Anthony Ford, PhD
Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer
Kathleen Sereda Glaub, MBA
Co-founder and Executive Chair of the Board of Directors
Gabriel Vargas, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer
Robert Booth, PhD
Co-founder, Scientific Advisory Board
Mehrdad Shamloo, PhD
Co-founder, Chair of Scientific Advisory Board
Board of Directors
Kathleen Sereda Glaub, MBA
Ms. Glaub brings more than 30 years of experience in corporate development and strategy, financing and company-building for innovative life science and technology companies. She became a co-founder of CuraSen in 2018. Ms. Glaub also serves on the board of directors of Escient Pharmaceuticals, IO Biotech and Codexis, Inc.
Following Ms. Glaub’s appointment to the board of Afferent Pharmaceuticals in 2013, she joined the company as chief executive officer in 2014. Ms. Glaub led the company’s advancement of AF-219/MK7264 (gefapixant) to Phase 3 readiness for the treatment of chronic cough, raised $80 million in additional private funding for Afferent, and led the 2016 sale of the company to Merck for $1.25 billion.
Previously, Ms. Glaub served as president of Plexxikon for 12 years, where she led the company’s business and financing strategies, negotiated several multi-million-dollar partnerships, and led the sale of the company to Daiichi Sankyo for nearly $1 billion in 2011. She also was instrumental in Plexxikon’s advancement of multiple novel molecules to the clinic, as well as advancement of Zelboraf®, a targeted treatment for melanoma, along with its companion diagnostic to market approval in 2011. She previously held positions as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Cell Genesys, treasurer of Genentech, and various finance and treasury roles with Intel Corporation.
Ms. Glaub received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MBA from Northwestern University.
Patrick Enright, MBA
Mr. Enright is a managing director and founder of Longitude Capital. Prior to Longitude Capital, Mr. Enright was a managing director of Pequot Ventures where he co-led the life sciences investment practice. Prior to Pequot, he was a managing member of the Delta Opportunity Fund at Diaz & Altschul Capital Management. Mr. Enright began his investment career at PaineWebber Development Corporation. Mr. Enright also has significant life sciences operations experience, including senior executive positions at Valentis, Boehringer Mannheim (acquired by Roche) and Sandoz (now known as Novartis). Mr. Enright currently serves on the boards of Aimmune, Aptinyx, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Orbus Therapeutics and SutroVax. Selected prior board memberships include Codexis, Corcept Therapeutics, Esperion Therapeutics, Horizon Pharmaceuticals, InfaCare Pharmaceutical, MAP Pharmaceuticals, Prestwick Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Lundbeck), and Sequenom.
Mr. Enright holds a BS in biological sciences from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Anthony Ford, PhD
Dr. Ford brings more than 30 years of neuroscience research, pharmacology, drug discovery and development experience from leading biopharmaceutical companies to his role as co-founder and chief executive officer. He became a co-founder of CuraSen in 2018. Dr Ford also holds senior advisory roles with Site1 Therapeutics and PharmNovo, both developing innovative therapies for pain and related indications, and for New Leaf Venture Partners, where he had previously held the title of venture partner. He is also an advisor to the Stanford SPARK program.
Prior to CuraSen, Dr. Ford co-founded Afferent Pharmaceuticals, and as chief scientific officer led the discovery and development of first-in-class P2X3 antagonists, including AF-219/MK-7264 (gefapixant), for chronic cough through Phase 3 readiness until the company’s acquisition by Merck in 2016 for more than $1 billion. Previously, he held several positions at Roche Pharmaceuticals (Palo Alto), including lastly as vice president of research and head of neuroscience, where he initiated and drove innovative programs in neurobiology.
Dr. Ford was trained in pharmacology at Bradford University and received a PhD in neuropharmacology from Nottingham University. He has published extensive research with a strong focus on therapeutics for poorly addressed neuroscience diseases.
Jeff Ives, PhD
Jeff Ives is an entrepreneur and CEO with over 30 years of experience building successful research organizations and delivering important new clinical candidates and products. Dr. Ives joined New Leaf as a venture partner focused on the biopharmaceutical arena in 2017. He serves as an independent director on four biotechnology companies and consults with multiple small biotech and midsize pharma companies, reviewing ongoing internal programs, identifying new research programs and external collaborations, and performing scientific due diligences for clients primarily in the areas of medicinal chemistry, drug metabolism and preclinical development.
Dr. Ives has extensive senior R&D leadership and scientific experience. He served as CEO of Satori Pharmaceuticals, a neurodegenerative disease company focused on discovery and development of breakthrough therapies for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, where he raised more than $40M of financing and built a strong team of talented scientists, world-class advisors and experienced board of directors. Prior to Satori, he served as senior vice president at Pfizer, leading the neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatry and pain research areas, and maximizing the impact of drug metabolism on global research and development programs.
Dr. Ives received his masters and doctoral degrees in chemistry from Yale in and his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University.
Henry Skinner, PhD
Dr. Skinner joined Tekla Capital Management in October of 2017. He is responsible for investment research and due diligence in the biotechnology, medical device and diagnostic areas, and serves as a member of the team responsible for making and executing on venture investments on behalf of the Funds.
Previously, Dr. Skinner spent nine years at Novartis Services where he was vice president and deputy head and managing director of the Novartis Venture Fund, leading the diligence and investments in innovative life-science companies. Prior to his roles at the Novartis Venture Fund, he was the executive director, head strategic alliances at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Prior to working at Novartis, Dr. Skinner was the chief executive officer at SelectX Pharmaceuticals, president and chief executive officer at NeoGenesis Pharmaceuticals and spent four years at Pharmacia & Upjohn/Pharmacia/Pfizer in the Technology Acquisitions and Operations group.
Dr. Skinner holds a BS and MS in biology/biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an MS and PhD in microbiology from the University of Illinois and a postdoctoral in molecular and human genetics from Baylor College of Medicine.
Scientific Advisory Board
Mehrdad Shamloo, PhD
In 2008, Dr. Shamloo joined Stanford University and established the Behavioral and Functional Neuroscience core laboratory as well as his own research laboratory focused on the understanding of normal and pathological brain functions in disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke and autism. Currently, Dr. Shamloo’s efforts and research are directed towards the neurodegenerative pathways responsible for selective neuronal vulnerability of sensitive brain nuclei in degenerative disorders. Through these investigations, the aim is to understand the processes leading to the functional and behavioral malfunction in these neurological disorders, and to subsequently develop novel therapeutics to treat them. Dr. Shamloo seeks to accelerate the translation of experimental discoveries into novel therapeutic approaches and improve the quality of life for patients with brain disorders. Previously, Dr. Shamloo held positions at various biopharmaceutical companies with extensive focus on CNS drug discovery and preclinical development, including AGY Therapeutics and Affymax.
Dr. Shamloo received his doctoral degree from the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center of Lund University in Sweden.
Jillian Baker, BM BS MRCP PhD
Dr. Baker has conducted and published extensive research in the field of molecular pharmacology and receptor signaling and is a noted authority on the pharmacology of adrenoceptors. She has pursued both research and clinical medicine concurrently as a joint career and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist Fellowship (2004-2010) to continue research while completing clinical training. In 2010, Dr. Baker was appointed honorary consultant in respiratory medicine in Queen’s Medical Centre and in 2013 a professor of drug discovery and respiratory medicine in the School of Life Sciences.
Dr. Baker began specialist registrar training in respiratory medicine in Nottingham and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellowship to do a basic science PhD in pharmacology in Nottingham under the supervision of Professor Steve Hill and Professor Ian Hall. Dr. Baker obtained her medical degree from the University of Nottingham and completed junior doctor training in Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham City Hospital and Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.
Robert Booth, PhD
Dr. Booth has spent more than 30 years in the biopharmaceutical industry, most recently as founder and chief executive officer of Virobay Inc. Additionally, he has served as operating partner and senior advisor at TPG Biotech. Prior to Virobay, Dr. Booth was the chief scientific officer at Celera Genomics, where he was responsible for all discovery and development activities. Dr. Booth conceived and initiated the BTK inhibitor program that was ultimately licensed to Pharmacyclics and from which Imbruvica was developed and approved. Dr. Booth served on the board of directors of Pharmacyclics until its acquisition by AbbVie. Prior to Celera, Dr. Booth was senior vice president for Roche in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Booth was a member of the global research management team and the business development committee, which oversaw licensing opportunities.
Dr. Booth received his BSc and PhD in biochemistry from the University of London.
Michael P. Dillon, Ph.D.
In 2006 Dr. Dillon joined IDEAYA Biosciences as Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery, and has served as Chief Scientific Officer, Head of Research since February 2018. From 2008 to 2016, Dr. Dillon was with the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) where he served in various leadership roles, including Global Discovery Chemistry Head, Oncology and New Therapeutic Modalities in Cambridge MA and Head of Chemical Sciences and Executive Director Oncology Chemistry in Emeryville CA. Under his leadership at NIBR, several small molecules were advanced towards the clinic, including, PI3K inhibitor BKM120, CSF1R inhibitor BLZ945, V600E mutant B-RAF kinase inhibitor encorafenib, PIM kinase inhibitor PIM447, ERK inhibitor LTT462, and RAF kinase inhibitor LXH254. From 1993 to 2008, Dr. Dillon worked at Roche and Syntex (acquired by Roche), where he led multiple small molecule programs that advanced to the clinic, including first-in-class P2X3 antagonist gefapixant, now being developed by Merck. Dr. Dillon is an author on over 60 publications and patents.
Dr. Dillon obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) in chemistry from the University of Leicester, and his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol studying the biosynthesis and total synthesis of natural products. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry at Oregon State University with Professor James D. White where he completed the first total synthesis of byssochlamic acid.
Kathleen Poston, MD
Since 2009, Dr. Poston has held a faculty position at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Poston’s research focuses on the development of novel neuroimaging biomarkers to improve diagnostic accuracy and monitor the efficacy of investigational treatments for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Her current studies focus on cognitive and memory problems in people with Parkinson’s disease. She has been awarded grant funding by the NIH and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease research. She is co-investigator for the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Center, which is funded by the National Institute for Aging and focuses on early cognitive problems in both Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. She is also co-investigator for the NINDS funded Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research.
Dr. Poston completed her Neurology residency training at UCSF, where she was Chief Resident. She also completed a fellowship in clinical movement disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Stanley Fahn at Columbia University and post-doctoral research training in functional neuroimaging with Dr. David Eidelberg at the Feinstein Institute. Dr. Poston received her bachelor of science in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, her master’s degree in biomedical engineering and her MD at Vanderbilt University where she also received the Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology.
Paul C. Simpson, MD
Dr. Simpson is a clinical cardiologist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, treating inpatients and outpatients with heart disease since 1978 and also directs a lab at the VA. His main research goal is to discover new drugs to treat heart failure, a major problem in cardiology. The lab has pursued innovative findings from the early 1980s to the present, identifying a subclass of receptors for adrenaline as potential targets for a heart failure drug. Efforts in the lab are directed to this new drug, as well as discovering novel aspects of the class of adrenaline receptors (adrenoceptors). The lab has been funded continuously by the NIH and the VA, with additional important contribution from the AHA. His work has been profiled in the AHA journal of Circulation Research.
Dr. Simpson received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.