologically active compounds.
He has occupied a number of positions leveraging his expertise in the agricultural sciences sphere, including a seven-year period as a Senior Scientist in the Pesticide Division of EID Parry, a Chennai-based sugar producer with a market capitalization of over $30 B USD.
Returning to academia, he worked at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan aiding in the synthesis of multifunctional dihydrofurans, and the total synthesis of Tamsulosin hydrochloride, a prostatic hypertrophy drug. Between 2004 and 2016, he moved to the US in the capacity of Senior Research Scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. He has worked in Prof Dugan’s research group since 2016.
Dr Chakraborty was educated at Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, in West Bengal, India, where he attained an MSc in agricultural chemistry in 1987, and a PhD in the same subject in 1993. His name features on eight patents.
Prof Bountra was previously Vice President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline. He was involved in the identification of more than 40 clinical candidates for many gastrointestinal, inflammatory and neuro-psychiatric diseases. More than 20 of these molecules progressed into patient studies and more than five of these delivered successful “Proof of Concept” data and progressed into late stage development.
Chas is interested in building stronger links with local hospitals, patient groups, regulatory agencies, private investors, CROs, biotechnology companies and large pharmaceutical companies, to create a new, more efficient ecosystem for pioneer drug discovery. He is an invited expert on several government and charitable research funding bodies, and an advisor for many academic, biotech and pharma drug discovery programs.
Ozan is a VC with a hands-on approach, involved with several companies as CFO and a board member. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Unify team as a former investment banker with in-depth capital markets expertise.
Throughout his career, he has specialized in helping companies in defining their corporate strategy, and execute corporate transactions such as M&As and IPOs.
Recently, as CFO and board member, Ozan was overseeing the complex merger and financing of three biotech companies, which resulted in the formation of 180 Life Sciences; a clinical stage company going public on NASDAQ.
He is also the CFO of Enosi Life Sciences, a company focused on autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Ozan was previously VP of Investment Banking at a leading Canadian independent investment bank, where he co-founded the origination department which focused on small and mid-cap financing and advisory mandates. He advised private and public companies on M&A deals and was the lead banker on 30+ financings, raising approximately $400 million.
He holds an Economics and Finance degree from McGill University and is a CFA Charterholder.
Ron is a VC with a particular interest in creative ways of financing businesses. He has been at the forefront of innovative financing options for startups and early stage businesses for over 20 years.
He is mainly focused on the life sciences sector where he has created a number of exciting ventures working alongside some of the world’s leading scientists as well as world class academic institutions.
He has a proven track record of nurturing innovative concepts and supporting dynamic entrepreneurs, taking them from early stage seed funding through to public mergers or trade sales with larger companies, both public and private.
He was the co-founder of Turkana Energy, an early stage East African Oil & Gas exploration company which merged in 2009 with TSX listed Africa Oil Corp, which at its peak grew to over a $3 Billion market cap due to their large oil discovery on Turkana Energy’s oil concession, raising over $1 Billion in capital to develop Turkana’s concession.
He holds an MBA degree from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School and is currently enrolled in an Executive Doctorate of Business Administration program at Temple University.
Dr Dennis Choi is a pioneer in investigating nervous system injury, and is currently Prof of Neurology at Stony Brook University.
Dr Choi has held leadership positions in academic, business, and research institutes worldwide. Among these are the Brain Science Institute at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, of which he was Director, and as Executive Vice President for Neuroscience at Merck Research Labs; the research arm of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. The importance of his work has led to Dr Choi being appointed to a number of national societies promoting research in his field. This has included the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Medicine, the Society for Neuroscience, and the American Neurological Association – the latter two of which he served as President and Vice President, respectively.
Dr Dennis Choi received his MD from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program, and subsequently went on to receive a PhD in pharmacology and neurology, also from Harvard.
Prof Lawrence Steinman studied at Dartmouth and Harvard, and subsequently held a fellowship in chemical immunology at the Weizman Institute. He served as the Chair of the Interdepartmental Program in Immunology at Stanford University between 2003 and 2011.
Prof Steinman is currently the George A. Zimmermann Endowed Chair in the Neurology Department of Stanford University. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences. Steinman has received multiple awards for his work, including the Frederich Sasse Award in 1994, the John Dystel Prize in 2004, the Charcot Prize in 2011, and the Cerami Prize in 2015. He has considerable experience in medical businesses, including founding Neurocrine Biosciences in 1992, and also Tolerion, Transparency Life Sciences and Atreca.