Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Mr. Pappajohn is a member of our board of directors and is a pioneer in the venture capital industry. In 1969, Mr. Pappajohn founded Equity Dynamics, Inc., a financial consulting entity, and Pappajohn Capital Resources, a venture capital firm, both in Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Pappajohn has been involved in over 100 start-up companies and has served as a director of over 40 public companies, many in the bioscience and health-related industries. He currently serves on the boards of the following public companies: American CareSource Holdings, Inc., since 2004, ConMed Healthcare Management, Inc. since 2005, and CNS Response, since 2009. Previously, Mr. Pappajohn served on the boards of PharmAthene, Inc., from 2007 until July 2011, Careguide, Inc., from 1995 until 2010, and SpectraScience, Inc., from 2007 until 2009. Mr. Pappajohn has a BSC degree in business from the University of Iowa.
Edmund Cannon is a member of our board of directors and is founder and President of the Clinical Research Center of Cape Cod, which specializes in finding institutional review board approved, consented specimens for the diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries, and in setting up studies to support FDA submissions for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Previously, Mr. Cannon was a marketing and operations consultant for Franey Medical Labs. Mr. Cannon also formerly had the most national sales for Pharmacia Diagnostics Inc., and was a vice president and co-founder of Alletess, Inc. Mr. Canon has a degree from Boston State College and attended a Master's program at Providence College.
Raju S.K. Chaganti, Ph.D.
Dr. Chaganti is an internationally recognized leader in cancer cytogenetics and molecular genetics. He is a co-discoverer of patents for the cloning of two genes rearranged in lymphoma translocations, BCL6 and BCL8, and an additional two patents for the detection of translocations for the FISH classification of kidney cancers. Dr. Chaganti currently is the incumbent of the William E. Snee Chair at the Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center, where he is on the faculty of the Department of Medicine and Cell Biology Program. He is a professor and the Gernster Sloan- Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Cornell University Medical College, New York, New York. He was the chief of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's cytogenetics service, which he established in 1976 as one of the earliest genetically based cancer diagnostic services in the country.
Dr. Chaganti received a Ph.D. in biology (genetics) from Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and completed his post-doctoral training at the Medical Research Council of Great Britain. Additionally, he completed a sabbatical in the Department of Tumor Biology at Karolinska Institute Stockholm, focusing on experimental murine and tumorgenesis as well as immunology. Dr. Chaganti is American Board of Medical Genetics certified in medical genetics, with a subspeciality in clinical cytogenetics.
Geoffrey Harris is a portfolio manager and managing partner at c7 Advisors healthcare advisory firm. Prior to his position with c7 Advisors, Mr. Harris served as Managing Director and co-head of the Cantor Fitzgerald Healthcare Investment Group from 2011 to 2014, and as a Healthcare Investment Banker with Gleacher & Company from 2009 to 2011. He has over thirty years combined experience as a healthcare analyst and portfolio manager for biotechnology and life sciences companies. Mr. Harris graduated from MIT’s Sloan School of Management with an MS in Finance Management. Mr. Harris serves as a Director for Amperic, Inc., PointRight, and American Care Source.
Dr. McLeod is the Medical Director of the DeBartolo Family Personalized Medicine Institute at the Moffitt Cancer Center and a Senior Member of the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Division of Population Sciences. He joined Moffitt Cancer Center in September 2013, after having served as Founding Director of the University of North Carolina Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy since 2006. Dr. McLeod also held the prestigious title of Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy from 2006 to 2013. Dr. McLeod has published over 475 peer-reviewed papers on pharmacogenomics, applied therapeutics and clinical pharmacology.
Franklyn G. Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D.
Franklyn G. Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D., is a member of our board of directors and prior to his retirement was the Edmond and Marion Guggenheim Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Mayo Medical School and the director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. From 1994 to 2006, he served as a director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. He has held several other teaching positions at the Mayo Medical School since 1975. Dr. Prendergast has served for the National Institute of Health on numerous study section review groups; as a charter member of the Board of Advisors for the Division of Research Grants, now the Center for Scientific Review; the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council; and the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. He held a Presidential Commission for service on the National Cancer Advisory Board. Dr. Prendergast also has served in numerous other advisory roles for the National Institute of Health and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a member of the board of directors of the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI). Dr. Prendergast has served on the board of directors of Eli Lilly & Co. since 1995 and is a member of the board's science and technology and public policy and compliance committees. He also currently serves on the board of directors for DemeRx, Inc., a private, biotechnology drug development company, and Ativa Medical Corporation, a private, diagnostic technology company. Dr. Prendergast obtained his medical degree with honors from the University of West Indies and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, earning an M.A. degree in physiology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Welsh joined of our board of directors in April of 2014. Dr. Welsh is an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where he has held the position since 1989. He is also the Roy J. Carver Biomedical Research Chair in Internal Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, professor of neurosurgery, director of the University of Iowa Cystic Fibrosis Research Center, and director of the University of Iowa Institute for Biomedical Discovery at the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine of the University of Iowa. Dr. Welsh has been a professor at the University of Iowa since 1987. Dr. Welsh received his M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, where he completed his residency.
Thomas F. Widmann
Dr. Thomas F. Widmann is a cardiologist and seasoned life sciences entrepreneur with more than 25 years of biotech experience, and also serves as a Venture Partner at Wellington Partners in Germany. In 1997, he co-founded Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Europe’s largest biopharmaceutical company. As Actelion’s first Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of the Board, he established affiliates in North America, Europe, and Asia. He was instrumental in Actelion’s highly successful IPO and secondary offering, which created the foundation for Actelion’s growth and profitability. Dr. Widmann has founded several other successful companies, including Hesperion Ltd, an international Contract Research Organization (CRO); Widmann Associates Ltd.; and Auraglobe Ltd., both life-science advisory companies. Previously, he spent nine years at Hoffmann-La Roche (HLR), Basel, leading the international cardiovascular development department, where he brought three cardiovascular drugs to the international markets. He spent six years at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) as an assistant professor of Medicine. Dr. Widmann studied Medicine and Computer Science at the Universities of Heidelberg and Paris, and holds a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Heidelberg. He earned his specialization in cardiology at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Sharma became a member of our board of directors and our Chief Executive Officer in May of 2010. Mr. Sharma was at TSG Partners, a specialty life sciences consultancy and advisory company, from 2001 to 2010, where he was the Managing Partner and founder. At TSG he led the development of strategic initiatives, corporate growth strategy and corporate turnarounds for both public and private companies. He also led over 70 buy and sell-side transactions for life sciences, healthcare and biopharma companies. At TSG, he established the Global Diagnostics Index, the Global Biotools Index and several other life science capital markets indices that are still used in the life science industry.
Prior to founding TSG, Mr. Sharma was the Chief Strategy Officer for iXL Enterprises, Inc. (“iXL”), a public e-business consultancy where he led strategy development and acquisitions activity and was part of the management team that aided in taking the company public in June 1999. At iXL, he also managed the specialty e-business strategy practices group that grew from under $4 million in revenue in 1998 to over $75 million in 2000. From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Sharma was a partner at Interactive Solutions, Inc., a marketing and strategy consultancy focused on health care and financial services in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that was sold to Omnicom, Inc., one of the largest global market analysis and marketing companies. Prior to that time, Mr. Sharma served as a consultant to Putnam Investment Management, LLC and Bank of America Corporation. Mr. Sharma has also served on the board of directors of EpicEdge, a health care and government focused IT services firm, from 2001 to 2003 and as chairman of the Advisory Board for EndoChoice, a global leader for the gastrointestinal treatment market from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Sharma attended Boston University from 1987 to 1992 in the University Professor’s Program.