Board of Directors
Jon S. Saxe, J.D., LL.M
Chairman of the Board
Jon S. Saxe, J.D., LL.M. has served as Chairman of our Board of Directors since 2000. He also serves as the Chairman of our Audit Committee. Mr. Saxe is the retired President and was a director of PDL BioPharma from 1989 to 2008. From 1989 to 1993, he was President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Synergen, Inc. (acquired by Amgen). Mr. Saxe served as Vice President, Licensing & Corporate Development for Hoffmann-Roche from 1984 through 1989, and Head of Patent Law for Hoffmann-Roche from 1978 through 1989. Mr. Saxe currently is a director of Durect Corporation (NASDAQ: DRRX), and six private life science companies, Achelios, Arbor Vita Corporation, Aether, Inc., Arcuo Medical, LLC, Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Trellis Bioscience, Inc. and Epalex Corporation. Mr. Saxe has also served as a director of other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including ID Biomedical (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Sciele Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Shionogi), Amalyte (acquired by Kemin Industries), Cell Pathways (acquired by OSI Pharmaceuticals), Lumos Pharma, Inc. (merged with New Link Genetics) and other companies, both public and private. Mr. Saxe has a B.S.Ch.E. from Carnegie-Mellon University, a J.D. degree from George Washington University and an LL.M. degree from New York University.
Ann Cunningham, MBA
Chief Commercial Officer and Director
Prior to joining VistaGen as Chief Commercial Officer, Ms. Cunningham served as Managing Partner of i3 Strategy Partners, where she guided senior pharmaceutical and biotechnology executives in planning and executing successful portfolio strategies and brand launches. Her experience in the pharmaceutical industry includes numerous instrumental roles in the successful commercial launch and sales of multiple CNS brands, including notably Lilly’s blockbuster CNS product, Cymbalta, for which she led the development and execution of the “Depression Hurts” consumer campaign, and a key Otsuka America CNS product, Rexulti, serving as Senior Director, Global Brand Lead. While at Lilly, she also led psychiatry sales teams as Area Sales Director responsible for Cymbalta, Zyprexa and Strattera. More recently, Ann led commercial development of a portfolio of products as Vice President, Neurodegenerative Disease and Psychiatry at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Ms. Cunningham holds a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
Joanne Curley, Ph.D.
Joanne Curley, Ph.D. joined our Board of Directors and Board’s Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee in April 2021. Dr. Curley brings more than 25 years of experience in the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products, including R&D governance. She is currently the Chief Development Officer at Vera Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to joining Vera, Dr. Curley spent 15 years with Gilead Sciences, Inc., during which time the anti-viral portfolio grew from four to seventeen commercial products. While at Gilead, Dr. Curley led Project and Portfolio Management with oversight of the development pipeline across four therapeutic areas and was responsible for research and development governance. Before Gilead, Dr. Curley worked as an aerosol formulation scientist and subsequently as a project leader at Nektar Therapeutics. She received a BSc in Physics and Chemistry from Trinity College, Ireland, a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and completed a post-doctorate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School, focused on long-acting biodegradable formulations.
Maggie FitzPatrick joined our Board of Directors in July 2021. Ms. FitzPatrick is a globally recognized corporate affairs executive who has been honored with several prestigious awards, including the Washington Business Journal’s C-Suite Executive of the Year Class (2019), PR Week’s Top 50 Most Powerful People in PR (2015) and PR Week’s Hall of Femme (2019). Recently, she served as a member of the Exelon Corporation executive committee. At Exelon, she led communications, customer engagement, digital and crisis reputation management and philanthropy for the Fortune 100 Company. Prior to Exelon, Maggie served as Global Chief Communications Officer and led public affairs at Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest and most broadly-based healthcare company. She directed a global team of more than 425 professionals and oversaw the modernization and transformation of Johnson & Johnson's global public affairs, reputation management and digital content programs. She and her team implemented a customer-focused strategy to strengthen engagement initiatives across the company’s 265 operating companies, across sixty countries. Prior to Johnson & Johnson, Maggie served as Global Chief Communication Officer and President of the Foundation at Cigna, where she led a corporate re-branding effort and directed marketing communications for the company’s global expansion. Previous to that, Maggie was Executive Vice President at APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs and strategic communications consultancy. Maggie also serves on the board of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in Washington, D.C. In 2020, she was appointed by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to serve as a Commissioner on the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Maggie holds a B.A. in English and Policy Studies from Syracuse University, and an M.A. in Public Policy from The George Washington University. In 2018, she completed the Harvard Business School program for corporate directors.
Jerry Gin, Ph.D., MBA
Jerry B. Gin, Ph.D., M.B.A joined our Board of Directors in March 2016. Dr. Gin is currently the co-founder and CEO of Nuvora, Inc., a private company founded in 2006 with a drug delivery platform for the sustained release of ingredients through the mouth for such indications as dry mouth, biofilm reduction and sore throat/cough relief. Dr. Gin is also co-founder and Chairman of Livionex, a private platform technology company founded in 2009 and focused on oral care, ophthalmology and wound care. Previously, Dr. Gin co-founded Oculex Pharmaceuticals in 1993, which developed technology for controlled release delivery of drugs to the interior of the eye, specifically to treat macular edema, and served as President and CEO until it was acquired by Allergan in 2003. Prior to forming Oculex, Dr. Gin co-founded and took public ChemTrak, which developed a home cholesterol test commonly available in drug stores today. Prior to ChemTrak, Dr. Gin was Director of New Business Development and Strategic Planning for Syva, the diagnostic arm of Syntex Pharmaceuticals, Director for Pharmaceutical and Diagnostic businesses for Dow Chemical, and Director of BioScience Labs (now Quest Laboratories), the clinical laboratories of Dow Chemical. Dr. Gin received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Arizona, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.B.A. from Loyola College, and conducted his post-doctoral research at the National Institutes of Health.
Mary L. Rotunno, J.D.
Mary L. Rotunno, J.D. joined our Board of Directors in July 2021. Ms. Rotunno is currently General Counsel and Member of the Executive Leadership Team at El Camino Health, a $1 billion revenue health care system. She is also Board Chair and a member of Audit, Executive/Governance and Nominations Committees for health care provider, Momentum for Health, in Silicon Valley. Before joining El Camino Health in early 2014, Ms. Rotunno spent over 11 years as Senior Counsel and Client Service Leader for Common Spirit Health, formerly Dignity Health, in San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to Dignity Health, she held various legal roles at Varian Medical Systems, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Golden Living, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pitman. She graduated with honors from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She worked as a registered nurse before earning her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, San Francisco. She obtained certification by the Women’s Corporate Board Readiness Program at Santa Clara University and completed the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women and Dignity Health Ministry Leadership Program.
Shawn K. Singh, J.D.
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Shawn Singh has served as our Chief Executive Officer since August 2009; he joined our Board of Directors in 2000. Mr. Singh has nearly 30 years of experience working with private and public biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies, a venture capital firm, and a profitable contract research and development organization (CRO), serving in numerous senior management roles. Prior to joining us as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Singh served as President of Artemis Neuroscience, prior to our acquisition of that company, Managing Principal of Cato BioVentures, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm, and as Chief Business Officer and General Counsel of Cato Research Ltd (now Cato-SMS), a global CRO. Earlier, Mr. Singh assisted with the IPO of SciClone Pharmaceuticals (formerly NASDAQ: SCLN), a revenue-generating, China-focused specialty pharmaceutical company, and served as its Chief Business Officer before departing to form Cato BioVentures with the founders of Cato Research. He began his career as a corporate finance attorney in the Silicon Valley offices of Morrison & Foerster LLP, with a transaction-focused practice involving both emerging biotechnology and high technology companies. Mr. Singh earned a B.A. degree, with honors, from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. Mr. Singh is a member of the State Bar of California.