Scientific Advisory Board

Benoit Bruneau is Associate Director and Senior Investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, and Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. He holds the William H. Younger, Jr., endowed chair in cardiovascular disease and is the recipient of the Lawrence J. and Florence A. DeGeorge Charitable Trust/American Heart Association Established Investigator Award. Before joining Gladstone, Dr. Bruneau was a Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bruneau’s research focuses on how transcription factors and chromatin remodeling complexes regulate cardiac organogenesis and differentiation to understand the basis of congenital and inherited heart disease. His research is also aimed at develop strategies for the generation of new cardiomyocytes for regenerative medicine and disease modeling. Dr. Bruneau earned his doctorate in Physiology at the University of Ottawa and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Jonathan and Christine Seidman.

James Marks is Chief of Anesthesia at San Francisco General Hospital; Professor of Anesthesia at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); and Vice Chairman of the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at UCSF. A world-recognized pioneer in the fields of antibody and protein engineering, Dr. Marks is a practicing anesthesiologist and intensivist with clinical interests in trauma anesthesia and critical care and research interests in the area of antibody and protein engineering. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Anesthesia, and Critical Care Medicine. Prior to becoming Chief of Anesthesia, Dr. Marks was the Medical Director of the Trauma ICU at SFGH. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Marks received his MD from UCSF and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Cambridge, England. He completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Anesthesia as well as a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine, all at UCSF.

Ulrik Nielsen is President and co-founder of Torque, an immuno-oncology company. He was previously a founder of Merrimack, where he served as Chief Scientific Officer until 2015 and remains on the board of directors. At Merrimack, Dr. Nielsen was responsible for R&D and the early phases of clinical development. Prior to joining Merrimack, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he researched the interface among biology, engineering, and computational biology. Dr. Nielsen received MS and PhD degrees in Molecular Biology from the University of Copenhagen and trained at the University of California, San Francisco. He has undertaken extensive executive business education, including education at Harvard Business School (PLD graduate).

Kenneth Olivier is Head of Nonclinical Development at Torque Therapeutics. For the past 15 years, Dr. Olivier has worked with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies including Regeneron, Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Acceleron Pharma, and Torque developing diagnostics, small-molecule drugs, biologics, antibody drug conjugates, antibody-directed nanotherapies, and cell-based therapies for indications in cardiology, neurology, metabolic disease, neuromuscular disease, immunology, rare disease, infectious disease, fibrosis, and oncology. In addition to his primary duties regarding safety evaluations, Dr. Olivier has held the role of Project Leader; Head of Project Management; Head of Regulatory; Head of Pharmacokinetics; Head of Bioanalytical Development, Validation, and Sample Analysis; and Head of Nonclinical supporting multiple INDs, IMPDs, CTAs, NDAs, BLAs, PLEs and IDEs.

Sean Wu is Associate Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and an Endowed Faculty Scholar of Lucile Packard Foundation for Children and Child Health Research Institute at Stanford University. He is a board-certified cardiologist who specializes in treating people with cardiac diseases such as coronary artery disease, cardiac valve disorder, rhythm disorders, and cardiac preventive management. Dr. Wu also conducts research in cardiac developmental biology/congenital heart disease, stem cell biology, and translation of stem cells into new treatments for congenital heart disease, adult heart failure, and rhythm disorders. His research group seeks to identify mechanisms regulating cardiac lineage commitment during embryonic development and the biology of cardiac progenitor cells in development and disease. He received BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Biological Science, both from Stanford University; and a PhD in Pathology from Duke University. In addition to completing a residency program and board certification in Internal Medicine, Dr. Wu completed an ACGME-accredited fellowship in cardiovascular disease with board certification and additional clinical training in echocardiography at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as cardiac developmental biology research training at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Peter. Zandstra is I’Anson Professor of Tissue Engineering and a Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. He is cross-appointed with the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and Medical Genetics. Dr. Zandstra is the Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering and is a recipient of a number of awards and fellowships, including the Premiers Research Excellence Award (2002), the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2006), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2007), “Canada’s Top 40 Under 40” (2008) and the McLean Award (2009). He received a PhD from the University of British Columbia and completed postdoctoral training at MIT.