Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Jay Lichter, PhD
Chairman of Aratana Therapeutics; Managing Director Avalon Ventures
Jay Lichter, PhD is an experienced biotechnology and pharmaceutical business executive with 25 years of experience in management, scientific research, and business development. He led Avalon VIII’s investments in and served as Director and CEO for Afraxis, Carolus, Otonomy, ReVision Therapeutics and Zacharon. He also led the first life science investment for Avalon IX, Sova Pharmaceuticals and serves as the CEO and on the Board of Directors. Throughout his career, Dr. Lichter has applied his exceptional combination of business acumen and deep technical knowledge to creating commercially successful biotech collaborations and identifying the commercial potential of scientific discoveries at their earliest stages. Dr. Lichter is the inventor on 260 patent and patent applications for six Avalon portfolio companies, including 55 issued patents. Dr. Lichter has been either directly responsible for or participated in licensing or merger and acquisition deals valued in excess of $1 billion.
Steven St. Peter, MD
President and CEO, Aratana Therapeutics
Dr. St. Peter was previously a Managing Director at MPM Capital where he led the investment in and served as Chairman of Aratana Therapeutics. While at MPM, his investment scope included both venture and buyout transactions across the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries. His investment experience includes positions at Apax Partners and The Carlyle Group. Previously, Dr. St. Peter was Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University. He received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Washington University and completed his residency and fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Kansas. He is on the Board of the New England Venture Capital Association, and has served on the Board of Directors of numerous biotech and pharma companies.
Aratana Therapeutics, Inc., PharmAthene, Inc. (ASE:PIP)
Atugen AG, EKR Therapeutics, Inc., Helicos BioSciences Corp. (NASDAQ:HLCS), IDEA AG, MPM Acquisition Corp., Omrix Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: OMRI), Proteon Therapeutics, Inc., Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Linda Rhodes, VMD, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, Aratana Therapeutics
Dr. Linda Rhodes is Chief Scientific Officer of Aratana Therapeutics. Dr. Rhodes has worked in the animal health industry for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Aratana, Dr. Rhodes co-founded AlcheraBio LLC, a consulting and contract research organization focused on the discovery and development of new technologies for animal health.
Before launching AlcheraBio, Dr. Rhodes was the Director for Production Animal Development Projects at Merial Limited, and Senior Research Fellow at Merck Research Laboratories.
Her PhD is from Cornell University, VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
Dr. Rhodes is an adjunct member graduate faculty in the Animal Sciences Department at the Rutger’s and serves on the Board of Directors for ImmuCell Corporation.
Ronald L. Meeusen, PhD
Ron has 30 years of experience in bringing new technologies and products to market. He has led research and development for major corporations in agricultural chemicals, field crop and vegetable genetics and breeding, animal health, novel foods and industrial materials. His successful projects include planning and conducting the world’s first field trial of a genetically engineered crop trait in 1986, development and launch of one of the first insect and herbicide resistant corn hybrids in 1996, introduction of a trans-fat free canola oil, and development of dozens of new varieties of field and vegetable crops on three continents. Ron has been a frequent speaker at conferences, a consultant to Federal policy on biotechnology regulatory issues, and active in industry trade groups on key issues such as European acceptance of new food technologies.
Prior to forming Cultivian Ron spent two years as an executive-on-loan writing an economic development plan for the State of Indiana’s food and agricultural sectors. During the previous six years as Global Leader of Biotechnology at Dow AgroSciences, Ron led the expansion of its biotechnology research and development program.
In earlier assignments Ron:
- Spent three years helping Seminis Vegetable Seeds integrate their three acquisitions into the world’s largest vegetable seed business.
- Designed and led the Sandoz Seeds biotechnology programs in Palo Alto , California and Northrup King, Minnesota
- Conducted a 1980 technology assessment which led the Rohm & Haas Company to build one of the earliest agrobiotechnology programs, which Ron later ran.
Ron holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in plant cell biology, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in plant physiology. Ron represents Cultivian on the Board of Directors of Aratana Therapeutics and Allylix.
Craig Tooman, MBA
CEO, Avanzar Medical, Inc.
Craig Tooman is a very successful pharmaceutical executive with more than twenty years of industry experience in international finance, sales, market research, business intelligence, corporate strategy, and investor relations. He also has significant M&A experience.
Mr. Tooman spent many years at large pharmaceutical companies, including Pharmacia and Upjohn. He also made substantial contributions to Ilex Oncology, which was sold to Genzyme Corporation for $1.1 billion; Enzon Pharmaceuticals and Ikaria. He spent six years as a public company CFO and was designated the first entrepreneur-in-residence by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. He was recently appointed CEO of Avanzar Medical.
Mr. Tooman has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a minor in Japanese Language and a concentration in International Finance from Kalamazoo College. He received his MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.
He is Director and Chairman of the Audit Committees for Aratana Therapeutics, InSite Vision, Inc. and Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals.
John Vander Vort, JD
Director of Aratana Therapeutics; Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of MPM Capital
John W. Vander Vort joined MPM in 2005 from DuPont Capital Management, where he constructed and managed a venture capital portfolio. Previously, he was a General Partner and Co-Founder of BlueStream Ventures, a venture capital firm with $280 million under management. He was also a Managing Director at Dain Rauscher Wessels (now RBC), where he led the West Coast Networking and Communications Investment Banking Group and served as an advisor to leading venture-backed technology companies. Mr. Vander Vort began his career as a corporate transaction attorney in the San Francisco office of Cooley Godward, where he represented venture capital firms and venture-backed companies. Mr. Vander Vort earned his BA from Amherst College and his JD from The University of Chicago Law School.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Locaid
Rip Gerber is the founder of “Location-as-a-Service” (LaaS) and built Locaid into world’s largest LaaS platform that now locates over 350 million wireless devices for the world’s biggest banks, mobile agencies, brands and application developers. Rip is a noted mobile industry visionary, entrepreneur, public company executive and international best-selling author.
Prior to Locaid, Rip served in senior executive roles at various public and private companies. At Nokia, he served as General Manager and Chief Marketing Officer of Intellisync, where he’s recognized for transforming the company’s brand and products and orchestrating the $510M acquisition by Nokia. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President at Carlson, a $38 billion company and one of the largest family-held corporations in the United States. Rip was also on the founding executive team of Commtouch, where, as Chief Marketing Officer, he was a lead executive in taking the company public in 1999. Earlier in his career, Rip founded @once, an email marketing company that was later acquired by InfoUSA. He also served in engineering and management roles at Deloitte Consulting, American Express and Firestone Tire & Rubber.
Rip holds several patents in location technologies, sits on the WIC Leadership Council of the CTIA and has spoken at many industry events, including the DMA, CTIA and CES. His thrillers have been published by Random House and Forge. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Rip is an avid classic rock musician and has amassed the world’s largest collection of map postcards.