Kirsten M. Castillo
Ms. Castillo has over 20 years of supply chain and logistics experience, having held multiple supply chain leadership roles at a spin-off company of 3M, where she led multiple major acquisitions and integrations for the company. During her tenure at Logistics Planning Services, a privately held transportation and logistics services company, where she served as CEO, the company achieved aggressive growth plans which ultimately resulted in the sale of the business to GlobalTranz, a strategic buyer in the 3PL sector. She stayed on through the transition as Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for all company operations including regional branches in North America and Mexico, delivering $1.6B in revenue before stepping down to pursue new opportunities.
Ms Castillo is committed to the advancement of women and has been named the Vice President of Engagement for AWESOME (Advancing Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain, Operations, Management and Education). She serves on the Boards of The Marvin Companies and the United Way (UWWCE), and serves on the Advisory Board of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University. She received her BS from the University of Minnesota, her Global Executive MBA from Duke Fuqua School of Business and has additional education including a Lean Office Certification from the University of Michigan Engineering Program, six sigma training and Carson School of Management executive training on Mergers and Acquisitions.Close
Prabhavathi Fernandes, PhD
Dr. Prabhavathi Fernandes, Ph.D., has more than 35 years of pharmaceutical discovery, development and management experience having held executive leadership positions at pharmaceutical corporations including Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Abbott Laboratories and The Squibb Institute for Medical Research. After leaving Bristol- Myers Squibb, she has founded and led four biotechnology and CRO companies as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of each of these companies, including Cempra, Inc., DarPharma, Ricerca and Small Molecule Therapeutics. Dr. Fernandes is the Chairperson of both the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, a DNDi/WHO initiative. She has also served as an advisor to the World Health Organization. She currently serves on the Boards of OpGen and Aelin Therapeutics. She has authored over 250 publications and several reviews, book chapters and served as an editor for books. Dr. Fernandes obtained her undergraduate and Master’s degree training in India, worked at the University of Ghent, Belgium in Immunochemistry, received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.Close
Uday Kompella, PhD
Co-founder and Director
Dr. Kompella is an Ocugen Co-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.Close
Ramesh Kumar, PhD
Dr. Ramesh Kumar, Ph.D., is a biotechnology executive with over three decades of management experience in private and public companies. He co-founded Onconova Therapeutics, Inc. in 1998 and transitioned to an Advisory role in early 2019. Dr. Kumar served as the Chief Executive Officer of Onconova from 1998 to January 2019 and served as its President from 1998 to June 2018. He has held positions in R&D and management at Princeton University, Bristol-Myers Squibb, DNX (later Nextran, a subsidiary of Baxter) and Kimeragen (later Valigen), where he served as President of the Genomics and Transgenics Division. Dr. Kumar has authored over 50 publications spanning the areas of molecular oncology, transgenic animals, gene therapy and recombination. His is an inventor on more than 10 US Patents and a co-editor of the book "Molecular Basis of Human Cancer" published in 1993. Dr. Kumar received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Illinois, Chicago and trained at the National Cancer Institute.Close
Shankar Musunuri, PhD, MBA
Chairman of the Board, CEO and Co-founder
Dr. Musunuri is a seasoned biotech veteran with more than 25 years of results-driven experience advancing and commercializing a diverse portfolio of products. Prior to co-founding Ocugen in 2013, Dr. Musunuri held leadership roles at numerous companies ranging from "Big Pharma" to novel start-up biotechs. Most recently, he founded Nuron Biotech, Inc., which he grew to a commercial company in less than three years, serving as President and CEO. Dr. Musunuri spent nearly fifteen years at Pfizer, where he gained extensive product launch and life-cycle management experience, playing a key role as Global Operations Team Leader for the most successful launch in vaccine history, Prevnar 13®. Prior to Pfizer, he was a group leader focused on Phase 3 clinical development at Amylin Pharmaceuticals.
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 and serves on the Advisory Board of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University.Close
Manish is Co-Founder and President of Innogenix Pharma, a generic pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing company focused on solid oral dosage formulations, based in Long Island, New York.
He was previously Director of Business Development at Epic Pharma, a generic pharmaceutical company and CMO. While at Epic Pharma, he lead the M&A sale process in which the company was sold to Humanwell Healthcare of China in 2016.
Manish is actively involved in venture capital investing, in his capacity as CIO for a multi-family office. Areas of investment focus include: Generic pharmaceutical injectables, ophthalmic, topical, liquid, nasal, and solid oral dosage forms; Biotech from startup to public equity; and medical devices.
Prior to his experience in pharmaceuticals, Manish spent several years in finance as an analyst and trader, working in investment banking and hedge funds. He has experience investing across a variety of asset classes and strategies.
Manish holds a Bachelors of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology from The Johns Hopkins University and a Masters Degree in Financial Engineering from New York University.Close
Suha Taspolatoglu, MD
Dr. Taspolatoglu is the chief executive officer of the 105 year old Abdi Ibrahim Ilac Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., a market leader of the pharmaceutical sector in Turkey for nearly two decades. Dr. Taspolatoglu joined Abdi Ibrahim as the head of sales and marketing division in 2001 and became managing director of sales and marketing division six short years later. Prior to Abdi Ibrahim, he worked as the General Manager of Roche Turkey. Dr. Taspolatoglu is a graduate of Ankara University Faculty of Medicine and served three years as a physician in the Ministry of Health.Close
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.Close