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 that includes advancing and commercializing a diverse portfolio of products for numerous companies ranging from "Big Pharma" to novel start-up biotechs. Dr. Musunuri founded Nuron Biotech, Inc., serving as President and CEO. Dr. Musunuri spent nearly fifteen years at Pfizer, where he gained extensive experience in product launches and product life-cycle management, including 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, 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.
Daniel Jorgensen, MD, MPH, MBA
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Jorgensen is an accomplished physician executive with more than 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, in small and large companies, including 10 years at Pfizer. His comprehensive research, development, and commercialization experience covers small molecules, biologics/vaccines, and devices, across multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Jorgensen successfully ushered products from early clinical development through full regulatory approval, both in the U.S. and abroad, playing a key role in New Drug Applications (NDAs), Biologics License Applications (BLAs) and FDA Advisory Committee Meetings. Prior to joining the Industry, Dr. Jorgensen was an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He received his undergraduate degree from Yale, his MD from the University of Wisconsin, his MPH from the University of Washington, and his MBA from Yale. He is board-certified in pediatrics, infectious diseases, and preventive medicine.
Rasappa Arumugham, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Arumugham has a proven track record in drug development, scale-up, and technology transfer, with over 30 years of diverse experience in leading biopharmaceutical research and development in the areas of discovery and pre-clinical research, formulation, analytical development, quality control, and manufacturing. He has supported commercialization of vaccines and biologics including Prevnar®, Prevnar13®, TetramuneTM, Meningitec® and Trumenba®. Dr. Arumugham was the Vice President of Biopharmaceutical Development at Soligenix, Inc where he led development and manufacturing of biologics, peptides and small molecules in support of injectable and topical formulations. He also served as Principal Investigator for the development of a heat-stable ricin vaccine program funded by the US government (NIAID). Dr. Arumugham aslo served as the Head of Microbial Analytics at Merck’s Manufacturing Division. Prior to joining Merck, he spent 25 years in biologics/vaccines research and development, holding positions of increasing responsibilities at Pfizer and Wyeth. Dr. Arumugham earned his PhD and MSc in Biochemistry and BSC in Chemistry from the University of Madras, India.
Vijay Tammara, PhD
Vice President, Regulatory & Quality
Dr. Tammara has over 20 years of leadership experience in global regulatory affairs, strategic drug development, and clinical strategy, contributing significantly to the approval of several products. His regulatory expertise spans both oral and injectable dosage forms of small molecules, peptides, proteins, monoclonal antibodies and vaccines. Dr. Tammara served previously as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Nuron Biotech Inc., Director of Regulatory Affairs at Merck & Co., Inc., Senior Associate Director at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and Assistant Director at Sanofi-Synthelabo in Worldwide Regulatory Affairs. Prior to industrial positions, Dr. Tammara held positions of increasing responsibility in the Office of Clinical Pharmacology and Biopharmaceutics at the U.S. FDA, where he received several awards, including the CDER Outstanding Reviewer Award, FDA Outstanding Achievement Award, and Awards of Excellence. Dr. Tammara received his Bachelor of Pharmacy from Kakatiya University, Masters in Pharmacy from Nagpur University, and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Louisiana, Monroe.
Kelly Beck, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, PMP
Vice President, Investor Relations and Operations
Ms. Beck brings significant experience working with start-up organizations and rapid growth companies, with the last 12 years focused in the life sciences industry. She is responsible for investor relations, communications, marketing, human resources, information technology and facilities at Ocugen. Ms. Beck served in senior human resources leadership roles with PRA Health Sciences, DrugDev (formerly CFS Clinical), Tengion and General Fiber Communications. She obtained her MBA from Penn State, MS in Human Resource Development from Villanova and her BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Millersville University. She holds SPHR, SHRM-SCP and PMP certifications.
Susan Drexler, CPA
Vice President, Business Development & Interim Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Drexler is an experienced finance professional with more than 20 years of experience in M&A and license deals, FP&A, and business analytics. Ms. Drexler held senior business development roles at AmerisourceBergen and Shire Pharmaceuticals and some of her M&A and licensing deals include PharMEDium at AmerisourceBergen and Firazyr® and Xiidra® at Shire. At Duff & Phelps, Ms. Drexler held roles with increasing responsibility in valuation consulting, where she managed several large big pharma consulting engagements. Her career began in audit. Ms. Drexler obtained her MBA in Finance from the Joseph M. Katz School at the University of Pittsburgh and her BS in Accounting from Albright College. She is a Certified Public Accountant.