Chief Scientific Officer
Zoë holds a PhD in Pharmacology from King’s College London and has more than 15 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry across a range of therapy areas including oncology, autoimmune & inflammatory diseases and allergy. Her main area of expertise is in building preclinical pharmacology packages and supporting the transition of small and large molecules into early clinical development. Zoë is the CSO at iOnctura, a biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of next generation molecules for the treatment of cancer and fibrosis. Zoë has previously worked at UCB, Merck KGaA and Novimmune and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Principal Scientist Liver Disease and Fibrosis Discovery
Senior Research Scientist Tissue Remodelling
John Atkinson is a Senior Research Scientist in the Tissue Remodelling department of UCB Pharma. He has 10 years fibrosis experience working in academia at the University of Sheffield (where he received his PhD) and in industry at UCB. His main role is as an in vivo lead pharmacologist for fibrosis programmes, a project leader for early stage fibrosis projects, and a lead contact point for multiple fibrosis collaborations. His interests include imaging, animal models, novel therapeutics and modalities, and novel targets for fibrosis.
Consultant Physician and Honorary Senior Lecturer
University College London
Senior Vice President Preclinical Translational Sciences Small Molecule
Dr. Glenn Rosen has spent the bulk of his career engaged in basic and translational research in cancer and fibrosis. From 1993-2014, Dr. Rosen held a tenured faculty position in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Stanford University. He led a basic and translational research laboratory-his research focused on the study of dysregulated signaling in fibrosis and solid tumors. He also led the clinical Interstitial Lung Disease Program at Stanford. Dr. Rosen joined Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) in September 2014 as a Medical Director in the Early Clinical and Translational Research Group, where he led the Phase 2 program of a lysophosphatidic acid receptor antagonist for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. This was followed by appointment as Therapeutic Area Head of Fibrosis and Genetically Defined Diseases. As therapeutic area head, he was charged with leading translational and early clinical development strategy and execution. In 2016 he was selected as Head, Discovery Fibrosis Biology at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he led the early discovery and development, and translation of pre-clinical compounds, with a disease concentration in liver and lung fibrosis. Dr. Rosen joined Coherus Biosciences, Redwood City, CA, in 2019, where he leads the pre-clinical and translational sciences small molecule program.
Distinguished Scientist CVM
Matt received his M.D from Harvard in 1979. Following residency and nephrology training he served as Professor of Medicine in the division of Nephrology from 1985-2007 at Vanderbilt University Medical School, where his work focused on prostanoids and the use of transgenic mouse models to study diabetic kidney disease and hypertension. Dr. Breyer held numerous NIH and VA grants and from 2001-2006 headed the nephropathy sub-group of the NIH Animal Models of Diabetic Complications Consortium (AMDCC). As a result of his interest in developing treatments for diabetic nephropathy he moved to Eli Lilly in 2007 to oversee a program to develop bio-therapeutics for diabetic kidney disease. In 2009 he was appointed to the position of Chief Scientific Officer Lead Generation Biotechnology Discovery Research at Eli Lilly where he oversaw preclinical target
Director Immunology Therapeutic Area
Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Kumar joined Acceleron in March 2004 as its first scientist and is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. Previously, Dr. Kumar worked for 12 years at Genetics Institute and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. At Genetics Institute, Dr. Kumar was a key member of the Small Molecule Drug Discovery group and was responsible for cell biology. Following the integration of discovery functions from GI and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Kumar served as Senior Scientist in the Biological Chemistry group. Dr. Kumar is the author of several key scientific manuscripts in the area of protein glycosylation and TGF superfamily and is named as an inventor of several patents. Dr. Kumar received his Ph.D. from University of New Brunswick, Canada and completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Kirby von Kessler
Associate Director Clinical Development
Vice President Discover Biology
Kadmon Corporation LLC
Dr. Poyurovsky leads the Discovery Biology group at Kadmon, bridging early discovery studies and nonclinical development of small molecules and biologics, with emphasis on fibrosis and inflammation. She is the leading scientist on the ROCK inhibitor program and multiple other early stage discovery programs. Along with drug discovery efforts, Dr. Poyurovsky works closely with Kadmon’s Business Development team as a scientific liaison. She has authored numerous patents, papers and reviews, along with several book chapters on cellular metabolism and cancer. Prior to joining Kadmon 8 years ago, Dr. Poyurovsky spent more than ten years studying cellular and molecular mechanisms of cancer in an academic setting. Dr. Poyurovsky received her B.S. in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Columbia University. Dr. Poyurovsky continued her postgraduate work at Columbia, first as a postdoctoral fellow and then independently, as a staff scientist.
Chief Development Officer
Alexey A. Lugovskoy, PhD is Chief Development Officer of Morphic Therapeutic Inc. Previously Alex served as a Vice President of Therapeutics of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, where his efforts were instrumental to the discovery of five oncology drug candidates and the development of antibody and antibody-drug conjugate R&D capabilities. Also, he led the development of istiratumab from the design concept into the biomarker selected Phase 2 clinical trials. Before joining Merrimack, Alex served as Associate Director of Drug Discovery in Biogen. There, he co-discovered inhibitors of three integrins and was a member of natalizumab PML risk mitigation team. Alex is an Assistant Editor of mAbs and a member of the advisory council of RBV Capital. He is an author of over one hundred patents and publications. Alex has received an Advanced Certificate for Executives in Management, Innovation and Technology from MIT Sloan School of Management, a PhD in biophysics from Harvard University, and an MSc in molecular biophysics and BSc in math and physics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
Sten R. Sörensen
Chief Executive Officer
Born 1959. CEO of Cereno Scientific since September 2015 after initially being a board member 2014-2015. Sörensen has extensive experience from the pharmaceutical, biotech and finance industries, as well as a board member. Sörensen was previously Head of International Marketing Operations, Monsanto (GD Searle) and Global Marketing Director for Secondary Prevention Products, Cardiovascular, AstraZeneca. Sörensen has previously initiated two groundbreaking preventive survival studies in heart failure: MERIT-HF and RALES, and led them to global commercial success.
Professor of Medicine and Co-Director of the UTHealth Scleroderma Program
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Dr. Assassi has completed his Medical School training at Freiburg University in Germany. He subsequently completed his internal medicine and rheumatology post-graduate training at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He currently co-directs the UTHealth Scleroderma Program. His research focuses on correlating the genetic, gene expression and proteomic profile of systemic sclerosis with its clinical manifestations in order to better understand pathogenesis and to develop clinically useful biomarkers.
Adjunct Professor Medicine
Professor Department of Surgery
Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center
Anie Philip is a full professor in the Department of Surgery, at McGill University and a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center. She is also the Director of Plastic Surgery Research and Experimental Surgery Graduate Program at McGill University. She is currently the President of the Skin Research Group Canada and a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Wound Healing Society, and the Canadian Connective Tissue Society. The three major areas of her research focus are: (i) development of novel anti-fibrotic molecules based on cellular signaling pathway components, to decrease organ fibrosis, (ii) identifying novel regulators of TGF-beta and EGF pathways to block progression of high risk squamous cell carcinoma; and (iii) targeting distinct TGF-beta signaling pathway to enhance cartilage repair in osteoarthritis.
Director Department of Medicine
Hebrew University Hadassah Medical Center
Dr. Yaron Ilan is the Director of the Department of Medicine at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center. Dr. Ilan served as the Vice Dean of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, and was the President of the Israel Liver Association. Dr. Ilan's main areas of research are bowel and liver immunology; Development of immunomodulatory drugs for fatty liver disease and diabetes; Development of therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases; Development of drugs for primary liver cancer. Dr. Ilan holds over 50 patents for discoveries based on his innovative research and has authored more than 280 articles. He is the inventor of a number of drugs and medical devices being developed by several pharmaceutical companies. Several of his innovations already reached the clinical market. Dr. Ilan is the founder of several startup companies and serves as a medical director and advisor for biotech companies.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Professor Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
University of Washington
Head of Fibrosis
Min received his MD degree in China and his PhD in vascular biology at the University of California, Riverside. He then researched on insulin resistance and obesity in Jerrold Olefsky’s lab at the University of California, San Diego, during his post-doctoral training. In the meantime, Min passed all three steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination to obtain his ECFMG certificate. Prior to joining Morphic Therapeutic, Min worked at Pfizer, Takeda, and Merck on target ID, target validation, and pharmacology for diabetes complications. Currently at Morphic, Min leads a discovery team and manages research activities on pre-clinical and translational research to target integrin proteins for a variety of fibrosis indications, including liver, kidney, and lung fibrosis.
Rozsa Schlenker – Herceg
Executive Director Clinical Research, Medical Affairs and Respiratory
Rick Keenan Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Rick Keenan has over 30 years experience in drug discovery including nine years as a drug discovery consultant working with biotech, venture capital, philanthropic groups and large pharmaceutical company clients in the US and India/China. Rick brings a critical approach to scientific problem solving derived from an integrated understanding of the entire drug discovery and development process. Over the course of his research career in medicinal chemistry, he has contributed directly to the discovery of numerous clinical development compounds from a variety of therapeutic areas, including two marketed drugs: the Angiotensin Receptor blocker Teveten and the TPO receptor agonist Promacta. Rick has been directing research efforts at OptiKira since 2015. Previously at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Rick was a founding member and Vice-President of the Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD) and part of the leadership team responsible for managing a diverse drug discovery portfolio of external research alliances. Rick also spearheaded open and collaborative approaches to industry-wide research on neglected tropical diseases and led the efforts to publish whole cell malaria screening data online. He is listed as an inventor over thirty patents and has co-authored more than fifty research publications. Rick obtained a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Stanford University with Professor Paul Wender and earned a BS in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.
Senior Principal Scientist
Eliezer Zomer Ph.D.
Vice President Drug Discovery and Manufacturing
Dr. Zomer has over 40 years of proven leadership in biotechnology research, biochemical engineering, and drug discovery in U.S., and international markets including extensive experience in pharmaceuticals and clinical diagnostics. He is co-author of over 40 U.S. patents in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Currently, Dr. Zomer is Vice President of Drug Discovery and Manufacturing at Galectin Therapeutics where he directs drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, overseeing the company portfolio of patents for cancer and fibrotic diseases. Previously, Dr. Zomer was the Executive Vice President of Drug Development and Manufacturing at Pro-Pharmaceuticals where he managed drug development, regulatory submissions, and clinical trials for colon and biliary cancer. He was Vice President of Research and Development at Charm Sciences, where he directed the development of diagnostic kits for agrochemical and veterinary drug residues. Dr. Zomer holds a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and has held academic and research positions at the National Institute of Health, Hebrew University, and Harvard School of Public Health.
Fibrosis Biology Lecturer and Chief Operating Officer FibroFind
Dr. Jean-Francois Thibodeau completed his PhD work in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada within the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Medicine in the department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, mentored by Dr. Christopher Kennedy of the Kidney Research Center. Dr. Thibodeau's work focused on elucidating the contribution of the prostaglandin family of hormones in the pathogenesis of hypertension and diabetes-induced kidney disease. Dr. Thibodeau was recruited in 2015 by Prometic Biosciences Inc. as a postdoctoral research fellow and then promoted as a Research Scientist. Dr. Thibodeau leads a pre-clinical research program validating the efficacy and mechanisms of action of novel anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic compounds.
Director Preclinical Development
Senior Staff Scientist
Chief Executive Officer
Mehran F. Moghaddam, PhD, MBA, obtained his doctorate in medicinal chemistry at Oregon State University-School of Pharmacy and completed his postdoctoral training in lipid metabolism at University of California-Davis. He completed his executive MBA program at University of Southern California-Marshall School of Business. Dr. Moghaddam’s R&D expertise was developed at DuPont, Pfizer, and Celgene. He is experienced in discovery and development of small molecules and biologics for cardiovascular, inflammatory, fibrotic, and oncological indications. Recently, Dr. Moghaddam founded OROX BioSciences, Inc., a biotechnology start-up dedicated to efficient discovery of small molecule drugs primarily for treatment of fibrotic ailments.
Vice President Translational Sciences
Principal Scientist and Team Leader
Emily is a Principal Scientist and Project Leader at Redx Pharma. She obtained her BMedSc at the University of Birmingham and PhD in respiratory inflammation from the University of Sheffield. Following a PostDoc at the University of Nottingham, in the development of translational stem cell models, Emily joined the biologics-based pharmaceutical company MedImmune working on monoclonal antibody therapeutic projects for a wide range of diseases including immune oncology, inflammation and metabolic diseases. Emily is currently working in fibrosis research at UK biotech company Redx Pharma in the preclinical development of Redx's fibrosis assets.
Chief Executive Officer
University of Michigan School of Medicine
Professor of Medicine Emeritus
Junior Faculty Instructor
La Jolla Institute for Immunology
I received a B.S. in Biochemistry, a M.S. in Microbiology from University of Rennes I, in France, and my PhD in Genetics and Molecular Microbiology from the Pasteur Institute and University of Paris XI in France. I worked initially on autoimmune diabetes at TSRI, before specializing on inflammation and fibrosis at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology where I serve as a junior faculty. My research projects are focused on the roles of TNF family members linked to fibrotic disorders associated with scleroderma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, atopic dermatitis, asthma, food allergy and NASH.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Director and CVM Clinical Project Specialist
Johnson & Johnson
Robert Edwards, MPH, joined Janssen in early 2012 and is currently a Director, Clinical Project Scientist, supporting the Cardiovascular and Metabolism (CVM) therapeutic area. Robert’s tenure with CVM began with responsibilities on several late-stage clinical trials supporting the original submission packages leading to the approval of Invokana® (canagliflozin) and Invokamet® (fixed dose combination of canagliflozin and metformin) prior to being named the Study Responsible Scientist for CREDENCE when the trial was first conceived. Today, Robert continues to support CREDENCE-related activities including regulatory interactions and publication initiatives. After obtaining a BS in Biotechnology with a focus in Applied Microbiology from Rutgers University, Robert worked as a bench scientist at two biotechnology start-ups. Robert next spent nearly 10 years at Merck, Inc., supporting the potency testing platforms for the M-M-R®II and Gardasil® vaccine programs prior to joining the clinical development program supporting Januvia® (sitagliptin) and several other late-stage compounds. Robert obtained his MPH from Drexel University in 2018.
Director Global Search and Evaluate
Vice President Research
Darcey Black PhD
Co-founder and Director, Translational
Simon Cruwys PhD
Co-founder and Director, Pharmacology
Dr John O’Neill
Chief Scientific Officer