Scientific Advisory Board
Exonate’s Scientific Advisory Board provides international expertise into the application of new compounds for ophthalmic diseases. The SAB members are:
Kenton has over 16 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical experience with involvement in all aspects of the industry from drug discovery and clinical development through to pre-commercialisation. He currently serves as Director of Clinical Affairs for Cambridge Cognition, Inc. a leading global provider of computerised cognitive assessments for use in clinical trials, research and healthcare settings. Prior to this, Kenton served as Chief Scientific Officer for New Mexico-based biotech Zocere Inc. where he worked on developing a neuroprotectant drug designed to combat brain injury resulting from stroke. From 1998 to 2012, Kenton worked at Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Salt Lake City and served in a variety of roles including Senior Director of Clinical Affairs, Chief Scientist of the tarenflurbil clinical development program (an investigational drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, developed through Phase 3), Director of Neurodegeneration Therapeutics Discovery and Director of Strategic In-licensing and Scientific Evaluation. Kenton received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The Sloan-Kettering Division of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the UCLA School of Medicine and was awarded fellowships from the Leukemia Society of America and the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research.
Associate Professor of Chemistry, UNSW Australia
Associate Professor Jonathan Morris obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) from the University of Western Australia and his Ph.D. degree with Professor Lew Mander in 1994 from The Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. After a postdoctoral appointment with Professor Phil Magnus at the University of Texas at Austin, he took up his first academic position at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 1997. In 2004, he moved to the University of Adelaide. In late 2009, he moved to the School of Chemistry at the University of New South Wales.
His research interests span from medicinal chemistry to chemical biology, with a particular expertise being in the synthesis of new molecules with biological activity. His research group has a strong reputation in the field of the synthesis of biologically active natural products and in particular, natural products that are kinase inhibitors. He has been involved in a number of translational drug discovery programs. He designed and developed the SPHINX molecules that are potent inhibitors of the RNA splicing kinase SRPK1.
Associate Professor Morris was awarded the Vice-Chancellors Award for Teaching Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision in 2014.
Head of Ophthalmology Lead ProQR Therapeutics
Pete Adamson is the Head of Ophthalmology at Lead ProQR Therapeutics which is an oligonucleotide company specialising in the treatment of rare inherited ophthalmic disease.
Pete was formerly Vice President and Head of Research at Ophthiris (GlaxoSmithKline Ophthalmology). During his time with GSK Pete was responsible for the scientific aspects of a number of high profile external alliances and the development of a number of internal assets which are currently undergoing clinical assessment. Pete obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of London (Institute of Psychiatry) and subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cancer Research and Vascular Biology Research Centre before taking up an academic position at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology from 1994-2004. Pete has authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications in the domains of inflammation, ophthalmology and neurology. Pete retains an honorary appointment at UCL, Institute of Ophthalmology where he is Professor of Molecular Pathology.
Prof of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences in the Queen’s University of Belfast
Usha Chakravarthy has a varied portfolio of research interests. Her current research involves studies on the understanding of retinal and choroidal vascular diseases as well as degenerative ageing changes contributing to sight loss in older adults. She is recognised internationally for her work on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy. She has been involved with 200 publications and is the current chairperson of the ophthalmology specialty group for UKCRN and a member of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Academic Group. On an international level she is on the advisory panel for the AMD alliance, Laskar Foundation and represents the international community in the Macula Society. She is a member of the scientific panel for the German Medical Research Council and Australian Health Foundation. She has delivered many eponymous and other invited lectures in the UK and abroad and currently serves on the advisory boards of several national and international governmental organisations.
Discovery and Development Consultant, ProPharma Partners Ltd
At ProPharma Partners Andy provides consultancy services in discovery and early development, from early research through to mid-stage clinical trials. He is a consultant for portfolio review and candidate selection, lead ID and optimisation (chemistry, strategy and screening), through IP innovation and diligence, to early development (pre-clinical, CMC, regulatory and early clinical) and product / pipeline diligence for companies or investors. In a career spanning 28 years he has held senior technical and management positions in major pharmaceutical companies (Glaxo and Pfizer), emerging biotech companies (Chiroscience – Celltech) and, most recently, small virtual pharmaceutical companies (Arakis, Serentis and Altacor). He has in depth experience of the drug discovery and development process leading programmes through lead generation, lead optimisation, candidate selection and early clinical development. Andy has a broad understanding of most therapeutic areas and experience of many therapeutic targets. He is an inventor or co-inventor of more than 60 patent applications and in addition has many years of experience managing development programs and has a broad technical and quality understanding of pre-clinical, CMC, regulatory and early clinical operations. He has been involved in the product development of solid dose forms, parental, topical (dermatology and ophthalmology), inhaled, intra-nasal, sub-lingual and transdermal patches and has been successful in both in-licensing and out-licensing projects and have managed collaborations between biotech and major pharmaceutical companies on a multidisciplinary level.
Professor of Structural Biology, Oxford University
Prof Stefan Knapp studied Chemistry at the University of Marburg (Germany) and at the University of Illinois (USA). He did his PhD in protein crystallography at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (Sweden) (1996) and continued his career at the Karolinska Institute as a postdoctoral scientist (1996-1999). In 1999, he joined the Pharmacia Corporation as a principal research scientist in structural biology and biophysics. He left the company in 2004 to set up a research group at the Structural Genomics Consortium in Oxford (SGC). Since 2008 he is a Professor at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine (NDM) at Oxford University (UK) and since 2012 Director for Chemical Biology at the Target Discovery Institute (TDI). His research interests are the rational design of selective inhibitors that target protein kinases as well as protein interactions modules acting as reader domains of the epigenetic code.
Brand Lead for Hemophilia, Endocrine Care and Treatment, Pfizer
Joe is the former European Medical Director, Ophthalmology, for Pfizer and brings expertise in product placement, management and development of retinal products for AMD. He has worked at Pfizer for over thirteen years and has extensive experience in this company.
Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Bristol
Prof Dick qualified in medicine (MBBS) with a degree in Biochemistry (BSc (Hons)) from the University of London. During his medical education he spent an MRC sponsored year as a research associate in Biochemistry with Professor Coleman in Yale. Following his internship he entered resident training in internal medicine and qualified with MRCP. After which he entered ophthalmology residency and obtained his postgraduate research degree, MD in Immunology in 1993 at the University of Aberdeen. He underwent an MRC Post Doctoral Travelling Fellowship to work with Jon Sedgwick at the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology in Sydney Australia and moved to University of Bristol in 2000 as Chair and Professor of Ophthalmology.
Current to his chair in Bristol and role as Director of Research for Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bristol, he is also on Faculty of NIHR-Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Honorary Professor of Ophthalmology at UCL, London, where he leads the experimental medicine theme of Inflammation and Immunotherapeutics.
His research spans the basic and translational science to early phase trials in inflammation as related to auto inflammatory, autoimmune and degenerative retinal disease. The labs have been instrumental in the understanding of inflammatory cell kinetics during inflammation, immune contribution to tissue damage and in particular macrophage biology and the control of macrophage activation. Professor Dick is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK for his significant contribution to research and scholarship and was awarded the Alcon Research Institute Research annual award in 2011.