Scientific Advisors

Jim Audia, Ph.D

Chairman, SAB

Dr. Audia currently serves as Executive Director of the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC), a collaborative effort of Northwestern University, The University of Chicago and The University of Illinois-Chicago, focused on enhancing biomedical innovation in Greater Chicago. He joined the CBC after a nearly seven-year tenure as Constellation Pharmaceuticals’ chief scientific officer, where he oversaw the successful evolution of the company’s R&D efforts from a strong scientific base to a robust portfolio of clinical-stage assets and pre-clinical programs. Dr. Audia joined Constellation in January 2011 following a highly productive career in drug discovery at Eli Lilly and Company. He held several key leadership roles during his 23-year tenure at Lilly. As a Distinguished Lilly Scholar, the highest level of the company’s scientific ladder, he made seminal technical and strategic contributions to the Lilly drug pipeline. Over the course of his career, Dr. Audia’s scientific work has contributed to more than 17 development candidates, including transformative contributions to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease through his discovery of both the first gamma secretase inhibitor and an industry-leading beta secretase inhibitor. Dr. Audia is a named inventor on more than 100 issued U.S. patents and has published and presented extensively. Dr. Audia currently serves as a board member for Constellation Pharmaceuticals, a scientific advisor for the Tau Consortium of the Rainwater Foundation and participates on the Executive Advisory Board for UICentre (UIC), the NewCures Advisory Board at Northwestern and the Joint Steering Committee for Lakeside Discovery, a joint venture between Northwestern and Deerfield.

Dr. Audia received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of South Carolina and completed postdoctoral training at Yale University.

Paul Chang, Ph.D.

Founder and Scientific Advisor

Dr. Chang is an expert in the biology of PARPs and a leader in the field. Dr. Chang co-founded Ribon in 2015, and helped establish the company’s programs as Vice President of Discovery Biology. Previously, Dr. Chang was the Howard S. and Linda B. Stern Assistant Professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT where his laboratory focused on PARPs and their role in cancer stress response. While at MIT, Dr. Chang received many awards including the Rita Allen Foundation fellow and Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research fellow. Dr. Chang was the organizer and Co-chair (2015) and is the Chair (2017) of the NAD+ Signaling and Metabolism conference sponsored by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Dr. Chang received his Ph.D. in Biology at Stanford University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School with Tim Mitchison. He completed his B.S. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

W. Lee Kraus, Ph.D.

Founder and Scientific Advisor

Dr. Kraus is a leader in the PARP field, using integrated approaches to study PARP biology, nuclear signaling pathways, chromatin structure, transcription, and the regulation of gene expression in normal and disease states. He is a co-founder of Ribon and currently serves as Professor and Director of the Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Prior to this position, Dr. Kraus was Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He was awarded the Burroughs Welcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, the Ernst Oppenheimer Award for excellence in endocrine research from the Endocrine Society, and numerous other awards. He is also the founding organizer of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory PARP meeting.

Dr. Kraus received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, completing his graduate research on steroid hormone receptor-dependent gene regulation in the laboratory of Dr. Benita S. Katzenellenbogen. He completed his postdoctoral research on the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation with chromatin in the laboratory of Dr. Jim Kadonaga at the University of California, San Diego.

Larry Lasky, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Lasky is a Partner at The Column Group, where he invests in early-stage biotech companies with a focus on severe diseases; he is a founding investor of Accent Therapeutics. Prior to joining The Column Group, Dr. Lasky was a partner at U.S. Venture Partners, where he was a founding or co-founding investor of Cleave Biosciences, eFFECTOR and Calithera Biosciences. As a general partner and co-founder of Latterell Venture Partners from 2002 to 2007, Dr. Lasky was the founding investor of Proteolix (acquired by Onyx Pharmaceuticals) and OncoMed Pharmaceuticals and was instrumental in the founding of Cellective Therapeutics (acquired by MedImmune), Tetralogic and BioVerdant. Previously, Dr. Lasky was the founding scientist of Genetics Institute (acquired by Wyeth), one of the earliest biotechnology companies. Subsequently he was a leading scientist at Genentech for 20 years where he attained the company’s highest scientific position, Genentech Fellow, before he retired in 2002 (there have been three Genentech Research Fellows in the company’s history).

Dr. Lasky holds B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in molecular biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed his post-doctoral studies at The California Institute of Technology.

Tim Mitchison, Ph.D.

Founder and Scientific Advisor

Dr. Mitchison is a systems biologist and a pioneer in the study of cell division and a co-founder of Ribon. He is the Hasib Sabbagh Professor of Systems Biology and Deputy Chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), which he helped found along with the Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology. Prior to HMS, he was a Professor at University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Mitchison pioneered the use of high-content phenotypic screening that led to identification of novel inhibitors of the mitotic kinesin Eg5/KSP, an anti-cancer target that has led to several Phase III studies. Mitchison is a former Searle scholar, a fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to these honors, he is also a past president of the American Society for Cell Biology.

Dr. Mitchison earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of California, San Francisco where he also completed postdoctoral work with Dr. Marc Kirschner. He received a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford in England.

Neal Rosen, M.D., Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Rosen is a Member of the Molecular Pharmacology Program and the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). Dr. Rosen’s major interests involve identification and study of the key molecular events and growth signaling pathways responsible for the development of human cancers, and the use of this information for the development of mechanism-based therapeutic strategies. Dr. Rosen has pioneered the concepts that feedback inhibition of physiologic signaling is an important consequence of oncogene activation that shapes the phenotype of cancer cells and that relief of this feedback in tumors treated with inhibitors of oncoprotein-activated signaling causes adaptive resistance to these drugs. Recent work from the Rosen laboratory includes the elucidation of the underlying mechanisms whereby mutated BRAF genes cause cancer and the discovery that these mutations may be divided into three different classes that determine the effective strategies for their treatment. These studies predicted several of the cellular mechanisms whereby tumors develop acquired resistance and adaptive resistance to standard therapy and the discovery and development of new drugs that will reverse this resistance. Recently, the Rosen laboratory has also focused on the development of the first direct inhibitor of RAS, a gene involved in the development of 25% of human cancers. This work, in addition to other recent studies by the Rosen laboratory on the consequences of relief of negative feedback by oncoprotein inhibitors, has led to multiple clinical trials of combination therapies at Memorial Sloan Kettering and other cancer centers in the United States and internationally that have shown promising early results. He is the incumbent of the Enid A. Haupt Chair in Medical Oncology at MSK and the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Melanoma Research.

Dr. Rosen received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Columbia College and an M.D. and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and postdoctoral training and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute. He was on the senior staff of the Medicine Branch at the NCI prior to joining the faculty of MSK.

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