R&D Team and Scientific & Clinical Advisory Board

R&D Team

Patricia Bradford (PhD) 

Microbiology and Preclinical Development

Dr. Bradford is an internationally-renowned expert in all matters related to antibacterial drug discovery and clinical development. From 2011-2016, she was an Executive Director in the Infectious Disease Research group of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Waltham, USA) and was responsible for the microbiology support contributing to the successful development and approval of ceftazidime-avibactam. From 2009-2011, Patricia served as Director, Infectious Disease, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (Cambridge, USA) and contributed to many antibiotic discovery projects. From 1995-2009, Patricia was Principal Scientist at Wyeth Research (Pearl River, NY) and worked on many discovery projects, some of which progressed into clinical trials. Dr. Bradford was instrumental in the team that developed and led to the registration and approval of tigecycline.

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Raluca Kubaszky (DVM, PhD, DABT) 

Nonclinical Development

Dr. Kubaszky has over 20 years of industry and academic experience in non-clinical study design and management of complex projects, including with cell and gene therapies, biologics, biosimilars, or small-molecule products for a wide variety of indications, as well as multiple routes of administration (e.g., oral, iv, sc, intra-articular, intranasal, intravesical or dermal) and special expertise in radiation safety programs. Dr. Kubaszky successfully implements strategies and solutions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and radiation safety business segments within the company’s global portfolio and provides strategic scientific, outsourcing, regulatory and hands-on expertise to direct and manage development of a wide variety of products for pharmaceutical, medical device, biotech, chemical and agrochemical companies, nonclinical program management, outsourcing support, and study design and monitoring toxicology and surgery.

She currently serves as the Executive Director of Non-Clinical development at toxCell LLC. Previously she was a Principal Scientific Advisor in the Scientific Advisory Services group in Charles River, after being one of the Principal Scientists/Senior Toxicologists and Senior Director of Business development at Citoxlab (Quebec, Canada), which later became a part of Charles River laboratories. She also acted as the Study Director of numerous pre-clinical toxicology studies with ITR Laboratories.

Dr. Kubaszky holds a PhD in Veterinary Medicine from University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Bucharest, Romania and is a certified toxicologist (DABT, Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology).

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Prof. Marc Scheetz (PharmD, MSc, BCPS) 

Pharmacology

Dr. Marc Scheetz is a Professor at Midwestern University in the Chicago College of Pharmacy and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Pharmacology, College of Graduate Studies. He is the Director of the Pharmacometric Center of Excellence at Midwestern University. He practices clinically as an infectious diseases pharmacist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago) and serves as the Director for the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy. Dr. Scheetz has authored over 160 original research manuscripts and review articles in the area of anti-infective pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. He also currently serves as a reviewer for several infectious diseases, pharmacy, and medical journals. His primary research interest lies in the interface of the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic interaction (i.e., between antimicrobials, pathogens, and hosts). He received a PharmD from Butler University, a MSc degree in Clinical Investigation at Northwestern University, and completed his pharmacy practice residency and an infectious diseases fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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Prof. Itamar Shalit (MD, MPA) 

Infectious Disease Specialist

Professor Shalit is a renowned expert in infectious diseases with extensive clinical research experience with SmithKline Beecham, Eli Lilly, Glaxo and Miles. He has a broad background in pre-clinical and basic science research and consults to VCs, incubators and serves as a Scientific Advisory Board member of leading pharmaceuticals, biotech companies and University Technology Transfer Offices. Prof. Shalit is a long-standing member of the Advisory Committee for Infectious Diseases and Immunisation of the Israeli Ministry of Health and served on national committees for Prevention of Nosocomial Infections and Antibiotic Resistance. Previously, Prof. Shalit was Chairman of the Israeli Society for Infectious Diseases. He gained his MD degree from Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, followed by a fellowship in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Oklahoma. Prof. Shalit also gained an MPA degree from the Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard University.

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Joseph Vacca (PhD, BSc) 

Medicinal Chemistry

Dr. Vacca joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1981 as a Senior Research Chemist. His major involvement on the HIV-1 protease project led to the discovery of Merck’s HIV protease inhibitor CRIXIVAN™ (indinavir sulfate). He led the HIV integrase discovery program and was co-chair of the early development team responsible for the development of the HIV integrase inhibitor Isentress™. In late 2007, Dr. Vacca took on the role of Head of Chemistry of the newly formed External Basic Research (EBR) site at Merck and helped to formulate Merck's external research strategy. In 2010, he was the Global Head of Structural Chemistry until his retirement from Merck in late 2011. He then joined WuXi AppTec as Senior Vice President of Early Success Sharing Partnerships. Since 2015 Joe has been actively supporting several small companies as a Medicinal Chemistry consultant. Dr. Vacca has over 100 publications and patents and is the holder of many awards including a Merck Directors Award given by the Merck Board of Directors (1998). He was inducted into the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in August 2012.

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Peter Warn (PhD) 

Microbiology and Preclinical Development

Dr. Peter Warn is founder of Magic Bullet Consulting, with expertise in the development of antimicrobial agents and the development of appropriate animal models of infection. Prior to this, he was Senior Vice President of Anti-infective Discovery at Evotec, where he led antimicrobial discovery programmes and had scientific oversight of external client contracts. Dr. Warn was a founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Euprotec before the company was acquired by Evotec. Previously he was a senior lecturer at the University of Manchester, leading a research group investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of severe infections. He has also lectured within Molecular Parasitology at the University of Oxford and was a clinical scientist in Public Health England. Peter has published 80 papers and over 400 conference abstracts. He has been awarded multiple research grants from organisations including The Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the National Institutes of Health, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Peter holds a PhD in medical sciences from the University of Manchester.

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Prof. Lynette Cegelski
(Stanford University) 

Inventor

Prof. Cegelski is Associate Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. Cegelski is recognised for her expertise in uncovering structural and chemical parameters to define the chemistry in complex biological assemblies, including bacterial cell walls and biofilms. Cegelski has introduced new multidisciplinary approaches, coupling solid state NMR spectroscopy with microscopy and biochemical technologies to scrutinise at the atomic and molecular level, the specific mechanism of actions of antibiotic molecular transporter conjugates. Coupled with drug design and inhibitor discovery, the Cegelski laboratory is driving the development of new strategies to address the global challenge of antibiotic resistance and infectious disease.

Professor Cegelski completed her PhD in Chemistry with Prof. Jacob Schaefer at Washington University and trained as a microbiologist as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Scott Hultgren in Molecular Microbiology at the Washington University School of Medicine. She joined the faculty of the Stanford Chemistry Department in 2008. Her work has garnered numerous awards, including the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface, the 2010 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

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Prof. Paul Wender
(Stanford University) 

Inventor

Prof. Wender is a highly distinguished and internationally renowned chemist focusing on organic and organometallic chemistry, synthesis, catalysis, chemical biology, imaging, drug delivery and molecular therapeutics. Professor Wender is currently the Bergstrom Professor of Chemistry and Professor by courtesy of Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford University. He has pioneered a variety of drug transporter technologies from inception to clinical applications, including the first designed cell penetrating arginine- and guanidinium-rich delivery systems. Professor Wender is also acclaimed for his synthesis and studies of Taxol, a critically-important, anticancer drug; the first semi-synthesis of prostratin, a lead in trials for HIV eradication; and amongst others, the first practical synthesis of bryostatin, a lead in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease and for enhanced CAR-T cell therapy for cancer. He received his PhD in chemistry from Yale University with Prof. Ziegler, which was followed by postdoctoral research as an NIJ fellow at Columbia University with Prof. Stork.

Prof. Wender is the recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards, including the Arthur C. Cope Award (ACS), Prelog Medal (ETH Switzerland), the MERIT Award (NIH), Pfizer Research Award for Synthetic Organic Chemistry (ACS), the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry, the Research Award of the Leibniz Alliance Bioactives and Biotechnology (Germany), the Cohen Prize for Medicinal Chemistry (Israel Chemical Society), to name just a few. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prof. Wender has been a process and medicinal chemistry consultant for different pharmaceutical and biotech' companies as well as co-founder of several companies.

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Scientific & Clinical Advisory Board

Prof. Itamar Shalit (MD, MPA) 

Infectious Disease Specialist

Professor Shalit is a renowned expert in infectious diseases with extensive clinical research experience with SmithKline Beecham, Eli Lilly, Glaxo and Miles. He has a broad background in pre-clinical and basic science research and consults to VCs, incubators and serves as a Scientific Advisory Board member of leading pharmaceuticals, biotech companies and University Technology Transfer Offices. Prof. Shalit is a long-standing member of the Advisory Committee for Infectious Diseases and Immunisation of the Israeli Ministry of Health and served on national committees for Prevention of Nosocomial Infections and Antibiotic Resistance. Previously, Prof. Shalit was Chairman of the Israeli Society for Infectious Diseases. He gained his MD degree from Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, followed by a fellowship in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Oklahoma. Prof. Shalit also gained an MPA degree from the Kennedy School of Government at the Harvard University.

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