Business Advisory Board

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Christopher Schaber

CEO, Soligenix, Inc

Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D., has been the President and Chief Executive Officer at Soligenix, Inc. (Formerly DOR BioPharma Inc.) since August 30, 2006. Dr. Schaber has more than 29 years of  experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Prior to joining the company, Dr. Schaber served from 1998 to 2006 as an Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Laboratories, Inc., where he was responsible for overall pipeline development and key areas of commercial operations, including regulatory affairs, quality control and assurance, manufacturing and distribution, preclinical and clinical research and medical affairs, as well as coordination of commercial launch preparation activities.

Previously, he held positions of Executive Vice President of Drug Development and Regulatory Compliance since April 1999 and Chief Development Officer and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance Quality Control since June 1998. From 1996 to 1998, he was a co-founder of Acute Therapeutics, Inc., and served as its Vice President of Regulatory Compliance, Quality Assurance and Drug Development. He served as a Director of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs and Operations for Ohmeda PPD, Inc. from 1994 to 1996.

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Salvatore DeSena

Physician Executive

Salvatore DeSena MD MBA is an experienced physician executive with comprehensive knowledge of medical affairs operations throughout the medical imaging industry. He has held senior Medical Affairs leadership roles for global life sciences companies and was part of a team that successfully submitted a new diagnostic imaging contrast agent for approval by the FDA. In addition, he is involved with angel and venture capital investing groups, consults for multiple expert networks, and serves as an advisor to several health care startups. As an Attending Radiologist, Dr. DeSena’s entrepreneurial interest led him to plan, develop and operate a multi-modality outpatient imaging facility. He later founded a niche teleradiology service which has provided on-site and remote radiology image interpretation and consultation services for over 15 years.

Dr. DeSena holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic University, an MS in Engineering Economic-Systems from Stanford University, an MD with distinction in research from SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, and a Global Executive MBA with certification in Health Sector Management from Duke University Fuqua School of Business. His medical training includes a fellowship in Body MRI at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a Diagnostic Radiology Residency at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. His combination of business, engineering and medical experience allow him to provide a wide range of value to life science companies.

Scientific Advisory Board

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Abraham Wu, MD

Residency Program Director
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Wu is a board certified, Harvard educated radiation oncologist who specializes in caring for people with lung cancer, esophageal cancer, rectal cancer, pancreatic cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. He has particular expertise in advanced radiation therapy techniques, such as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and brachytherapy with ten years of experience. Dr. Wu is also the director of MSK’s radiation oncology residency training program with a passion for educating other clinicians and patients.

He and his colleagues have made many advances in the field of radiation therapy. For lung cancer, liver cancer, and pancreatic cancer, he is expanding the use of SBRT to more patients. This area is promising because SBRT is often more effective and less toxic than standard radiation therapy. Dr. Wu also uses brachytherapy in certain instances. Brachytherapy is a highly specialized type of radiation therapy that can sometimes be used in situations in which standard radiation therapy cannot, such as when a tumor returns despite previous radiation treatment. He is currently leading clinical trials at MSK for brachytherapy in gastrointestinal cancers, particularly rectal cancers and is also involved in several nationwide trials of radiation therapy for lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancers.

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Keith Cengel, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology,
Hospital of The University Of Pennsylvania

Dr. Cengel is a leader in multiple clinical trials in cancer giving rise to a breakthrough in lifetime expectancy using Photodynamic therapy.  With 18+ years of experience in medicine, he has also conducted clinical trials in radiation therapy, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and pancreatic cancer.   His work uses insights gained from pre-clinical studies to design early phase interventional trials for patients with cancers that are difficult to treat using current standard modalities.  In addition to his clinical duties, he is engaged in research on modulating the therapeutic index of radiation therapy and photodynamic therapy.  He is engaged in defining the molecular mechanism of mutant K-Ras mediated radio resistance in human pancreatic and colorectal carcinoma cells.

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Theresa Busch, PhD

Professor and Associate Director of Radiation Biology Division of Oncology Research,
Hospital of The University Of Pennsylvania

Dr. Busch has performed translational research in the study of tumor microenvironment as it relates to Photodynamic therapy for more than 20 years.  She has characterized the physiologic (oxygenation and blood flow), pharmacologic (Photosensitizer levels), and dosimetric (light distribution) properties of tumors undergoing PDT that predict for effective therapy versus early recurrence.  This includes work in many murine models of cancer.  Moreover, her research extends to studies of tumor physiology and PDT dosimetry as a part of multiple clinical trials of PDT at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research centers on the study of biophysical limitations of treatment response to PDT. This includes the study of heterogeneities in the distributions of oxygen, photosensitizing drug, and light.   Furthermore, noninvasive monitoring has shown PDT effect on tumor oxygenation and blood flow during the illumination period to be predictive of an animal’s long-term response to therapy. Such findings are extremely relevant to clinical PDT applications, where significant heterogeneity in hypoxia and photosensitizer distributions among the tumors of PDT patients will contribute to variable therapeutic outcomes. Indeed, she has documented a relationship between biochemical (PSA) response to PDT in prostate cancer patients and levels of photosensitizer drug and light energy in their prostates.

Regulatory

Susan Alpert, MD, PhD

SLA Consultants

Dr. Albert previously served as senior vice president, chief regulatory officer at Medtronic and was responsible for all of the company’s global regulatory efforts. Prior to joining Medtronic, Dr. Alpert served as vice president of regulatory sciences for C.R. Bard, Inc. She also previously worked at FDA where she held a variety of positions in the Centers dealing with drugs, devices and radiological health, and foods, including six years as the director of the Office of Device Evaluation. She is a former director of the FDA's Office of Device Evaluation. She serves on the board of advisors for the Medical Technology Leadership Forum (MTLF) and is also a past Chair of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and a Fellow in that society. Dr. Alpert also serves on the Executive Committee of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI).