Ravi T. Achar
Ravi is the Founder and Chief Executive Oﬃcer of Semler Research Center, a leading Pharmaceutical R&D and Clinical Trials company based in Bangalore, India. He is also the Chief Executive Oﬃcer of Associated Industries, a long standing U.S. defense company, based in Los Angeles, CA.
With a diverse entrepreneurial background in M&A, Strategic Partnerships, Finance and International Business; Ravi has successfully led the establishment and growth of two very distinct and successful organizations. He is a global entrepreneur having conducted business in over 50 countries, establishing key government partnerships for Associated Industries in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. In 2008, he led the funding and launch of Semler Research Center, a leading drug development and clinical trials CRO, which under Ravi’s guidance and leadership employs over 300 of the brightest minds in Pharmaceutical drug development and clinical research. Since founding Semler Research Center, the company has received multiple FDA approvals and has been acknowledge by the scientific community for its leading research in the area of Stem Cell and Oncology.
Ravi is also an investor in a number of private and public companies. He was an early investor and served on the board of Innopharma for 6 years prior to its acquisition by Pfizer in 2014. He is also a advisory board member to Ocugen, a leading ophthalmic biotech company. He also currently sits on the board of Genzum Life Sciences a specialized generic drug development company.
Ravi holds a Bachelors of Mechanical and Electronics Engineering from RV College Bangalore and an MBA from Pace University School of Business New York. In 2014 Ravi was featured in an Executive Interview feature in CSQ Magazine and is a regular panelist at industry conferences.
Charlie Kang, MBA
Mr. Kang is President of Ocugen, Inc. Prior to Ocugen, Mr. Kang was with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) where he led business development for the DePuy Synthes Biologics Business Unit, which was responsible for acquiring new technologies through M&A and partnerships. Prior to J&J, Mr. Kang held senior strategy, business development, and corporate development roles at Synthes, Aspen Biopharma, and Life Technologies. Mr. Kang started his biotech career in R&D at Somatogen Inc. a company focused on developing recombinant hemoglobin-based blood substitutes. Mr. Kang obtained his MBA and his Bachelors in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado.
Uday B. Kompella, PhD
Dr. Kompella is an Ocugen Founder and a member of the board. He is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ophthalmology, and Bioengineering at University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, with research interests in the areas of drug discovery, drug delivery, and nanotechnology for treating a variety of degenerative, neovascular, and inflammatory disorders including retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and cancers. Dr. Kompella is a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the journal Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. Also, he is an editor for the journals, Pharmaceutical Research and the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Kompella is a recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Distinguished Teacher Award (University of Nebraska Medical Center), and Dean’s Mentoring Award (University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus). He is also a recipient of the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research/Pfizer Ophthalmics/Carl Camras Translational Research Award in Ophthalmology. Dr. Kompella obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California.
Shankar Musunuri, PhD, MBA
Dr. Musunuri is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ocugen, Inc. Dr. Musunuri is a seasoned biotech veteran with over 24 years of results-driven experience that includes advancing and commercializing a diverse portfolio of products for numerous companies ranging from “Big Pharma” to novel start-up biotechs. As a serial entrepreneur, Dr. Musunuri has raised upwards of $180 million in capital. Dr. Musunuri was the former President, Chief Executive Officer and board member of ioGenetics, Inc. Prior to ioGenetics, Dr. Musunuri was a Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer, and a board member of Nuron Biotech, Inc. Previously, Dr. Musunuri spent nearly fifteen years at Pfizer where he had held various positions of increasing leadership and responsibility. At Pfizer, his extensive experience in product launches and product life-cycle management included the most successful launch in vaccine history, Prevnar 13®, where he was played a key role as the Global Operations Team Leader. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Musunuri worked for Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Musunuri has won numerous company, society and organizational awards.
Dr. Musunuri obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Connecticut’s School of Pharmacy. He serves on the Advisory Board of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Junge (John) Zhang, PhD
Dr. Junge (John) Zhang is the Founder, President, and CEO of Biopeptek, a company that specializes in the research and development of peptides. Since its founding in 2010, Dr. Zhang has established a company with over 50 experienced scientists and a state-of-the-art facility that is capable of producing high quality custom peptides for research and therapeutic uses. Through his many collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies and research institutions, Dr. Zhang is passionate about research to improve human health.
Prior to founding Biopeptek, Dr. Zhang was with the Janssen Pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson. During his 9-year tenure at J&J, Dr. Zhang held numerous scientific and management positions and led multiple development projects related to three antibody drugs that received FDA approval. Prior to J&J, Dr. Zhang was a Senior Chemist at Eisai USA.
Dr. Zhang earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Drexel University, a M.S. in chemistry from University of Louisiana, and a B.S. in material science from Wuhan University of Technology in China. Dr. Zhang was born and raised in Qingdao China and immigrated to the United States to pursue his graduate education.