The Galien Forum USA 2018

PANEL
6

Chair
Nancy A. Thornberry
Chief Executive Officer
Kallyope

Panelists
Michael Fischbach, PhD
Associate Professor
of Bioengineering

Stanford University

Dan R. Littman, MD, PhD
Co-founder
Vedanta Biosciences

Sarkis K.  Mazmanian, PhD
Louis & Nelly Soux Professor
of Microbiology Division

of Biology & Biological Engineering
California Institute
of Technology

Bernat Olle, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Vedanta Biosciences

Panel Intro

The Gut Microbiome: Opportunities and Challenges


Nancy A. Thornberry

Nancy A. Thornberry
Chief Executive Officer
Kallyope

Nancy A. Thornberry is CEO at Kallyope, a biotechnology company headquartered in NYC focused on the gut-brain axis. She was formerly Senior Vice President and Franchise Head, Diabetes and Endocrinology, for Merck & Co. Inc. In this role, she led discovery and clinical research in diabetes, osteoporosis, fertility and contraception. Prior to her role as Franchise Head, Nancy initiated and led Merck’s dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) project, which resulted in the discovery of JANUVIA® for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Nancy began her career with Merck Research Laboratories in 1979 as a biochemist and served in many roles of increasing responsibility, culminating in her role as Franchise Head.

Beyond her contributions in the metabolic disease area, she has achieved several notable scientific accomplishments, including the identification of the first caspase, interleukin-1β converting enzyme (ICE/caspase-1). For her scientific contributions she has received numerous awards, including the Merck Presidential Fellowship, Merck Directors Award, Heroes of Chemistry Award by the American Chemical Society, and in 2011 received the Pharmaceuticals Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Discoverers Award, which honors research scientists whose work has been of special benefit to humankind. In addition to her role at Kallyope, Nancy is currently on the Boards of Directors of Intarcia Therapeutics and Abide Therapeutics. She is also a member of NYC’s Mayor’s Life Sciences (LifeSciNYC) Advisory Council.


Michael FischbachMichael Fischbach, PhD
Associate Professor of Bioengineering
Stanford University

Michael Fischbach is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University and a Stanford ChEM-H Institute Scholar. Fischbach is a recipient of the NIH Director’s Pioneer and New Innovator Awards, an HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholars Award, a Fellowship for Science and Engineering from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, a Medical Research Award from the W.M. Keck Foundation, and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award.

His laboratory uses a combination of genomics, microbiology, synthetic biology, and chemistry to study microbiome-host interactions and construct synthetic microbiomes with defined functions. Fischbach received his Ph.D. as a John and Fannie Hertz Foundation Fellow in chemistry from Harvard in 2007. Fischbach is a member of the board of directors of Achaogen, the scientific advisory boards of NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Cell Design Labs, and Indigo Agriculture, and a co-founder of Revolution Medicines.


Dan R. Littman, MD, PhD

Dan R. Littman, MD, PhD
Co-founder
Vedanta Biosciences

Dan Littman is the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology and Professor of Pathology and Microbiology at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine of New York University’s School of Medicine.  He and his colleagues made numerous groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of virology and immunology, including identification and isolation of receptors required for HIV entry, molecular mechanisms of immune cells that mediate autoimmunity and the role of specific members of the gut microbiota in T cell differentiation.

Dr. Littman is a co-founder and Scientific Advisory Board member of Vedanta Biosciences and serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Vor Biopharma and ChemoCentryx, Inc.  He is a Member of the Board of Directors at Pfizer.  He serves as a Member of the Scientfic Advisory Council of the Cancer Research Institute, of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Ragon Institute, and of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the Broad Institute.  Dr. Littman is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He is the Former President of the American Association of Immunologists and recipient of the New York Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology, the AAI-Invitrogen Meritorious Career Award, the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine, the William B. Coley Award from the Cancer Research Institute, and the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Sciences.


Sarkis K. Mazmanian

Sarkis K. Mazmanian, PhD
Louis & Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology Division
of Biology & Biological Engineering
California Institute of Technology

Sarkis K. Mazmanian PhD is a medical microbiologist and currently the Luis & Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Mazmanian’s research focuses on how gut bacteria influence the development and function of the immune and nervous systems, with the goal of understanding how the microbiome contributes to the critical balance between human health and diseases such as autism and Parkinson’s disease. He has been recognized by numerous awards including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award, the Searle Scholar Award, the Damon Runyon Innovation Award, the W.M. Keck Research Excellence Award, and the “Best Brains in Science” by Discover Magazine. His laboratory aims to develop novel therapies for neurologic disorders by exploring and harnessing the extraordinary impacts of the gut microbiome.

Dr. Mazmanian is a founder of two biotech companies, and has served or currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of over a dozen companies, academic centers and not-for-profit foundations. Most importantly, Dr. Mazmanian has trained numerous students and postdoctoral fellows who have gone on to successful independent careers in medicine, industry and academia.


Bernat OlieBernat Olle, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Vedanta Biosciences

Dr. Olle is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vedanta Biosciences. He has been a member of the founding teams of several companies of the PureTech portfolio and served as a member of the Board of Directors of Vedanta Biosciences and Follica Biosciences. In 2013 Dr. Olle was named «Innovator of the Year» in MIT Technology Review Spain’s «Innovators under 35» awards.

He completed his doctoral work at the Chemical Engineering Department at MIT, where he developed a novel method for largescale bacterial culture. During his graduate work, Dr. Olle was awarded the «la Caixa» fellowship. Dr. Olle received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in the Republic of Catalonia, his M.S. and PhD. in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT, and his M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has published his work in journals including Nature and Nature Biotechnology.