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Ehsan S. Yazdi, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

As a cancer-geneticist and molecular biologist, Dr. Yazdi has 14 years of experience in the field of cancer. Prior to joining NomoCan, he was an Assistant Professor and translational research director at the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. He has several patents related to anti-cancer peptides which are at various stages of development by other companies. His research has been recognized by various awards including "Outstanding Clinical Scholar" award from the AACR/GlaxoSmithKline as well as by the Robert Furchgott Society (Nobel Prize in Medicine,’98). Dr. Yazdi received his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology and M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management from SUNY Health Science Center- NY and his M.Sc. in Applied Genetics from University of Birmingham and Imperial College of London- U.K.

Kamyar Neshvadian, M.S., F.R.M.

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Neshvadian has over 8 years of experience in financial industry in various capacities. He was a member of portfolio management team of Global Macro strategy in Highbridge Capital Management (“HCM”), a subsidiary of JP Morgan Asset Management. Since 2014 he has joined Q-Squared Capital as the head of fixed income strategies. Mr. Neshvadian has developed, implemented and traded proprietary quantitative systematic strategies in all major asset classes, including fixed income, equities and commodities. Mr. Neshvadian has received an M.S. in Financial Engineering from New York University and an M.A. in statistics from Columbia University, where he was trained in machine learning algorithms for studying big data science, applicable to medicine.

Jahanara Ali, Ph.D.

Chief Business Development Officer

Dr. Jahan Ali is the Director of Weill Cornell's BioVenture eLab leading the entrepreneur program at Cornell University Medical Center. Jahan is also a founder of Octane Ventures, which helps bioscience and health IT companies grow their businesses and meet milestones. Jahan has spent the last 20 years on various sides of early stage biotechnology commercialization and startups. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice President at the Partnership Fund for New York City Investment Fund, a private economic development fund founded by Henry Kravis. Jahan led the BioAccelerate NYC program, a proof of concept program aimed at funding technologies at academic medical center that could be spun out into companies.
Jahan was previously at Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Office of Industrial Liaison. Jahan has a Ph.D. from New York University School of Medicine, and did a post doc in the Cohn Steinman laboratory at Rockefeller.

Jean Paul Thiery, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Professor Jean Paul Thiery has made seminal contributions in the fields of cell adhesion, cell migration, morphogenesis, and cancer, publishing more than 480 peer-reviewed articles in different areas of the life sciences. (55,000 citations - H-index 110)

Dr. Jean Paul is considered to be the first to propose  epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) as a crucial mechanism for the metastasis. He has established a high-throughput screen for EMT in carcinoma to define drug combinations that circumvent resistance to therapy. His work in EMT has largely contributed to the study of minimal residual disease in breast cancer.

Dr. Thiery discovered the first cell-cell adhesion molecule, N-CAM. He has pioneered new physical approaches to measure the strength of intercellular adhesion in epithelial cells, and he has developed a new transgenic model to target transgenes that are unique to the neural crest, a transient structure associated with the appearance of vertebrates. He co-discovered an important mutation (FGFR3) in bladder carcinoma, now considered to be the best prognostic marker for superficial tumors. These mutations are also found in 40% of seborrheic verruca (benign skin growths). He has also identified molecular pathways within breast carcinoma, ovarian carcinoma and uveal melanoma to define new prognostic indicators and therapeutic intervention. 

Lei Zhang, M.D.

Chief Clinical & Regulatory Officer

Dr. Zhang has 20+ years of experience in pharmaceutical industry and clinical research. She has extensive regulatory and clinical trial experience leading to global regulatory approval of multiple indications in US and Europe, strong expertise in designing and managing clinical trials with strong therapeutic knowledge in oncology and hematology therapeutic areas. Most recently, Dr. Zhang served as Executive Medical Director/Program Lead at Celgene Corporation until December 2018. During her 10-year tenure at Celgene, she was the Program Lead for REVLIMID® overseeing clinical and scientific activities in multiple key global registration studies in the Lymphoma/CLL Development Program, including a successful regulatory filling that led to approval in Mantle Cell Lymphoma indication. She was also the Program Lead for the REVLIMID® biomarker driven global Phase III Diffuse Large B Cell registration program. Prior to Celgene Dr. Zhang served as Clinical Indication Leader at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Oncology Global Business Unit, where she was the indication lead on the RYDAPT® and FARYDAK® development program, responsible for development activities in multiple indications including Leukemia, MDS, and Lymphoma. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Zhang was at Eli Lilly and Company, where she worked on regulatory submission of ALIMTA® Mesothelioma and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer NDA filing. Dr. Zhang received her M.D. from Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. She was trained as a Neurologist at Beijing TianTan Hospital. Dr. Zhang also earned a M.S. in Biochemistry from Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA, where she also worked as Research Scientist in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology lab.

Owen O'Connor, M.D., Ph.D.

Member of Board of Directors & Chief Clinical Advisor

Professor O’Connor is the Director of the Center for Lymphoid Malignancies, and Co-Program Director of the Lymphoid Development and Malignancy Program in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center.

Over the past two decades, Dr. O’Connor has become an international authority on the management of Hodgkin Lymphoma and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, as well as the development of novel drugs for the treatment of these diseases.  To date, he has pioneered the development of three new drugs approved for the treatment of lymphoma, and collaborated with national and international colleagues on many others.  Working in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), he was the first to identify the activity of bortezomib (Velcade), a novel class of drugs targeting the proteasome, in patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma, which eventually led to bortezomib becoming the first drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this disease in 2006. He has since developed new treatment regimens integratingbortezomib into the treatment of lymphoma, and conducted the first in human studies of second generation proteasome inhibitors, like carfilzomib. In collaboration with investigators at MSKCC, he conducted the first in human studies of vorinostat, which became the first histone deacetylase inhibitor ever approved for the treatment of cancer in 2005. Vorinostat (Zolinza) was approved in 2005 for the treatment of patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

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