Scientific Advisory Board

Eric M. Gordon, Ph.D.

Eric has been a distinguished medicinal chemist, company founder and senior executive since the early 1970s. He was head of medicinal chemistry at Squibb and Bristol Myers Squibb in Princeton, where he worked for 18 years. In 1992, he became Vice President of Research and Director of Chemistry at Affymax in Palo Alto, and had that role until the company was sold to Glaxo in 1995. In 1996, he became scientific co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Versicor (later VicuronPharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Pfizer in 2005). In 1998 he participated in the early stages of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNSS) and was Senior Vice President of Research until late 2002. He is an accepted authority on combinatorial chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and creating drugs through enzyme inhibition. Eric has authored more than 200 scientific manuscripts and U.S. patents, and portions of 3 books, including editing a comprehensive book on combinatorial chemistry. He is the senior author of two manuscripts which during 1994-1996 were the most frequently cited chemistry papers in the world. He is on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Organization for One World Health, as well as several biotechnology companies. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of five scientific journals. In 1997 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and conducted post-doctoral work at Yale University.

Daria Mochly-Rosen, Ph.D.

Daria Mochly-Rosen, the George D. Smith Professor for Translational Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, is a Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology. She leads a multi-disciplinary research and has published about 240 papers and over 30 patents and patent applications. Her laboratory develops peptide inhibitors of protein-protein interactions to modulate key protein kinases and to regulate mitochondrial function. They also develop small molecules to correct common human mutations in two key metabolic enzymes (affecting ~500 million people each).
Dr. Mochly-Rosen is the founder and co-director of SPARK, a university-wide program focusing on translational research. In the past nine years, SPARK at Stanford helped over 100 academic inventors of biopharmaceuticals and diagnostics bring their inventions to clinical studies and/or to licensing; SPARK’s success rate is 60% for the graduating projects. SPARK is now established as an international program in over two dozen universities on five continents.
Dr. Mochly-Rosen (Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) was the chair of her department (2001-2005) and the Senior Associate Dean for Research at the Stanford University School of Medicine (2006-2013). She is a holder of an NIH Merit Award and has founded three biopharmaceutical companies, one of which (KAI Pharmaceuticals) was acquired by Amgen.

Joseph P. Vacca, Ph.D.

Dr. Joseph Vacca earned his BS in chemistry in 1977 from St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York, and obtained his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry under Professor Peter T. Lansbury Sr. at the State University of New York at Buffalo (Buffalo, New York). He joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1981 as a Senior Research Chemist and has contributed to several primary research projects including the discovery of HIV-1 and HCV protease inhibitors, and the discovery and development of HIV integrase inhibitors. His work on the HIV-1 protease project led to the discovery of Merck’s HIV protease inhibitor CRIXIVAN™ (indinavir sulfate) and HIV integraseinhibitor Isentress™. He held several positions within Merck and retired in Nov. 2011. In 2012, Dr. Vacca joined Wuxi ApptecInc. as Sr. Vice President of Early Success Sharing Partnerships and recently left to pursue a consulting career as Owner of J. Vacca Consulting, LLC.

Dr. Vacca has over 100 publications and patents and is the holder of many awards including a Merck Directors Award (1998); PhRMA Discoverers Award (1999); Intellectual Property Owners "National Inventor of the year Award" (1997); European Inventor of the Year (non-EU nation)(2007); ACS "Award for Creative Invention" (1999); and was a named a Merck Research Laboratories Presidential Fellow in 2008. He was recently named to the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame (Aug. 2012) and was also named a “Hero of Chemistry” (along with the research team) for his role in the discovery and development of the HIV integrase inhibitor IsentressTM.