Scientific Advisory Board
Gordon Keller, Ph.D.
Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board, Director, McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University Health Network
Dr. Keller co-founded VistaGen with Dr. Ralph Snodgrass and serves as Chairman of our Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Keller is the Director of UHN’s McEwen Centre, and Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Ontario. He is a world leader in the field of hematopoietic development with more than 100 publications relating to blood development and stem cells. Previously, he held an endowed Chair at the Carl C. Icahn Institute for Gene Therapy and Molecular Medicine, MSSM, was a Member of the NJH, Denver, Colorado, Associate Professor, Department of Immunology, University Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, a Member, Basel Institute for Immunology, Basel, Switzerland, and a Visiting Scientist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria. Dr. Keller has served on several NIH study sections and is invited throughout the world to talk about his research on stem cells and blood development. Dr. Keller and Dr. Snodgrass are long-time collaborators who helped pioneer the use of stem cell systems for understanding hematopoietic development and cell biology, and as better biological systems for pharmaceutical discovery, drug rescue and drug development.
David Rotella, Ph.D.
Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor of Chemistry at Montclair State University
Dr. Rotella is currently the Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor of Chemistry at Montclair State University, engaged in drug discovery research and undergraduate and graduate teaching. From 2005 to 2010, Dr. Rotella was a Principal Research Scientist and chemistry team leader for Wyeth Research (acquired by Pfizer in 2009) in CNS drug discovery projects and a key leader for collaboration with Solvay Pharmaceuticals. During that time, he was instrumental in delivering a clinical candidate and managing chemists in a group that delivered another, in addition to supervising and mentoring group leaders responsible for two programs in lead discovery. Prior to that, Dr. Rotella was a Senior Group Leader, responsible for multiple drug discovery programs at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, and Principal Scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb PRI, where he focused on cardiovascular and metabolic disease drug discovery. Dr. Rotella has authored forty publications and holds seven patents.
James E. Sanders, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Senior Director and Preclinical Development Leader (retired), Johnson & Johnson
Dr. Sanders has more than 30 years’ experience in toxicology, safety assessment, drug development and regulatory affairs in senior global positions at world-leading pharmaceutical companies. We expect his experience in absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, safety pharmacology, and toxicology to contribute significantly to our drug rescue programs by helping us select new lead drug rescue variants. In addition, Dr. Sanders’ experience in interacting with World Health Regulatory Agencies from pre-IND through product registration will contribute to our drug development efforts.
Ron Wester, Ph.D.
Vice President (retired), Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery, Pfizer Global R&D
Dr. Wester has nearly 25 years’ experience in medicinal chemistry and drug development, with strategic leadership responsibilities for drug discovery technologies across chemistry, biology and computational disciplines. He has extensive senior leadership experience with organizational responsibility for large research global teams across multiple therapeutic areas (atherosclerosis, cardiovascular, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis). We expect Dr. Wester’s extensive experience in delivering successful drug candidates and driving the use of new chemistry and computational technologies to contribute significantly to our drug rescue campaigns.