The Forum focuses on inspiring participants about innovations that can lead dermatology in its next generation of important products and services. By including physicians, researchers, inventors, investors, strategic corporate partners, service providers, government regulators, patient advocates, and other stakeholders, the Forum is a unique networking venue where leaders can communicate with, learn from, and collaborate with each other on the future of dermatology innovation.
Dr. Bunick, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Yale University, is a dermatologist and physician-scientist with over 25 years experience in biochemistry and structural biology research. In addition to providing dermatologic care to patients, Dr. Bunick leads a research laboratory using x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy to investigate the structure and function of proteins important to healthy skin and skin disease states, including dermatologic drugs and their target interactions. As an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Bunick studied filamentous plant viruses, sparking his interest in long, filamentous systems, and leading to his current research on intermediate filaments, particularly keratin function in the human skin barrier. After completing dermatology residency at Yale, Dr. Bunick performed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Yale University with Nobel Laureate Thomas Steitz. He received the 2017 Young Investigator Award from the American Academy of Dermatology for his structural biology work on profilaggrin and keratins 1 and 10. Most recently, his research has shed light on mechanisms of action of oral drugs for acne vulgaris and biologic medications for psoriasis, bringing his work from bench to bedside.
Mr. Carbol has over twenty years of industry experience in the development of topical products. He currently holds the title of CMC Director at Dow Development Laboratories (DDL), a CDMO company specializing in the development, manufacture and testing of topicals. Mr. Carbol’s responsibilities include strategic formulation design of Rx topical products using QbD principles and Design of Experiments tools, in addition to process development, scale up and tech transfer. In his work with large and small companies, Mr. Carbol has worked with dozens of active pharmaceutical ingredients in a wide variety of topical dosage forms, such as creams, gels, ointments, and sprays. He has supported multiple IND, NDA and ANDA filings. Overall, he has successfully developed and scaled up over 35 topical drug products, many to commercial scale, including generic products for ANDA submission and approval as well as new products containing new chemical entities for IND and NDA submission and approval.
Dr. Irina Erenburg is the President & CEO of AVAVA, Inc – a company dedicated to developing breakthrough aesthetic products for treatment of all skin tones and types. AVAVA was created from Blossom Innovations, LLC – a discovery and development company that Dr. Erenburg continues to lead since co-founding it in 2011. Dr. Erenburg is a serial entrepreneur, with extensive experience in innovation business leadership. She is the co-founder and board member of R2 Technology and Soltego, Inc and has recently joined the Board of Directors of Sientra, a publicly traded company in the field of breast augmentation and reconstruction. Prior to her role at Blossom and AVAVA, she was the Director of Strategic Transactions at the Partners HealthCare Office of Innovations, Boston's largest hospital network and a teaching affiliate of Harvard University. There, she was responsible for execution and management of high-value deals and launch of several successful start-ups, including Zeltiq Aesthetics. Dr. Erenburg holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NY.
Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum is a tenured Professor and Director of the Integrated Microbiome Core and Center for Medical Mycology, and Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Dr. Ghannoum is an entrepreneur-scientist who has launched a number of companies focused on the treatment of biofilm infections, as well as microbial dysbiosis. He pioneered studies on the fungal communities residing in and on our body and coined the term ‘Mycobiome”. He established a multidisciplinary Center of Excellence that combines basic and translational research that spans test tube to the bedside capabilities. Dr. Ghannoum received an MSc in Medicinal Chemistry and his PhD in Microbial Physiology from the University of Technology in Loughborough, England, and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. He is a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), past President of the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas (MMSA), Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (FAAM), and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (FESCMID). He received the Rhoda Benham Award from the MMSA, and the Freedom to Discover Award from Bristol-Myers Squibb for his outstanding and meritorious contributions to the fields of medical mycology and microbial biofilms. Dr. Ghannoum has published > 450 peer reviewed publication and 6 scientific books and was on the top 1% of cited Scientists Worldwide.
Michael Girardi graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a dual degree in Biology and Computer Science and with MD Honors from the Yale School of Medicine, and is now the Robert S. Evans Professor, Vice Chair, and Residency Program Director for the Department of Dermatology; Co-Director of the Yale Cutaneous Lymphoma Group and former Co-Director for the Immunology and Immunotherapy Program for the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Medical Director of the Extracorporeal Photopheresis and Phototherapy Centers for Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dr. Girardi has led a highly collaborative NIH-funded research program for 20+ years investigating cutaneous immunology, cutaneous carcinogenesis, and cutaneous lymphoma, with over 150 publications and over 10,000 citations. His laboratory was the first to identify the anti-tumor capacity of gamma-delta T cells (and was recognized for this in 2018 by the Journal of Immunology as a “Pillar of Immunology”), to reveal the pro-mutagenic and tumor promoting effects of skin Langerhans cells (published in Science and PNAS), to reveal the coordinated and differential effects of alpha-beta and gamma-delta T cells on skin inflammation and cancer development (published in a series in J Exp Med), and discover novel drug combinations in the treatment of cutaneous lymphoma (published in Blood). Dr. Girardi also serves as a Director for the NIAMS T32 “Yale Investigative Dermatology Training” grant, one of the longest standing dermatology T32s in the country, and he has mentor over 25 pre-doctoral fellows (including 2 Howard Hughes Fellowship recipients, and 4 Yale School of Medicine Thesis Award Recipients) and 12 postdoctoral research fellows, almost all of whom are now full-time academicians in our specialty. Dr. Girardi was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and awarded the Blavatnik Innovation Award at Yale, the Zeligman Lectureship Award at Johns Hopkins, and the Duhring lectureship award at the University of Pennyslvania. Dr. Girardi is the holder of 10 biomedical patents, and co-founder of two Yale start-up companies.
Dr. Grada is a US-trained dermatologist, and a physician-scientist with over 17-year combined clinical practice, academic research, and regulated industry experience. He currently serves as Medical Director for atopic dermatitis and dermatology pipeline at AbbVie. Prior to joining AbbVie, Dr. Grada served as the Head of R&D and Medical Affairs at Almirall (US), focusing on acne and actinic keratosis. Dr. Grada finished his dermatology training and a postdoctoral fellowship in cutaneous wound healing at Boston University School of Medicine. He has published more than 85 articles in peer-reviewed journals on dermatology and epidemiology topics. Dr. Grada is an active physician member of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID), International Society of Dermatology (ISD), and the Wound Healing Society (WHS).
Nitin co-founded CAGE Bio in 2018 and currently serves as a board member and CEO of the company. A chemical engineer by training, he has spent over 20 years in pharmaceutical product development including formulation/process development, scale-up and regulatory approval of various drug delivery products covering pulmonary, oral, parenteral, and transdermal routes. Prior to founding CAGE Bio Nitin led development of a transdermal drug-device combination product at The Medicines Company. He has previously been a co-founded at a biotech startup and also spent time in leadership positions at mid and large pharmaceutical companies. He received a B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UDCT, Mumbai and Clemson University respectively.
Mr. Dvir Keren is a serial entrepreneur of a variety of medical devices companies which are based on his own inventions. Including Hairstetics, the 2021 IMCAS Innovation Tank winner, which develops a breakthrough product enabling physicians to complete a safe hair implantation procedure with an immediate outcome. Endomatic is a company which develops a non-thrombogenic trans catheter technology to exclude the atrial left appendage in order to prevent stroke. NitiNotes is a company which develops an endoluminal sleeve gastrectomy technology enabling gastroenterologists to perform a safe and rapid weight loss endoscopic procedure which mimics the bariatric surgeon's outcomes, and NitiLoop which develops a novel endovascular catheter for treating cardiac and peripheral chronic total occlusions. Bio-refine develops an endovascular product to treat mitral regurgitation.
Mr. Keren served at his companies in a variety of key positions (BOD, CEO, CTO) and is listed as an inventor in 50+ patents. Mr. Keren holds 3 academic degrees: BSc. Mechanical Engineering (Technion, Israel), BSc. Industrial engineering and management (Technion, Israel), and MBA (Tel Aviv University, Israel).
Suma Krishnan is the founder and Chief Operating Officer at Krystal Biotech (NASDQ: KRYS) since 2016. She has over 25 years of drug development experience and has delivered on multiple gene therapy programs from discovery to the clinic as SVP and Head of Therapeutics at Intrexon Corporation (NYSE:XON). Previously, she led the discovery, development, and approval of Vyvanse (blockbuster drug to treat ADHD) as SVP, Product Development at New River Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, Suma advanced approval of Adderall XR and Fosrenol at Shire. She began her career as a discovery scientist for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Suma has over 20 publications and several issued patents. She received her Master of Science in Organic Chemistry from Villanova University, an M.B.A. from Institute of Management and Research, and an undergraduate degree in Organic Chemistry from Ferguson University.
Dr. Larraufie is currently Program Leader in the Disease Biology Department of Almirall (headquarters in Barcelona, Spain). In addition to leading Drug Discovery programs from Hit finding activities up to Clinical Candidates, Marie is establishing a chemical biology team at Almirall to support the exploration of novel targets and modalities for dermatological indications. With a prime focus on targeted protein degradation, Marie is leading several collaborative efforts between Almirall and academic teams to explore the potential of bifunctional degraders and glue degraders for immune-inflammatory skin diseases. Prior to Almirall, Marie worked as a team leader in the Chemical Genetics group of Novartis Institute for Biomedical research (Cambridge, USA). Her team was focused on phenotypic screening, target identification and exploration of novel modalities such as molecular glues, prodrugs, and RNA binders for a variety of indications. Marie completed her graduate research in Bioorganic Chemistry at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, followed by postdoctoral research in Chemical Biology at Columbia University (NY, USA) in the group of Prof. Brent Stockwell.
Dr. Lee is a physician scientist with over 22 years in drug development. He joined Incyte in 2018 to lead the Inflammation and AutoImmunity (IAI) development group. His work at Incyte has allowed him to continue to apply his passion for science to develop innovative therapies for dermatological diseases. Prior to joining Incyte, Jim worked in clinical development and medical affairs at a number of dermatology focused biotech and pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Graceway Pharmaceuticals and Dermavant Sciences. He has been involved in the development of many treatments for skin diseases, including imiquimod and ustekinumab; and now ruxolitinib cream. He is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and Society of Investigative Dermatology (SID).
Dr. Luke is a Supervisory Physician and Director of the Division of Therapeutic Performance (DTP1) in the Office of Research and Standards, Office of Generic Drugs at FDA. DTP1 is responsible for facilitating pre-application development of generic drugs by conducting and promoting regulatory science research to establish standards to ensure therapeutic equivalence of new generic drug products. Markham has an MD and a PhD in Pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University and is a dermatologist by training. Markham has research interests in dermatopharmacology, clinical pharmacology, clinical study design and endpoints assessment (including patient-reported outcomes) for medical, surgical, and aesthetic products and serves as consultant dermatologist to various parts of FDA. Markham has been at FDA since 1998 serving various roles, including as the Lead Medical Officer for dermatology drugs, Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Director for the Office of Device Evaluation in the Center for Devices and Radiologic Health, and as Acting Director for Cosmetics in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. In each of these roles including his current one, Markham has been involved in programs and initiatives dealing with product innovation as related to Public Health for our nation.
Ben McGraw’s background is in drug development and finance. He was responsible for the development side of R&D for what is now Sanofi US, he ran corporate development for Allergan and he’s been an analyst and a portfolio manager at 2 hedge funds. He's run private and public biotech companies from seed to public commercial stages and has completed company sales, mergers, acquisitions and multiple licensing transactions. His current focus is selection, development and commercial positioning of early-stage drugs and biologics. He&s directly raised over $330 million in financings for early-stage companies and is currently involved in five companies where he is Chairman or Executive Chairman in 4 and a founding Director in the 5th. He completed a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy, a Doctor of Pharmacy, a clinical practice residency and multiple executive programs in business schools.
Dr. Vijendra Nalamothu is the Chairman & CEO of Tergus Pharma, a North Carolina-based CDMO which specializes in complete topical drug product development services, skin permeation, in vitro testing, and GMP manufacturing (up to 1500 kg per batch). Dr. Nalamothu earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of the Science's Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. His efforts over the past 26 years in various dermatological companies have led to many commercial products in the market today. He has successfully taken Tergus Pharma from a small R&D facility to a 100,000 SFT commercial manufacturing facility with industry-leading capacities. His knowledge of the unmet needs in the Dermatology CDMO industry led to equipping Tergus Pharma with unique R&D capabilities such as Skin Biology and In Vitro Permeation (IVRT & IVPT) as well as Hormone and High Potent compound manufacturing at a commercial scale. Dr. Nalamothu draws from his exceptional background that combines scientific study with pragmatic, hands-on experience to solve R&D challenges and his ability to translate a concept into a commercial product. He has co/authored numerous publications and has patents for a few of his inventions. He serves as a member of various pharmaceutical associations as well as sits on the boards of various pharmaceutical companies. In his spare time, Dr. Nalamothu enjoys his quiet time with family boating on Raleigh’s Falls Lake.
Frederick C. Beddingfield III is a physician-scientist and biotech entrepreneur. He is currently the CEO and a director of Kira Pharmaceuticals, a development stage complement therapeutics biotech company focused on immunology, inflammation, and immuno-oncology. He was founder, president, chief executive and member of the board of directors of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. and took the company public in 2017. Prior to Sienna, Frederick served as Chief Medical Officer of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals from March 2013 until it was acquired by Allergan in 2015. Frederick worked at Allergan for 10 years (2003-2013) where he served in various roles including the Therapeutic Area Head of Dermatology and Chief Medical Officer Allergan Medical. He has led the development and approvals of global leading brands in medical dermatology, aesthetics, neurology, metabolic, and other therapeutic areas. These brands include Botox (cosmetic, hyperhidrosis, spasticity, and other), Juvederm, Voluma, Kybella, Latisse, Aczone, and Tazorac. Frederick has led four successful FDA advisor committees.
Since completing his training, Frederick has maintained a clinical and teaching practice on the faculty at UCLA. He is a board-certified dermatologist and emergency medicine physician and fellowship trained in dermatologic surgery and cutaneous oncology. Frederick completed his medical degree with honors at UNC Chapel Hill, his residency and fellowship training at UCLA, and his PhD in Policy Analysis Research at RAND. He serves on the board of directors of Cytrellis Biosystems, Inc. and on the medical advisory board of the Children's Skin Disease Foundation and Camp Wonder. He is on the board and co-founder of the Dermatology Summit and Dermatology Innovation Forum conferences.
William Ju, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist and has over 20 years of biopharmaceutical experience in a wide variety of therapeutic areas, including dermatology. He is president and a co-founding trustee of Advancing Innovation in Dermatology, Inc. Dr. Ju has been president and chief executive officer of Follica, Inc. and chief operating officer at PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (PTCT). In addition, he has held executive positions at Pharmacia Corporation/Pfizer, Inc. Merck & Co., Inc., and Hoffmann La Roche, Inc. in a broad range of product development and leadership functions. Dr. Ju served as project leader for SUTENT®, introduced CANCIDAS® into humans, and was part of the product development teams for CRIXIVAN® and TRANSLARNA™.
Dr. Ju began his pharmaceutical career at Hoffmann-La Roche where he was a clinical leader for the development of dermatology compounds. Before entering industry, Dr. Ju was a senior staff fellow in basic research in the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology under Douglas Lowy, M.D. and was affiliated with the Dermatology Branch at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. He obtained his M.D. with Alpha Omega Alpha honors at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his A.B. with Phi Beta Kappa honors at Princeton University.
Seth Orlow, MD, PhD has over 25 years of experience in medicine, science, and finance. As a faculty member at New York University, Dr. Orlow rose to become Chair of its leading dermatology department. He serves as a Senior Advisor with Pharus Advisors, focused on strategic transactional/investment banking advisory services in the dermatology and personal care sectors. In 1995 he co-founded Anaderm, a dermatologic discovery company backed by Pfizer and OSI Pharmaceuticals. He participated in the sale of Anaderm to Pfizer in 2002. From 2001-2010, he rose from Advisor to Partner with Easton Capital Partners, a venture capital firm focused on healthcare and consumer products. At Easton, he was involved in the sourcing, diligence, funding, oversight and exit of investments in many healthcare companies such as Acorda, Conor Medsystems, Protez, Salmedix and Transave. Dr. Orlow has licensed technologies to companies ranging from Pfizer to SkinMedica. An author of over 200 medical/scientific publications, he is an internationally sought-after speaker and thought leader. A graduate of Harvard in Biochemical Sciences and with an MD-PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Orlow trained in Pediatrics and Dermatology at Mt. Sinai and Yale.
Dr. Slaoui has served as Chief Corporate Development Officer at Galderma since September 2020. Previously she spent 20 years with GSK, first in the research labs, where her work in pulmonary disease resulted in the discovery of the long acting muscarinic receptor antagonist in the approved medicines Anoro™ Ellipta™, Incruse™ Ellipta™, and Trelegy™ Ellipta™. She holds multiple patents, has authored more than 40 original peer-reviewed publications, and she has had ongoing roles as a peer reviewer for a dozen established medical journals. Since joining GSK’s Business Development teams in 2006, she has held various roles of increasing seniority and has executed more than $30 billion worth of deals and acquisitions, including the $3.6 billion acquisition of Stiefel Laboratories in 2009, participating in the $20+ billion three-part transaction with Novartis in 2015, and the $5.1 bn acquisition of Tesaro in 2018, with transactions covering the pharma R&D, commercial, emerging markets, specialty pharma and consumer spaces.
Dr. Slaoui earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Biology and Classical Studies from Gettysburg College. She earned her Ph.D. in Physiology from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and completed an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmacology at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. After her term in Seattle, she accepted a position in Respiratory Drug Discovery at GSK, but continued her commitment to academic research by spending over a decade as an adjunct assistant professor at her alma mater, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD.
Qing Yu Christina Weng is a physician-scientist, entrepreneur, and biotech executive. She is currently the Medical Director of Kira Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based global biotech company developing innovative complement therapeutics. Christina co-founded Mymiel, a high-performance clean skincare line, where she serves as Chief Strategy Officer. As an Instructor in Dermatology at Harvard Medical School and attending dermatologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), she specializes in melanoma and pigmentary disorders.
Christina attended the California Institute of Technology, where she received her bachelor's degrees in Biology and English with honors. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Medical School, where she received her medical degree and was a medical fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She completed dermatology residency at the Harvard Combined Dermatology Residency Training Program with advanced clinical training at the MGH Laser & Cosmetics Center. Her postdoctoral research was at the Cutaneous Biology Research Center of MGH.
Christina's bench research has focused on melanocyte biology and mechanisms leading to pigment dysregulation, with an emphasis on clinically translatable opportunities in pigmentary disorders and melanoma. Her work additionally explores strategies for cutaneous drug delivery. Christina’s clinical research has led to new guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology for drug monitoring. She has received research support and awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, American Skin Association, American Dermatological Association, and National Institutes of Health.
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