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.
Danith Ly, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Ly joins NeuBase in an official capacity having developed the Company’s PATrOL platform. He has over 30 years of research and development experience in nucleic acids chemistry and functional genomics, and an extensive publication report. His work has appeared in numerous high-profile journals, including Science, Nature Communications, Nature Communications Chemistry, Proceeding of the National Academy of Science and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He is currently a professor of chemistry and a founding director of the Biomolecular Design and Discovery Institute (BDI) at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining NeuBase, he co-founded PNA Innovations (now Trucode Gene Repair) and has held several industry and non-governmental organization posts, including as a scientific advisory board member at HelixBind and a member of the board of directors of Karuna Commune Enterprise. Dr. Ly holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California Berkeley and The Scripps Research Institute, in genomics and age-related genetic disease, respectively.
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.