Scientific Advisory Board

Tomi Sawyer, PhD (Chairman; Medicinal Chemist; President at Maestro Therapeutics)

Distinguished academic, biotech and pharma peptide scientist. At Merck he provided leadership to peptide R&D programs. Former Aileron CSO and first to bring a stapled peptide into clinics. He has two marketed drugs (Scenesse® and Iclusig®). Credited with ~600 scientific publications, patents, and presentations and holds several Adjunct Professorships at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Northeastern University Center for Drug Discovery.

David Heimbrook, PhD (Independent advisor).

Dr. Heimbrook held leading positions at Merck & Co (Executive Director and Head of Cancer Research), Roche (VP Global Head of discovery Oncology), and at Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (Laboratory Director), a Federally Funded Research and Development Center sponsored by the National Cancer Institute with over 2000 staff members and an annual budget exceeding $600 million. He was President of Leidos Biomedical Research. Dr. Heimbrook contributed to transition over a dozen molecules into clinical development, and to the successful registration of two drugs, including vemurafenid, a first-in-class RAF inhibitor.

Dean W. Felsher, M.D. Ph.D. (Stanford University; Professor and Associate Chief Division of Oncology, Departments of Medicine).

Dr. Felsher is internationally regarded for his basic and translational research in cancer.  He is a recipient of the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award.  He is the founding Director of Translational Research and Applied Medicine (TRAM), Advanced Residency Training (ARTS), Cancer Nanotechnology Training (CTNT) and the Stanford KL2 Mentor Program. He has pioneered the utilization off the Tet System to study lymphoma, as well as liver, kidney, bone and lung cancer. He has developed novel nanotechnologies, proteomic methods, molecular imaging agents and molecular therapeutics. Dr. Felsher’s work has established scientific concepts of the “reversibility of cancer,” “oncogene addiction,” and “tumor maintenance.” Dr. Felsher has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians.

Jane E. Johnson, PhD (UT Southwestern Medical Center; Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center).

Distinguished academic for her role in transcriptional mechanisms controlling the development of the nervous system and neuroendocrine cancers. Her seminal work led to the discovery of ASCL1 (previously MASH1), an essential transcription factor in neural development and neuroendocrine cancers. Dr. Johnson holds the Shirley and William S. McIntyre Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience.

Sir Peter John Ratcliffe, FRS, FMedSci (Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Francis Crick Institute, Target Discovery institute)

Peter J. Ratcliffe FRS is a physician-scientist with more than 30 years’ experience in researching cellular responses to low oxygen (hypoxia). His laboratory was responsible for the elucidation of mechanisms which sense and respond to oxygen levels, work which has brought recognition through a number of awards, including the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Peter is a Distinguished Scholar of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, leads the Target Discovery Institute at the University of Oxford and is Clinical Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute, London.