Leadership

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Leadership

Executive Leadership

William S. Marshall, Ph.D.
William S. Marshall, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
William S. Marshall, Ph.D.

William S. Marshall, Ph.D., is miRagen’s President, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and Director. Prior to establishing miRagen, Dr. Marshall was Vice President of Technology and Business Development for Bioscience at Thermo Fisher Scientific. In this role, he was responsible for leading technology assessment and strategic planning for the Thermo Fisher Biosciences Division, a unit with revenues of approximately $1 billion that manufactures and supplies a wide range of products and services across the general-chemistry and life-sciences arenas.

Dr. Marshall was one of the scientific founders of Dharmacon, Inc., which was acquired by Fisher Scientific International, serving as the Executive Vice President for Research and Operations and General Manager. Prior to joining Dharmacon, Dr. Marshall served in many capacities at Amgen, Inc., most recently as Associate Director of Research, Site Head for Research and Head of the Nucleic Acid and Peptide Technology Department. In these positions, he participated in a wide variety of therapeutic development approaches throughout the drug discovery process leading to the development of clinical candidates.

Dr. Marshall earned his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in the laboratory of Professor Marvin Caruthers at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is author and co-author of over 50 research papers and 80 patents. Dr. Marshall currently serves on the Boards of BiOptix, Inc., and the Colorado BioScience Association.

Jason A. Leverone, C.P.A.
Jason A. Leverone, C.P.A.
Chief Financial Officer
Jason A. Leverone, C.P.A.

Jason A. Leverone, C.P.A., is miRagen’s Chief Financial Officer. In this capacity, he oversees the company’s financial, accounting, and operations functions. Prior to joining miRagen, Mr. Leverone was Senior Director of Finance and Controller for Replidyne, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company. At Replidyne, he played an important role in completing the company’s initial public offering and executing its strategic sale to Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. Prior to joining Replidyne, Mr. Leverone was the Corporate Controller for CreekPath System, Inc., an international software development company. He commenced his professional career with the accounting firm of Ernst and Young LLP and served as an Audit Manager for Arthur Andersen LLP.

Mr. Leverone is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Adam Levy
Adam Levy
Chief Business Officer
Adam Levy Adam Levy is miRagen’s Chief Business Officer. Mr. Levy brings over 16 years of advisory experience primarily in the life sciences sector to miRagen. Prior to joining miRagen, he was a Senior Vice President at Wedbush Securities where he served since 2013 in the healthcare investment banking group. Mr. Levy has expertise in corporate strategy, M&A and partnering with experience in completing more than $30 billion in financing and advisory transactions. Prior to joining Wedbush, he held positions of increasing responsibility in investment banking at Merrill Lynch and Jefferies. Mr. Levy earned a B.S. in Applied Economics from Cornell University.
Paul Rubin
Paul Rubin
Executive Vice President of Research and Development
Paul Rubin

Dr. Rubin has 30 years of industry experience. Prior to joining miRagen, Dr. Rubin was Senior Vice President of Resarch and Development and Chief Medical Officer at XOMA. Ltd from 2011 – 2015. He was Chief Executive Officer of Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2007 to 2009 and President and Chief Executive Officer of Critical Therapeutics, Inc. from 2002 to 2007.

From 1996 to 2002, Dr. Rubin was associated with Sepracor, where he served as Senior Vice President, Development, and later as Executive Vice President, Research & Development. He was responsible for leading the successful development of many of Sepracor’s internally developed and approved products including Xopenex®, Lunesta®, Xopenex HFA® and Brovana®.

From 1993 to 1996, Paul held senior level positions at Glaxo-Wellcome Pharmaceuticals, most recently as Vice President of Worldwide Clinical Pharmacology and Early Clinical Development. He was associated with Abbott from 1987 to 1993, including as Vice President, Immunology and Endocrinology, where he successfully advanced zileuton, the first and only approved 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor, from discovery to approval for the treatment of asthma.

Dr. Rubin received a BA from Occidental College and his M.D. from Rush Medical College. He is board certified in internal medicine completing his post-graduate training at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

Board of Directors

Bruce L. Booth, D.Phil.
Bruce L. Booth, D.Phil.
Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, miRagen Therapeutics
Partner, Atlas Venture
Bruce L. Booth, D.Phil.

Bruce Booth is a Partner at Atlas Venture where he focuses on novel biopharmaceuticals and therapeutic platforms. Bruce currently serves on the Boards of Atlas portfolio companies Bicycle, miRagen, Nimbus, ProtAffin and Zafgen. He also served on the Board or worked closely with portfolio companies Avila (acquired by Celgene in 2012), Prestwick (acquired by Biovail in 2008), Stromedix (acquired by Biogen Idec in 2012), along with a number of other therapeutics companies.

Previously, Bruce was an investor with Caxton Health Holdings and prior to that a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on R&D Productivity topics. As a British Marshall Scholar, Bruce earned a Doctorate in Molecular Immunology from the Oxford University, and received his Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude in Biochemistry from the Pennsylvania State University. He serves as a member of UCB Pharma’s Scientific Advisory Board, among several other translational research advisory roles. Bruce is also a Trustee of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Bruce has authored numerous scientific papers and biotech venture capital review articles, including several in Nature Biotechnology, and he blogs about life science venture topics at LifeSciVC.com, which is also syndicated with Forbes.

Christopher Bowden, M.D.
Christopher Bowden, M.D.
Board of Directors Member, Miragen Therapeutics And Chief Medical Officer, Agios Pharmaceuticals
Christopher Bowden, M.D.

Dr. Bowden is the Chief Medical Officer of Agios. He has more than 17 years of experience in clinical drug development, including the approval of several cancer medicines. Prior to joining Agios, Dr. Bowden was vice president product development oncology, franchise lead (Signaling Group) at Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group. During Dr. Bowden’s eight years at Genentech, he was responsible for the successful development of a number of novel targeted oncology medicines, including Zelboraf™ for patients with BRAF V600E positive melanoma and Tarceva™ for patients with EGFr activating mutation positive, non-small cell lung cancer. From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Bowden was the executive director for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) regions for Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role, he led medical affairs strategies for cancer, immunology and pain medicines. Earlier, Dr. Bowden held positions of increasing responsibility in oncology clinical development, Phases I-III at Pharmacia Corporation and Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc.


Prior to his industry experience, Dr. Bowden was on the oncology faculty at the University of Virginia Health Science Center where he participated in numerous industry and cooperative group trials.


Dr. Bowden received his medical degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia followed by internal medicine training at Roger Williams Medical Center and the Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island. He completed his medical oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute Medicine Branch. Dr. Bowden is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

Jeffrey S. Hatfileld, M.B.A.
Jeffrey S. Hatfileld, M.B.A.
Board of Directors Member, Miragen Therapeutics
Jeffrey S. Hatfileld, M.B.A.

Jeff Hatfield is a senior life sciences executive who has led businesses in both the emerging biotechnology and global Fortune 500 pharma sectors. Most recently, Mr. Hatfield was President and Chief Executive Officer of Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTAE), where he led the growth of the company from start-up in 2004, until its unsolicited acquisition by Allergan Plc (NYSE: AGN) in 2016. Prior to that, Mr. Hatfield was a senior executive at Bristol-Myers Squibb Corporation (NYSE: BMY) for twenty years, where he held roles of increasing responsibility including Senior Vice President, Immunology and Virology Divisions; President, BMS-Canada; and Vice President of US Market Access. During his career at BMS, Mr. Hatfield was directly involved with several successful commercial launches, including Plavix©, Pravachol©, Glucophage© and Atripla©.


Mr. Hatfield currently serves on the boards of aTyr Pharma (NASDAQ: LIFE) and InVivo (NASDAQ: NVIV). He previously served on the board of Ambit (NASDQ: AMBI), before its acquisition by Daiichi-Sankyo, and on the board and Executive Committee of BIO (the Biotechnology Innovation Organization).


Mr. Hatfield earned an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. from the College of Pharmacy, Purdue University, where he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor for doctoral students, and as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council.


John Creecy, M.S.
John Creecy, M.S.
Board of Directors member, miRagen Therapeutics
Chief Executive Officer, Remeditex Ventures, LLC
John Creecy, M.S.

Mr. Creecy is Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Remeditex Ventures, LLC, a biomedical investment company that seeks to build a robust biomedical industry in Texas and Colorado by investing in early-stage university projects and start-up companies located in those regions. Prior to joining Remeditex, Mr. Creecy served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hunt Petroleum Corporation and prior to that was the Chief Operating Officer of the Hodges Companies, Inc.

For more than 20 years, Mr. Creecy has served in various board positions within the All Saints Health System in Ft. Worth, Texas, the UT Southwestern Medical Center, and the Baylor Health Systems in Dallas, Texas. In addition to miRagen, Mr. Creecy sits on the boards of the following biomedical industry companies: Apollo Endosurgery, Peloton Therapeutics, BiO2 Medical, VuComp, and BiOptix.

Mr. Creecy is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of North Texas. He is a former Certified Public Accountant and currently serves as a member of various business and civic organizations.

Thomas E. Hughes, Ph.D.
Thomas E. Hughes, Ph.D.
Board of Directors member, miRagen Therapeutics
Chief Executive Officer, Zafgen Inc.
Thomas E. Hughes, Ph.D.

Dr. Hughes has over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and development. Dr. Hughes joined Zafgen in 2008 as president, chief executive officer, and a member of the company’s board of directors. From 1987 to 2008, Dr. Hughes held several positions at Novartis AG (and formerly Sandoz Pharmaceuticals) including vice president and global head of the cardiovascular and metabolic diseases therapeutic area at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA. In these roles, he oversaw many drug discovery and development projects targeting obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. As a scientist, Dr. Hughes led Novartis’ efforts to discover and develop its dipeptidylpeptidase IV inhibitor vildagliptin (Galvus®/Eucreas®), a drug used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, currently approved in 70 countries. Dr. Hughes is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on numerous issued and pending patents related to the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

Dr. Hughes serves as a director on the board of miRagen Therapeutics, Inc., and is a member of several scientific and strategic advisory boards, including Broadview Ventures and Nimbus Discovery, LLC.

William S. Marshall, Ph.D.
William S. Marshall, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, member of Board of Directors, miRagen Therapeutics
President and CEO, miRagen Therapeutics
William S. Marshall, Ph.D.

William S. Marshall, Ph.D., is miRagen’s President, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and Director. Prior to establishing miRagen, Dr. Marshall was Vice President of Technology and Business Development for Bioscience at Thermo Fisher Scientific. In this role, he was responsible for leading technology assessment and strategic planning for the Thermo Fisher Biosciences Division, a unit with revenues of approximately $1 billion that manufactures and supplies a wide range of products and services across the general-chemistry and life-sciences arenas.

Dr. Marshall was one of the scientific founders of Dharmacon, Inc., which was acquired by Fisher Scientific International, serving as the Executive Vice President for Research and Operations and General Manager. Prior to joining Dharmacon, Dr. Marshall served in many capacities at Amgen, Inc., most recently as Associate Director of Research, Site Head for Research and Head of the Nucleic Acid and Peptide Technology Department. In these positions, he participated in a wide variety of therapeutic development approaches throughout the drug discovery process leading to the development of clinical candidates.

Dr. Marshall earned his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in the laboratory of Professor Marvin Caruthers at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is author and co-author of over 50 research papers and 80 patents. Dr. Marshall currently serves on the Boards of BiOptix, Inc., and the Colorado BioScience Association.

Kevin Koch, Ph.D.
Kevin Koch, Ph.D.
Venture Partner, OrbiMed Advisors
Kevin Koch, Ph.D. Kevin Koch, Ph.D., is a Venture Partner with OrbiMed Advisors, LLC. Dr. Koch has been active in the life science industry for 25+ years with a focus on drug discovery, translational medicine and clinical development. Most recently, Dr. Koch was the Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery: Chemical and Molecular Therapeutics at Biogen where he managed global drug discovery and biomarker development as well as the immunology and hematology teams. From 1998-2013, Dr. Koch served as the President, Chief Scientific Officer, Board member and Co-Founder of Array BioPharma, Inc. While there, he built a fully integrated R&D team that oversaw the invention of over 20 clinical development candidates in the multiple therapeutic areas. Prior to Array, Dr. Koch held senior positions at Amgen Inc. and Pfizer Central Research. Dr. Koch received a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from State University of New York, Stony Brook, and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Rochester. He is the co-author or inventor of over 80 patents and publications. Dr. Koch currently serves on the board of Encycle Therapeutics and a number of scientific advisory boards.
Joe Turner Jr.
Joe Turner Jr.
Board of Directors member, miRagen Therapeutics
Director BioClin Therapeutics
Joe Turner Jr.

Mr. Turner has served as an independent director and audit committee chair for multiple biotech companies over the last decade. He currently serves on the board of BioClin Therapeutics. In recent years, he has served on the boards of Corcept Therapeutics, Kythera Biotherapeutics, Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Nora Therapeutics, Sophiris Bio, QLT and SGX Pharmaceuticals.

Mr. Turner has served as an independent director and audit committee chair for multiple biotech companies over the last decade. He currently serves on the board of BioClin Therapeutics. In recent years, he has served on the boards of Corcept Therapeutics, Kythera Biotherapeutics, Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Nora Therapeutics, Sophiris Bio, QLT and SGX Pharmaceuticals.

Mr. Turner previously as served as the chief financial officer of Myogen, Inc. from 1999 until it was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2006. Previously, he served as the chief financial officer of Centaur Pharmaceuticals from 1997 to 1999 and as the chief financial officer and vice president, finance and administration at Cortech, Inc. from 1992 to 1997. Prior to Cortech, he was employed by Eli Lilly from 1979 to 1991 in a variety of finance and administration roles.

Mr. Turner holds an MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from University of Colorado and a B.A. in chemistry with a minor in biology from Swarthmore College. Since 2009, he has served on the board of managers of Swarthmore College where at various times he has served on its executive committee, finance committee, audit committee, academic affairs committee (which he currently chairs) and student affairs committee and property committee.

Advisors

Eric N. Olson, PH.D.
Chief Scientific Advisor and Co-Founder of miRagen Therapeutics; Chairman of miRagen’s Scientific Advisory Board; Professor and Chairman of Molecular Biology, The Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science, Annie and Willie Nelson Professor in Stem Cell Research and Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Eric N. Olson, Ph.D., miRagen’s Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor, has dedicated his career to deciphering the mechanisms that control muscle gene regulation and development. His most recent work has focused on the genetic pathways responsible for congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Olson attended Wake Forest University receiving a B.A. in Chemistry and Biology, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. After postdoctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine, he joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1984 and became Professor and Chairman. He later founded the Department of Molecular Biology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Dr. Olson’s honors include: the Basic Research Prize, the Founding Distinguished Scientist Award, and the Research Achievement Award from the American Heart Association; the Pasarow Medical Research Award in Cardiovascular Disease; the Gill Heart Institute Award; the Lucian Award for Research in Cardiovascular Disease; the Outstanding Investigator Award from the International Society for Heart Research; the Pollin Prize for Lifetime Contributions to Pediatric Research; the Passano Prize; the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology; and the International Society for Heart Research Achievement Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Olson is a member of numerous editorial boards and belongs to the Scientific Review Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He was a Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor of Myogen, Inc., a biotechnology company focusing on therapies for heart muscle disease, acquired by Gilead Pharmaceuticals in 2006.
Marvin H. Caruthers, PH.D.
CO-FOUNDER, MIRAGEN THERAPEUTICS
Marvin H. Caruthers, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado and a pioneer in the biotechnology field. One of the co-founders of Amgen and Applied Biosystems, Dr. Caruthers’ groundbreaking scientific research in nucleic acid chemistry led to the development of DNA synthesizing techniques that remain the industry standard today.

Dr. Caruthers holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Northwestern University. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Caruthers was awarded the National Medal of Science for 2006, the nation’s highest distinction honoring scientific achievement.
Victor R. Ambros, PH.D.
Silverman Professor of Natural Sciences Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Dr. Victor Ambros is the Silverman Professor of Natural Sciences in the Program in Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and serves as Co-Director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at UMass Medical School. His laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation by microRNAs and how microRNAs function in regulatory networks affecting development and disease.

The Ambros lab identified the first microRNA in 1993, while characterizing a genetic locus involved in the control of developmental timing in C. elegans. Since then, his research group has focused on the role of microRNAs in development.

Dr. Ambros completed his Ph.D. at MIT, under the supervision of Professor David Baltimore, and his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Prof. H. Robert Horvitz. He became a faculty member at Harvard University in 1984, moved to Dartmouth College in 1992, and joined the faculty at UMass Medical School in 2008. Dr. Ambros is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was named co-recipient of the 2008 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, with Dr. Gary B. Ruvkun and Dr. David C. Baulcombe, for his work on the discovery of microRNAs.
Michael R. Bristow, M.D., PH.D.
Co-Founder, miRagen Therapeutics; Professor of Medicine in Cardiology and Co-Director of the University of Colorado Cardiovascular Institute at UC Denver School of Medicine
Michael R. Bristow, M.D., Ph.D., is currently a tenured Full Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at University of Colorado (CU) Denver School of Medicine and Cardiovascular Institute (CVI). He is the former Division Head of Cardiology at CU, and former co-Director of the CVI. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, a founding member of the Heart Failure Society of America, and a member of multiple professional societies and editorial boards.

Dr. Bristow has authored over 400 peer-reviewed papers on heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases, was instrumental in elucidating key molecular mechanisms underlying heart failure and the use of beta-blockers for its treatment, and is developing the first pharmacogenetically-targeted cardiovascular drug (bucindolol, Gencaro™). Dr. Bristow has received many academic and industry honors, most recently the 2008 Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Clinical Trial Exceptional Service Award for the development of carvedilol for heart failure and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 by the Heart Failure Society of America.

Dr. Bristow is the Chairman and Chief Science and Medical Officer of ARCA biopharma, a company he founded in 2002 with the mission of developing genetically targeted therapies for heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Bristow is also the principal Founder and former Chief Science and Medical Officer of Myogen, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Gilead Sciences, Inc., in 2006. He completed his M.D and PhD (in Pharmacology) from the University of Illinois.
Stefanie Dimmeler, PH.D.
Professor of Experimental Medicine and Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration, Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Frankfurt (Germany)
Stefanie Dimmeler, PhD., is miRagen’s Scientific Advisor. Her main scientific focus is the development of novel therapeutic strategies to improve neovascularization and cardiac repair, particularly by microRNA and cell therapy.

Dr. Dimmeler received her undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Konstanz in Konstanz (Germany). She then completed a fellowship in Experimental Surgery at the University of Cologne and in Molecular Cardiology at the University of Frankfurt (Germany). She is Professor of Experimental Medicine (since 2001) and Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration, Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Frankfurt since 2008.

Dr. Dimmeler has received various awards including the Award of the German Heart Foundation in 1998, the Frankel-Award of the German Cardiac Society in 2000, the Alfried Krupp Award 2002, the Leibniz Award 2005, the Award of the Jung Foundation 2007 and the FEBS award 2006. She presented the prestigious George E. Brown Memorial Lecture at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association in 2005 and the Basic Science Lecture of the European Society of Cardiology in 2006. Recently, she received the Science4life award and the GlaxoSmithKline Award. She is Chief Editor of EMBO Molecular Medicine and associated editor of Circulation Research and the European Heart Journal.
Douglas L. Mann, M.D.
Lewin Professor and Chief of the Cardiovascular Division at Washington University School of Medicine; Cardiologist-in-Chief at Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Dr. Mann is the Lewin Professor and Chief, Cardiovascular Division at Washington University School of Medicine and the Cardiologist-in-Chief, Barnes-Jewish Hospital. His research interests have focused on the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to cardiac decompensation, including the role that inflammatory mediators play in regulating cardiac structure and function.

Dr. Mann is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of University Cardiologists, the Heart Failure Society of America, the International Cytokine Society, the International Society for Heart Failure Research and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology as well as the American College of Chest Physicians. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Circulation, The Journal of Cardiac Failure, Heart and Vessels, Heart Failure Reviews, Heart Failure Monitor and Cardiology Today.

Dr. Mann has published numerous articles peer reviewed articles on the role on inflammatory mediators in heart failure, and the molecular and cellular basis for cardiac dysfunction and remodeling. He has received numerous awards including the Alfred Soffer Award for Editorial Excellence from the American College of Chest Physicians, the Michael E. Debakey award for Excellence in research.
Jeffery D. Molkentin, PH.D.
Professor at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center of the University of Cincinnati and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Dr. Molkentin performed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Eric Olson after receiving his Ph.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1994. In 1997, he began his first faculty appointment at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center of the University of Cincinnati, where today he is a Professor.
Dr. Molkentin’s research program continues to focus on the identification of candidate genes and signaling pathways involved in cardiac hypertrophy, contractility, cell death, and heart failure.

Dr. Molkentin has published over 300 original articles and is funded with multiple National Institute of Health awards. Dr. Molkentin was the recipient of the American Heart Association (AHA) Louis N. & Arnold M. Katz Award in Cardiovascular Medicine in 1999, and the AHA Basic Research Prize in 2012. Dr. Molkentin was also a Pew Scholar and is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Frank Slack, PH.D.
Director, Institute for RNA Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School
Frank Slack received his B.Sc. from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, before completing his Ph.D. in molecular biology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He started work on microRNAs as a postdoctoral fellow in Gary Ruvkun’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School, where he co-discovered the second known microRNA, let-7 and the first human microRNA. He subsequent moved to the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University, where he was a program leader in the Yale Cancer Center, and the Director of the Yale Center for RNA Science and Medicine. There he discovered that microRNAs regulate key human oncogenes and have the potential to act as therapeutics. He also demonstrated the first role for a microRNA in the aging process. In 2014 he became Director of the Institute for RNA Medicine and a Professor of Pathology at BIDMC.

Dr. Slack studies the roles and uses of microRNAs and their targets in development, disease and aging. He has been at the forefront of the small RNA revolution. He was in the team that discovered the first human microRNA, let-7 and subsequently showed that it is a tumor suppressor that controls key cancer genes, such as RAS, MYC and LIN28. They are developing let-7 and a second microRNA, miR-34 as novel cancer therapeutics with miR-34 already in Phase I clinical trials. They also proved that microRNAs act as key oncogenes and developed strategies to target these oncomiRs for cancer therapy. Their research also extends to discovery of additional novel small RNAs in development, cancer, aging and diabetes as well as identifying novel SNPs in the non-coding portions of the genome with an eye to identifying the next generation of actionable targets in cancer.

Dr. Slack was an Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar and received the 2014 Heath Memorial Award from MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Eva van Rooij, Ph.D.
Scientific Co-Founder, miRagen Therapeutics; Associate Professor, Hubrecht Institute, KNAW and University Medical Center Utrecht
Eva van Rooij, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Hubrecht Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Her work currently focuses on unraveling the molecular signaling pathways relevant for cardiovascular biology.

Dr. van Rooij attended University Hospital Maastricht in the Netherlands, where she received a Ph.D. at the department of Cardiology. She then went on to complete postdoctoral training in Molecular Biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the lab of Dr. Eric Olson, where she served as lead scientist in the groundbreaking studies that linked microRNAs to cardiovascular disease. Her work subsequently became the foundation of miRagen’s patent estate on the therapeutic applications of microRNAs in human disease.

Prior to joining miRagen’s Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. van Rooij was miRagen’s Senior Director of Biology, where she oversaw the pre-clinical studies for the company’s microRNA programs. Dr. van Rooij is a member of the Circulation Research editorial board and serves as an invited speaker at many major scientific conferences related both to cardiovascular and microRNA biology. She has received several scientific awards and has authored or co-authored approximately 40 research papers and 12 patents.