Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Amos Smith

University of Pennsylvania, Co-Founder

Dr. Smith is the Rhodes-Thompson Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania and Member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center and the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM). He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Bucknell University and Ph.D. from the Rockefeller University.

He is widely recognized as one of the world's leading synthetic organic chemists and has broad knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry gained through consulting and training of many industry scientists. He joined the faculty at Penn in 1973 after a year as a Research Associate at Rockefeller University. From 1988 to 1996 he served as Chairman of the Department. In addition, he is a Visiting Director at the Kitasato Institute (Tokyo, Japan).

Dr. Smith's research interests encompass three diverse areas: natural product synthesis, bioorganic chemistry and materials science. To date more than 75 architecturally complex natural products have been prepared in his Laboratory. In addition, Smith, in collaboration with Ralph Hirschmann, has executed the design and synthesis of non-peptide peptidomimetics of protease enzymes via the design and development of the polypyrrolinone scaffold to mimic ß-turns, ß-strands/sheets, and helices, and, also with Stephen Benkovic (Penn State), haptens for the production of catalytic antibodies capable of peptide bond formation.

Dr. Smith has been a Visiting Professor at both Columbia and Cambridge Universities. He has also served on the NIH Medicinal Chemistry A Study Section as Member and as Chair and as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Organic Division of the American Chemical Society. Currently, he is a Member of the Board of Directors, Organic Reactions. In 1998 he became the first Editor-in-Chief of the new ACS journal, Organic Letters. He is co-author of over 400 publications and has delivered over 520 invited lectures. His honors and awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1985), the Kitasato Institute Medal (1990), the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1991), the ACS Ernest Guenther Award (1993), the University of Oregon Creativity Award (1997), the ACS Award for Creativity in Organic Chemistry (1997), Honorary Membership in the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (1999), and Honorary Member, Kitasato Institute (2001).

Prof. Amos Smith
Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, MD


Dr. Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at RUTGERS-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Director of the RWJ Center for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Dr. Dhib-Jalbut currently serves as President of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in MS (ACTRIMS). Dr. Dhib-Jalbut graduated Alpha-Omega-Alpha from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and completed his Neurology training at the University of Cincinnati. He then joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland where he specialized in MS and Neuroimmunology. Dr. Dhib-Jalbut was a faculty member of the University of Maryland before his recruitment to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 2003.

Dr. Dhib-Jalbut’s research, which has been funded by the NIH, The National MS Society, and Industry, include how MS therapies work, biomarkers of treatment response in MS, and neuroprotective gene therapy. Dr. Dhib-Jalbut published over 130 manuscripts in the scientific literature. He served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Neuroimmunology. He currently serves as Associate Editor for the MS Journal and is a member of the Editorial Boards of JICR, Cytokine, and MS International. He served on several National and International scientific committees including Chairmanship of the Scientific Committee for the World Congress on MS in 2008. Dr. Dhib-Jalbut has been on the Best Doctors in America list since 2009 and has received several awards and recognitions. Most recently he was awarded the Norman H. Edelman clinical science mentoring award at RUTGERS, the Medical Excellence Award by the National MS Society NJ Metro Chapter, the Edward Ill Award for Excellence in clinical research in the State of New Jersey and the NJ Foundation Excellence in Research Award.

Prof. Thomas G. Forsthuber

Prof. Thomas G. Forsthuber, M.D., Ph. D.

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Forsthuber, Professor of Immunology and Adjunct Professor of Pathology at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, joined the UTSA faculty in 2005 from Case Western Reserve University, where he was an Associate Professor of Pathology. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen, Germany, was a Pathology resident at University Hospitals in Cleveland from 1994-1998, and joined the faculty of the Institute of Pathology in 1997. Forsthuber has received numerous honors, including the American Society for Investigative Pathology Merit Award in 1995, and the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Junior Faculty Award of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in 1997. He is Deputy Editor for the journal Cellular Immunology, and serves as a reviewer for a number of scientific journals and funding agencies including the NIH, VA, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Prof. Thomas G. Forsthuber

Dr. Lawrence Steinman, M.D.

Stanford University

Dr. Steinman, an expert in the field of immunological intervention in autoimmune disease, Dr. Lawrence Steinman is Chair of Stanford University's Program in Immunology and George A. Zimmerman Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurological Sciences. Dr. Steinman has over 300 scientific publications and has multiple patents in the area of immune intervention. Dr. Steinman's inventive efforts have led to multiple issued patents disclosing technologies ranging from peptide to DNA-based therapies for immune intervention in the context of autoimmunity. He is a founder, advisor, or board member of several biotech companies, including Bayhill Therapeutics, Neurocrine Biosciences, Neuon Therapeutics, and Peptimmune. His work has led to honors, including the John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research, and the Senator Jacob Javits Award. Dr. Steinman earned his medical degree from Harvard University, and completed a fellowship in chemical immunology at Weizmann Institute, Rehovot Israel.

Dr. Lawrence Steinman
Prof. Warren J. Strittmatter, M.D

Duke University School of Medicine

Professor Strittmatter is Professor and Chief, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from Duke University in 1973 and continued his training at the Duke University Medical Center from 1974 to 1977. He worked at the NIH from 1977 to 1979 before returning to Duke. His current research interests include the role of ApoE in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and the mechanisms of polyglutamine-mediated aggregation and cell death.

Prof. Warren J. Strittmatter
Dr. Ann Welton

Dr. Welton was a senior level pharmaceutical company executive leader in drug discovery research and early development for over 30 years before retiring in 2010. She has worked in multidisciplinary R&D environments in both large multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. From 1977 to 1997 she held leadership positions at Hoffmann LaRoche in Nutley, N.J. in Inflammation and Respiratory drug discovery research which culminated in her roles as Vice-President of Bronchopulmonary Research (1992-1994) and Vice-President of Nonclinical Development (1994-1997). From 1998 to 2003, Dr. Welton was Vice-President of Biology and Preclinical Development at the biotechnology company, Axys Pharmaceuticals (which in 2002 was acquired by Celera). From 2003 to 2010 Dr. Welton was Compound Development Team Leader for Immunology early development projects at the Johnson & Johnson Research Center in LaJolla, CA. Dr. Welton received her PhD in Biochemistry from Michigan State University and was a post-doctoral fellow at NIH in the Laboratory of the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Martin Rodbell, prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Ann Welton