Leslie J. Browne, Chairman Phrixus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (In Memoriam)
Leslie J. Browne has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry at Novartis, Berlex, Pharmacopeia, and other biotechs in New Jersey and California. Most recently, he was president and CEO of Senesco, a cancer therapeutics company focused on multiple myeloma. Browne began his industrial career at Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis, where he invented fadrozole, for the treatment of breast cancer and was closely involved in the discoveries of Femara and Diovan, which became major products for Novartis. After Ciba-Geigy, he held several responsibilities at Berlex/Schering AG, including corporate vice president Berlex Laboratories, Inc. and president of Schering Berlin Venture Corporation.
Degrees: B.Sc., Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland; Ph.D., University of Michigan; NIH postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University.
Thomas A. Collet, President, CEO, and Co-founder Phrixus
Thomas A. Collet is a serial entrepreneur, whose companies have raised more than $35 million in seed and early stage capital. Rubicon Genomics, his first start-up, continues to grow rapidly in the genomic sample prep space. Neural Intervention Technologies, a company that he co-founded and that developed a product for hemorrhagic stroke, was sold to W.L. Gore in 2006. ProNAi Therapeutics, a cancer therapy company where he was the first CEO, filed to go public in 2015. Earlier, Collet was a general partner at Tullis-Dickerson, helping manage a $40 million seed and early stage fund. He also was a vice president at Monsanto, where he helped start Integrated Protein Technologies, the company’s internal venture for the production of pharmaceutical proteins in green plants. He began his career at McKinsey, working with clients in technology-focused business units of Fortune 500 companies.
Degrees: Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; postdoctoral fellow, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA.
Bruce Markham, Chief Scientific Officer, VP R&D, and Co-founder Phrixus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
In addition to Phrixus responsibilities, Bruce Markham serves as mentor-in-residence in the Office of Technology Transfer at the University of Michigan and on the advisory board of Cytometix. Prior to Phrixus, he was a research fellow at Pfizer in the cardiovascular area, where he brought six compounds to the clinical candidate stage and was a member of the licensing team. He began his career as an associate professor of physiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, as well as an established investigator at the American Heart Association, and trained in molecular genetics at the University of Arizona.
Degrees: B.A., Western Michigan University; Ph.D., Michigan State University.
Gerald D. Brennan, Jr., JD
A former CFO and vice president administrative & financial operations at Aastrom Biosciences, Ann Arbor, Brennan is also a member of the Illinois Bar and CPA in Illinois. He came to Aastrom from Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, where he served as director, new ventures. Prior to that time, Brennan was CFO and COO of Capcom Coin-Op, Inc., and vice president of distributor operations and administration for Tupperware North America, president of Tupperware Canada and general counsel of Tupperware Worldwide. He has also served as tax counsel, Premark and as a tax manager, Coopers & Lybrand.
Degrees: BSBA in accounting and business economics, Marquette University, JD, University of Illinois.