Dr. Coles is a founding investor and the chairman and chief executive officer of Yumanity Therapeutics, a Cambridge, MA-based biotechnology company focused on transforming drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Coles also serves as chairman and chief executive officer of TRATE Enterprises, LLC, a privately held company.
Previously, Dr. Coles was chairman and chief executive officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Amgen in late 2013. Under his leadership, Onyx introduced two new innovative cancer medicines to patients and established the company’s international presence outside of the U.S. Prior to joining Onyx in 2008, he was president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Before joining NPS Pharmaceuticals in 2005, Dr. Coles was senior vice president of commercial operations at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., and earlier, held a number of executive positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and positions of increasing responsibility at Merck & Co., Inc.
Educated at Johns Hopkins University, he earned an M.D. from Duke University and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. He completed his cardiology and internal medicine training at Massachusetts General Hospital and was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Coles currently serves as chairman of the board of CRISPR Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative gene-based medicines for patients with serious diseases. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK) and Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) and is a member of the board of trustees for Johns Hopkins Medicine. In March 2015, Dr. Coles was named to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) working group tasked with charting the course for President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, now part of the PMI Cohort Program Advisory Panel. Dr. Coles also serves as a member of the Council for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.; a member of the board of trustees for The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; and a member of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.
Mr. Mohsen is chief business officer of Yumanity Therapeutics. Prior to Yumanity, Mr. Mohsen served as country manager in Canada at Cubist Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Merck), where he led the company’s first international operation from conceptualization through commercialization. In this role, he led the launch of DIFICID (fidaxomicin) in Canada and oversaw the company’s commercial, scientific and general and administrative functions. Prior to that, Mr. Mohsen was vice president, strategy and business operations for Optimer Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Cubist), and helped establish the commercial infrastructure and led U.S. launch preparedness for DIFICID. Prior to Cubist, Mr. Mohsen held strategic and operational roles of increasing responsibility at Pfizer from 1997 to 2011, including vice president strategy and vice president, multi-channel management.
Mr. Mohsen holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Brown University, an M.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Rhodes is chief scientific officer of Yumanity Therapeutics. Prior to Yumanity, Dr. Rhodes served as vice president, neurology discovery at Biogen Idec, where he led a scientific organization focused on discovery and early development of novel protein and small molecule drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. During his tenure at Biogen Idec, Dr. Rhodes’ team delivered nine new chemical entities into preclinical development in areas such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. In the Alzheimer’s disease area, Dr. Rhodes and his team played a major role in the preclinical development of BIIB037, a fully human monoclonal antibody that recently completed a positive Phase 1 proof-of-concept study in Alzheimer’s disease patients. BIIB037 will enter Phase 3 trials later this year. In addition to drug discovery activities, Dr. Rhodes and his team led preclinical research studies in the area of translational biomarkers, played an active role in business development to grow the Biogen Idec discovery pipeline and published seminal research findings characterizing the mechanisms of action of Tecfidera, Biogen Idec’s blockbuster oral therapy for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS.
Prior to joining Biogen Idec, Dr. Rhodes spent a combined 15 years as a discovery research leader at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, LLC (now Janssen), and at Wyeth, where he pursued innovative approaches to the identification of novel ion channel modulators for the treatment of central nervous system diseases.
Dr. Rhodes earned his Ph.D. in anatomy and neurobiology at Boston University and completed postdoctoral training in systems neuroscience at the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.
Bertrand Le Bourdonnec, Ph.D. joined Yumanity Therapeutics in July 2015 as vice president, medicinal chemistry & program management. Prior to Yumanity, Dr. Le Bourdonnec served as vice president discovery chemistry & pharmaceutical research at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, where he led a team of chemists dedicated to the discovery of novel antibacterials and human disease therapeutics. Dr. Le Bourdonnec’s industry experience spans across all stages of research and clinical development and multiple therapeutic areas including CNS, pain, GI disorders, and infectious disease.
Dr. Le Bourdonnec joined the biopharmaceutical industry in 2000 at Adolor Corporation and held positions of increasing responsibility in the discovery group. After eight years working as a medicinal chemist and discovery program leader, advancing several new molecules into the clinic, he transitioned into development where he led multiple Adolor clinical programs. Following Adolor’s acquisition by Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Le Bourdonnec joined Cubist’s development group as program leader & senior director, and ultimately moved into his most recent role as vice president discovery chemistry & pharmaceutical research.
Dr. Le Bourdonnec received his chemical engineering degree from the Ecole Nationale Supèrieure de Chimie de Lille (France), and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry and a masters in drug design from the Institut de Chimie Pharmaceutique de Lille (France). Dr. Le Bourdonnec moved to the United States in 1997, to conduct a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), where he worked, under the supervision of Professor Philip S. Portoghese, distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, in the design and synthesis of affinity labels for the opioid receptors.
Dr. Le Bourdonnec is co-author of 32 peer-reviewed articles and is listed as an inventor in over 70 worldwide patent applications and 23 issued U.S. patents.
Dr. Robert Scannevin joined Yumanity Therapeutics in April of 2016 as vice president, discovery biology. Dr. Scannevin’s career spans more than 15 years in drug discovery research focused on the development of novel therapeutics and approaches for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. He joins us most recently from Biogen, where he served in various positions of increasing responsibility culminating as a senior director in the Neurology Discovery department. Prior to Biogen, Dr. Scannevin led research initiatives at Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development (now Janssen).
In his time at Biogen, Dr. Scannevin’s laboratory focused on developing disease modifying therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Dr. Scannevin led discovery programs in Alzheimer’s disease and played a significant role in the preclinical development of BIIB037 (aducanumab), which is currently in phase III clinical trials. In addition, Dr. Scannevin made key contributions to several other discovery programs that have transitioned into clinical development and was heavily involved in the development of dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera), where he led preclinical research activity focused on elucidating the mechanism of action of this first-in-class oral therapy. Dr. Scannevin is a recognized leader in the field of fumarate biology.
Prior to starting a research career in industry, Dr. Scannevin earned his Ph.D. at SUNY Stony Brook in the laboratory of Dr. James S. Trimmer, and received postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Huganir. He is a co-author on more than 40 peer-reviewed research articles and an inventor on several patent applications and issued patents.
Dr. Lindquist is the scientific founder of Yumanity Therapeutics. She is a pioneer in the field of protein folding and has provided transformative insights on its multifaceted roles in normal biology and human disease. Her seminal work on heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90), a chaperone protein that assists other proteins in folding, led to new understandings of evolutionary processes, including the emergence and evolution of cancer and the emergence of microbial drug resistance. She defined mechanisms of prion and amyloid formation and propagation. Most recently, she developed Yumanity’s three integrated platforms as a means to discover novel disease-modifying therapeutics to combat neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding.
Dr. Lindquist is a member and former director of the Whitehead Institute, an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a professor of biology at MIT. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, her honors also include the E.B. Wilson Award, the Dickson Prize in Medicine, the Otto-Warburg Prize, the Genetics Society of America Medal, the FASEB Excellence in Science Award, the Max Delbrück and the Mendel Medals. In 2009, she was awarded the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest honor for scientific research.
Dr. Lindquist is also a member of the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson. She previously co-founded FoldRx (acquired by Pfizer), a company that developed tafamidis, a first-in-class drug now approved to combat hereditary peripheral amyloidosis, another important genetically based protein misfolding disease of the nervous system.
Dr. Vikram (Vik) Khurana is a scientific co-founder of Yumanity who spearheaded the stem-cell platforms that are core to the company’s discovery approach. He currently serves as its Senior Advisor (Discovery Technologies), and from July 2015 to September 2016 was Vice President, Discovery Technologies. Dr. Khurana is also a Principal Investigator and attending neurologist within the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Principal Faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and an attending neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He directs the P+A+MSA clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for patients with parkinsonism, cerebellar ataxia and multiple system atrophy.
Dr. Khurana is a medical graduate of the University of Sydney, Australia, and came to Boston as a Fulbright Scholar in 2001, obtaining his Ph.D. in neurobiology from Harvard University in 2006. He completed his residency in neurology and Fellowship training in movement disorders and ataxia at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals. From 2010 to 2015, he was Visiting Scientist at the Whitehead Institute in the laboratories of Susan Lindquist and Rudolf Jaenisch.
Dr. Chung is a member of Yumanity’s core research team and is a scientific co-founder who made seminal contributions to both the company’s neuronal and yeast discovery platforms. Dr. Chung is a graduate of Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea, where she earned a bachelor of pharmacy degree. She then obtained her Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. Prior to joining Yumanity, she was an instructor at Harvard Medical School, subsequently joining the Lindquist lab at the Whitehead Institute as a senior research scientist in 2009. She developed assays that have identified abnormalities in rat and human iPSc-based cortical neuron culture system, revealing critical mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Tardiff is a member of Yumanity’s core research team and is a scientific co-founder who enhanced the company’s yeast biology platform and spearheaded its use in target identification. Prior to joining Yumanity, Dr. Tardiff was a member of the Lindquist lab at the Whitehead Institute since 2007. His work there was instrumental in the analysis of the toxicity resulting from alpha-synuclein expression. His genetic and chemical screens of yeast expressing alpha-synuclein have delineated basic cellular processes disrupted by alpha-synuclein as well as compounds that alleviate alpha-synuclein toxicity. Dr. Tardiff obtained his B.S. in biochemistry from Stonehill College in Massachusetts and his Ph.D. at Brandeis University.