Neil Desai, PhD
Founder, CEO and President
Neil Desai, PhD
Founder, CEO and President
Dr. Desai is the founder of Aadi and has served as Aadi’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Aadi’s board of directors since Aadi’s founding in October 2011. He is an inventor of the nab® technology, Abraxane® and FyarroTM. From October 2010 to October 2016, Dr. Desai served as Vice President, Strategic Platforms at Celgene Corporation (now Bristol Myers Squibb), a global biopharmaceutical company. Prior to Celgene, Dr. Desai served as Senior Vice President, Global Research and Development at Abraxis BioScience, Inc., a biotechnology company, from November 2008 until Abraxis BioScience was acquired by Celgene Corporation in October 2010 and as Vice President, Research & Development at Abraxis BioScience from March 1999 to October 2008. Dr. Desai has also previously served in positions of increasing seniority at American BioScience, Inc. and its predecessor companies. He has over 25 years of experience in novel therapeutic delivery systems with numerous issued patents, peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and presentations at scientific meetings. He participated in FDA and EU Nanotechnology initiatives and was a member of the Steering Committee for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.
Dr. Desai holds a M.S and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India.
Caley Castelein, MD
Caley Castelein, M.D. has served as Chair of our board of directors since August 2021. Since February 2017, Dr. Castelein has served as a member of the board of directors of Aerpio Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, which merged with Aadi Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: AADI) in August 2021. Since March 2006, he has served as a Managing Director and founder of Kearny Venture Partners, L.P., a healthcare venture capital fund. Additionally, he founded KVP Capital, L.P. in 2013 and manages the fund which invests in small and mid-cap healthcare companies. Dr. Castelein has served as a director at ViewRay, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRAY), a medical device company, since 2008 and NewBridge Pharmaceuticals FZ, LLC, a specialty therapeutics company, since March 2015. He served as a member of the board of directors for Boreal Genomics, Inc., a diagnostics company, from October 2010 until its successful sale in September 2021. Dr. Castelein served as a member of the board of directors for Waterstone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company from March 2015 to March 2018; AliveCor, Inc., a medical device company from April 2015 to March 2020; Wellpartner, Inc., a pharmaceutical distribution solutions company, from March 2015 to November 2017; and Neos Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: NEOS), a pharmaceutical company from March 2015 to July 2015. He holds an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. We believe Dr. Castelein is qualified to serve on our board of directors based on his extensive investment experience in the healthcare industry.
Audit Committee Chair
Emma Reeve served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, from October 2017 to July 2021, and as Treasurer from December 2017 to July 2021. Prior to joining Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Ms. Reeve served as Corporate Controller of PAREXEL International, a biopharmaceutical services company and contract research organization, from September 2014 to October 2017, and as Interim Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Controller of PAREXEL from July 2016 to May 2017, where she was responsible for all aspects of financial reporting and accounting, investor relations, financial planning and analysis. Previously, Ms. Reeve served as Head of Finance and Administration at Novartis Pharma Schweiz, a pharmaceutical company, from May 2012 to August 2014, and as Vice President, Global Head Business Planning and Analysis for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, a division of Novartis, from January 2008 to April 2012. She served as Chief Financial Officer of Inotek Pharmaceuticals Inc., a development-stage biotechnology company, from 2006 to 2007. Ms. Reeve was Senior Director of Research Operations at Merck Research Laboratories from 2004 to 2006. Prior to that, she served as Chief Financial Officer of Aton Pharma, Inc., a development-stage biotechnology company, from 2002 to 2004. Ms. Reeve was at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a global biopharmaceuticals company, from 1994 to 2002.
Ms. Reeve holds a B.Sc. in computer science from Imperial College, University of London and is an associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
Behzad Aghazadeh, PhD
Dr. Aghazadeh currently is the Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager of Avoro Capital Advisors, a global life sciences investment firm with a focus on supporting emerging biotechnology companies, which he joined in July 2011. From March 2017 to October 2020, Dr. Aghazadeh served as Executive Chairman of the board of directors of Immunomedics, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company (now a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, Inc.). Dr. Aghazadeh additionally serves on the board of directors of Scribe Therapeutics Inc., a private molecular engineering company developing advanced technologies for CRISPR-based genetic medicine. Dr. Aghazadeh has more than 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including more than 15 years as an institutional investor and previously six years at Booz Allen as a general management consultant to senior executive teams in the healthcare sector.
Anupam Dalal, MD
Dr. Dalal has served on Aerpio’s board of directors since November 2011. Since August 2016, Dr. Dalal has been working at Acuta Capital. From 2006 to 2016, Dr. Dalal was the Managing Director of Kearny Venture Partners. He was a Founder and Managing Member of KVP Capital. He served as a director of Akebia Therapeutics from 2008 to 2016.
Dr. Dalal received an M.D. from the University of California in San Francisco with honors; an M.B.A., with distinction, from Harvard Business School; and a B.A. in Economics, Phi Beta Kappa and highest honors, from the University of California at Berkeley.
Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD
Dr. Hehenberger has served as Chief Executive Officer of Lyfebulb, Inc., a patient engagement platform, since January 2014. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Hehenberger served in various roles at Coronado Biosciences, Inc. (now Fortress Biotech, Inc.), including Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs and, most recently, Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Hehenberger has previously served in several management positions including as Vice President, Metabolics Strategy and Business Development at Johnson & Johnson, and Senior Vice President Strategic Alliances at Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (referred to as “JDRF”), a nonprofit funder of type 1 diabetes research. Dr. Hehenberger previously served as Senior Director of Scientific Communications at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and Senior Investment Director and Partner at Scandinavian Life Science Venture. Dr. Hehenberger serves on the board of directors of the American Diabetes Association, the Rolf Luft Foundation for Diabetes Research, and Diamyd Medical.
Dr. Hehenberger holds a M.D. and Ph.D. from Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Hehenberger did her JDRF post-doctoral fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School.
Richard Maroun, JD
Mr. Maroun has served on Aadi’s board of directors since February 2017. Since June 2014, Mr. Maroun has served as Partner, General Counsel at Frazier Healthcare Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm. Prior to joining Frazier, Mr. Maroun was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Aptalis Pharma US, Inc. from 2012 through February 2014. Previously, Mr. Maroun has served in numerous senior executive roles for APP Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company, including as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel, and Business Development Officer. Mr. Maroun has also previously held senior positions with Abraxis Bioscience, Inc., a biotechnology company, and American BioScience, Inc., a company involved in the research and development of novel drug compounds. Prior to joining American BioScience, Mr. Maroun was a Director of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, and before that he was a Senior Tax Manager of Deloitte & Touche LLP. In May 2021, Mr. Maroun has been nominated to serve as a member of the board of directors of Lazard Healthcare Acquisition Corp. I, a newly organized blank check company for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. Mr. Maroun also currently serves as a board member or advisor of several privately-held companies funded by Frazier Healthcare Partners, including Community Care Health Network, LLC, Parata Systems, Inc., Orthotic Holdings, Inc., and AppianRx, and was previously a member of the board of directors of Organovo Holdings, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company, from August 2016 to July 2020.
Mr. Maroun holds a LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University School of Law, a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law, and a B.S. degree in economics from John Carroll University.