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We are driven to boldly impact rare neurological diseases.

Innovations at Ovid come from the heart, as we listen to the needs of the rare disease communities in every element of our work. And with our deep professional expertise in rare disease therapeutic development and commercialization, we can make those innovations a reality for individuals with rare neurological diseases and their families.

“The people at Ovid create a bridge to opportunities for those affected by rare neurological diseases. The reason we get out of bed each morning is to bring life-changing therapies to families and communities with few or no therapeutic options.”
Jeremy M. Levin, CEO
Hear from Jeremy: What Impact Means to Us

meet our leadership team

Fusing experience and diverse leadership, the Ovidian leadership team is united by a deeply personal drive to conquer the seemingly impossible and advance meaningful treatments for those who need them most.

leadership
board of directors
scientific and clinical advisory board
Jeremy M. Levin, D.Phil, MB BChir
Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer

Jeremy Levin, D.Phil, MB BChir, is chairman and chief executive officer of Ovid Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: OVID), a company whose mission is to bring treatments to patients with rare neurological conditions. Dr. Levin is concurrently the chairman of Opthea (NASDAQ.OPT). Prior to founding Ovid, Dr. Levin was president and CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., (TLV: TEVA). Before Teva, Dr. Levin was a member of the executive committee Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY). In that capacity, he was the architect, lead and implementer of the String of Pearls Strategy, which transformed Bristol and facilitated the dawn and massive growth of the immuno-oncology revolution in the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Levin joined Bristol from Novartis (NYSE: NVS), where he was the global head of strategic alliances. He has served as a member of the board of directors of various public and private biopharmaceutical companies, including Biocon Ltd., (NSE: BIOCON), and is currently on the board of directors of Lundbeck (OMX: LUN). Dr. Levin also serves on the board and executive committee of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) as the immediate past chairman.

Dr. Levin was voted as one of the 25 most influential biotechnology leaders by Fierce Biotech, one of the top three biotechnology CEOs by The Healthcare Technology Report and one of the PharmaVoice100 CEOs in 2020. He was selected by Endpoints in 2021 as one of the 60 living pioneers of the industry. He is the recipient of the Albert Einstein Award for Leadership in Life Sciences and the B’nai B’rith Award for Distinguished Achievement. In June 2020, he edited and published the best seller “Biotechnology in the Time of Covid-19”. Dr Levin has been widely quoted and interviewed in national and international news outlets and life science industry-related publications. He believes that the role of leaders in business is to take a public stand on public policy matters as a core part of their business strategy and responsibility to shareholders, industry and society. He is committed to a public stance on key aspects of society and industry, including, but not limited to: encouraging immigration; policies that drive innovation; patient access to medicines; the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion; the primacy of medicine and science as the sole determinants to develop medical products; and the democratic right to vote for all citizens.

Dr. Levin has practiced medicine at university hospitals in England, South Africa and Switzerland. Dr. Levin earned a First-Class Bachelor in Zoology, winning the University Prize, and subsequently, was awarded a master’s degree and doctorate in chromatin structure, at the University of Oxford. Thereafter, he earned his medical and surgical degrees from the University of Cambridge, where he won the Kermode Prize for his work on Captopril.

Jason Tardio, MBA
Chief Operating Officer

Jason Tardio is chief operating officer and joined Ovid in November 2019, as chief commercial officer. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Tardio served as vice president, head of the multiple sclerosis franchise at Novartis (NYSE: NVS). There, he was responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the U.S. commercial plan, brand P&L, strategy development and go-to-market modeling. Before Novartis, Mr. Tardio held roles of increasing responsibility at Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB), where most recently he served as general manager, managing director for Biogen’s Latin America South affiliate. Earlier at Biogen, Tardio held a wide range of sales and marketing roles of increasing responsibility, including positions in global commercial strategy, the U.S. business unit and the international affiliates. He has two decadesof commercial experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, which began at Wyeth and Sepracor, with roles in sales, sales training and marketing. Mr. Tardio holds a Bachelor of Science from The College of New Jersey and a Master in Business Administration in Pharmaceutical Marketing from St. Joseph’s University.

Jeffrey Rona
Chief Business and Financial Officer

Jeffrey Rona is the chief business and financial officer at Ovid. He is responsible for leading Ovid’s corporate strategy along with the Company’s capital formation with investor groups. Mr. Rona joined Ovid as consulting chief financial officer in 2019 to assist the Company with strategic financings, including Ovid’s collaboration with Angelini. He brings more than 25 years of experience to the role, both as a former investment banker and a strategic financial executive with expertise in financial operations, investor relations and raising capital for public and private companies. He previously held senior leadership positions for GlobeImmune (NASDAQ: GMIB), AlgoRx Pharmaceuticals and Antigenics (NASDAQ: AGEN), and later formed a successful life sciences financial advisory practice. Mr. Rona began his career at Coopers & Lybrand and UBS Investment Bank (NYSE: UBS). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Case Western Reserve University.

Thomas M. Perone, MBA, J.D.
General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer

Thomas Perone joined Ovid in March 2019, and is the Company’s general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer. He brings more than 20 years of legal and pharmaceutical industry experience. He was most recently at Celgene Corporation where, for 12 years, he held positions of increasing levels of responsibility, including vice president, assistant general counsel and assistant corporate secretary. While at Celgene, Mr. Perone was responsible for corporate securities matters; transactional matters including mergers, acquisitions and licensing opportunities, and contracting matters for North and South America, including support for Celgene’s clinical, manufacturing and commercial teams. Prior to joining Celgene, he was a senior legal director at ImClone Systems Inc. and began his legal career as an associate attorney at Proskauer Rose LLP in New York City. Mr. Perone received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University, a Master of Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Juris Doctor with honors from Seton Hall University School of Law.

Suzanne K. Wakamoto, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Suzanne Wakamoto joined Ovid in June 2016 and is head of Human Resources. She has been a people manager for 30 years and a human resources leader for more than 25 years. Her diverse background includes start-up, global, multi-site and non-profit organizations. She has been fortunate to work and consult in an eclectic array of industries, including: arts education, biotechnology, construction, entertainment, manufacturing, retail and software. Previously, she served as an independent human resources consultant where she partnered with clients to develop more cohesive and compliant human resources practices that aligned with their corporate culture and business needs. Some of her former corporate positions include: heading human resources for the internationally acclaimed Blue Man Group and serving as director of human resources and administration for Cadus Pharmaceutical Corporation. Suzanne sits on the board of directors of NYC SHRM, the New York City chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management and is a founder and current chair of HR-PRO, NYC SHRM’s award winning pro-bono outreach program. She holds a Bachelor in World Arts and Culture from UCLA. Ultimately, Suzanne is a person who believes excellence and fun are not mutually exclusive, but rather, the partnership that makes us successful every day.

Claude Nicaise, M.D.
Head of Research and Development

Claude Nicaise, M.D., is head of Research and Development at Ovid Therapeutics. He is a respected executive with more than 20 years of significant product development experience, particularly in orphan diseases. Prior to joining Ovid, Dr. Nicaise was an executive vice president of clinical development and regulatory affairs at Formula Pharmaceuticals Inc. Before that, he was senior vice president, strategic product development and global regulatory affairs at Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXN), where he managed all regulatory activities and co-managed development programs with the head of R&D. While there, he designed, interpreted, and filed all programs supporting development in rare diseases. Prior to joining Alexion, Dr. Nicaise served in various positions of increasing responsibility at Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) for 24 years. Dr. Nicaise holds a medical degree from the Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. Dr. Nicaise is the author of more than 60 research articles published in peer-reviewed journals and is a member of several professional medical associations, including: the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the European Society for Medical Oncology, the American Society for Microbiology and the American Society of Hematology.

Todd Baumgartner, M.D., M.P.H.
Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacovigilance and Biometrics

Todd Baumgartner, M.D., M.P.H., is senior vice president of Global Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacovigilance and Biometrics at Ovid. Dr. Baumgartner brings extensive industry experience from both large pharmaceuticals and small biotechs across multiple functional areas, including development, regulatory and operations. Prior to joining Ovid, Dr. Baumgartner was at Acorda Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ACOR), where he led the regulatory and clinical operations functions, ultimately serving as senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs. During his time at Acorda, he led the successful regulatory strategy for Inbrija® (levodopa inhalation powder) for Parkinson’s OFF episodes, which resulted in an NDA submission in the United States and a MAA submission in Europe, with subsequent approvals in both regions. Prior to Acorda, Dr. Baumgartner was at Purdue Pharma, first as vice president of Regulatory Affairs leading the regulatory, pharmacovigilance and quality teams, and then as chief medical officer, where he led a team of more than 300 responsible for all of Purdue’s drug development, medical and scientific functions. During this time, he led the NDA filing and approval of several abuse-deterrent opioid formulations. Prior to Purdue, Dr. Baumgartner led global regulatory policy, intelligence and labeling at AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN). Before his tenure at AstraZeneca, he spent more than 15 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) in roles of increasing seniority in clinical research and regulatory affairs, including roles as medical director for Australia/New Zealand. This was followed by regulatory roles overseeing the infectious diseases, endocrine, and metabolism portfolios, contributing to the approval and lifecycle for multiple therapies. Ultimately, he led an international regulatory team across a region comprising 46 markets including: Canada, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Dr. Baumgartner completed his bachelor’s degree at Duke University, his medical degree at University of Missouri-Columbia and his Master in Public Health at University of California, Berkeley.

Luke Rosen, M.S.
Senior Vice President of Accelerated Development and Community Engagement

As senior vice president of Accelerated Development and Community Engagement, Luke Rosen is responsible for strengthening Ovid’s patient-driven approach to the rapid development of meaningful medicines. Rosen works closely with rare disease stakeholders to forge efficient collaborations powered to impact patients, expand Ovid’s research pipeline and advance clinical programs. In 2017, Mr. Rosen joined Ovid to accelerate research, discovery, and development of treatments for rare, neurological, and genetic diseases. He is founder of the nonprofit organization KIF1A.ORG; he sits on multiple rare disease advisory boards; and is a passionate advocate for rare disease policy, access to diagnostics and inclusive education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Master of Science in Bioethics and is a graduate of the British Academy of Dramatic Arts at the University of Oxford.

Julia Tsai, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs

Julia Tsai, Ph.D., is the senior vice president of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Ovid, where she develops, leads, and drives the clinical development strategy of Ovid’s clinical pipeline. She joined Ovid in 2020 as vice president of Clinical Development-Epilepsies and led the transition of soticlestat from Phase 2 to 3 in a joint development program with Takeda. Prior to joining Ovid, Dr. Tsai held roles of increasing responsibility through her tenure at Marinus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MRNS) and was part of the founding clinical development team, which led the strategic growth of the company from inception through its IPO and beyond. She left Marinus as the vice president of Clinical Development, head of the epilepsy franchise, which included experience in rare and general epilepsy programs. Dr. Tsai brings more than 17 years of central nervous system development and regulatory experience from multiple indications within neurology and psychiatry, including: resistant epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and orphan diseases (behaviors in Fragile X syndrome, West syndrome, Status Epilepticus, CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder, PCDH19 female-related Epilepsies, Dravet syndrome, Lennox Gastaut syndrome and Dup15q syndrome). Dr. Tsai holds a Doctorate in Physiology and Biophysics from the Neuroscience and Physiology program at New York University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cornell University.

Jeremy M. Levin, D.Phil, MB BChir
Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer

Jeremy Levin, D.Phil, MB BChir, is chairman and chief executive officer of Ovid Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: OVID), a company whose mission is to bring treatments to patients with rare neurological conditions. Dr. Levin is concurrently the chairman of Opthea (NASDAQ.OPT). Prior to founding Ovid, Dr. Levin was president and CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., (TLV: TEVA). Before Teva, Dr. Levin was a member of the executive committee Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY). In that capacity, he was the architect, lead and implementer of the String of Pearls Strategy, which transformed Bristol and facilitated the dawn and massive growth of the immuno-oncology revolution in the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Levin joined Bristol from Novartis (NYSE: NVS), where he was the global head of strategic alliances. He has served as a member of the board of directors of various public and private biopharmaceutical companies, including Biocon Ltd., (NSE: BIOCON), and is currently on the board of directors of Lundbeck (OMX: LUN). Dr. Levin also serves on the board and executive committee of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) as the immediate past chairman.

Dr. Levin was voted as one of the 25 most influential biotechnology leaders by Fierce Biotech, one of the top three biotechnology CEOs by The Healthcare Technology Report and one of the PharmaVoice100 CEOs in 2020. He was selected by Endpoints in 2021 as one of the 60 living pioneers of the industry. He is the recipient of the Albert Einstein Award for Leadership in Life Sciences and the B’nai B’rith Award for Distinguished Achievement. In June 2020, he edited and published the best seller “Biotechnology in the Time of Covid-19”. Dr Levin has been widely quoted and interviewed in national and international news outlets and life science industry-related publications. He believes that the role of leaders in business is to take a public stand on public policy matters as a core part of their business strategy and responsibility to shareholders, industry and society. He is committed to a public stance on key aspects of society and industry, including, but not limited to: encouraging immigration; policies that drive innovation; patient access to medicines; the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion; the primacy of medicine and science as the sole determinants to develop medical products; and the democratic right to vote for all citizens.

Dr. Levin has practiced medicine at university hospitals in England, South Africa and Switzerland. Dr. Levin earned a First-Class Bachelor in Zoology, winning the University Prize, and subsequently, was awarded a master’s degree and doctorate in chromatin structure, at the University of Oxford. Thereafter, he earned his medical and surgical degrees from the University of Cambridge, where he won the Kermode Prize for his work on Captopril.

Karen Bernstein, Ph.D.
Director, Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Member of the Audit and Compensation Committees

Karen Bernstein, Ph.D., is co-founder and chairman of BioCentury Inc. and was Editor-in-Chief from October 1992 to August 2015. She is a director at Ovid Therapeutics Inc., which is focused on developing drugs for orphan diseases of the brain, and at Codiak BioSciences Inc., which is pioneering exosome research and development to create an entirely new class of medicines, exosome therapeutics. She is on the board of trustees of the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) of the Applied Life Sciences and is a member of the board of advisors of KGI’s School of Pharmacy. She serves on the board of overseers of Scripps Research.

She holds a Doctorate in Political Science from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and History from Brandeis University, where she served for many years as a member of the Brandeis University Science Advisory Council.

In 2005, the annual gathering of biotechnology chief executive officers at The Biotech Meeting in Laguna Niguel, Calif., inducted Karen into their Hall of Fame, citing her lifetime contribution to the biotech community. In 2007, Karen received a Special Recognition award at the American Liver Foundation’s Salute to Excellence, honoring individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to biotechnology and medical innovation. In 2013, she was named as one of the 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. In 2015, Scientific American named Karen as one of The WorldVIEW 100 most influential people in biotech today. In 2016, she was named Commentator of the Year by the European Mediscience Awards.

Barbara G. Duncan, MBA
Director, Chair of the Audit Committee, Member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

Barbara Duncan, MBA, has been a member of Ovid’s board of directors since June 2017. She previously was the chief financial officer and treasurer at Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ICPT). Prior to Intercept, Ms. Duncan held various senior leadership roles of increasing responsibility at DOV Pharmaceutical Inc., including chief financial officer, and ultimately, was chief executive officer prior to DOV’s sale to Euthymics Bioscience Inc. in 2010. Ms. Duncan has also held roles in the corporate finance groups at SBC Warburg Dillon Read Inc. and Lehman Brothers Inc. She serves on the board of directors of Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: ADAP), Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNCE), Area Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVIR), and Fusion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ, FUSN). Ms. Duncan received her Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University and her Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Bart Friedman, J.D.
Lead Independent Director, Member of the Audit; Compensation and Nominating; and Corporate Governance Committees

Bart Friedman, J.D., has been a member of Ovid’s board of directors since November 2015. Mr. Friedman was a partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a New York law firm, from 1980 through 2017, when he became senior counsel. Mr. Friedman’s practice focuses on corporate governance investigations and advisory and crisis advisory. Earlier in his career, Mr. Friedman worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission and acted as a liaison to other departments in the government. Mr. Friedman has served as chairman of the board of directors of the Sanford C. Bernstein Mutual Funds and as the lead director of the board of directors of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG (NYSE: AWH), a publicly held company. He currently serves as chair of the audit committee of the Brookings Institution, chair of the audit committee of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and as chair of the Guggenheim Museum’s Works and Process Program. Mr. Friedman has also served as vice chair of the Juilliard School and as a member of the Visiting Committee of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Mr. Friedman is an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and serves on the membership committee of the Council. He has also served as a member of Council on Foreign Relations delegations to many countries and institutions, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lybia, Turkey, and NATO among others. He has also served as a member of CFR Task Forces on issues ranging from nonlethal weaponry to resources for foreign aid. Mr. Friedman earned his Bachelor of Arts from Long Island University and his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He also served as a research associate at Harvard Business School.

Michael Poole, M.D., FACP
Director, Member of the Audit and Compensation Committees

Robert Michael Poole, M.D., FACP, is a neurologist and internist with a successful career in large and small biotechnology companies developing medicines for diseases of the nervous system.

Dr. Poole served in a series of scientific and senior leadership positions at Parke Davis, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Wyeth and at AstraZeneca (NASDAQ: AZN), where he led the Neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit. Most recently, he managed the Office of the President for Global Health at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he focused on external investments and development of technology platforms. He has experience working as a venture partner at both Biomatics Capital and at Arch Ventures, where he helped source innovative investments in neuroscience and served portfolio companies in operating roles. He also serves as an advisor to the Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnostic Initiative for Gates Ventures.

He holds a medical degree from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. He trained in internal medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester and in neurology at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Robert Langer, Sc.D.
Chairman of the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board

Robert Langer is the chairman of Ovid’s Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board. Dr. Langer is one of 10 Institute Professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and has written over 1,500 scholarly articles. He is also the most cited engineer in history (h-index 286, with over 338,000 citations according to Google Scholar). He has served as the chair of the FDA’s Science Board, and has been recognized with over 220 awards, including the United States National Medals of both Science and Technology and Innovation. Dr. Langer was named as one of the 20 most important people in biotechnology by Discover magazine and one of 15 innovators who will reinvent our future by Forbes. TIME and CNN named him as one of the most important people in America and one of the 18 top people in science or medicine in America. He was also recognized as one of the world’s 25 most important individuals in biotechnology by Forbes and by BioWorld. Dr. Langer holds 35 honorary doctorate degrees and has been elected to the National Academies of Medicine, Engineering, Sciences and Inventors.

Matthew During, M.D., D.Sc., FACP, FRACP, FAAAS
Founder

Matthew During, M.D., D.Sc., is the founder of Ovid and served as chief scientific officer from March 2015 to May 2019. He was a member of the board of directors from April 2014 to May 2019. He served as Ovid’s chief executive officer from April 2014 to March 2015. Prior to founding Ovid, Dr. During founded Nightstar Therapeutics, a gene therapy company, in October 2013, where he served as a consultant until November 2015. He co-founded Vector Neurosciences, another gene therapy company in January 2014, serving as CEO, which was subsequently sold in October 2018 to MeiraGTX. Most recently, he founded Emrys Bio, where he serves as president. From February 2014 to December 2014, Dr. During served as a senior manager at Bridgewater Associates. Prior to that, he founded Neurologix Inc. in October 1999 and served as a member of its scientific advisory board until March 2012. Dr. During also co-founded Merlin Pharmaceuticals Limited in February 1993 and served as a member of its scientific advisory board until December 1994. Dr. During previously served on the faculty of Yale University as a professor of Neurosurgery from 1989 to 2000; as a professor at Cornell University until 2006; and The Ohio State University from 2006 to December 2014, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor. Since 2011, he has also served as a visiting professor of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. Dr. During earned his Bachelor of Science, Medical Doctorate and Doctor of Science degree from the University of Auckland. He also completed fellowships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Yale University.

Jacqueline A. French, M.D.
Member

Jacqueline A. French, M.D., is a professor in the Department of Neurology, director of Translational Research and Clinical Trials in Epilepsy and a neurologist at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at the New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center. She is also a founder and director of the Clinical Trials Consortium, an academic group that has performed a number of early-phase clinical trials in epilepsy. She currently serves as chief scientific officer of the Epilepsy Foundation. Previously, Dr. French chaired an American Academy of Neurology (AAN)/American Epilepsy Society (AES) committee that developed two guidelines on the use of new antiepileptic drugs. She also helped to create guidelines for the International League Against Epilepsy. Dr. French was also president and served on the board of the AES and was the secretary of the American Society of Experimental Neurotherapeutics. She has authored more than 200 articles and chapters, is the editor of three books, and lectures internationally on clinical trials and the use of antiepileptic drugs. She was the 2005 recipient of the AES Service Award, the 2017 Lennox Award and the 2013 Epilepsy Foundation Hero award. Dr. French received a medical degree from Brown University. She completed her residency in neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and completed fellowships in epilepsy at Mount Sinai Hospital and Yale University.

Alex Kolevzon, M.D.
Member

Alex Kolevzon, M.D., is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He serves as the director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for the Mount Sinai Health System and the clinical director of the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai. His research interests pertain to understanding the neurobiology of autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders, biomarker discovery and developing novel therapeutics. Most recently, his group has focused on studying specific genetic forms of autism, including Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and ADNP syndrome, in order to explore targets for pharmacological intervention. Dr. Kolevzon leads the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Seaver Autism Center, which conducts studies that range from small pilot trials to multi-centered, pivotal FDA studies. He also leads a national rare disease clinical research network dedicated to clinical trial readiness and studying the natural history of Phelan-McDermid syndrome. He is a sought-after speaker regionally, nationally and internationally, and is extremely committed to medical student and residency education as an active teacher, mentor and clinical supervisor.

Joy A. Cavagnaro, Ph.D, DABT, ATS, RAC, FRAPS
Member

Joy A. Cavagnaro, Ph.D., DABT, ATS, RAC, FRAPS is the president of Access BIO, where she consults on science-based preclinical development strategies for novel drug, biologics and device combinations. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her career spans academia, the clinical research organization and biotechnology industries and government. She has co-authored numerous white papers, articles and book chapters related to various aspects of preclinical safety assessment. During her tenure at the FDA Center for Biologics Research and Evaluation, she was appointed to the Senior Biomedical Research Service and served as FDA’s safety topic lead and rapporteur for “ICH S6,” advocating for the “case-by-case” rational science-based approach to preclinical safety evaluation. In 2011, she received SOT’s Biotechnology Specialty Section First Career Achievement Award, and in 2019, she was a recipient of the Society’s Arnold J. Lehman Award recognizing individuals who have made significant contributions to risk assessment and/or the regulation of chemical agents, including pharmaceuticals. She is founder and past chair of the leadership committee of BioSafe, an expert preclinical science committee within BIO.

Bruce A. Sullenger, Ph.D
Member

Bruce A. Sullenger, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Surgery at the Duke University School of Medicine, and a founding director of the Duke Translational Research Institute. Dr. Sullenger completed his Doctor of Philosophy studies at Weill Cornell University Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he published the first study demonstrating that short-structured RNA molecules, subsequently termed aptamers, can directly bind to and inhibit the activity of clinically relevant proteins (Cell, 1990). He performed his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Cech at the University of Colorado, where he invented the concept of using RNA-guided endonucleases to revise genetic instructions for therapeutic applications (Nature, 1994). Through the work in his internationally recognized translational research program, Dr. Sullenger was elected as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2014; presented the Outstanding Achievement Award by the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) in 2015; asked to testify about the importance of medical innovation to the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in 2015; presented the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2017; and elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2018.

Amit Rakhit, M.D., M.S.A., MBA
Member

Amit Rakhit, M.D., MBA, is a member of Ovid Therapeutic’s Scientific & Clinical Advisory Board. Previously, Rakhit served as president and chief medical officer at Ovid Therapeutics from April 2016 to August 2021. Prior to joining Ovid, Dr. Rakhit served as senior vice president of Worldwide Medical at Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) from March 2014 to March 2016, and as vice president of Program Leadership and Management from June 2011 to February 2014. During that time, he worked on neurologic and hematologic conditions such as: spinal muscular atrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis and hemophilia. Prior to that, he worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) from August 2001 to June 2011 in various roles within clinical development and medical affairs. Dr. Rakhit ultimately served as vice president of the international medical organization with oversight of the medical teams in more than 25 countries across North and South America, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Rim. Dr. Rakhit earned his Bachelor of Arts in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, his Master of Science from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and his Master of Business Administration from Columbia University and London Business School. Dr. Rakhit completed his fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Harvard Medical School and practiced as part of the pediatric cardiac transplant service at Boston Children’s Hospital prior to joining the industry. Dr. Rakhit currently is an advisory trustee for the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, and a healthcare advisor for the Partnership for NYC.

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