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About Us /
Scientific Advisory Board

Jack W. Szostak, PhD, Chairman

Dr. Szostak is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and the Alex Rich Distinguished Investigator in the Department Molecular Biology and the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Szostak is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Szostak’s early research on the genetics and biochemistry of DNA recombination led to the double-strand-break repair model for meiotic recombination. Dr. Szostak also made fundamental contributions to our understanding of telomere structure and function, and the role of telomere maintenance in preventing cellular senescence. For this work, Dr. Szostak shared the 2006 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In the 1990s, Dr. Szostak and his colleagues developed in vitro selection as a tool for the isolation of functional RNA, DNA and protein molecules from large pools of random sequences. His laboratory has used in vitro selection and directed evolution to isolate and characterize numerous nucleic acid sequences with specific ligand binding and catalytic properties. For this work, Dr. Szostak was awarded, along with Dr. Gerald Joyce, the 1994 National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology and the 1997 Sigrist Prize from the University of Bern. In 2000, Dr. Szostak was awarded the Medal of the Genetics Society of America, and in 2008 Dr. Szostak received the H.P. Heineken Prize in Biophysics and Biochemistry. Dr. Szostak has published over 200 scientific papers and has been awarded 15 US patents.

Ronald T. Borchardt, PhD

Dr. Borchardt is the Solon E. Summerfield Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas where his laboratory has focused on drug design and drug delivery. He is the author of over 500 scientific publications and the editor of 10 books. He has received numerous honors and awards recognizing his scientific contributions, including: Research Achievement Awards in Biotechnology (1993) and Medicinal Chemistry (1994) from AAPS; The Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award (1997) from AAPS; The Takeru and Aya Higuchi Memorial Lectureship Award from APSTJ-Japan (1993); The Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award (1997) and Volwiler Research Achievement Award (1998) from AACP; Høst-Madsen Medal (1999) from FIP; The Takeru Higuchi Research Prize (2003) from APhA; The Bristol-Myers Squibb Smissman Award from ACS (2003); and the PolyPops Foundation Award (2007) from SBS. He also has received honorary doctorate degrees from The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Copenhagen, Denmark (2002), Katholieke University, Leuven, Belgium (2004) and Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden (2006). Dr. Borchardt earned his B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin and his PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Kansas.

Anthony C. Forster, M.D., PhD

Dr. Forster is currently Professor in Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. His current focus is protein synthesis, synthetic biology and drug discovery by peptidomimetic evolution. From 2005-2011, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN. Dr. Forster is a pioneer in the areas of catalytic RNA and in vitro translation with unnatural amino acids. He has published 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals and authored multiple patents. Dr. Forster received a B.Sc. in organic chemistry and biochemistry, a B.Sc. (Honors) in biochemistry, and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Adelaide, Australia. He was a post-doctoral fellow with Nobel laureate Sidney Altman at Yale and received an M.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School. He completed a residency in anatomical pathology followed by research as an Instructor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Thomas Kodadek, PhD

Dr. Kodadek is a Professor of Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute campus in Jupiter, FL. Previously, he held faculty positions at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. His laboratory is focused on developing chemical tools to monitor and manipulate important processes in biology and medicine and has made important contributions to our understanding of how genes are rearranged and expressed. Recently, he has focused on the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools for the treatment of immune diseases and cancers. This work was recognized in 2006 by a prestigious NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for “exceptionally creative research”. Dr. Kodadek received his B.S. in chemistry at the University of Miami and his PhD in organic chemistry from Stanford University. He pursued post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Professor Bruce Alberts at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School.