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Board of Directors

About | Management Team | Board of Directors

Bob

Robert R. Birge, PhD
Founder, LambdaVision, Inc.

Bob Birge received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Yale University in 1968, his PhD in chemical physics from Wesleyan University in 1972, and was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University from 1973-1975. He was an Assistant and subsequently a tenured Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside (1975-1984), and then served as Professor and Head of the Chemistry Department at Carnegie Mellon University (1984 - 1987). He joined the faculty at Syracuse University in 1988 where he was a University Professor of Chemistry and Physics, Director of the W. M. Keck Center for Molecular Electronics, and Research Director of the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Computer Applications and Software Engineering. In January 2000, he joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut where he holds the Harold S. Schwenk Distinguished Chair in chemistry. He has published over 250 research papers and holds 5 US and international patents on the use of proteins to make holographic associative memories, three-dimensional paged memories and hybrid protein-semiconductor devices. He has served on the editorial advisory board of seven journals and was an associate Editor of Biospectroscopy. In 1997, he was listed among the fifty "Cyber Elite" by Time Digital for his work on protein-based devices, and the use of these devices for computer memories and processors. More recently, he won the Connecticut Innovations 2001 Annual Technology Award, the 2002 3M Award of Canada for Physical Chemistry and the 2009 Connecticut Medal of Science.

Kirk

Kirk Dornbush, JD
COO and Co-Founder, Coagulant Therapeutics, Inc.

Mr. Dornbush has a biotechnology career spanning 15 years. In March 2003, Mr. Dornbush co-founded Iconic Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of a new drug candidate licensed from Yale University, called ICON-1. ICON-1 is a FVIIa-based recombinant protein that targets Tissue Factor, for the treatment of a variety of diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and cancer.

During his tenure as CEO, he was responsible for all areas of the company including, clinical operations, manufacturing, regulatory affairs, finance, human resources, grant writing and other general and administrative matters. Mr. Dornbush managed a team of consultants and contractors who designed and implemented all pre-clinical toxicology and efficacy studies to support the company’s first IND filing, developed a cGMP manufacturing process, designed and implemented an 18 patient, Phase 1 study in patients with wet AMD. Mr. Dornbush was responsible for all corporate financial matters including fundraising, payroll, payables, preparation of financial statements and annual budgets, and management of annual financial audits. From inception through April 2014, Mr. Dornbush raised approximately $43.0 million in individual and venture financing for Iconic.

In April 2014, Mr. Dornbush negotiated and closed Iconic’s $20M Series B, venture-backed financing. Concurrent with the Series B financing, Mr. Dornbush hired William L. Greene, M.D. as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and moved the company to South San Francisco, CA. He remained as the company’s President and COO, helping to launch the company’s first research and development laboratory, negotiate corporate contracts including office leases, clinical trial agreements and CRO master service agreements, manage the diligence associated with its $50M Series C financing. He participated in the design, initiation and recruitment of an 88 patient, Phase 2a study in patients with wet AMD, and helped initiate a Phase 1 study in patients with Uveal Melanoma, manage further development of the manufacturing process and manage a variety of financial, general and administrative matters.

Mr. Dornbush retired from the company at the end of 2016 and remains on the Iconic Therapeutics’ BOD. In September 2017, Dornbush joined Coagulant Therapeutics, Inc. and Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder.

Susan

Susan Froshauer, PhD
Vice President, CURE Collaborations, LLC

Dr. Froshauer has over thirty years of biotech and biopharmaceutical research and development experience. Most recently, Susan joined Yale Office of Cooperative Research as an Entrepreneur in Residence, returning to one of her drivers, connecting entrepreneurs to know-how, funding and approaches that ultimately identify cures to improve our quality of life. Susan also is a leader of the BioCT (“CURE”) Commons accelerator program, assisting with Thames River Innovation Places community entrepreneur outreach as part of a CTNext Innovation Places funded program, Ignite. She stepped-down from her role as President and CEO of BioCT (“CURE”) to better focus her time as a tech/biotech start-up executive and mentor, and to spend time on local community activities connected to science and policy education. Susan has been involved on multiple start-up boards, the CTNext funded group, SECT Tech, the Creative Arts Workshop and the Angel Investor Forum. Prior to BioCT, Dr. Froshauer was Director of the Technology Exchange Portal at the University of Connecticut’s Office of Economic Development. In this role, Susan assisted Connecticut-based entrepreneurs and organizations with initiatives that train students, create jobs and contribute to economic development. She connected ideas with business expertise, business plans with investors and industry with scholars. Until 2010, Susan served for 11 years as the founding President and CEO of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals (now Melinta), which she co-founded in New Haven in 2000. Under her leadership, Rib-X raised more than $160 million in private equity, bridge financing and government grants and started to build a pipeline of antibiotics to treat serious hospital infections. Now a public company, Melinta recently has launched its first product and has several other products on the market. Before starting Rib-X, Susan served as a member of Pfizer’s Strategic Alliance Groups where she was part of a team who created a $200 million technology investment portfolio established to transform the Pfizer global research and development strategy. She received a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University and a B.A. in Botany from Connecticut College. She performed post-doctoral research at Yale Medical School in the Department of Cell Biology as a Jane Coffin Child’s Fellow.

Pauline

Pauline Murphy
Senior Managing Director, Investments, Connecticut Innovations

Pauline, who joined Connecticut Innovations in 2002, has led CI’s investments in Bioarray Genetics, Environmental Energy Services, eTouches, Premise Corporation (acquired by Eclipsys Corporation), Cadenza Innovation, Fitscript, LambdaVision and Summit Street Medical. She serves on the boards of Environmental Energy Services, Bioarray Genetics, Fitscript, LambdaVision, and Summit Street Medical. She also managed CI’s investment in CGI (acquired by Gilead) and CiDRA Corporation, which successfully sold its oil and gas business segment. In addition to being responsible for initiating and closing deals, Pauline manages the investment associates and investment support staff.

Pauline is also responsible for the efficiency and effectiveness of CI Venture’s operations, including planning and analysis, compliance, reporting and training.

Pauline joined CI with over 10 years of experience in both manufacturing and service organizations. She was a senior financial professional with an early-stage software development company and launched her career at Ernst & Young, LLP.

Nicole

Nicole L. Wagner, PhD
President and CEO, LambdaVision, Inc.

Dr. Wagner obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut under the advising of Dr. Robert Birge. Nicole entered the graduate program in 2007 and spent the majority of her graduate career working on optimizing retinal-containing proteins for application in devices. During the course of her PhD research, she played a critical role in the proof-of-concept experiments, which helped to found LambdaVision in May 2009. Through the use of site-directed mutagenesis, site-specific saturation mutagenesis, and directed evolution, Nicole was able to genetically engineer the protein, bacteriorhodopsin, for a variety of device applications, including protein-based holographic and 3-dimensional memories, a chemical detection sensor, and, most recently, a protein-based retinal implant.

Nicole is an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur with numerous peer-reviewed publications, and has presented her research at both National and International meetings. In 2012, Dr. Wagner received the Connecticut Technology Council’s Women of Innovation “Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award” for her work with LambdaVision, and most recently was listed as one of CT Magazine’s 40 under 40 for the class of 2015. Nicole currently serves as LambdaVision’s President and CEO. Since taking on the role of CEO, Dr. Wagner has been successful in securing over $1.5M in local, state, and government funding to accelerate the research, development, and commercialization of LambdaVision’s retinal implant.

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