Alan Lewis, Ph.D., President and CEO
Dr. Alan Lewis is the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Diavacs, Inc. From October 2012 to its sale to Intrexon in 2014, Dr. Lewis was CEO and Director of Medistem, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company. From July 2010 to November 2011, Dr. Lewis served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Ambit Biosciences, a privately held biotechnology company. From January 2009 to June 2010, Dr. Lewis served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. From February 2006 until December 2008, Dr. Lewis was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Novocell, Inc.
Orville Kolterman, MD, Head of R&D;
Orville Kolterman, MD is the Chief Medical Officer of Diavacs. Dr. Kolterman is a noted physician and clinical trials expert who brings drugs to market. Dr. Kolterman serves on the Board of Directors of Viacyte, was most recently Senior Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Amylin Pharmaceuticals. At Amylin, Dr. Kolterman was been instrumental in the development of the company’s first-in-class diabetes medicines, SYMLIN(R) (pramlintide acetate) injection and BYETTA(R) (exenatide) injection.
Richard Murphey, Head of Operations
Richard Murphey is Head of Operations at Diavacs. Previously Mr. Murphey was co-founder and Head of Operations at Troia Therapeutics, a venture-backed orphan drug company. Mr. Murphey worked as a summer financial analyst at Verily (formerly known as Google Life Sciences) and served in various business development and financial roles at Castle Biosciences. Mr. Murphey previously was a healthcare investor at Investor Growth Capital, a $1.8B venture capital / growth equity fund, and worked in the healthcare investment banking group at Wells Fargo Securities.
Christopher Rhodes, Ph.D., Head of Product Development
Chris Rhodes, Ph.D. is the Head of Product Development at Diavacs. Dr. Rhodes is also founder, President and CEO of Drug Delivery Experts. Dr. Rhodes founded Drug Delivery Experts in 2014 after 4 years of consulting and 20 years in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and drug delivery companies, where he held both technical and executive leadership roles. He has extensive experience translating molecular therapeutics, formulation, delivery, and device programs from late stage research into clinical development.
He volunteers as a leadership mentor to start-up companies, students, and academic programs, through the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange, Connect, the UCSD Von Leibig Center for Entrepreneurship, the UCSD Bioengineering Industrial Advisory Board, and lectures in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, in addition to serving as President and Member of the Board of Directors for the Boulder Peptide Society. Chris lives in San Diego with his UCLA graduate school classmate, Dr. Sharon Lee Rhodes, and together they enjoy traveling to visit their four children.
Board of Directors
Dan Bradbury, Chairman
Dan Bradbury is the Chairman of the Board of DiaVacs. He is a Life Sciences Executive with over 30 years of experience creating and implementing strategies that transform businesses, bring novel medicines to market and maximize shareholder value. He is the Managing Member of BioBrit, LLC, a Life Sciences Consulting and Investment Firm.
Dan is the former President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company based in San Diego, CA, focused on metabolic diseases. During his 18-year tenure at Amylin, the company launched three first-in-class medicines, including the first once-a-week therapy to treat diabetes and was listed on the Nasdaq 100. He served as Amylin’s Chief Executive Officer from March 2007 until its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for $7 billion in August 2012.
Alex Casdin, MBA
Mr. Alexander Casdin is a private investor focused on the health care sector. From October 2011 through September 2012, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Sophiris Bio Inc. Prior to his position at Sophiris, he served as the Vice President, Finance of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., a position he held from November 2009 to September 2011.
Prior to his position at Amylin, Mr. Casdin was founder of Casdin Advisors LLC, formed in 2007, where he served as a strategic advisor to companies in the life sciences industry. From October 2005 until he founded Casdin Advisors, Mr. Casdin was the Chief Executive Officer and Portfolio Manager of Cooper Hill Partners, LLC, a healthcare investment fund, and from 2001 to October 2005, he was Co-Portfolio Manager at Cooper Hill Partners.
James Gavin III, MD, PhD
Dr. Gavin is President of the Morehouse School of Medicine. He is a past president of the American Diabetes Association, which voted him Clinician of the Year in 1991. He belongs to a number of organizations, including the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Diabetes Association, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians, the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, the Association of Black Cardiologists, Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Society and the Sigma Pi Phi Leadership Fraternity.
Alan Lewis, PhD, President and CEO
Dr. Lewis is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Diavacs, Inc. From October 2012 to its sale to Intrexon in 2014, Dr. Lewis was CEO and Director of Medistem, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company. From July 2010 to November 2011, Dr. Lewis served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Ambit Biosciences, a privately held biotechnology company. From January 2009 to June 2010, Dr. Lewis served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. From February 2006 until December 2008, Dr. Lewis was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Novocell, Inc.
Edwin Naylor, PhD
Dr. Edwin Naylor is a biochemical geneticist who has led the field of newborn screening so as to save the lives of children afflicted with inborn errors through early identification and immediate action. Since 2005, Dr. Naylor has been an Adjunct Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina. Prior to that, from 1984 through 2005 he was Professor of various ranks at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the Department of Human Genetics within the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Naylor was responsible for running all newborn screening for Magee Women’s Hospital and the State of Pennsylvania. During the period from 1994 through 2005 he was Founder, President and Laboratory Director of NeoGen Screening, Inc. which he sold in 2005. Dr. Naylor is Board Certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics, has received numerous awards, serves as an Editor for several Medical Journals, and has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature on the topic of pediatric disease. He also advised next-generation sequencing diagnostics companies to improve the field of newborn screening.
Scientific Advisory Board
Robert Ferrell, PhD
Robert Ferrell, Ph.D. is a Professor of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include gene mapping; genetics of common disease including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer; human population genetics and evolution. He is the author of more than 500 scientific publications and is recognized as a world expert in human genetics.
David Finegold, MD, co-founder
David Finegold, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Professor of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Finegold is board-certified in pediatrics, pediatric endocrinology and biochemical genetics. He is the author or co-author of more than 80 articles published in leading medical and scientific journals.
His memberships in professional and scientific societies include the American Society of Human Genetics, Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, American Diabetes Association, The American Federation for Clinical Research, Endocrine Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, American Society of Nephrology, and The Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders.
Nick Giannoukakis, PhD, co-founder
Dr. Giannoukakis is a lead researcher at the Institute of Cellular Therapeutics at Allegheny General Hospital. He was previously Associate Professor of Pathology, Department of Immunology, at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a member of the Division of Experimental Pathology and a member of the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Training Program. Dr. Giannoukakis is an expert in tolerogenic dendritic cell therapy for Type 1 Diabetes and also conducts research in biologic, gene and cell therapy for Type 1 and 2 Diabetes as well as research into regulatory immune cells in autoimmunity and transplantation biology.
Orville Kolterman, MD, Head of R&D;
Orville Kolterman, M.D. serves on the Board of Directors of Viacyte, was most recently Senior Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Amylin Pharmaceuticals. At Amylin, Dr. Kolterman was been instrumental in the development of the company’s first-in-class diabetes medicines, SYMLIN(R) (pramlintide acetate) injection and BYETTA(R) (exenatide) injection. Dr. Kolterman was Program Director of the General Clinical Research Center and Medical Director of the Diabetes Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center.
He has also served as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Endocrinology and Metabolism Division at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver and was a member of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Study Group. Dr. Kolterman currently serves as a member of the Epidemiology of Diabetes Intervention and Complications Study. He is also a past-president of the California Affiliate of the American Diabetes Association.
Camillo Ricordi, MD
Camillo Ricordi, M.D. is the Stacy Joy Goodman Professor of Surgery, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Microbiology and Immunology, and serves as Scientific Director and Chief Academic Officer of the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute. At the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Ricordi also serves as Chief of the Division of Cellular Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Director of the Diabetes Research Institute Cell Transplant Center.
James Shapiro, MD, PhD
James Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.S.C. is currently a Canadian Research Chair in transplantation and the Director of the Clinical Islet Transplant Program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Shapiro is known for developing the Edmonton protocol, an islet transplantation technique that has allowed many severe diabetics to stop taking insulin entirely, although the duration of this insulin independence does vary. The Edmonton Protocol is considered a major advancement from earlier transplantation efforts, and has regenerated much interest and research into establishing islet transplantation as a regular treatment modality for diabetes.
Dr. Shapiro is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Hunterian Medal from the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Paul E. Lacy Gold Medal, the Gold Medal in Surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Governor General’s Gold Medal, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and in 2011 was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Jay Skyler, MD, PhD
Jay S. Skyler, M.D., M.A.C.P., is a Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Psychology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Academic Programs at the Diabetes Research Institute. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado at Denver. He was Study Chairman for the nationwide multi-center Diabetes Prevention Trial for Type 1 diabetes (DPT-1) and now serves as Study Chairman of its successor, the NIH-sponsored Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an international network conducting clinical trials to interdict Type 1 diabetes.
Massimo Trucco, MD, co-founder
Massimo Trucco, M.D. is the head of the Institute of Cellular Therapeutics at Allegheny General Hospital. He was previously the Hillman Professor of Pediatric Immunology, and Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh. He is an internationally recognized immunologist who has focused his career on understanding and curing Diabetes. Dr. Trucco has been featured in several publications and has been the recipient of numerous awards. Since joining the university faculty, he has been awarded the William Stadie Award from the American Diabetes Association, the University of Michigan-Sandoz Prize, and the 1996 Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award from the University of Pittsburgh. Most recently he was awarded with a prestigious Carnegie Science Award in the area of Life Sciences.
Rogerio Vivaldi, MD
Rogerio Vivaldi, MD, MBA is SVP and Head of Rare Diseases Business Unit at Genzyme Corporation. In his current role, Dr. Vivaldi is responsible for the global leadership of Genzyme’s rare diseases business. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Vivaldi has earned a reputation for his principled leadership and corporate entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Rare Diseases Business Unit, he was head of Genzyme’s Renal and Endocrinology unit.
Earlier in his career, he launched and built Genzyme Brasil, establishing Genzyme’s presence in Brazil and securing access to life-altering therapies for thousands of patients. Later he was appointed President of Genzyme Latin America. Dr. Vivaldi brings a mission-driven, patient-centric approach to his leadership, and has built critical bridges on behalf of Genzyme with top government, regulatory and patient organizations.