Dietrich A. Stephan, Ph.D.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Founder
Dr. Stephan is an industry veteran who is considered one of the fathers of the field of precision medicine, having trained with the leadership of the Human Genome Project at the NIH and then going on to lead discovery research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute and serve as professor and chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. Stephan has identified the molecular basis of dozens of genetic diseases and published extensively in journals such as Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Genetics, PNAS and Cell. In parallel, Dr. Stephan has founded or co-founded 14 biotechnology companies and has advised an additional 12 companies. These companies are backed by the top-tier investors such as Sequoia Capital, KPCB, Thiel Capital, and Khosla Ventures as well as corporate partners such as Life Technologies, Pfizer, and Mayo Clinic. Dr. Stephan received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and his BS from Carnegie Mellon University.
Robert Friedlander, M.D.
Consulting Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Friedlander is a renowned neurologist. Prior to NeuBase, he became the fourth Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgeons at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Prior to joining the department, Dr. Friedlander was professor of neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School and vice-chairman of neurosurgery and associate director of cerebrovascular surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Presently, Dr. Friedlander is the Walter E. Dandy Professor of Neurosurgery, Neurology and Neurobiology, and Co-Director of the UPMC Neurological Institute. His work has been published in many top tier journals including Nature, Science, Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience and PNAS, and he has been recognized through many academic awards. In 2006, he was elected as a member of the prestigious American Society for Clinical Investigation. Dr. Friedlander is one of only three neurosurgeons elected as a member of the American Association of Physicians, and in 2018, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
Chief Financial Officer and SVP of Business Development
Mr. Backenroth has extensive executive experience in financing and building biotechnology companies and most recently comes from Ohr Pharmaceutical. While at Ohr, he was instrumental in the company’s growth from startup to a market capitalization of several hundred million and in moving a product from preclinical into late stage clinical development. He previously worked as an investment banker with The Benchmark Company LLC, an investment banking firm specializing in micro-cap biotechnology transactions. While at Benchmark, Sam helped numerous small biotechnology companies raise equity growth capital through a variety of structures. Mr. Backenroth also acted as an advisor to multiple public and private biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in assisting with business development activities, joint ventures, licensing, strategic partnerships, and mergers & acquisitions. He graduated with honors from Touro College with a BS in finance.
Curt Bradshaw, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Prior to joining NeuBase, Dr. Bradshaw served as Chief Scientific Officer of Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARWR), a biotechnology company focused on treating intractable diseases by using RNA interference to silence genes that cause such diseases, from November 2019 to November 2020. From November 2018 to November 2019, Dr. Bradshaw was President, Chief Scientific Officer and a member of the board of directors of Tollnine, a company he co-founded to develop novel antibody conjugates for immuno-oncology. From 2012 to 2018, he was Chief Scientific Officer and a member of the board of directors of Solstice Biologics, where he managed and oversaw all company operations and research exploring novel siRNA technologies for the development of human therapeutics. Before Solstice, Dr. Bradshaw was Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer at Traversa Therapeutics where he had primary R&D oversight and was a key strategic contributor to internal technology development, business strategy, and oversaw research alliances with multiple major pharmaceutical collaborators. Prior to Traversa, he spent seven years at CovX Research, a cornerstone of the Pfizer, Inc. Bioinnovation and Biotherapeutics Center, where he was a member of the research, development and corporate teams providing strategic and tactical support for research and development programs, co-developing the research pipeline and feeding the clinical portfolio. He also oversaw chemistry efforts ranging from basic research through active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing. Prior to CovX, he spent four years at Ligand Pharmaceuticals and was responsible for the chemical development of clinical-phase active pharmaceutical ingredients. Dr. Bradshaw started his career at Abbott Laboratories, where he spent six years as a Research Chemist, Senior Research Chemist and Project Leader. He received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Texas A&M University.
William Mann, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer
Prior to joining NeuBase, Dr. Mann founded Lodestar Biopharma Solutions LLC, a consultancy supporting early stage companies, in 2018 and supported Stony Brook University’s Center for Biotechnology as a BioEntrepreneur in Residence. Dr. Mann previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Helsinn Therapeutics (U.S.), Inc., a supportive cancer care company, from September 2009 to February 2018 where he helped transform the R&D start-up with sixteen employees into a profitable commercial company of over one hundred. Prior to Helsinn, Dr. Mann was Vice President of Corporate Development at Sapphire Therapeutics, Inc. where he facilitated the sale of the company while managing the lead Phase 2B program. He also held senior level R&D and business development positions at Novartis and served on its global Cardiovascular & Metabolism Business Franchise Board. Dr. Mann earned an MBA from Rutgers University, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and pursued postdoctoral studies in human genetics at The Rockefeller University.
Robert Zamboni, Ph.D.
Chief of Preclinical Development
Dr. Zamboni has 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. His career has been devoted to chemistry drug discovery, which has resulted in many compounds in clinical development and over 114 publications and 28 patents. Previously, he served as Vice President of Research and as a Senior Research Chemist at Merck & Co., Inc. and as an adjunct professor of chemistry at McGill University. Dr. Zamboni is a Member of the American Chemical Society and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Prix Galien and the Prix Lionel-Boulet and a Heroes' of Chemistry Award from the American Chemistry Society in recognition of his work in discovering and developing Singulair, for the treatment of asthma. Dr. Zamboni received a BSc in Honors Chemistry and his PhD in Organic Synthesis from McGill University and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh and Yale University.