Management

Julie Cherrington, Ph.D.President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Julie M. Cherrington, Ph.D. is President and CEO of Zenith Epigenetics Corp. Dr. Cherrington is a life science executive with extensive experience bringing drugs into the clinic and through to commercialization. She has been a key contributor to the successful development of multiple FDA approved products, including SUTENT™, Palladia™, Vistide™, Viread™, and Hepsera™.

Julie joined Zenith Epigenetics as President and CEO in July 2014. From 2009 to 2014, Julie was President and CEO of Pathway Therapeutics, a clinical stage company advancing targeted kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune and respiratory indications. Prior to joining Pathway, she served as President of Phenomix Corporation where she led diabetes and HCV research and development, and played a leadership role in financing and business development. Prior to joining Phenomix in 2003, Julie was vice president of preclinical and clinical research at SUGEN, a Pfizer company. Julie began her career at Gilead Sciences where she held a range of positions of increasing responsibility.

She has served on the Boards of Directors of Chemgenex, Progen and Xenome. She is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Clearity Foundation and is an advisor in entrepreneurship initiatives at UC San Francisco, UC Davis, Stanford and BayBio.

Joy Zhu, M.D., Ph.D.Chief Medical Officer

Joy Zhu, M.D., Ph.D., joined Zenith Epigenetics Corp as the Chief Medical Officer in September 2014. Dr. Zhu has over 20 years of clinical development experience with a strong focus in oncology and has led the design and execution of multiple clinical trials of important novel investigational drugs like tyrosine kinase inhibitors (SUTENTâ), rank ligand antibody (XGEVA), PEGylated Recombinant Human Hyaluronidase (PEGPH20) and other mechanistically innovative drugs including HDAC and JAK inhibitors.

Joy began her career at CIBA Vision/Novartis Ophthalmic Unit in 1994 where she worked on two New Drug Applications, which led the FDA approvals of Zaditorâ and Resculaâ. While working as the Director of Clinical Development at SUGEN, Joy made significant contributions to the approval of SUTENTâ. At Amgen, Joy served as the Global Development Leader and led the Denosumab oncology clinical program, which included phase 1 through phase 3 studies in multiple indications and ultimately to the approval of XGEVA™. Joy was the Sr. VP of Global Clinical Development at S*BIO Pte Ltd from 2006 to 2011 where she built the development organization and was responsible for all development activities. Most recently, Joy was the VP of Oncology Development at Halozyme Therapeutics, where she oversaw the strategic and operational aspects of the oncology drug development programs.

Sanjay Lakhotia, Ph.D, MBAChief Business Officer

Sanjay Lakhotia is the Chief Business Officer at Zenith Epigenetics Corp. Dr. Lakhotia has over 20 years experience in corporate development and product development at leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Between 2010 and 2013, Sanjay led corporate development at Pathway Therapeutics, a clinical stage cancer and autoimmune company. Prior to Pathway, Sanjay was senior director of corporate development at Portola Pharmaceuticals, where his responsibilities included product licensing and program leadership. While at Portola, Sanjay contributed to the partnering of a significant Phase 2 asset and championed the development of an important cardiovascular drug now in Phase 3 development with breakthrough therapy status.

Prior to joining Portola in 2006, Sanjay held corporate development positions of increasing responsibilities at Onyx Pharmaceuticals and MedImmune where he executed several product and technology licensing transactions. Before transitioning to corporate development, Sanjay led process development groups at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals contributing to the development of important vaccines, Prevnar and Meningetec. Sanjay obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering at Northwestern University, an MBA from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and BS in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

A. Brad Cann, CAChief Financial Officer

Brad Cann has more than 19 years of financial and business experience. Between 2004 and 2009, Brad was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Royal Host Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), a diversified hospitality trust engaged in hotel ownership, investment, management and franchising, and Canada's second largest hotel REIT. Brad joined Royal Host in January 2004 and held a number of senior positions and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in May 2007 and Executive Vice President in January 2008. Brad's responsibilities included financial reporting, accounting, taxation, investor relations, payroll, information technology and internal audit. As acting Co-Chief Executive Officer of Royal Host, Brad shared responsibility for developing the strategic initiatives of the Trust and leading its executive team in day-to-day operations, as well as investing, financing and real estate transactions. 

Prior to joining Royal Host, Brad was a business consultant and held senior management positions with several companies including Chief Financial Officer of a sulphur export development company and Chief Financial Officer of an oilfield waste water treatment company. Prior thereto, Brad held various positions with a chartered accounting firm.

Henrik C. Hansen, Ph.D.Senior Vice President of Operations

Henrik Hansen has more than 15 years of experience, from both academia and industry, in basic research, drug discovery, and drug development. His areas of expertise include medicinal chemistry, carbohydrate chemistry, high throughput synthesis, process development, and manufacturing of drug substances and drug products under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for clinical use.

Henrik has held a number of positions within Zenith and am currently Senior Vice President of Operations with responsibility for Project Management, Intellectual Property, CMC, Quality Assurance, and the Medicinal Chemistry Program.   

Henrik holds a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Lund University, Sweden. He has authored or co-authored more than 40 articles and meeting abstracts and is listed as an inventor of 9 patent families.

Michael Yakes, Ph.DVice President of Drug Discovery and Exploratory Development

Michael Yakes has over 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical R & D, pharmacology, biomarker analysis, and early discovery and development projects, including leadership positions at Cleave Biosciences, Inc. and Exelixis, Inc. Prior to joining Zenith Epigenetics, Dr. Yakes held the position of Senior Director, Translational Biology where he was responsible for in vivo characterization and advancement of preclinical assets through internal and external non GLP and GLP activities, identification of biomarker readouts, and implementation of clinical PD assays. Prior to Cleave Biosciences, Dr. Yakes held positions of increasing responsibility at Exelixis, most recently serving as Senior Director, Pharmacology and a member of the Discovery senior management team. During this period he led multidisciplinary teams responsible for in vivo characterization of more than 25 development candidate compounds for internal and external partnered oncology programs that included DMPK, PK/PD/efficacy, discovery toxicology, and tissue-based biomarker analysis.

Dr. Yakes made significant contributions to the preclinical characterization and IND/NDA-filing process for COMETRIQ™ (cabozantinib), Exelixis' first FDA approved drug from the company's internal discovery pipeline. He has held research assistant professor and post-doctoral positions at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the University of Texas Medical Branch, respectively, working in the fields of oncology signal transduction and DNA damage and repair. Dr. Yakes received a PhD in Biological Chemistry from Wayne State University and a BS degree in Biochemistry from Northern Michigan University.

Ravi Jahagirdar, DVM, MS.Senior Director of Pharmacology

Ravi is the Senior Director of Pharmacology. Ravi has a strong background in animal, lipid/lipoprotein physiology and manages all discovery in vivo pharmacology related to autoimmune and oncology programs at Zenith.

Ravi has over 17 years of experience from both academia and industry in in-vivo pharmacology, animal physiology, drug discovery, early toxicology and pharmacokinetic studies, basic research, assay development and high throughput screening. He has been successful in recruiting scientists, building departments and managing projects from early discovery to pre-clinical development and business collaborations. Ravi has strong interpersonal and leadership skills developed through several years of teaching, training and management experience.

Ravi received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in Bangalore and a MS in Molecular Biology/Microbiology from Health Sciences Center (MUN, Newfoundland).  Prior to joining Zenith, Ravi was department head of Pharmacology at Resverlogix. Prior to Resverlogix Ravi held positions of increasing responsibility at University of Regina, and Tularik Inc. Ravi’s research has been published in many peer reviewed journals and has co-authored a text book chapter and has numerous abstract presentations.