At Silicon Therapeutics we have assembled a diverse leadership team with deep experience across disciplines ranging from physics and computer aided drug design, to chemistry and structural biology.
MEGHANA KULKARNI, PHD
Principal Investigator, Biology and Project Lead
Meghana is Principal Investigator, Biology at Silicon Therapeutics and Project Lead for STX’s Immuno-Oncology program. She has extensive experience in small molecule drug discovery focused on delivering novel therapeutics for Oncology/IO applications. She joins us from AstraZeneca where she was the Biology lead on multiple Oncology programs responsible for developing and executing pre-clinical studies from target validation, lead generation and optimization to biomarker development. In her previous role at the Belfer Institute at Dana Farber Cancer Institute she developed the discovery platform using genetic tools including CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and led a multi-institution initiative to immuno phenotype patient tumor samples. Dr. Kulkarni received her PhD degree in Genetics from Michigan State University. She was a Howard Hughes post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School where she conducted research focused on elucidating the protein interaction network around the PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling pathway.
MARY MORRIS, MS
Director, Head of Human Resources
Mary Morris is Director, Head of Human Resources at Silicon Therapeutics, bringing more than a decade of experience in the medical device and life sciences sectors. She has worked with small to large size companies, partnering at all levels of the organization to drive proactive organizational change and strategic initiatives. Mary was previously Head of Human Resources at PROMETRIKA, LLC where she led the Human Resources function responsible for the Company’s talent architecture and people strategy. She also served as Head of Human Resources at Tokai Pharmaceuticals, where she established processes and analyzed company needs in the areas of compensation, benefits, safety, HR reporting training, organizational development and talent management. Mary has a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Emmanuel College and a BA in English/Education from Clark University.
DEQIANG NIU, PHD
VP, Head of Chemistry
Dr. Niu is a highly achieved medicinal chemistry leader with an extensive background in drug discovery. He joined us from Celgene Corporation (Cambridge, MA), where he was Director of Chemistry since 2012. At Celgene, Dr. Niu oversaw a chemistry team and an analytical & purification group, as well as medicinal chemistry projects at various stages. He served as a member of both the cross sites Chemistry Leadership Team and the site Research Management Team. Prior to Celgene, he spent 11 years in the medicinal chemistry groups at Enanta pharmaceuticals, Biogen, and Avila Therapeutics with increasing responsibility. His research experience covers viral & bacterial infection, oncology, immuno-oncology, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Niu and his teams have contributed to 10+ development candidates over the years. Among those are paritaprevir (FDA approved in 2014), rociletinib (PhIII), AVL292 (Ph II), CC-90003 (Ph I). Dr. Niu is a co-inventor on 60+ issued patents and patent applications. Dr. Niu obtained a B.S. and an M.S. degree in chemistry from Peking University, and received his PhD in organic chemistry from New York University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University in the Chemistry Department.
VIPIN SACHDEVA, PHD
Associate Director, Head of High Performance Computing
Vipin Sachdeva is Associate Director, Head of High Performance Computing(HPC) at Silicon Therapeutics. Vipin was most recently with IBM in their T. J. Watson Research Center as a Senior Engineer working with several key IBM HPC clients including US and UK national laboratories on performance and programmability aspects of IBM’s OpenPOWER initiative. Vipin’s previous work has applied high-performance computing to a wide variety of workloads including computational biology, seismic and other domains on several generations of IBM’s hardware including Power, BlueGene and Cell processors. Vipin has over 10 years of experience of parallel programming and optimizing applications for CPUs, GPUs and other specialized hardware. Vipin is main author of a book chapter on multicore programming, over 30 refereed publications and has given multiple invited talks and has reviewed for multiple conferences and journals. He is a recipient of IBM’s Outstanding Technical Achievement Award.
WOODY SHERMAN, PHD
Chief Science Officer
Dr. Sherman joins Silicon from Schrödinger, a leader in computational chemistry software development, where he was vice president and global head of the Applications Science team, helping pharmaceutical companies apply computational chemistry tools to challenging targets. He was also part of the senior management team and was involved in modeling services, methods development, and product management. Dr. Sherman is a leader in molecular simulations and computer-aided drug design, with over 80 publications covering novel methods and applications. He completed his Ph.D. at MIT with Professor Bruce Tidor, PhD, where he examined the role of electrostatics and dynamics in protein-ligand binding, and developed a novel method for optimizing ligand binding specificity across a panel of (desirable and undesirable) targets. Dr. Sherman has published on a broad range of topics, including free energy simulations, molecular dynamics, induced-fit docking, virtual screening, lead optimization, selectivity design, cheminformatics, and protein design.He is on the Editorial Board of Chemical Biology & Drug Design and the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling.
HOLLY SOUTTER, PHD
Associate Director of Biophysics and Biochemistry
Dr. Holly Soutter is Associate Director of Biophysics and Biochemistry at Silicon Therapeutics bringing more than a decade of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. She joins us from X-Chem Pharmaceuticals where she led a group responsible for assay development and validation, protein expression and purification, protein characterization, structural biology, and biophysics. In her previous role at Pfizer, she provided structure-based drug design support for projects in multiple therapeutic areas including in oncology, anti-infectives, immunology, cardiovascular and inflammation. She is co-inventor of multiple clinical candidates, co-author of 22 peer-reviewed manuscripts and two patents.
Co-founder & CEO
Lanny co-founded Silicon Therapeutics and handles the firms day to day operations as well as partnership and financing initiatives. He has spent his entire career in the healthcare sector working across a number of industries including drug discovery, CRO, investment banking, consulting, venture capital, private equity and non-profits. He started his career on Wall Street with Deutsche Bank Securities where he focused on Healthcare M&A and financings and was most recently a Venture Partner at Chengwei. He received his Bachelors of Science in Economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
STEVE SWANN, PHD
Director, Head of Design and Simulations
Steve is a highly experienced medicinal chemist and molecular designer with over 10 years of project leadership experience across several therapeutic areas and a proven record of advancing molecules through early hit-to lead phases into late stage preclinical / IND enabling studies. Throughout his career Steve has become an industry recognized expert in SBDD with extensive experience in applying computational tools to supporting new compound design and project decision making. Steve joined Silicon Therapeutics from Takeda Pharmaceuticals (San Diego, CA), where he was Associate Director of Chemistry and lead a team of 8 chemists and 2 computational scientists who supported projects across the portfolio. Prior to Takeda, he spent 6 years in the medicinal chemistry groups at Eli Lilly and Abbvie where he gained unique experience in the early stages of drug discovery including: FBDD, novel approaches to hit ID and lead optimization, efficiency metrics, as well computational modeling and SBDD across different target classes. His research experience covers gastroenterology, immuno-oncology, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. Steve obtained and dual B.S in Biology and Chemistry and received his PhD from the University of Delaware working for John Koh.
CHRISTOPHER WINTER, PHD
Chief of Research & Development
Dr. Winter has held research leadership positions in pharmaceutical companies and emerging biotechnology firms over the past 15 years. During that time, he has delivered ten targeted cancer therapies into clinical development. He joined Sanofi in 2013 as Sanofi Oncology’s Head of Discovery Biology and became site lead in 2015. He joined Sanofi from Blueprint Medicines, where he served as Head of Biology. The first biologist recruited to Blueprint, Dr. Winter built an outstanding interdisciplinary team and led the company’s first drug discovery project, a first-in-class FGFR4 inhibitor for genomically-defined liver cancer. Prior to Blueprint, Dr. Winter held senior research positions at Merck Research Laboratories and Exelixis. He received a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics from Columbia University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University in the Department of Biological Sciences.
HUAFENG XU, PHD
Chief Technology Officer, China
Huafeng Xu is the Chief Technology Officer of Silicon Therapeutics, where he develops new computational methods that enable the development of drugs against traditionally “undruggable” targets. He is also leading the Silicon Therapeutics office in China. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Peking University, and his Master and Ph. D. from Columbia University. Before joining Silicon Therapeutics, he had spent 12 years in D. E. Shaw Research, where he played an early role in the design of the specialized Anton chip for molecular dynamics simulations, and he led the development of the methods and software for free energy calculations that are now widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. His research interests include development of simulation methods, free energy calculations, structural immunology, protein folding and misfolding, and molecular design.
JAMES GABRIEL, PHD
Chief Business Officer
James Gabriel is the Chief Business Officer at Silicon Therapeutics. He spent over 16 years at Biogen working on corporate strategy, business development and alliance management. James led strategic transactions across the R&D value chain from research alliances to preclinical and clinical asset deals, to manufacturing technology licenses, diagnostic partnerships and digital health arrangements. He holds a PhD in Human Genetics from Case Western Reserve University and an MBA from Babson College.