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Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Welcomes Seven New Members to Scientific Advisory Board


6/3/2013 10:03:26 AM

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WALTHAM, Mass.- The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), the quasi-public agency tasked with implementing the State’s 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative, today announced the addition of seven new members to the organization’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is chaired by Dr. Harvey F. Lodish, Member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Professor of Biology and Professor of Bioengineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Our Scientific Advisory Board members come from diverse backgrounds, representing the life sciences industry, the investment community and academia,” said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the MLSC. “We are fortunate in Massachusetts to have a wealth of life sciences expertise. Rotating the SAB members allows for broad inclusion and enables more of those experts to become engaged in the Life Sciences Initiative. The SAB members play a critical role in the Center's review processes and investment decisions, and we are excited and grateful that these new members are willing to contribute their time and talent.”

The Life Sciences Center’s 24-member SAB provides technical guidance and oversight around the MLSC’s funding and programmatic decisions. The expert panel ensures that decisions made at the MLSC are made based on merit and with scientific credibility and transparency.

“We are pleased to have these seven talented and distinguished individuals joining the Center's Scientific Advisory Board,” said Lodish. “Volunteers from the scientific and investment community have been essential to the Center’s success in making wise investment decisions. Alongside the current SAB members, the new members will play an essential role in guiding the investments of the MLSC in both translational academic research and early-stage companies. And we still are nowhere near exhausting our A-list of potential SAB members; it speaks to the excellence of the life sciences ecosystem in the Commonwealth that our C-list would be the envy of most states.”

The seven new members are as follows:

• Kevin Bitterman, Ph.D.

Principal, Polaris Venture Partners

Kevin Bitterman sits on the Boards of numerous early-stage companies in the Polaris portfolio, including pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Bitterman is a cofounder of Genocea Biosciences and Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (GSK) and was the founding CEO at Visterra Inc. (formerly Parasol Therapeutics). He currently represents Polaris as a Director of InSeal Medical, Follica Inc., Genocea Biosciences, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Neuronetics, Inc., Visterra Inc., Taris Biomedical, and Vets First Choice. Additionally, Bitterman is a Board Observer to Arsenal Medical and 480 Biomedical. Kevin has a BA in Biology from Rutgers College and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from Harvard Medical School. His doctoral research focused on the molecular regulation of caloric restriction and on modulation of a novel class of protein deacetylases.

• Glenn R. Gaudette, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Glenn Gaudette’s focus is on myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular diseases. His work addresses regenerating mechanical and electrophysiological function in the heart, and his team has demonstrated the induction of adult cardiac myocytes into the cell cycle. He also has differentiated adult stem cells into cardiac myocytes. To deliver stem cells with high engraftment efficiency, Gaudette’s laboratory has developed a novel suture-based method. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and private industry. Gaudette has 18 years of experience in the cardiac research field, including 10 years in cardiac surgery research. At WPI he teaches biomedical engineering design, biomechanics, physiology and tissue engineering.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve this outstanding organization,” said Gaudette. “The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is fostering innovation across the Commonwealth and helping to commercialize important new technologies. I look forward to helping the Center continue its mission.”

• José-Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Biotherapeutics Research and Development, Pfizer

An expert in Immunology and Cell Biology, Jose-Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos is Senior Vice President of Worldwide Biotherapeutics Research and Development at Pfizer. Before joining Pfizer Gutierrez-Ramos was Senior Vice President and Head of the Immuno-Inflammation Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery at GlaxoSmithKline. He also has served as Senior Vice President of Research and Non-Clinical Development and Chief Scientific Officer at Avidia and was a Senior Scientist and Head of Experimental Therapeutics at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Gutierrez-Ramos has Ph.D.’s from both the Basel Institute for Immunology and the Unversidad Autonoma de Madrid.

• Henry Kay

Angel Investor, Boston Harbor Angels, Launchpad and the Boston Haifa Life Sciences Connection

Henry Kay is a well-known Angel Investor in the Massachusetts life sciences community, participating in Boston Harbor Angels, Launchpad and the Boston Haifa Life Sciences Connection that assists and mentors Haifa based Healthcare companies. He was formerly Group Vice President of New Market Development/Strategic Planning, Endosurgery at Boston Scientific Corporation. Prior to joining Boston Scientific, Kay was based in the U.K. for five years as Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Allergan Europe, a global eye care company. He has 35 years of experience in the medical industry in roles which include R&D, International Marketing, Regulatory Affairs and Strategic Planning for major pharmaceutical companies. Kay is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (U.K.), and is a mentor with the Venture Mentoring Service of MIT. He is a member of the Forefront Committee of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. He is an active member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Board of Directors of Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital. Kay holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Chemistry from Rutgers University, and an MBA in International Marketing from Seton Hall University.

“Over the years, I have invested in and serve on the Board of Directors of several companies that have been awarded Life Science Accelerator Loans,” said Kay. I am honored to be serving on the advisory board with such a distinguished group of professionals and to have the opportunity to help other companies move forward.”

• Judith Lieberman, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator, Immune Disease Institute and Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Judith Lieberman is Senior Investigator at the Immune Disease Institute and Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston and Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School. Lieberman’s laboratory was the first to demonstrate in an animal model that RNA interference (RNAi) could be used to protect animals from disease. Her laboratory is actively working to harness RNAi for therapeutic use for HIV and other indications and has developed novel strategies for cell-specific targeting of small interfering RNAs that are effective in vivo. Lieberman received a Ph.D. from Rockefeller University and an M.D. from the Harvard-MIT Program in Health, Science and Technology. She completed a residency and heme-onc fellowship at Tufts-New England Medical Center and a postdoctoral fellowship in immunology at MIT.

• Barbara Osborne, Ph.D.

Professor of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, UMass Amherst

Since coming to UMass Amherst in 1985, Professor of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Barbara Osborne, a renowned immunologist, has followed her research through a number of twists and turns. In the 19990s, Osborne earned international renown as a researcher of apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Hematech, a start-up Osborne co-founded in 1999, pioneered the use of cloned animals for the development and production of antibodies for therapeutic uses. Now, with support from a 2011 UMass President’s Science and Technology Initiatives Fund, Osborne is working with Grew Tew and Maria Santore of the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering to open the groundbreaking Center for Soft Materials Immunology, where UMass faculty and collaborators are developing biologically compatible synthetic materials that allow the body’s own cellular mechanisms and pathways to control the immune system in order to fight disease. Osborne holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and performed postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health. She has also co-authored Immunology, a leading textbook in the subject.

• Guillermo Tearney M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Affiliated Faculty member, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST); and Associate Director, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

Guillermo Tearney is Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, an Affiliated Faculty member of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), and the Associate Director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His research interests are focused on the development and clinical validation of non-invasive, high-resolution optical imaging methods for disease diagnosis. Tearney's lab was the first to perform human imaging in the coronary arteries and gastrointestinal tract in vivo with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and is considered an expert on OCT image interpretation. Tearney is co-editor of The Handbook of Optical Coherence Tomography and has written over 170 peer-reviewed publications. He received his M.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School and received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, a 10-year, $1-billion initiative that was signed into law in June of 2008. The MLSC’s mission is to create jobs in the life sciences and support vital scientific research that will improve the human condition. This work includes making financial investments in public and private institutions that are advancing life sciences research, development and commercialization as well as building ties among sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community. For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com



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