Ronald (Ronnie) Farquhar studied microbiology both as an undergraduate (BSc, 1st Class, Edinburgh, 1982) and as a postgraduate (D. Phil., Oxford, 1985). Over the next 5 years Ronnie worked at Shell Research and then as a sponsored postdoctoral fellow at Merck. Ronnie joined Pfizer Research in Sandwich, Kent in 1988 and over the following 10 years he worked within infection discovery with a focus on antifungals and antivirals. In 1998, Ronnie joined Millennium Pharmaceuticals where he ran the company’s major alliances with Pfizer and Wyeth (in infection) and with Bayer (in early discovery). Following this, Ronnie served as head of preclinical and discovery biology at ActivBiotics (antibacterial drug discovery) and subsequently as head of Charles River Labs’ Preclinical Services, Massachusetts business. From 2009-2015, Ronnie led discovery and pharmaceutical research at Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Ronnie joined Morningside Ventures in 2015 as an entrepreneur-in-residence, charged with the identification of new infection and immunity related investments. Approved products to which Ronnie contributed include: Miraviroc® and Ceftolozane/Tazobactam®. Clinical development stage compounds to which Ronnie contributed include: Rifalazil®, Surotomycin®, CB-618 (a beta-lactamase inhibitor) and CB-634 (a pain therapeutic).
Ronnie serves as CEO of Epsila Bio. He has also founded Bacainn Biotherapeutics Ltd. (chronic inflammation focus), Artugen Therapeutics Ltd. (novel live biotherapeutics (LBTs)) and and ClearB Therapeutics Ltd. (chronic hepatitis B virus infection focus), serving as each organization’s CEO.
Aileen Rubio, PhD
Aileen Rubio received her bachelor’s degrees in microbiology and in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and earned a Ph.D. in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (2001). She completed postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Diego (2001 – 2004). Following a short stint at Dow Chemical Company (in 2005) (now Pfenex Inc), she joined the microbiology group at Cubist Pharmaceuticals (2005 – 2015) where she worked on numerous antibacterial discovery projects, managed the in-house microbiology, biochemistry and natural products functions, and provided support for business development activities. After Cubist, Aileen went on to Spero Therapeutics (2015 – 2018) where she built and led internal microbiology and in vivo pharmacology efforts, managed external collaborations and led several discovery projects.
Aileen is the Vice President of Research and Development for Epsila Bio to progress the company’s transition to clinic.
Bharat Dixit, PhD
Bharat Dixit earned his masters in biotechnology from IIT, Roorkee and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Institute of Microbial technology in 1998. He has more than 13 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, with a focus in the area of bioprocess and analytical development, drug formulation including fill-finish, cGMP manufacturing, and project leadership. Prior to joining Epsila Bio, he led process and product development teams at Finch Therapeutics. Bharat’s CMC expertise range from small molecules, complex biologics, vaccines to live biotherapeutics (microbiome). Prior to Finch, Bharat also led teams at Gencoea Biosciences and Sanofi Pasteur.
Bharat is the Vice President of Biopharmaceutical Development & Manufacturing of Epsila Bio.
Zoe Marks, MBBS, PhD
Zoe Marks completed her Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (Hons) at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. As an adjunct to her medical training, she undertook a Bachelor of Medical Science at the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research (2014), developing her research experience in the molecular biology of tumor immunology. Zoe subsequently extended her research by completing a PhD in molecular translational sciences under the supervision of Prof. Paul Hertzog at the Hudson Institute (2015-2018). Her research investigating the role of innate immune signaling in cancer demonstrated the potential of IFNε as a novel immunotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer and contributed to establishing the collaboration between the Hudson Institute and Morningside Biopharma Advisory (MBA). In 2020, she joined Morningside BioPharma Advisory as a Clinical Research Fellow to gain experience in drug discovery and development and build a diverse understanding of translational medicine.
Paul Hertzog, PhD
Professor Paul Hertzog is the Director of the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases; Associate Director of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research; NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow; a Research Professor of Monash University; and an Adjunct Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He obtained his PhD from the University of Melbourne, then undertook postdoctoral positions in the USA at the Eppley Institute of Cancer Research and at the University of York in the UK. Professor Hertzog has an established record of research on immune responses to cancer and infectious diseases, using a multidisciplinary approach involving analyses of the cell, molecular biology of cytokine signalling and gene regulatory networks, preclinical genetically modified mouse models of disease, and clinical studies.
His group’s work has been published in eminent journals including Cell, Science, Nature Immunology, Nature Medicine, Immunity, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation, among others. This work resulted in Professor Hertzog being awarded the international 2013 Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research. Professor Hertzog is founder of the Victorian Infection and Immunity Network and its Industry Alliance Program, and he co-convenes the Lorne Infection and Immunity annual conference.