Management & Advisors

Management Team

Brian H. Johnston, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Johnston has over 30 years of experience in scientific innovation and product development. He holds a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and did post-doctoral research at UCSF and MIT. Dr. Johnston was previously Director of the Nucleic Acids Program at SRI International and Consulting Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine.  He has coauthored 56 scientific papers and 24 patents.

Sergei A. Kazakov, Ph.D., Vice President for Discovery Research

Dr. Kazakov has over 25 years of research experience and is a recognized authority in nucleic acid chemistry. He received his Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from Moscow State University and did post-doctoral research at Yale University. Dr. Kazakov has also been a research scientist at the University of Virginia. He is the author of 52 scientific papers and 20 patents.

Anne Scholz, MBA, Head, Business Development

Ms Scholz has 20 years experience in the areas of marketing and business development for biotechnology companies. She was Director Marketing, VP Business Development at Clontech Laboratories and subsequently VP/General Manager of BD Clontech (Becton Dickinson acquisition now Takara Clontech). Ms. Scholz also has experience in evaluating biotech investments and providing management support to portfolio companies. In this role she served as VP Business Development and Marketing for CelTor Biosystems as a Venture Consultant for Windamere Venture Partners.  She has extensive experience in business and product development, marketing and technology commercialization.  Ms. Scholz received her MBA from Santa Clara University‚Äôs Leavey School of Business, located in Silicon Valley.

Scientific Advisors (partial list)

John J. Rossi, Ph.D.

Professor and Dean of the Graduate School, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope National Medical Center. Dr. Rossi is a pioneer in the therapeutic use of ribozymes and siRNAs against HIV and a prominent researcher in the biology of RNAi.  He has been awarded the prestigious MERIT Award for the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Harvey J. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor and former Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine and Chief of Staff, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. A clinician and researcher in hematology and oncology, Dr. Cohen has studied the cellular biology and biochemistry of granulocyte function especially as they relate to the oxidative killing ability of phagocytic cells.

Gerald G. Krueger, M.D.

Professor of Dermatology, University of Utah School of Medicine.  A recognized authority on psoriasis, Dr. Krueger has led many key clinical trials of psoriatic drugs. He was the recipient of the Taub International Award for Psoriasis Research and a National Psoriasis Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.