Advisors


Les Benet, Ph.D.  Dr. Benet has been a Professor since 1969 of, and has also served as Chairman of, the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Benet has been Chairman, President and/or Chief Executive Officer of AvMax Inc., since 1995. Dr. Benet received his A.B. (English), B.S. (Pharmacy), and M.S. from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. from the University of California.  Dr. Benet's research interests, more than 470 publications, and 11 patents are in the areas of pharmacokinetics, biopharmaceutics, drug delivery, and pharmacodynamics.

Joseph R. Bertino, M.D. Dr Joeseph Bertino is University Professor of medicine and pharmacology, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and is interim director of the school's Cancer Institute of New Jersey Bertino in New Brunswick. He was named interim director of the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey in 2007. He has been an American Cancer Society professor since 1976. Dr. Bertino joined The Cancer Institute of New Jersey in 2002 as associate director and was appointed chief scientific officer in 2004.  Prior to joining The Cancer Institute of New Jersey at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Dr. Bertino served as chair of the Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics Program, and member and co-head of the Program in Developmental Therapy and Clinical Investigation at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. From 1973 to 1986, Dr. Bertino served as director of the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, including director of the center and associate director for clinical research. Dr. Bertino has been internationally recognized for his role in finding curative treatments for leukemia and lymphoma.

Dan Bradbury 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.  He 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. Before joining Amylin, Dan worked in marketing and sales roles for ten years at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals.  He serves on the public boards of Biocon Limited, Corcept Therapeutics, Geron Corporation, Illumina, Inc. and Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Dan received a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Nottingham University and a Diploma in Management Studies from Harrow and Ealing Colleges of Higher Education in the United Kingdom.


Peter Hirth, Ph.D. Dr. Hirth is co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Plexxikon, Inc. Dr. Hirth has over 30 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical discovery and development experience and currently serves as a Board member of Spinomix, KineMed, Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, and Afferent Pharmaceuticals. From 2001 to 2013 at Plexxikon, Dr. Hirth built a novel, structure-guided drug discovery platform, which brought several new chemical entities into the clinic, including Zelbora, an FDA-approved therapy for metastatic melanoma together with a companion diagnostic. From 1991-2000, as Sugen Inc.'s president and founder, Dr. Hirth was instrumental in building the company from its inception and in advancing several kinase inhibitors through clinical trials in oncology. Prior to Sugen, he was Vice President of Research at Boehringer Mannheim where he successfully led the company's erythropoietin program to approval in 1989. Dr. Hirth was a research scientist with the Max Planck Institute.  He completed his post-doctoral work at the University of California, San Diego and received his PhD in molecular genetics from Heidelberg University Germany.

Peter Houghton, Ph.D. Dr. Peter Houghton received his bachelor's in Pharmacy from the University of Bradford, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Pharmacology from the University of London, Institute of Cancer Research, Surrey, England. In 2014, Dr. Houghton became Director of the Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute (GCCRI), and holder of the Greehey Distinguished Chair for the Children's Cancer Research Institute.  Previously, he was Director of the Center for Childhood Cancer holding the Elizabeth M. & Richard M. Ross Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research.  Prior to Nationwide Children's Hospital, Dr. Houghton held various positions at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.  Dr. Houghton's research has been focused on developing relevant models of rare childhood cancer that have been useful in identifying novel drugs (e.g. camptothecins) and understanding the biology of these tumors.  Dr. Houghton serves as a member of the Steering Committee, Phase I Consortium, and the Developmental Therapeutics Committee, of the Children's Oncology Group.


​David Parkes, Ph.D. Dr. David Parkes has more than 28 years of experience in scientific discovery and drug development in the fields of diabetes, obesity, NAFLD/NASH and cardiovascular disease.  He has held senior level roles in both Discovery Research and Medical Affairs at Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., following his extensive training in globally-recognized medical research institutes. David most recently served as Senior Director of Discovery Research at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, where he led the preclinical development of exenatide, culminating in the approval and global commercialization of two “standard of care” drugs (Byetta and Bydureon) for the treatment of diabetes. He played a pivotal role in global scientific education for exenatide, pramlintide and metreleptin, three first in class drugs for the treatment of metabolic diseases. David has played a lead scientific role on alliance teams with partners including Eli Lilly, Takeda and Psychogenics, and is currently a senior scientific consultant for companies including Astra Zeneca, Profil, Novartis, Spitfire and Renova. David received his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and has published over 90 scientific articles in high-impact journals.

William J. Rutter, Ph.D. Bill Rutter is founder, chairman and CEO of Synergenics, which manages a consortium of biotech companies.  He was also a founder of Chiron and is credited with bringing the University of California, San Francisco to its prominent position in life sciences research.

Pieter Timmermans, Ph.D. Dr. Timmermans was Senior Vice President, Preclinical Development at Kosan Biosciences, Inc. from 2005 to 2008.  Prior to that he was Vice President, Pharmacology and Preclinical Development at Amgen Inc. subsequent to its acquisition of Tularik Inc. From 1997 to 2004, Dr. Timmermans held the same position at Tularik and built Tularik's preclinical department. Previously, he served in various management positions at The DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company and E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. The author of more than 580 scientific publications, Dr. Timmermans holds a Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology and a B.S. in chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology from Leiden State University.

Alan Venook, M.D.  is Professor of Clinical Medicine and the Madden Family Distinguished Professor of Medical Oncology and Translational Research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  Dr. Venook hails from Metuchen, NJ; he received a BA in Biological Sciences from Rutgers College in 1976.  He received his MD Degree in 1980 from UCSF, completed his internship at UCSF in 1981, then spent two years at an Urban Indian clinic in Sacramento, California and then completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis.  He returned to UCSF as a Hematology/Oncology Fellow in 1985, joining the faculty in 1988.  The Gastrointestinal Oncology Program was started through a collaboration with surgeon Dr. Robert Warren in 1991 and the program now has ten physicians and physician/scientists in medical oncology.  One of two UCSF MD's to become affiliated with the Cancer and Leukemia Group B in 1988, Dr. Venook has chaired and/or authored six major studies within the cooperative groups and he now Chairs the GI Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (formerly CALGB.)  He has also been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology since 2009.

Ron Zuckermann, Ph.D. Ronald Zuckermann received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1984 from Harvey Mudd College and his Ph.D. from UC Berkley in 1989.  He was one of the founding chemists at Protos Corp., a combinatorial drug discovery start-up in Emeryville, CA. Chiron Corp. acquired Protos in 1991. In early 2006, he left Chiron to join the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he is currently Lead Scientist at the Biological Nanostructures facility at The Molecular Foundry. He has published over 60 papers and is co-inventor on 25 patents.