Founders & Advisory Board
Michael Simons, M.D., Yale, Co-founder and SAB Chair
Dr. Simons is a graduate of MIT and Yale University School of Medicine. He trained in molecular cardiology at NHLBI and cardiovascular medicine at the Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. He served on faculties of Harvard and Dartmouth and is currently a Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology at Yale University and Honorary Professor of Medicine at UCL. He holds numerous patents and helped launch two companies. He led the first trials of therapeutic angiogenesis in the USA and his basic research discoveries have played an important role in moving the field forward. He has published over 370 research papers and reviews and has been elected to a number of honorary societies
Robert Langer, Sc.D. MIT, Co-founder and SAB member
MIT Institute professor (the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member), expert in biotechnology and engineering. He has over 1,350issued and pending patents worldwide. He served as Chairman of the FDA’s SCIENCE BOARD (it’s highest advisory board) from 1999-2002 . In 2015, Dr. Langer received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the world’s largest engineering prize. He has also received the Charles Stark Draper Prize (sometimes referred to as the engineering Nobel Prize). Robert served as a Member of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board, the FDA’s highest Advisory Board, from 1995 to 2002 and as its Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1999 to 2002. Robert has received over 220 major awards, including the 2006 United States National Medal of Science; the Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers; and the 2008 Millennium Prize, the world’s most prestigious technology prize.He is the most cited engineer in history.
Dan Anderson, Ph.D., Founder and Scientific Advisory Board member
Dr. Daniel Anderson is the Sam Goldblith Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is appointed in chemical engineering, the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology. He is also an intramural member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Daniel’s lab focuses on developing new materials for medicine, and he has pioneered the use of robotic methods for the development of smart biomaterials for drug delivery and tissue engineering. The advanced drug delivery systems developed in his laboratory have provided new methods for nanoparticulate and microparticulate drug delivery, non-viral gene therapy, siRNA delivery and vaccines. He has published more than 230 papers, patents and patent applications, which have led to a number of licenses to pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies. Daniel received a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of California at Davis and a B.A. in Mathematics and Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Frank Slack, Ph.D., Harvard, SAB member
Frank Slack, Ph.D., is Director of the Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine hosted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (VIDMC). He is also the Shields Warren Mallinckrodt Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. Frank Slack received his B.Sc. from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, before completing his Ph.D. in molecular biology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He started his work on microRNAs as a postdoctoral fellow in Gary Ruvkun’s laboratory at HMS. Dr. Slack subsequently moved to the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University, where he was program leader in the Yale Cancer Center and the director of the Yale Center for RNA Science and Medicine. There he discovered that microRNAs regulate key human oncogenes and ahve the potential to act as therapeutics. He also demonstrated the first role for a microRNA in the aging process. In 2014, he joined BIDMC as the director of the Institute for RNA Medicine. In 2016 he became the Director of the HMS Initiative in RNA Medicine. He is co-founder of two companies in this area, MiraDx and 28/7 Rx, and is or has been on the SAB of multiple additional companies, including Mirna Rx, miRagen Rx, Alexion Pharamceuticals, and Beryllium. Dr. Slack was an Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar and received the 2014 Health Memorial Award from MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Pei-Yu Chen, Ph.D., Founder
Pei-Yu Chen is a Research Scientist at Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, under the guidance of Prof. Michael Simons. Chen’s research centers on the mechanisms of vascular dysfunction, with emphasis on clinical relevance and translational research. Her current research focuses on understating how transforming growth factor beta (TGFb) signaling controlling vascular cell fate. She made significant contribution to understanding the paradoxical role of TGFb signaling and inflammation in vascular disease. She provided the first evidence that endothelial cell to mesenchymal transition (EndMT) contributes to human diseases including transplant rejection and atherosclerosis. This laid the foundation for a series of studies that examined EndMT’s role in cardiovascular biology and publications in Cell Reports, Science Signaling, JCI, and EMBO Mol Med among others. Chen received her B.S. from Kaohsiung Medical University. She received her Ph.D in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology from University of Maine.