Scientific Advisors

Richard I. Morimoto, Ph.D., Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board

Rick is the Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biology, Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, and Director of the Rice Institute for Biomedical Research at Northwestern University.  Rick is a pioneer in understanding the role of proteostasis on stress and aging and internationally recognized for his research on regulation of the heat shock stress response, the function of molecular chaperones, and properties of the proteostasis network at the cellular organismal levels.  Rick and his team have shown the particular importance of the protein trafficking and clearance mechanisms, including specific branches of the endosomal–lysosomal and ubiquitin–proteasome systems, in maintaining the homeostasis of the metastable subproteome associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles.  He is a founder of Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc.  He received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Chicago with Professor Murray Rabinowitz and trained as a postdoctoral research fellow under Professor Matthew Messelson at Harvard University.

James Barsoum, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor

Jim has over 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development and nine years of academic research experience.  He is senior vice president of Biology at Arrakis.  Previously, Jim was chief scientific officer of RaNA and prior to that, he was chief scientific officer of Theracrine.  Jim was senior vice president of Biology at Synta, where he led the Hsp90 biology program for ganetespib, which progressed to Phase 3 clinical trials for cancer.  Before Synta, he was director of molecular and cell biology at Biogen.  He received his Ph.D. in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and trained as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Whitehead Institute and Stanford University Medical Center.

Lijun Sun, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor

Lijun is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and the director of Center for Drug Discovery and Translational Research at the Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is a founder of Silicon Therapeutics.  Previously, Lijun held executive positions in a number of emerging biotech companies where he led anticancer and anti-inflammation drug discovery and development programs.  His major achievements include the creation of multiple clinical development candidates, including ganetespib, a small molecule HSP90 inhibitor that progressed to Phase 3 clinical trials for lung cancer and leukemia.  Lijun is a co-inventor of more than 100 issued or pending US patents.  He has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications in chemistry and biology.  He received his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Emory University and trained as a postdoctoral research fellow at Emory Medical School.

Manfred Windisch, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor

Manfred is founder and CEO of NeuroScios, a consulting firm specializing in drug development programs in neurological indications.  Previously, he founded JSW-Lifesciences (acquired by QPS, Austria), a CRO offering in vitro studies and in vivo models of neurological diseases he created and characterized, including transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Manfred helped to evaluate 60-80 pharmacological compounds in neurodegeneration every year, and has been involved in approximately 25 international clinical trials from Phase 1 to 3 in AD, mild cognitive impairment, PD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and cerebrovascular diseases.  Manfred is a consultant to PsychoGenics, one of the world leading CROs in neurobiology research.  He is also a member of several scientific advisory boards.  He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles.  Manfred obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Graz, Austria.