Cellceutix has brought together leading figures in the health and science arenas to work toward the goal of developing innovative small molecule therapies for areas of unmet medical need, particularly infectious disease, oncology and dermatology. The officers and advisors of Cellceutix include pioneers in the fields of cancer and genetics, as well as pharmaceutical executives. Their invaluable experiences cover all areas of researching, developing, and marketing ground breaking therapies.
Officers and Board of Directors
Leo Ehrlich, CPA - Chief Executive Officer and CFO, Board of Directors
Mr. Ehrlich is a co-founder of Cellceutix and has served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Director since inception in June 2007 and as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since November 2010. Mr. Ehrlich has over 25 years of executive leadership experience in building and managing emerging growth companies. Prior to Cellceutix, Mr. Ehrlich served as CFO and director of Nanoviricides, a publicly-traded company developing nanotechnology-based anti-viral medicines. Prior to that, Mr. Ehrlich held numerous executive positions, including CEO, President, CFO, and Director at StatSure Diagnostic Systems, Inc., a diagnostic company in the HIV space. Mr. Ehrlich is a Certified Public Accountant and received his BBA from Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York.
Arthur P. Bertolino, MD, PhD, MBA - President and Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Bertolino is a leading pharmaceutical executive with over fifteen years of domestic and international drug development and management experience. In his career, Dr. Bertolino held several key positions at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), including Vice President of Dermatology and Vice President & Global Head of Translational Medicine for Dermatology. During his time at NIBR, Dr. Bertolino was integral to the marketing approval of Ilaris® (canakinumab) in the United States, European Union and Switzerland. He also led the early clinical program of Cosentyx™ (secukinumab) and late stage supportive submission studies.
Dr. Bertolino held positions as Senior Medical Director and Senior Director of Dermatology at Pfizer, Inc. Among other accomplishments at Pfizer, he led clinical programs for over a half-dozen new chemical entities involving Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies and contributed to planning for Phase 3 studies. Dr. Bertolino led FDA clinical interactions at entitlement meetings for Pfizer’s dermatology products and served as Pfizer’s dermatology spokesperson.
Dr. Bertolino served as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Peplin, Inc., where he led Phase 2 programs and designed and drove initial Phase 3 programs that contributed to FDA approval of Picato® (ingenol mebutate). Dr. Bertolino also held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Revance Therapeutics, where he, among other responsibilities, supervised all aspects of clinical staff and programs and regulatory affairs.
Dr. Bertolino earned a BS in Chemistry/Biochemistry from SUNY Stony Brook, an MD and PhD in Pharmacology from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and an MBA from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He has authored over 50 abstracts, papers, and book chapters, and also has been a contributor to major media broadcasts and print media, such as Nightline, Nova, CBS This Morning, Men’s Health, GQ, Discover and more.
Krishna Menon, RCM, PhD, VMD – Chief Scientific Officer and President of Research, Board of Directors
Dr. Krishna Menon has more than 25 years of experience in drug development with academia and industry. Dr. Menon is a co-founder of Cellceutix and has served as President and Director since inception in June 2007. Prior to Cellceutix, Dr. Menon served at Eli Lilly as Group Leader, Cancer In Vivo Research and Clinical Development. At Lilly, Dr. Menon played a key role in lead selection and pre-clinical development of Gemzar and Alimta, two anti-cancer drugs which have generated billions of dollars in yearly revenue. In addition, Lilly honored Dr. Menon with the prestigious President’s Recognition Award. Prior to Eli Lilly, Dr. Menon operated his own veterinary oncology and drug development consultancy practice. Earlier in his career, he held research scientist positions at Miles Laboratories and Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute, where he worked under the direction of Dr. Emil Frei, one of the world’s leading oncologists and a leader in medical research. Dr. Menon is a trained veterinary surgeon and holds a PhD in Pharmacology from Kerala University. His PhD work focused on anti-folate therapy of various cancers.
Jane Harness, MP, MS - Vice President, Clinical Sciences and Portfolio Management
Ms. Harness is Vice President, Clinical Sciences and Portfolio Management, for the Company. Ms. Harness has over 20 years in domestic and international clinical drug development experience. Before joining Cellceutix, she served as Vice President, Clinical Operations, at Reverance. Prior, she was the Head of Clinical Sciences, Dermatology and ATI Translational Research, at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Across fifteen years at Pfizer, she held the following notable positions: Global Clinical Lead, Inflammation and Immunology, Early Clinical Lead, Dermatology, and Clinical Trial Head and Process Improvement Lead, Experimental Medicine. Ms. Harness received a BS and MP (Protein Biochemistry) degree from University of Leicester, and a MS (Clinical Pharmacology) from University of Aberdeen.
Lavonne Lang, MPH, DRPH - Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Lang serves as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Cellceutix. She has over fifteen years of management experience in senior regulatory roles at various pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Most recently, Dr. Lang was an independent consultant on regulatory strategy, with a focus in biologics and dermatology. Prior, she was Head of Regulatory Affairs for Aastrom Biosciences, and before that served as Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, for United BioSource/Medco. Across her eighteen years at Parke/Davis Pfizer, she assumed numerous roles, including: Associate Scientist, Safety Assessment; Senior Clinical Communications Specialist; Clinical Communications Director; and for a decade, Director, World Wide Regulatory Affairs. Dr. Lang received a BSN, a MPH (Environmental and Industrial Health: Toxicology), and a DrPH (Health Management and Policy) from The University of Michigan.
Barry Schechter, M.D., F.A.A.O., Independent Board Member
Dr. Schechter is the Director of Department of Cornea and External Disease at Florida Eye Microsurgical Institute from the year 2005 to the present. He was co-founder and the original CEO of Pediavision, a company that was dedicated to saving children’s eyesight; the company and its innovative technology was recently sold. He is an expert consultant for Gerson Lehrman Group regarding the business and technology of eye care. Dr. Schechter’s practice involves diseases of the ocular surface, including dry eyes, allergies, infection, the latest in corneal, refractive and cataract surgery, and glaucoma. He is on the Editorial board for Advanced Ocular Care, a journal that reaches the top 10% of ophthalmologists and select optometrists. Dr. Schechter has reviewed articles for Cornea, the British Journal of Ophthalmology, and Journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has lectured internationally and published about treatment of ocular tumors, on lens implants, on dry eyes, and written a textbook chapter on surgical techniques. Dr. Schechter is involved in clinical research and consults for several ophthalmic pharmaceutical companies.
Zorik Spektor, M.D., F.A.A.P., Independent Board Member
Dr. Spektor is a fellowship trained Pediatric Otolaryngologist and Head and Neck Surgeon. He is Director of The Center for Pediatric ENT – Head and Neck Surgery in Boynton Beach, Florida from the year 1995 to the present. In addition, he is a Voluntary Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. He is also an Affiliate Clinical Assistant Professor of Biomedical Science at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University, and his Medical Doctorate at Albany Medical College of Union University in Albany, New York. He did his residency training in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Connecticut and completed his fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Spektor is board certified in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and American Academy of Pediatrics. He is also a member of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology and Society for Ear, Nose & Throat Advances in Children.
Prior to establishing the Center for Pediatric ENT – Head and Neck Surgery in 1995, Dr. Spektor was on the faculty of the University of Connecticut Health Science Center, Hartford Hospital and Newington Children’s Hospital, now known as Connecticut Children’s Hospital. He has lectured and presented extensively in the field of pediatric otolaryngology and has numerous peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Spektor has been a presenter as well as an invited speaker at local, national and international conferences. He continually conducts clinical research studies, which have produced significant advances in the field of Pediatric Otolaryngology. During the past decade he has been selected as one of the nation’s top doctors by several independent rating agencies for many consecutive years. Dr. Spektor has served on advisory boards for several medical device and pharmaceutical companies and has been involved in significant advances in the field of otolaryngology and Pediatric Otolaryngology.
Mark R. Tobin, MBA, Independent Board Member
Mark Tobin has served as an independent director of Cellceutix since April 2015. Mr. Tobin is the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Business Development of NanoFlex Power Corporation, a publicly-listed advanced solar technology company. Mr. Tobin is also Managing Partner of Capital Gate Research, Inc., a strategic and financial consulting firm. From 2013 to 2016, he served as a Managing Director at Digital Offering, a technology-focused merchant bank. From 2005 to 2013, Mr. Tobin served as Director of Research and as a Senior Research Analyst at Roth Capital Partners, a leading small-cap-focused investment bank, where he oversaw equity research on hundreds of small-cap public companies across a variety of sectors during his tenure. From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Tobin was a Program Manager and Senior Systems Engineer at Science Applications International Corporation, a FORTUNE 500® scientific, engineering, and technology applications company. Mr. Tobin began his career as an officer in the United States Air Force, overseeing advanced technology development programs and representing the U.S. as a NATO delegate. Mr. Tobin graduated with honors from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor’s of Science in Management in 1996 and received an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997.
Francis A. Farraye, M.D., MSc.
Francis A. Farraye, M.D., MSc, Professor of Medicine, Clinical Director, Section of Gastroenterology and Co-Director, Center for Digestive Disorders, Boston University School of Medicine
Dr. Farraye is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American Gastroenterological Association and the American College of Gastroenterology. He has published over 350 original manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters. He has served on numerous national and international committees including as a member of the ACG Board of Trustees. The New England CCFA named Dr. Farraye Humanitarian of the Year in 2003. In 2009, the ACG awarded Dr. Farraye the William Carey Award for service to the college. Dr. Farraye has been recognized as “Top Doctor” in Gastroenterology by Boston Magazine and U.S. News and World Report since 2010. His newest books for clinicians are Gastrointestinal Emergencies and Curbside Consultations in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and for patients Questions and Answers about Ulcerative Colitis, Questions and Answers about Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis for Dummies.
Stephen T. Sonis, D.M.D., D.M.Sc.
Dr. Sonis is one of the world’s foremost experts in the research and clinical treatment of cancer-related oral mucosal toxicities. He currently holds appointments at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine as Professor of Oral Medicine (part-time), and is a Senior Surgeon at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital .
Dr. Sonis also is a Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Biomodels, LLC, a preclinical contract research organization that evaluates novel drugs for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Widely respected by his professional peers, he is the author of over 250 original publications, reviews and chapters, 11 books, and 5 patents, serves on a number of editorial boards, and is a founding member of the International Society of Oral Oncology and the International Academy of Oral Oncology.
Dr. Sonis is a graduate of Tufts University and Harvard University and completed his post-doctoral education at Oxford University.
Paul Marks, M.D.
As President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Marks led Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for 19 years. He remains a vital part of MSKCC as President Emeritus and Member of the Sloan-Kettering Institute. Dr. Marks’s research in cell biology and cancer genetics has made major contributions toward a new approach to cancer treatment and prevention, through the development of new and more potent chemotherapy and chemoprevention agents. He also helped establish the highest standards for research and patient care at MSKCC and has provided leadership in the national and international medical science community.
Samuel Danishefsky, PhD, Scientific Advisor
Dr. Samuel Danishefsky is regarded as one of the world’s leading chemists in cancer research. He is an internationally recognized leader in chemistry, specializing in the synthesis of biologically active organic compounds. Dr. Danishefsky earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard. He spent 14 years at Yale University, where he rose to the rank of Sterling Professor of Chemistry, the highest academic rank at Yale University, awarded to a tenured faculty member considered one of the best in his or her field. By 1991, he was also sharing his time with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as director of the Laboratory for Cancer Research Bioorganic Chemistry, becoming chair in 1993. He accepted an appointment as professor at Columbia University in 1993, and now conducts research at both institutions.
Paul Ginsburg, PhD, Scientific Advisor
Dr. Ginsburg has authored the patent application covering the Cellceutix anticancer product Kevetrin which has been filed in the United States and other countries and has advised Cellceutix on patent and licensing matters during the past few years.
Dr. Ginsburg has spent most of his career in law firms and as corporate counsel representing large and small pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical and consumer product companies. He recently retired from Pfizer Inc., where he served as Head of the New York Patent Department and worked on patent matters relating to several blockbuster products, including Viagra and Chantix, and represented Pfizer on the intellectual property committees of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Dr. Ginsburg has lectured widely on pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent prosecution and licensing at the Practicing Law Institute and Columbia Law School and before other groups. Prior to his twenty –year career at Pfizer, Dr. Ginsburg was a senior attorney at Schering-Plough. He was subsequently recruited by Merck and then by the highly respected IP firm Fish & Neave.
Dr. Ginsburg is perhaps most well-known as the author of the patent covering Schering- Plough’s hugely successful product Claritin. He also authored important patents covering Schering-Plough’s highly successful alpha-interferon product.
Dr. Ginsburg received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the City University of New York and his law degree from Columbia University where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at the City College of New York and to the scientific research honor society Sigma Xi at CUNY.
Jim Boeheim, Business Advisor
Coach Boeheim has earned icon status in the world of basketball. Coaching on the sidelines of the Carrier Dome court that is now named after him, Boeheim has a 962–326 (.747) overall record; ranking him second in wins among active Division I coaches and third all-time in college basketball. Syracuse has nine Big East regular season championships, five Big East Tournament championships and 28 trips into the NCAA Tournament, including four Final Four appearances with a NCAA championship in 2003. Boeheim has earned bronze and gold medals for his role as assistant coach in the 1990 FIBA World Championship, the 2006 FIBA World Championship, the 2008 Summer Olympics, the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey, and the 2012 Summer Olympics. In September 2005, Boeheim was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Boeheim’s list of basketball accolades are only paralleled by his philanthropic efforts in the field of cancer. Surviving his own battle with prostate cancer, Boeheim now heads the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation and has become a major advocate for Coaches vs. Cancer, the Children’s Miracle Network, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Easter Seals, the Special Olympics and more. His dedication to Coaches vs. Cancer, a non-profit collaboration between the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society, has helped raise $4.5 million for the American Cancer Society’s Central New York chapter over the past 12 years.
Emil Frei III, M.D.
Dr. Frei was a founding a member of our Advisory Board until his passing in 2013. Dr. Frei provided invaluable advice in the development of Kevetrin and remains on our team in memoriam as a token of our respect and appreciation for all he did for the world of oncology.
Dr. Frei was known as one of the world’s leading oncologists, a pioneer of chemotherapy and a leader in medical research, clinical practice and education. His distinguished career included 40 years in top leadership positions such as Chief of Medicine at National Cancer Institute, Associate Scientific Director at M. D. Anderson, and Director and Physician-in-Chief at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dr. Frei had unparalleled experience in the development of new cancer drugs. He is often referred to as the “Father of the Cure for Childhood Leukemia” because of his collaborative work with Dr. Emil J. Freireich.