President & Chief Executive Officer
Kumar Srinivasan's bio
Kumar Srinivasan, Ph.D., MBA, in his most recent role served as executive vice president and chief business officer at Turning Point Therapeutics with responsibility for corporate strategy and business development, including collaborations and alliances where he successfully lead the sale of the company to Bristol Myers Squibb for $ 4.1 billion.
Dr. Srinivasan has over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, most recently as vice president and global head of business development for the BioPharmaceutical business unit of AstraZeneca.
During his 9+-year tenure at AstraZeneca, Dr. Srinivasan was responsible for all in- and out-licensing, business development and alliance management activities within several therapeutic areas. During the pandemic Dr. Srinivasan lead the licensing and global supply agreements for the AstraZeneca’s vaccine and mAb cocktails and contributed significantly to the success of both these programs which made a tremendous impact on global health.
Earlier in his career Dr. Srinivasan held senior business development roles at Wyeth; Vivoryon (formerly known as Probiodrug), a publicly traded biotech based in Germany; and Torrey Pines Therapeutics.
He has a Ph.D from Case Western University in chemistry, did his postdoctoral work at Caltech and has an MBA with a concentration in finance and strategy from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Chief Operating Officer & EVP, R&D
Ayman Kabakibi's bio
Dr. Kabakibi has over two decades of experience in drug discovery and early development in large pharma and biotech companies. He took several projects, across multiple therapeutic areas, from concept through to clinical development. Most recently, he co-founded Tollnine Inc., an immuno-oncology company developing novel antibody conjugates and served as its Vice President of Biology. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of Biology at Solstice Biologics, an RNAi and immuno-oncology company exploring novel siRNA technologies for the development of human therapeutics. Before Solstice, Dr. Kabakibi was the Head of Biology and Pharmacology at Traversa Therapeutics. Prior to Traversa, he spent 5 years at Kalypsys Inc. as the Head of Pharmacology. He started his career at Pfizer working on inflammation and metabolic disease targets.
Dr. Kabakibi earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and performed his graduate research at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He earned a Master’s Degree (M.Sc.) in Medical Laboratory Sciences from Northeastern University.
Chief Financial Officer
Keith Vendola's bio
Keith Vendola, MD, MBA brings over two decades of experience in healthcare corporate finance, strategy, and operations. As a Silicon Valley-based executive and adviser and NYC-based investment banker, Dr. Vendola has been a company builder involved in more than 50 transactions and closed on over $2 billion in financings and strategic deals.
Most recently, as CFO at IO Biotech, Dr. Vendola’s responsibilities included financings, corporate development, investor relations, and corporate communications. He assembled an international operational team, spearheaded Wall Street interactions, closed on a $84 million crossover round and two Merck partnerships, and led the $115M IPO and Nasdaq listing.
Dr. Vendola previously served as CFO and Chief Strategy Officer at Rezolute. Responsibilities included strategy, financings, corporate development, and investment banking relationships. He aligned messaging, presented across the Street, closed on over $90 million, and led the Company’s Nasdaq listing.
Dr. Vendola previously served as Chief of Staff to the CEO and VP of Competitive Strategy and IR at Coherus BioSciences while the market cap exceeded $1 billion. Responsibilities included building relationships on Wall Street, framing corporate strategy, and executing multiple financings, which together raised $300 million.
Earlier, Dr. Vendola served as a management consultant at Booz & Co. and investment banker within the healthcare groups of Banc of America Securities (now BofA Securities) and Chase (now JPMorgan).
Keith received his MBA in finance from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, MD from Dartmouth Medical School, and BA in psychology from Holy Cross, where he graduated with honors. He completed a research fellowship at the NIH, where he authored multiple papers.
Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Matthew Cooper's bio
Dr. Cooper has over 15 years of experience in oncology and is a founder of Wugen. He conducted his post-doctoral research in hematologic malignancies with Dr. John DiPersio at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Cooper has since held the position of Assistant Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Cooper’s work has focused on developing next generation CAR-T for the treatment of hematologic malignancies, overcoming the barriers that limit the safety and efficacy of adoptive cellular therapies.
Dr. Cooper received his Ph.D. in Cancer Genetics and his B.Sc., with Honors, in Molecular Microbiology from the University of Surrey, in the United Kingdom.
Chief Medical Officer
Jan Davidson's bio
Dr. Davidson has over twenty years of research and clinical experience across both academia and the biotech industry, which includes firsthand understanding of the successful design and implementation of oncology clinical trials and an expansive immune-oncology research expertise that spans across a variety of cancers. In his most recent most role as Senior Director for Clinical Research at Macrogenics. Inc, Dr. Davidson oversaw the company’s translational and clinical research efforts. Prior to MacroGenics. Inc, Dr. Davidson conducted clinical research at the National Heart and Lung Institute at National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he investigated NK cell ontogeny and subtypes, as well as their role in adoptive cell therapy. His substantial research and medical career saw him in senior positions at NHLBI Bone Marrow Transplant Service, Center for Human Immunology and the National Cancer Institute of the NIH, Montefiore Medical Center and The Rockefeller University Hospital among others.
Dr. Davidson received his MBBS from the Royal Free & University College London Medical School and his Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from the University College London in the UK. He is a physician-scientist with numerous research grants and awards under his name.
VP, Finance & Business Operations
Mark Lewis' bio
Dr. Lewis has over 10 years of biotechnology and oncology research experience. Before joining Wugen, Dr. Lewis was appointed Venture Capital Fellow at BioGenerator (2018-2019), an evergreen investor that creates, develops and funds innovative companies and entrepreneurs in the St. Louis region. Prior to completing his doctoral work, Dr. Lewis held several positions at Monsanto Company (2006-2013), leading efforts to validate and implement novel sequencing technologies and on-board data management systems.
Dr. Lewis received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and M.Sc. in Biology from the Washington University in St. Louis and his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the Eastern Connecticut State University.
VP, Clinical Operations
Eileen McNulty's bio
Eileen joins Wugen with more than 25 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience. Eileen brings a broad set of expertise in the design and execution of clinical trials, developing, and implementing innovative clinical strategies and leading cross-functional teams to develop novel therapeutics. Most recently, Eileen was Associate Director of Clinical Operations at MacroGenics where she supported early and late phase programs for monoclonal antibodies as well as being one of the clinical operations leads on the Margetuximab (Margenza®) BLA team. Prior to MacroGenics, Eileen held various operational positions at Cerecor, Inc (now Avalo Therapeutics, Inc), Human Genome Sciences (now GlaxoSmithKline), and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical.
Laura Simpson, Ph.D.
VP, Regulatory Affairs
Laura Simpson's bio
Dr. Simpson has 18 years of regulatory experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. She was most recently Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at Regeneron, where she had roles of increasing responsibility, leading the global marketing applications for approval of Regeneron’s anti-PD-1 antibody LIBTAYO® in advanced non-melanoma skin cancers. Prior to Regeneron, Laura spent several years at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the Office of Clinical Research in New York City.
Dr. Simpson has a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Tulane University in New Orleans and completed her postdoctoral work at the Institute for Cancer Genetics at Columbia University in New York City.
VP, Quality Assurance
Carol Weiss' bio
Carol Weiss has over 20 years of industry experience in Quality Assurance. She joined Wugen in 2021 and has been instrumental in building the Wugen Quality systems, processes and team required to release GMP Drug Products for the Clinic. Prior to Wugen, Carol held broad range of Quality Assurance positions of increasing responsibilies at Pfizer, Wyeth BioPharma and Genetics Institute whichincluded a wide range of modalities and regulatory strategies and spanned the entire lifecycle of GMP drug manufacturing from Phase 1-3, BLA licensing and commercial. She is a Quality Subject Matter Expert in deviations, investigations, Root Cause Analysis, Quality Risk Management, and cGMP compliance, including documentation, vendor qualification and oversight, conducting and hosting audits and managing regulatory inspections.
Carol received her BS in Microbiology from the University of Southern Mississippi.