Shilpi Arora, Ph.D. – Director, Cell Biology
Dr. Arora is the Director of Cell Biology at X-Chem. Prior to joining X-Chem, Dr. Arora spent 6+ years at Constellation Pharmaceuticals, where in her role as an Associate Director of Discovery Biology, she led a team of biologists that supported the oncology drug discovery pipeline as well as validation of new targets for entry into the portfolio. Prior to that, Dr. Arora was a Research investigator (faculty track) at Translational Genomics Research Institute; Phoenix AZ, where her team focused on identifying and validating new targets in oncology and rare diseases using high-throughput RNAi and genomics based technologies. Dr. Arora completed her postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, Irvine and The Burnham Institute of Medical Research, La Jolla, California. She earned her Masters and Ph.D. in Cancer Biology, from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India and a B.Sc. (honors) in Biochemistry from Delhi University, India.
John Cuozzo, Ph.D. – V.P., Biology
Dr. Cuozzo joined X-Chem as Director of Biochemistry in 2010 and is Vice President of Biology. After completing his post-doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Cuozzo joined the Inflammation Signaling Department at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, where he led a group that initiated and advanced multiple small molecule kinase inhibitor programs. He then joined Praecis Pharmaceuticals, later acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007, where he was Director of Lead Discovery and was responsible for successfully identifying and characterizing small molecule leads for challenging targets from multiple therapeutic areas using DNA-encoded libraries. Immediately prior to joining X-Chem, Dr. Cuozzo led efforts to develop novel biochemical and cell-based assay platforms for metabolic disease as Director of Biology at Syndexa Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Cuozzo received his Sc.B. in Biophysics from Brown University and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Tufts University.
Andrew Ferguson, Ph.D. – Director, Research Portfolio Management
Dr. Andrew Ferguson joined X-Chem as Director of Research Portfolio Management in 2017. He actively manages several research alliances and has driven the development of X-Chem’s internal research portfolio. Prior to joining X-Chem, he was a senior scientific leader at AstraZeneca and Merck with a track record of delivering small molecules across multiple therapeutic areas using structure-based drug design. He has extensive experience in all aspects of protein reagent production, biophysical assay development, and protein crystallography of integral membrane and soluble proteins. Dr. Ferguson has held research roles at the Biotechnology Research Institute in Montreal, and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Johann Deisenhofer. He earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology at McGill University and his B.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University of Manitoba.
Anthony D. Keefe, Ph.D. – V.P., Discovery Technology
Dr. Keefe joined X-Chem in 2010 as Senior Director of Lead Discovery. From 2001 to 2009 he worked at Archemix Corp., where he developed the first ever fully modified aptamers, thus improving the therapeutic potential of such candidate antagonists by making them highly resistant to biologically-mediated degradation. From 1997 to 2001 he was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, developing mRNA display technology. Dr. Keefe’s achievements in the Szostak lab include discovery of the first novel functional protein fold to have been discovered independently of biology and introduction of a novel protein affinity tag. He is an inventor on six granted U.S. patents and thirteen U.S. patent applications, and is a member of the editorial board of the journal Nucleic Acid Therapeutics. Dr. Keefe received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Exeter University, UK, in 1985 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK, in 1989.
Andrew McRiner, Ph.D. – Director, Medicinal Chemistry
Dr. McRiner joined X-Chem in March 2016 as Director of Medicinal Chemistry. He has over 15 years of experience leading drug discovery programs at pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis, Schering-Plough and Merck, and contributing to the maturation of smaller biotechs such as Helicon Therapeutics (renamed as DART Neuroscience) and Forum Pharmaceuticalss (originally Envivo Pharmaceuticals). He has experience leading projects in multiple therapeutic areas, most prominently oncology and CNS. He is co-inventor on over 20 patent applications and has contributed to the nomination of 12 compounds for clinical development. Dr. McRiner completed post-doctoral studies with Professor Gary Posner at Johns Hopkins University, exploring the anti-malarial properties of artemisinin-related trioxanes. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry under the tutelage of Professor Timothy J. Donohoe at The University of Manchester (UK), developing the first Birch reductions on aromatic heterocycles as a means to access saturated and partially saturated heterocycles of therapeutic interest.
Dennis Moccia – Director, Data and Genomic Sciences
Dennis received formal education in Biology and Chemistry and worked as bench chemist early in his career. In 2007 he joined the Broad Institute’s Chemical Biology group to build informatics capabilities to support the MLPCN initiative where he spearheaded the creation of the data analysis platform. After five years at the Broad he left to start his own consulting firm, which focused on chem/bioinformatics and machine learning and supported nearly three dozen biotech companies.
Allison Olszewski, Ph.D. – Director, Protein Biochemistry
Dr. Olszewski joined X-Chem in 2016 as Associate Director of Protein Biochemistry. She developed Avimer panning techniques against membrane-bound targets at Avidia, Inc. (acquired by Amgen in 2006) from 2006 to 2007. From 2007 to 2015 she worked at GlaxoSmithKline, where she expanded the use of DNA-encoded library technology to non-soluble targets. Before joining X-Chem, Dr. Olszewski managed the screening hit validation effort, and developed protein-protein interaction assays for the Small Molecule Assisted Receptor Targeting (SMART) technology platform at Warp Drive Bio. Dr. Olszewski received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Delaware in 2002, and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry/Chemical Biology from the University of California, Irvine in 2006.
Kristin Rosner, Ph.D. – Director, Alliance Management
Dr. Rosner joined X-Chem in 2012 to establish its Alliance and Program Management function. While actively managing several of X-Chem’s research alliances, Dr. Rosner developed many of X-Chem’s Alliance Management foundational processes and procedures. Her approach to Alliance Management has created a differentiated experience for X-Chem’s partners, directly contributing to the expansion of many existing collaborations. Dr. Rosner spent the early part of her career working as a team lead and medicinal chemist, and her work at NeoGenesis directly contributed to the ultimate acquisition of NeoGenesis by Schering-Plough. Following the acquisition, she took on increasing responsibility at Schering-Plough, managing complex, multi-site R&D projects in inflammation and oncology that delivered multiple compounds into pre-clinical development. In 2010, she transitioned from medicinal chemistry to alliance and program management, pioneering the role of site project manager at the Cambridge, MA site. In her most recent role prior to X-Chem, she was the program manager for a development team of external consultants and contract manufacturing organizations at Satori Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Rosner received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Daniel Resnicow, Ph.D. – Director, Business Development
Dr. Resnicow joined X-Chem in 2011 as a Senior Scientist in the Lead Discovery group. In 2015, he joined the Business Development group and since then he has been integral to negotiating and forming new partnerships with global pharma and biotech companies. Prior to joining X-Chem, Daniel was a Scientist at SomaLogic. Daniel received his B.S. in Biology from Brandeis University, and received his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Eric Sigel, M.S. – Sr. Director, Scientific Computing
Eric Sigel joined X-Chem in 2010, leading the development of X-Chem’s Informatics platform and IT infrastructure. Prior to X-Chem, Mr. Sigel led EnVivo Pharmaceutical’s scientific computing efforts, initially in 2004 as Senior Informaticist. Later, as Senior Manager of Information Technology, he expanded his leadership scope to include both Scientific Computing and IT. In 2002, he joined Praecis Pharmaceuticals where he developed computational methods and software tools for the company’s proteomics-based biomarker discovery platform. Mr. Sigel has held positions in academic biology research, machine learning research, and commercial software development. Mr. Sigel received a B.S. in Biology from Yale University in 1994 and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1999.
Ying Zhang, Ph.D. – Sr. Director, Discovery Chemistry
Dr. Zhang joined X-Chem in December 2010, and serves as Senior Director of Discovery Chemistry. Prior to X-Chem, she was Principal Scientist in Lead Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories (formerly SPRI-Cambridge, Schering Plough), where she managed the design and synthesis of library compounds for the Automated Ligand Identification System (ALIS), and participated in numerous Lead Discovery programs. Before joining SPRI, Dr. Zhang was Senior Investigator II at ArQule, managing the Compound File Enrichment program for the Pfizer-ArQule collaboration. Dr.Zhang received her B.S. in Chemistry from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from George Washington University. She received post-doctoral training in Medicinal Chemistry at the National Institutes of Health.