Brief History 
SilaGene, Inc. was founded in June 2008 by Dr. Sam Gunderson and Dr. Rafal Goraczniak, the two inventors of the U1 Adaptor technology.   SilaGene is the exclusive licensee of the U1 Adaptor technology from Rutgers University and began operating in September 2009 when Dr. Goraczniak became its first employee and occupied 2000 square feet of laboratory space in Hillsborough, New Jersey.  SilaGene’s overall mission is to commercialize the U1 Adaptor technology by developing U1 Adaptors with therapeutic potential for a wide variety of diseases, with an initial focus on cancer.

Dr. Samuel Gunderson is President and co-founder of SilaGene Inc. and Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Rutgers University.  He holds several gene silencing patents and has had 13 years of continuous NIH funding to support his basic research laboratory at Rutgers. Dr. Gunderson discovered and characterized how the U1A and U1 snRNP splicing factors regulate gene expression by inhibiting 3'-end formation (polyadenylation) of pre-mRNA of specific genes including the U1A gene itself as part of an autoregulatory loop.  His career includes publications in highly-rated scientific journals and numerous presentations as an invited speaker at universities, companies and conferences. He received his doctoral training in genetics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and postdoctoral training in molecular biology at the European Molecular Biology Lab, Heidelberg. 

Dr. Rafal Goraczniak is currently the Chief Science Officer at SilaGene Inc. He is a co-inventor of the U1 Adaptor gene silencing technology while working in Dr. Gunderson's laboratory.  Previously, Dr. Goraczniak was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and at UMDNJ where his research involved several important breakthroughs and discoveries that have helped reshape our understanding of certain visual disorders, helping to advance treatment and the prevention of retinal diseases.  He received his PhD degree from Poznan University, Poland in 1994, where he studied plant molecular biology.

Dr. James Ballance is Chief Business Officer at SilaGene, Inc.. He has substantial experience in developing therapeutic products from early stage research, through transition to cGMP manufacturing and clinical trials. He has played a central role in the filing of several INDs and has participated in a number of meetings with the FDA.  He was Vice President of Technology Development at BioRexis Pharmaceutical Corp., where he was responsible for managing a wide range of functions from Molecular Biology, through Fermentation, Purification Development and Analytical development, to managing a phase I clinical trial manufacturing unit and managing QC.   He was also responsible for managing the company’s IP portfolio and played a major role in raising $30M from VCs.  He also led technical due diligence leading to acquisition of the company by Pfizer. Dr Ballance’s background is in molecular biology and he has a PhD from the University of Bristol, UK. He is the inventor of 16 patent series, including 10 issued US patents and 5 granted European patents.

SilaGene’s Scientific Advisory Board comprises Drs. Gunderson, Goraczniak, and Ballance.