Advisory Board


Non-Executive Members

Geoffrey F. Cox, Ph.D.

Dr. Cox is an independent consultant to the Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry and Principal of Beacon Street Advisors LLC. Dr. Cox has extensive experience in the biotechnology industry in a number of positions as a Senior Executive and Chief Executive Officer and also as a Board Director, and Chairman, of both public and private companies. He is a director and cofounder of Actu8 Vaccine Technologies Ltd., a development stage company focused on Immune oncology. Dr. Cox serves on the Board of Vaxart Inc., a public company.


From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Cox was a Partner with Red Sky Partners LLC. From 2001 to 2010, he was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of GTC Biotherapeutics Inc. and from 1997 to 2001 Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc., both biotechnology companies. From 1984 to 1997, he was employed by Genzyme Corporation Inc., last serving as its Executive Vice President, Operations. Prior to that, he was General Manager Operations for Gist Brocades UK.


Dr. Cox is a past Chairman of MassBio, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and continues as a director. He also served for a number of years on the Board of the Biotechnology Industries Association (BIO), together with the Health Governing and Emerging Companies Sections of BIO. Dr. Cox received a BSc. in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of East Anglia, UK.

Leonard J. DeRoma

Mr. DeRoma began his career in the 1970s at Citibank’s corporate finance department in strategic planning, private placements and mergers and acquisitions. He helped pioneer one of the first strategic planning services for Citibank corporate finance clients. He then spent the next 20 years in senior positions in fixed-income trading for a number of financial institutions, including Citibank, Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and Keybank-McDonald Investments, managing large components of their domestic and foreign fixed-income trading, sales, derivatives, research, underwritings and foreign exchange businesses. He served as the President of Barclay’s U.S. securities business, was senior advisor to the U.S. Asset Liability Committee and chaired the U.S. Credit and Risk Management Committee.


Mr. DeRoma returned to corporate finance, forming Wildwood Capital LLC, a small boutique advisory firm focused on strategic advice, mergers and acquisitions, and fund raising for small and middle market companies. He later was a founding partner of Invictus Consulting Group, an advisory company oriented towards the strategic needs of community banks. In addition, he has served as a director of a number of public and private companies and funds. He has also served on several industry boards and associations, including the Public Securities Association and the Bond Market Association. He is a member of Monk Street Partners, LLC, an intellectual property commercialization company and senior advisor to ProActive Health Services and to Trusted Networks, Inc. He has been a speaker at numerous conferences on credit, liquidity and markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Mr. DeRoma has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Executive Member

Steve Parkinson
Executive Director, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

Mr. Parkinson has more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. As co-founder and CEO of TranXenoGen, Mr. Parkinson oversaw its IPO and admission to AIM in July of 2000, increasing its market value from $90M to $250M within one year. As President and CEO of CereMedix, a drug discovery and development company, he advanced their first product to clinical trials. Mr. Parkinson has raised both public and private capital, built management teams, managed M&A, in-licensed and out-licensed products/technology, and secured major industry contracts and collaborations for a number of companies including Advanced Cell Technology where he was CEO, Johnson & Johnson, PPL Therapeutics, Genzyme Transgenics and Fermetech Ltd.


Patrick C O’Connor, FRCP (Edin), Ph.D. (Chairman)
CMO, Lakewood-Amedex and Managing Director, Strategic Clinical Development, Auven Therapeutics|
Dr. Patrick C. O’Connor has more than 30 years of pharmaceutical/device product development in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Dr. O’Connor graduated in medicine and after his internship he spent six years in Basic Physiology and Pharmacology research at University College, Cork, Ireland and Manchester University in the U.K. leading to a Ph.D. He worked for ten years in the British National Health Service at various academic centers. Dr. O’Connor is a registered specialist in the U.K., with accreditation in Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology.


Since 2012 he has been Managing Director, Strategic Clinical Development for Auven Therapeutics, a hybrid private equity fund. Prior, he held senior positions at Boots Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaco, PPD, Ferring Group of Companies and Celtic Pharma. Over the course of his career Dr. O’Connor has been intimately involved in product development across a wide variety of therapeutic areas with particular emphasis on managing external vendors.


Steven Petrou, M.D.
Senior Urologist, Mayo Clinic
Steven P. Petrou, MD is a practicing urologist in Jacksonville, Florida. Graduating from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1984, Dr. Petrou has been in practice for more than 33 years. Previously serving as Chief of Surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital, he currently practices at Mayo Clinic.


Harvey Schonwald, M.D.
Practicing Urologist, Brooksville Hospital
Dr. Harvey Schonwald is a certified urologist in Spring Hill, Florida, and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Bayfront Health Brooksville and Oak Hill Hospital. He graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1974, earning honors in urology. After serving two years as a resident in general surgery at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, he went on to train in urology for three years as a resident at the University of Maryland. Dr. Schonwald went into private practice in 1979, and was the Chief of Urology at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, MD before relocating to Florida. He is board certified by the American Urologic Association and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.


Jonathan Wong
Former Research Defense Scientist, Defense R&D Canada
Jonathan “J.P.” Wong is a research scientist with more than 30 years of experience in the infectious disease and molecular biology spaces, having published more than 100 journal and conference papers during his career. Upon completion of his undergraduate and graduate studies in Biochemistry from University of Saskatchewan, Canada, he joined Defence R&D Canada – Suffield (DRDC Suffield) in 1985. While there, his work was focused in the experimental evaluation and development of novel antimicrobial drugs and vaccines against highly pathogenic infectious agents. His other major areas of research include drug and vaccine development, drug delivery systems, medical countermeasures against biological agents, development of novel prophylaxis and treatment against influenza virus infection, respiratory infections and aerosol delivery of drugs and vaccines.


Michael Schurr, MD
General Surgery and Critical Care
Prof. Michael Schurr, MD is a burn and trauma surgeon and general surgeon at Mission Hospitals, Asheville, NC. Dr. Schurr is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. He has joined Mission Hospitals as Director of Inpatient Surgical Wound Care in Dec 2014. Prior to that he practiced for more than 15 years at the School of Medicine in University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Colorado-Denver. He brings 27 years of experience in advanced care of chronic ulcers, burns and trauma wounds. He has successfully led clinical trials of several advanced wound dressings and hernia surgical meshes.


Alfonso Ansi, MD
Previous Head of Clinical Development, Eli Lilly


Michael Silverman, MD
Infectious Disease Consultant


David Ng, PhD
Statistician with Expertise in Adaptive Designs
David pursued his chemistry studies at the National University of Singapore and received his B.Sc. degree with first class honors in 2009. In 2010, he accepted a scholarship offered by the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and moved with Prof. Dr. Tanja Weil to Ulm to work on developing dendritic biohybrids as precise nanotransporters for biomedical applications, focusing on organic chemistry and macromolecular design. David received his doctorate with summa cum laude in 2014 and thereafter worked as a group leader in the Institute of Organic Chemistry III at Ulm University until 2016. Since 2016, he leads the adaptive polymeric materials group at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research to develop synthetic macromolecular strategies into smart nanotherapeutics.