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 Posdoctoral 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 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. Most recently, 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.
Dr. Suzie Chen, provides a high level of expertise in translational research in oncology. Since moving to Rutgers University in 1992, her NIH-funded basic research has been on melanoma, which has led to identification of a novel gene family, of which Grm1 is the founding member, that drives development of certain cancers including melanoma. Dr. Chen entire scientific career has been devoted to studying animal models of cancer with a focus on mouse models including xenograft mice. She is a key person in a current clinical trial of a small molecule targeting Grm1 in melanoma. Dr.Chen has a PhD in Genetics from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY.