About > Portfolio Advisory Board
  • John J. Baldwin, Ph.D.

    Jack is a distinguished scientist and serial entrepreneur. He started his career at the Merck Research Laboratories, leaving after 30 years with several drugs to his credit including Trusopt® and Cosopt®, both for the treatment of glaucoma. While at Merck he made important contributions to a wide range of therapeutic areas including, cardiovascular medicine with Aggrastat®, AIDS with Crixivan®, and to peptic ulcer disease where he played a key role in the development of Pepcid®. 
    Dr. Baldwin was a founder and the Chief Scientific Officer of Pharmacopeia (PCOP), a company specializing in new drug discovery technologies. After 10 years at Pharmacopeia, he founded, and was President and Chief Scientific Officer for Vitae Pharmaceuticals (VTAE) where he applied computational and molecular simulation methods to the discovery of new therapeutic agents. Additionally, he is a co-founder and a Board Director of WuXi PharmaTech (WX) in Shanghai, China; he also serves as a Board Director of GlycoMimetics (GLYC).
    Dr. Baldwin has published over 125 scientific articles and numerous reviews and has been an invited lector at more than 150 national and international symposiums. He holds over 240 issued United States patents. He has received several awards in recognition of his work including the prestigious Hershberg Award for Important Discoveries in Medically Active Substance and the Outstanding Achievement Awards by the University of Minnesota and the University of Delaware. He was inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Division Hall of Fame at the 2007 Fall ACS Meeting and received the American Chemical Society, Philadelphia Section Award for Ingenious Contributions to Chemistry in 2008. Dr. Baldwin received his BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Delaware and his Ph.D. Degree at the University of Minnesota.   
  • James S. MacDonald, Ph.D.

    Until his retirement in 2008, James MacDonald was Executive Vice President, Preclinical Development, at Schering- Plough Research Institute. Over a 15 year period at Schering-Plough, Dr. MacDonald was responsible for directing activities surrounding the movement of new potential therapeutic entities from discovery research into and through the development process. This role encompassed all therapeutic areas as well as licensing and acquisition programs; several hundred compounds were evaluated during this tenure with dozens entering clinical trials, several currently marketed globally, and many more continuing in development. His direct line of responsibility during this tenure was for the toxicology and drug metabolism groups which built on his previous experience with Merck. In this earlier role, Dr. MacDonald spent 17 years with the Merck organization ending as Executive Director of Toxicology in the Department of Safety Assessment and, again, had extensive experience with many new molecules coming into development from discovery including many important medicines currently marketed globally. Dr. MacDonald was a member of the Board of Trustees of HESI for 15 years ending as that organizations’ President. He has served on the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committee on Inorganic Arsenic since its inception in 2012. Dr. MacDonald received a Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Cincinnati and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University. In 2008, he formed Chrysalis Pharma Consulting, LLC of which he is currently the President to continue to facilitate the development of innovative new medicines with a particular focus on bringing new molecular entities from late stage lead optimization through initial human testing to clinical proof of concept. To broaden this capability, he formed Synergy Partners, R&D Solutions, LLC with Dr. Catherine Strader in 2014. As Founding Partners, Drs. MacDonald and Strader have formed a network of experienced professionals in all disciplines involved with the discovery and development of new therapeutic entities. This group is currently partnering with small and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies to bring new, innovative medicines forward to meet unmet medical needs. Dr. MacDonald continues his interest in understanding mechanisms of toxicity and in improving the process of assessment of human risk of cancer.
  • Bannett M. Shapiro, M.D.

    Bennett M. Shapiro, M.D. is Co-Founder and Non-Executive Director of PureTech Health plc (PRTC.L). He is also Chairman of VBL therapeutics, Ltd (VBLT). From 1990 to 2003 he was Executive Vice President, Merck Research Laboratories, initially leading Worldwide Basic Research and responsible for all the basic and preclinical research activities at Merck, later Licensing and External Research, responsible for Merck’s relationships with the academic and industrial biomedical research community -- leadership resulting in the discovery, development and registration of some 25 drugs and vaccines. 
    Earlier, he was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington. He is the author of over 120 papers on the molecular regulation of cellular behavior and the biochemical events that integrate the cascade of cellular activations at fertilization. 
    Shapiro received his B.S. in chemistry from Dickinson College and his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College. Following an Internship in Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, he was a Research Associate at the NIH, then a Visiting Scientist at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, and returned to the NIH as Chief - Section on Cellular Differentiation in the Laboratory of Biochemistry, prior to joining the University of Washington. Dr. Shapiro has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and a Visiting Professor at the University of Nice. He has served on many institutional advisory boards and scientific review panels. 
    Shapiro is also a Director of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Vedanta Biosciences, Tal Medical, Karuna Pharma and Akili Interactive Laboratories. He also is a Director of the non-profit Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), the Mind and Life Institute, and the Garrison Institute. 
  • Catherine D. Strader, Ph.D.

    With more than 30 years of pharmaceutical R&D experience, Catherine Strader has expertise ranging from the selection of molecular targets through clinical proof of concept. As executive vice president of Discovery Research and Chief Scientific Officer for Schering-Plough, Catherine had both strategic and operational responsibility for the company’s global small molecule and biologics discovery research portfolio. During this time, Catherine and her team initiated many of the programs that currently populate the Merck portfolio, including the BACE inhibitor for Alzheimer’s and Zontivity® for cardiovascular disease, as well as providing early development guidance for programs ranging from biologics for inflammation to Victrelis® for HCV infection. At Merck, Catherine was responsible for developing and implementing an integrated strategy for building Merck's early pipeline using external sources of innovation and subsequently served as Site Head for Merck’s large NJ discovery research sites, with accountability for delivering the research portfolio from these areas.
    Catherine is currently Founding Partner at Synergy Partners R&D Solutions, where she and her colleagues consult with biopharmaceutical and venture-backed companies on both the strategic and technical aspects of building and maintaining a pipeline. The team advises client companies to guide the translation of compounds through discovery and early development, realization of an appropriate risk profile for the portfolio, and design of productive multi-partner collaborations.
    Catherine holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a BS in Chemistry from the University of Virginia, followed by postdoctoral training in the Lefkowitz lab at Duke. She is the author of more than 150 scientific publications.
  • Christopher T. Walsh, Ph.D.

    Christopher Walsh is a consulting professor to the Stanford University department of chemistry and an advisor to the Stanford ChEM-H institute. He was the Hamilton Kuhn Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School from 1987-2013 when he took emeritus status. He has had extensive academic leadership experience, including Chairmanship of the MIT Chemistry Dept (1982-1987) and of the HMS Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology Dept (1987-1995) as well as serving as President and CEO of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (1992-1995).
    His research has focused on enzymes and enzyme inhibitors, with specialization on antibiotics and biosynthesis of other biologically and medicinally active natural products. He and his group have authored 800 research papers, and three books: on Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms (1979); Antibiotics: Origins, Actions, Resistance (2003); Posttranslational Modification of Proteins: Expanding Nature’s Inventory (2005). He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and a co-recipient of the 2010 Welch Prize in Chemistry. At Harvard and MIT he taught biochemistry, chemical biology, and pharmacology to medical students and graduate students and organic chemistry to undergraduates. 
    He has been involved in a variety of venture-based biotechnology companies since 1981, including Genzyme, Immunogen, Leukosite, Millenium, Kosan, Vicuron, Epizyme. Currently he is on the board of directors of Ironwood, Proteostasis, Achaogen and the non profits: California Institute for Biomedical Research and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He is a member of the scientific advisory groups at Hua, Abide, and Flex Pharma, an advisor to Health Care Ventures and a limited investor in Health Care Ventures, MPM bioventures, Clarus, and the Longwood Venture Funds.   
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