Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., Advisor, is currently Physician in Chief, Distinguished Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).  Dr. Von Hoff’s major interest is in the development of new anticancer agents.  He and his colleagues were involved in the beginning of the development of many FDA approved agents we now use routinely.  His clinical trial work has led to the approval of 3 of the 4 drugs approved by the FDA for treatment of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Dr. Von Hoff received the 2010 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for his outstanding contributions to cancer research leading to significant improvement in patient care, and was appointed to President Bush’s National Cancer Advisory Board in 2004-2010. Dr. Von Hoff is the past President of the American Association for Cancer Research (the world’s largest cancer research organization) and past board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.  He is a founder of ILEX™ Oncology, Inc. (acquired by Genzyme after Ilex had 2 agents, alemtuzumab and clofarabine approved by the FDA.. 

Joseph Bailes, MD, Advisor & Manager,is a medical oncologist with substantial experience in legislation, public policy and advocacy, as well as the business aspects of the practice of oncology and medicine. Dr. Bailes has served in various executive leadership capacities for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), including terms as President, Interim Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chair of the ASCO Government Relations Council. He has also served as the Executive Vice President of Clinical Affairs for US Oncology, Inc. Dr. Bailes received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas.

Darren Woodside, PhD, Advisor, is a co-founder, investor, and an inventor of 7HP technology. He is an experienced pharmaceutical executive and immunologist.  As the Associate Director of Drug Discovery, Biological Sciences at Encysive Pharmaceuticals, he directed drug discovery efforts targeting cell adhesion molecule signaling and function. Dr. Woodside is an author of numerous peer reviewed publications, and has been a Principal Investigator on a number grants from the National Institutes of Health.  Dr. Woodside has served on a number of Editorial Review Boards, including Nature Journal Genes and Immunity, and review panels for the NIH. He has a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Upendra Marathi, PhD, MBA, President & CEO, is the founder, investor, and an inventor of 7HP technology. He has led the development of three novel pain and cardiovascular drugs, including one which has recently been approved by the FDA. He co-developed one of the first genetically modified stem cells to improve bone marrow function in chemotherapeutic patients.  As a venture capitalist, he was involved in the founding and launch of several biotechnology companies.  He has helped raise over $50 million in equity financing.  Upendra was a post-doctoral fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Loyola University Chicago.  Upendra has an M.B.A. from Rice University and has served as a faculty member.

Peter Vanderslice, PhD, Advisor, ​is a co-founder, investor, and an inventor of 7HP technology. He is an experienced pharmaceutical executive that has identified and developed four clinical stage compounds, managed joint ventures, and helped raise $100 million in equity financing at Encysive Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  He has translated numerous approaches targeting cell adhesion molecules into pharmaceutical development programs. Dr. Vanderslice has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications focusing on the biological function and therapeutic targeting of cell adhesion and trafficking.  The extensive experience in cell adhesion is critical to validating the 7HP lead compounds for use in hematologic cancers, and stem cell transplant and other indications.He has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Management & Advisors

Richard Dixon, PhD, Co-founder & Manager, is an experienced pharmaceutical executive who has founded and invested in new ventures and also has led numerous commercial programs, which have resulted in four approved commercial products including Argatroban, Crixivan and Singulair. He co-founded and served as CSO of Encysive Pharmaceuticals (ENCY) and sold the business to Pfizer for ~$400 million. Prior to that, he held various management positions, including head of the molecular biology department at Merck and Co (MSD).  Dr. Dixon's research groups have produced more than 10 new chemical entities which have entered human testing. He has a Ph.D. in Virology from Baylor College of Medicine and conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Nathans, the 1978 Nobel Laureate in Medicine.   

Kala Marathi, Interim Chief Financial Officer, is the Executive Director of Innovation at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, as well as Managing Director of the Cougar Venture Fund.  She is also COO of Terrapin Stone, an investment firm that focuses on income producing assets. In her role as Managing Director of the Houston Angel Network, Kala has facilitated over $30M in investments in 85 deals.  She has more than 20 years of operating and financial experience.  Kala was formerly with Reliant Energy where she was a founding member of the corporate venture group, Reliant Energy Net Ventures.  She also has extensive experience in strategy and corporate finance with such firms as the Continental Airlines and Chase. Kala has B.A. in Japanese and Economics from Wellesley College, and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Jason Luke, M.D., FACP, Advisor, is a medical oncologist at the University of Chicago who cares for patients with melanoma and advanced solid tumors. Dr. Luke's research focuses on translational therapeutic advances for melanoma and early phase drug development, particularly immunotherapy. He is Study Chair for the only on-going national clinical trial for patients with advanced uveal (ocular) melanoma and is the principal investigator of several clinical trials of immunotherapy and targeted molecular therapies for melanoma and advanced cancer. Dr. Luke was at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School where he treated patients with melanoma and performed early phase clinical trials. Dr. Luke has received several awards for his research, including a Young Investigator Award from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO, an ASCO Merit Award and others.

Willem Overwijk, Ph.D, Advisor & Collaborator, Dr. Overwijk is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology. Dr. Overwijk’s group focuses on the interaction between the immune system and cancer, and translating these findings into novel cancer immunotherapies, in particular cancer vaccines. His work emphasizes combination therapy with immunomodulators (vaccines, TLR agonists, cytokines and antibodies including CTLA-4/PD-1 checkpoint blockade) and other modalities (small molecules such as inhibitors of mutant BRAF, STAT3 and iNOS). Dr. Overwijk trained at the Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute with Steven Rosenberg, and received his PhD George Washington University.  He completed his postgraduate training at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam in 2004 and has since run his research lab at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He serves the Board of Society of Immunotherapy of Cancer.

Lionel Lewis, M.D. Chief Medical Officer, is an experienced solid tumor trialist who has worked on 40 Phase I trials, and led 10 first-in-human studies including immune checkpoint inhibitors. Currently he co-directs co-directs the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) at Dartmouth Molecular Therapeutics Program and the NCCC Phase-I group, and is Director of the Clinical Pharmacology Shared Resource and Medical Director of the Dartmouth Clinical Trials Office. He is also the current Executive Director of the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology and the vice chair of the Pharmacogenetics and Population Pharmacology (PPP) committee of the Alliance of Clinical Trials in Oncology, an NCI intergroup.  He has served on and chaired several DOD and NIH study section panels.  He has published more than 150 peer reviewed manuscripts in the field of clinical pharmacology and has edited/co-authored several textbooks in the field.  

Adi Diab, M.D.,Advisor, is a medical oncologist and clinical investigator whose research is focused on developing new Immunotherapeutic Strategies that will improve clinical outcomes in patients. Building on his extensive background in immunology in general and tumor immunology specifically, Dr. Diab is leading multiple clinical trials involving novel immune modulator agent with Melanoma. In addition he is leading a program for Interventional Immunotherapy that was established to develop intratumoral therapeutic strategies in combination with Systemic therapy; designed to improve clinical outcome and allow better understanding of the dynamics of each patient’s immune response to the tumor. He has authored or co-authored over thirty scientific publications and abstracts and serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Immunotherapy and the Journal of the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Diab received his medical degree from St. George’s University.  He completed a research fellowship in immunology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Following his residency at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Diab completed clinical fellowships at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in hematology oncology and breast medical oncology.