Management and Advisors
Cathy A. Swindlehurst, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Swindlehurst is a founder and CEO of NovoMedix. She has over 25 years of experience in biotech and has a broad background in assay and biomarker development; drug discovery and development; as well as in project management, business development, and fund raising. Dr. Swindlehurst has held V.P. positions at several companies, including PanCel , MagneSensors, and NovaDx. She has led key collaborations with academic researchers and corporate partners and has been directly involved in raising over $10M in financing. Dr. Swindlehurst is an inventor on NovoMedix’s key issued patents. In her role as CEO of NovoMedix, Dr. Swindlehurst has also raised $5M in non-dilutive funding. Dr. Swindlehurst received a certificate in Business Management from UC San Diego; Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and Postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology from University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana; and her B.S. in Chemistry from University of California, Irvine.
Laura G. Corral, M.S.
Director, Discovery Biology
Laura Corral has over 20 years of experience in drug discovery and cell biology research in the pharmaceutical industry. She started her industrial career as a Research Scientist at Celgene Corp. working in close collaboration with scientists at Rockefeller University. She was part of the small group of scientists led by Dr. David Stirling that performed in vitro and in vivo screening, characterization and optimization of thalidomide analogs, a project that led to the identification of a novel class of compounds known as IMiDs®. Two of these drugs, lenalidomide and pomalidomide, have received regulatory approval in several countries for oncological indications. In addition, Ms. Corral characterization of novel drug candidates contributed to the identification of a PDE4 inhibitor, apremilast, recently approved for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. Ms. Corral developed new primary cell based assays in an effort to study to mechanism of action of IMiDs® . This effort uncovered different activities of thalidomide analogs, including effect on stem cells expansion and differentiation and antiproliferative effects in leukemic cells from patients. Ms. Corral received her M.S. degree in Cell Biology from New York University and a B.S. degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
David I. Stirling, Ph.D.
CDO, BioTheryX, Inc.
Dr. Stirling is currently the CDO and Co-Founder of BioTheryX, Inc. He was a Co-Founder of Celgene, and its former Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research & Development. He was responsible for initiating the Thalidomide Clinical and Research Program, which led to Celgene’s first clinical product, Thalomid®. Under Dr. Stirling’s leadership, the blockbuster franchise of Thalomid® derivatives (Revlimid®, Pomalyst®, Otezla®) were developed, and these have played a major role in propelling Celgene into the top-tier of public biotechnology companies worldwide. Prior to joining Celgene, Dr. Stirling held various scientific and management positions within the biotechnology group of Celanese Research Company, from which Celgene was spun off. Dr. Stirling received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Warwick in England, where he studied the industrial applications of novel oxygenase enzymes. Dr. Stirling is the author of numerous publications, and holds over 30 U.S. patents.
Kyle W.H. Chan, Ph.D.
CTO, BioTheryX, Inc.
Dr. Chan is currently the CTO and Co-Founder of BioTherX, Inc. He has extensive experience in physical and life sciences that includes both drug discovery and diagnostics, from a start-up diagnostic company (NovaDx) to a top five biopharmaceutical company (Celgene) where he was the Senior Director of Discovery Research. He co-founded NovaDx in 1994, a diagnostic company that developed a novel biomarker assay currently marketed by Quidel for arthritis and breast cancer. While at Celgene, Dr. Chan led efforts to study IMiD® molecules using clinically relevant cellular models and to incorporate these compounds into translational studies to identify novel clinical uses. At the Signal Research Division of Celgene, Dr. Chan built and headed technology programs in genomics, proteomics, and informatics as well as successfully managed therapeutic programs in virology, estrogen physiology, and the development of small molecule modulators of epigenetic programming and adult stem cells for regenerative medicine. He has served on scientific advisory boards for a number of biotech companies. Dr. Chan received his Ph.D. in electroanalytical chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Fadi N. Salloum, Ph.D.
Tenured Professor of Medicine, VCU
Dr. Salloum is the Natalie N. and John R. Congdon Sr. Endowed Chair at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health Pauley Heart Center. He received his PhD at VCU and completed his postdoctoral fellowship training in Molecular Cardiology in the Department of Internal Medicine at VCU. Dr. Salloum’s research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways of cardiopulmonary and metabolic diseases in order to develop novel therapies to treat them. His laboratory is also focused on studying the role of novel or ‘repurposed’ drugs in cardioprotection against ischemia-related injury and adverse cardiac remodeling/failure through suppression of the NLRP3 inflammasome, as well as investigating methods to mitigate cardiotoxicity induced by various standard-of-care cancer chemotherapeutic drugs. Dr. Salloum served on the American Heart Association’s new Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN) peer-review panel on heart failure and continuously serves as ad hoc reviewer on NIH study sections. He currently Co-Chairs the American Heart Association’s Cardiac Bio BSc 3 Peer-Review Committee. With over 100 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Salloum has numerous active NIH-funded grants and has been previously funded by several AHA and Industry grants.
Douglas Flanagan, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Iowa
Dr. Flanagan is a Emeritus Professor of Pharmaceutics and Chemical & Biochemical Engineering and former Division Head of the Pharmaceutics Division in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Iowa. With nearly 90 publications and over 100 presentations at scientific meetings, Dr. Flanagan has 40 years experience teaching about and developing drug formulations and biopharmaceutics. He has had numerous collaborative grants with government agencies and partnerships with pharmaceutical companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott Laboratories, Axonyx, and over 25 other firms, working on controlled drug delivery systems and formulations. Many of these collaborative efforts and partnerships have come through his over 30 year relationship with the University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals (UIP). UIP is a FDA-registered clinical manufacturer which has provided to formulation development and production services to the pharmaceutical industry and government agencies for over 40 years.
Shile Huang, PhD
Associate Professor, LSU Health Science Center
Dr. Huang's major research is in studying mTOR signaling in tumorigenesis, cell signlaing, and metastasis. mTOR functions as two complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, and regulates cell proliferation, growth (cell size), and survival. Dr Huang demonstrated that mTOR also regulates cell motility. Disruption of mTORC1 or mTORC2 by silencing the expression of raptor or rictor down-regulates cell motility, implicating critical roles of mTORC1 and mTORC2 in this cellular process. He is currently focusing on identifying the molecular mechanisms by which mTORC1 and mTORC2 regulate cell motility. In addition, the laboratory is investigating anticancer mechanisms of small molecules such as curcumin, cryptotanshinone, artemisinin, and ciclopirox olamine. Curcumin, cryptotanshinone, and artemisinin are natural products isolated from the plants Curcuma longa, Salvia miltiorrhiza, and Artemisia annua, respectively, whereas ciclopirox olamine is an off-patent synthetic fungicide. Notably, curcumin, artesunate (a water-soluble artemisinin derivative), and ciclopirox olamine are undergoing initial clinical trials as novel anticancer agents. However, the anticancer mechanisms of these compounds remain to be elucidated. Dr. Huang's recent studies indicate that they may execute their anticancer activities by inhibiting cell proliferation, inducing cell death, suppressing cell motility, or inhibiting angiogenesis/lymphangiogenesis. Dr. Huang is currently elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects.
Robert E. Rhoads, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, LSU Health Science Center
Dr. Rhoads is curently Professor Emeritus at LSU and formerly Professor and Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. Dr. Rhoads has been funded by the NIH for over 36 years to study the mechanism and regulation of eukaryotic protein synthesis, especially as it relates to messenger RNA structure and function, translational control of gene expression, biochemistry and biophysics of initiation factors, regulation of cell growth, and viral pathogenesis involving translation. Current interests include recognition of mRNA by the translational machinery, determinants of mRNA stability, hormonal regulation of protein synthesis in mammary epithelial cells, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and translational control of meiotic crossing-over and embryogenesis. His laboratory was the first to clone and sequence the cDNAs for the protein synthesis initiation factors eIF4E (cap-binding protein) and eIF4G and to show that overexpression of eIF4E in cultural mammalian cells leads to rapid, dysregulated cell growth. Dr. Rhoads has served as chair of NIH study sections, chair of the Publications Committee of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and President of the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry. He is co-inventor on four issued patents and two pending patents that deal with protein purification, protein expression, and mRNA stabilization. He earned his B.A. in chemistry at Rice University and Ph.D. in biochemistry at George Washington University and then was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.