William S. Korinek, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Korinek is Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals’ CEO and Co-Founded the company in 2014. Previously, he was at Pfizer for almost 10 years in a number of strategic and operational R&D positions, most recently serving as the Vice President of Worldwide R&D Business Operations. Dr. Korinek and his organization managed the Worldwide R&D annual operating plan process, including coordination of annual investment business plans from all of Pfizer’s Research Units and functional Partner Lines and the setting of annual investment and budget targets. He has broad experience from early discovery through full development, small and large therapeutic modalities, and many disease areas. At Pfizer, he championed and secured $24M in capital for a long term Project and Resource Planning productivity program that was successfully implemented over 2011-2014. Dr. Korinek also managed Pfizer’s R&D Program Management Office (PMO) for the Pfizer-Wyeth integration, and the PMO for Pfizer WRD’s 2011 “Engine for Sustainable Innovation” strategic restructuring involving the reduction of Pfizer’s overall R&D 2012 spend from $8.0-8.5B to $6.5-7.0B.
Dr. Korinek previously worked as an Engagement Manager at the strategy consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting, where he worked with ~40 life sciences companies ranging from biotech startups to large pharmaceutical companies on issues such as strategic planning, portfolio prioritization, and M&A due diligence. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Molecular and Cellular Biology Department, where he researched the molecular linkages of cell polarity signals to the cytoskeleton and published in leading journals including Science.
James D. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Advisor
Dr. Lechleiter is the Co-Founder and an Advisor of Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals, and he is currently a Professor of Cellular and Structural Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His research investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms of protection during ischemic stress, acute brain injury and aging. His major focus has been to understand the role of astrocyte mitochondrial ATP production in these processes. He has extensive experience with imaging technology, its application towards current problems in cell biology and he is the director of the institution’s Optical Imaging facility. Academically, he is a member of the executive committee of the Center for Biomedical Neuroscience.
Dr. Lechleiter is a member of the Biophysical Society, the Society for Neuroscience and he was an associate member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Scientifically, he is widely recognized for his seminal work in the field of Ca2+ signaling where he made the initial discovery of intracellular spiral Ca2+ waves.
Theodore E. Liston, Ph.D., Vice-President of Research
Dr. Liston is the Vice-President of Research at Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals. He has a 28-year record of research and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, including senior research roles at Pfizer as Vice-President of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism (PDM), and as Vice-President of Global ADME Technology. His pharmaceutical discovery and development experience in research, drug metabolism and PK/PD spans from early discovery projects to marketed products, and from laboratory operations to technology development. Dr. Liston managed the PDM efforts of groups in neuroscience and cardiovascular-metabolic disease, and has contributed to the preclinical and clinical advancement of >100 candidates across a broad range of therapeutic areas, including neuroscience, cardiovascular, infectious disease, inflammation, immunology, arthritis, allergy-respiratory and oncology. Additionally, Dr. Liston was the leader or key member in several scientific initiatives that transformed industrial pharmaceutical discovery and development, including the incorporation of high-throughput ADME/Toxicity screening, computational ADME, and prediction of human pharmacokinetics from preclinical in vitro and in vivo data.
Dr. Liston received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University, where he focused on the structural elucidation and biological activity of novel human arachidonic acid metabolites and their role in physiology and disease.
Stanley A. Roberts, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., Head of Non-Clinical Safety Assessment
Dr. Roberts is Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals’ Head of Non-Clinical Safety Assessment, and he has over 30 years of experience in scientific and management positions in large (Sandoz, Abbott & Pfizer) and small (CovX) pharmaceutical companies. His executive management duties have included being the Global Director for Preclinical ADME/PK (Abbott) and VP of Preclinical Drug Development (CovX). Dr. Roberts has also held a variety of scientific and leadership positions in toxicology organizations. Dr. Roberts has planned/conducted/interpreted/reported all types of drug development plans and studies for toxicology and ADME/PK. Accomplishments include authoring over 400 internal company final reports, major contributions to numerous successful regulatory documents/strategies/submissions (white papers, IND, NDA and BLA). Dr. Roberts has also conducted problem solving research to evaluate the human relevance of animal toxicities as well as improving the quality of new drug candidate ADME/PK characteristics. Dr. Roberts has wide and deep experience in numerous disease targets including neuroscience and pain diseases using small molecules, peptides, biotherapeutics.
Dr. Roberts is experienced with in-/out-licensing activities, managing and representing multidisciplinary teams and has presented to the FDA on numerous occasions. He has extensive experience in numerous committees and special projects for PhRMA and BIO. Dr. Roberts has a BS (Animal Science), MS and PhD (Pharmacology & Toxicology) from Purdue University and post-doctoral fellowship in Molecular Toxicology (Medical University of South Carolina).
Russell B. Poe, Ph.D., Head of Chemistry and Manufacturing Controls (CMC)
Dr. Poe is the Head of CMC at Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals. He has 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with 14 years of CMC experience at Pfizer. Significant roles included leading the early phase CMC teams for 65 assets in neuropharmacology, cardiovascular and metabolic disease and dermatology. Additionally, while at Pfizer, he managed the Stability and Release Group which conducted cGMP stability testing on investigational API and drug products and release testing for cGMP radio-labeled clinical API used in ADME studies. He was the lead analyst for the API and drug product responsible for the successful NDA CMC submission for Geodon IM, a technically complex parenteral product with a novel proprietary modified β cyclodextrin excipient.
Dr. Poe is the managing member of Birch Biopharmaceutical Consultants since 2009 providing services for biopharmaceutical clients in early phase development and IND submissions, vendor management, late phase initial NDA filings, multivariate optimization and chemometrics. He currently serves on the advisory board for Molecular Isotope Technologies and Nature’s Fingerprint™, a pharmaceutical technology company using stable label isotopes for product and process authentication and infringement. He served on the scientific advisory board for Livwel Therapeutics with a developmental candidate in the area of asthma and uveitis. His research interests include analytical chemistry, experimental design, applied statistics and chemometrics.
Jeffrey L. Ives, Ph.D., Director
Dr. Ives joined Astrocyte Pharmaceutical’s Board of Directors in December of 2014. He has over 30 years of senior scientific leadership experience in the development of novel therapeutics, with an emphasis on drugs for central nervous system diseases. Dr. Ives is a Venture Partner at New Leaf Venture Partners, a leader in healthcare technology venture investing and which currently manages $1.1 billion in assets.
Prior to New Leaf Venture Partners, Dr. Ives was a Principal for NeuroPharma Advisors, LLC, a Boston area advisory group dedicated to assisting companies developing therapeutics for central nervous system diseases. He was formerly CEO of Satori Pharmaceuticals, which was a leading company in the development of gamma-secretase modulators for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Before Satori, Dr. Ives held numerous senior management and scientific leadership positions at Pfizer including Senior Vice President of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism, Vice President of Central Nervous System Research, and Executive Director of Central Nervous System Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Ives earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Yale University and his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Colgate University.
Jeffrey M. Arnold, Director
Mr. Arnold joined Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals’ Board of Directors in March 2017. He has 45 years of experience in the life science industry, including as the CEO of 4 companies and an angel investor in 7 companies with successful exits. He is currently the President of Arnold Strategies, LLC, which advises CEO’s with their growth and execution strategies, and Executive Chairman of First Light Biosciences. Since 2006, Mr. Arnold has been an angel investor with Boston Harbor Angels and Mass Medical Angels. He is a guest lecturer at the MIT Sloan School and a mentor to startup companies through the MIT Venture Mentoring Society and MIT Deshpande Center.
Previously, Mr. Arnold was Chairman of Corbus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CRBP), which has a phase II drug for orphan fibrotic diseases, and the CEO of CardioFocus, which has an endoscopic catheter for treating atrial fibrillation. He founded Cambridge Heart, Inc. and took the company public in 1996. He was also CEO of Molecular Simulations, Inc., a $200 MM supplier of software for drug design later called Accelrys. Early in his career Mr. Arnold held senior R&D and marketing positions for Becton Dickinson and Datascope Corp. Mr. Arnold graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
Susan S. Margulies, Ph.D., Advisor
Dr. Margulies joined Astrocyte Pharmaceutical’s Scientific Advisory Board in July of 2015. Dr. Margulies is the Wallace H. Coulter Chair of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Injury Biomechanics, with over 32 years of experience in the area of traumatic brain injury research, and over 27 years in pulmonary biomechanics. Dr. Margulies is an international leader in biomechanics of head injury in infants and toddlers, integrating mechanical properties, animal studies, instrumented dolls, patient data, and computational models to identify injury mechanisms that are unique to children. Her recent studies have expanded to include innovative metrics of cognition and memory to assess injury progression and recovery in a large animal model, and preclinical trials testing novel therapies to improve outcomes after brain injury in children.
Dr. Margulies received her BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University and her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She has published over 135 peer-reviewed papers, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Discover Magazine, and by CNN and the BBC. She has served or is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Physiology, the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, the Journal of Biomechanics, American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cell and Molecular, and the Journal of Neurotrauma. Dr. Margulies is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Biomedical Engineering Society, and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Honors and awards include the ALA Young Investigator Award, Whitaker Foundation Young Investigator Award, and NSF CAREER Award.
David W. Wright, M.D., Advisor
Dr. Wright joined Astrocyte Pharmaceutical’s Scientific Advisory Board in October of 2015. He is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory University, and directs Emory’s Emergency Neurosciences Division that is dedicated to finding novel therapies for the treatment of rapidly evolving neurological conditions, including traumatic brain injury and stroke. Dr. Wright is a board certified emergency medicine physician practicing at Emory affiliated hospitals and Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta’s primary Level 1 Trauma Center. He is an international clinical leader in traumatic brain injury research, and is actively involved in both the preclinical and clinical assessments of traumatic brain injury, stroke and other acute neurological conditions. He was the Principal Investigator for the large multicenter clinical trial ProTECT III (Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injury), and has been one of the top 3 NIH funded emergency medicine researchers in the United States.
Dr. Wright graduated from Samford University with a degree in Biology and Chemistry, obtained his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, and completed his primary residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Wright is an esteemed Howard Hughes Fellow, a member of the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha medical honors society, and was the recipient of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Young Investigator Award.
Colonel (Ret.) Dallas C. Hack, M.D., M.P.H., Advisor
Col. Hack joined Astrocyte’s Scientific Advisory Board in December of 2016. Col. Hack previously served as Senior Medical Advisor to the Principal Assistant, Research and Technology, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) from 2014 to 2015, where he was responsible for coordinating research that would reduce morbidity and save the lives of troops injured in the line of duty. From 2008 to 2014, Col. Hack was the Director of the Combat Casualty Care Research Program (CCCRP) at USAMRMC, and also the Chair of Joint Program Committee 6 focused on Combat Casualty Care. He was accountable for coordinating TBI research and technology across all Department of Defense groups, and was responsible for over 650 projects and the use of over $850 million in federal funds to advance TBI research and technology. Col. Hack helped establish the 2013 National Research Action Plan that defined national priorities and funding to assess and develop improvements across the continuum of TBI care, the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium that is providing $50M to study the long term effects of TBIs, and the NCAA-DoD Grand Alliance that is the largest concussion study ever conducted. Col. Hack retired from USAMRMC in 2015.
Col. Hack received his M.D. from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, his M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins and a Master of Strategic Studies (M.S.S.) from the U.S. Army War College. He was Vice President of Biomedical Engineering at several biomedical companies before going into active duty at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). He had multiple Army command surgeon roles including Command Surgeon for the Multinational Force in Iraq. He also has an appointment at the University of Pittsburgh as Visiting Adjunct Professor of Neurosurgery and at Virginia Commonwealth University as Associate Clinical Professor. Col. Hack has received numerous military awards including the Bronze Star, two Legions of Merit, and seven Meritorious Service Medals and was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Military Order of Medical Merit. He was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by Loma Linda University in May 2015.