Leadership

 

Nadeem Sarwar - President

Nadeem Sarwar, Ph.D., specializes in strategies to integrate and apply several sciences to deliver novel, precision medicines from human genetic and related sources. He has established and serves as president of the AiM Institute, which currently has assets in early stage clinical trials, late stage pre-IND and early stage preclinical discovery.

Nadeem has served as chair of a number of organizations, including the US National Academies Workshop on “Drug Discovery From Genetic Bioresources;” The 2015 World CNS Summit; The Drug Discovery and Development Stream of the 2016 Festival of Genomics; and The External Advisory Board of the US National Institute of Ageing Longevity Genomics Study. In addition, Nadeem is the Industry Lead for the ADNI Genetics Core; sits on the US National Academies Institute of Medicine Genomics Roundtable (and leads their “Discovery Working Group”); is a member of the Genetics Scientific Advisory Group of the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium; and facilitates the Industry Partnership for Human Genetics (for precompetitive opportunities in applied genetic research).

Nadeem was previously vice president and global head of Genetics & Human Biology at Eisai Inc., responsible for establishing a new function in human genetic-related drug discovery and clinical research. He joined Eisai from Pfizer Inc., where he served as senior director and head of Population Research & Head of Cardiometabolic Genetics; served on the Atorvastatin Core Advisory Board; and sat on the Pfizer Post-Doctoral Program Governance Team. At Pfizer, Nadeem led the development and initiation of a new Cardiovascular Therapeutic Area Strategy; launched the University of Cambridge/Pfizer Center for CV Genomics; established a “genes to targets” strategy delivering novel targets into the exploratory cardiometabolic research portfolio; and served on the clinical design team for a Phase 3 outcome trial.

Prior to working in the pharmaceutical industry, Nadeem was a tenured faculty member at the School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, where his research involved leading large-scale research consortia and the establishment of new bioresources to identify causal and predictive disease risk factors.

Nadeem’s research has been published in a number of leading medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Journal of the Americam Medical Association (JAMA), and Lancet. He has presented at a variety of international scientific meetings, including the Prix Galien Foundation, American Diabetes Association and Hitachi Innovation. He has been invited to provide expert insights on the role of human genetics in drug discovery and precision medicine for several institutes globally. He obtained his doctorate in molecular & genetic epidemiology at the University of Cambridge (UK), where he studied with Professor John Danesh.

Janna Hutz, Head, Human Biology & Data Science Engine

Janna Hutz, Ph.D., leads the Human Biology & Data Science Engine (HB&DS), a group of cross-trained data scientists who access, analyze, integrate, interpret, and apply robust human data from diverse sources to enable the AiM Institute’s drug discovery and development mission.

HB&DS scientists work very closely with members of the Integrated Biology Engine, Integrated Chemistry Engine, Target Modulation Engine, and Imaging Center of Excellence. Projects include investigating the intersections between genetics and brain imaging phenotypes, as well as genetics and protein structure and function. An additional current focus is the establishment of a comprehensive bioinformatic platform for capturing and interpreting the vast majority of human genetics findings in the public domain. In addition, the group is working on traditional genetic association analyses, as well as novel analytical methods that leverage the detailed functional genetics data being generated at Eisai.

Janna and other HB&DS scientists are engaged with the external scientific community and maintain collaborations with research groups working in the areas of human genetics, real world data, and quantitative analysis. She is also actively involved with precompetitive efforts spanning multiple pharma/biotech partners, which are focused on apply genetics to drug discovery and development.

Prior to joining Eisai, Janna worked at Pfizer where she supported early stage and clinical programs in immune and inflammatory diseases by using human biology to inform target validation, indication selection, and precision medicine approaches for clinical programs. Prior to Pfizer, Janna was a presidential postdoctoral fellow at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

Janna received her Ph.D. in Quantitative Human and Statistical Genetics from Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.

Akihiko Koyama – Head, Integrated Biology Engine

Akihiko Koyama, Ph.D., leads the AiM Integrated Biology Engine. His group focuses on generating preclinical data packages, which enable the IND filing of innovative therapeutic compounds for immune-dementia and immuno-oncology.

He has led multiple drug discovery collaboration programs with academic institutes in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan targeting Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. He serves as a special researcher of the National Institute of Science and Technology policy in Japan.

Akihiko joined Eisai as a molecular biologist in neuroscience at Eisai Tsukuba Research Laboratories in 2003, where he contributed to drug discovery projects targeting Parkinson’s disease. In 2008, he served as a visiting scientist at the laboratory of Dr. Lennart Mucke at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, during which time he expanded his knowledge of the molecular mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease utilizing transgenic mice. After returning to Eisai, he served as a principal scientist in the Global Discovery group of Neuroscience and General Medicine Production Creation Unit, in which he worked on a cognitive enhancer program for Alzheimer’s disease. In 2011, he was assigned as the US head of neuroscience discovery and started his lab at the Eisai Andover site.

Akihiko received his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2003. He received his Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Tokyo in 2000, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from in 1998.

John Wang – Head, Target Modulation Engine

 John Wang, Ph.D, rejoined the AiM Institute as a Distinguished Scientist in December 2015, and was subsequently named as Head of the Target Modulation Engine.

John brings a wealth of drug discovery experience to the new organization. He joined Eisai in 1990 as a medicinal chemist and made important contributions to several clinical programs including E5564, eribulin mesylate, and E6201. During his 26 years at Eisai, John’s responsibilities have grown from bench to project leader to director of oncology discovery chemistry in 2009. Between 2010 and 2015, he directed Medicinal Chemistry efforts at H3 Biomedicine Inc., a subsidiary company of Eisai's focused on cancer genomic drug discovery, which resulted in two clinical introductions in 2016.

Before joining Eisai, John completed his PhD in organic synthesis in Professor Yoshito Kishi’s lab at Harvard University.  He entered Harvard as a CGP fellow(a Chinese oversea chemistry graduate study program 1982-1986, founded by Professor William von Eggers Doering).  John earned his BS in chemistry at Fudan University in Shanghai China.

Frank Fang – Deputy President & Head, Integrated Chemistry Engine

  Frank Fang, Ph.D., serves as the Deputy President of the AiM Institute and leads the Integrated Chemistry Engine which designs innovative chemistry solutions to drug discovery and development challenges. He also served on the Core Leadership Team that established the AiM Institute.

Frank has served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Stereochemistry, Scientific Advisory Board member for the Boston University Center for Molecular Discovery (CMD), and Reviewer for National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) study sections. In addition to numerous external written and oral publications, Frank is an inventor on 40 issued US Patents. He was a recipient of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (PSJ) Award for Drug Research and Development in 2013.

Frank was previously Vice President of Integrated Chemistry in the Next Generation Systems Core Functional Unit within Eisai, in which he was responsible for exploiting complex molecule synthesis capabilities to create a unique compound library including macrocycles. Frank was Vice President of Process Research and Development responsible for the team that developed the fully synthetic marine natural product-inspired drug, eribulin mesylate. Frank’s team has achieved the total synthesis of several biologically active natural products including luminacins, hypothemycins, eponemycins, lipid analogs, and laulimalide.

Prior to joining Eisai, Frank held scientific and managerial positions of increasing responsibility at Glaxo and GlaxoWellcome in North Carolina. At Glaxo, Frank devised novel synthetic routes to camptothecins, aromatase inhibitors, azasteroids, and porphycenes. 

Frank earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in chemistry at the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst, and a Ph.D. in chemistry as a Kent Fellow at Yale University. Frank was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, where he worked on the total synthesis of halichondrin B.

Shil Patel – Head, Translational Imaging Engine

  Shil (Shailendra) Patel, Ph.D., who joined the AiM Institute as a Senior Director in November 2016, leads the preclinical Imaging efforts that focus on the discovery and development of primarily, novel PET tracer candidates, as well as in vitro validation and implementation of existing imaging methods and modalities to initiate and/or support Eisai programs globally.

A neuropharmacologist by training, Shil brings extensive drug discovery and translational imaging experience to the organization. Upon joining AiM, he immediately expanded the group’s capabilities to include in-vitro and ex-vivo pharmacology methodologies that allow for the characterization and validation of drug and imaging candidates, in addition to the use of multimodal imaging approaches in the drug discovery and development pipeline.

Shil received his education in the United Kingdom, attaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of London, and a Master of Science degree from Southampton University in Biochemical Pharmacology. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Hertfordshire, whilst working as a full-time employee at Merck’s Neuroscience Research Center in Harlow, Essex. He spent 23 years at Merck in both the U.K. and the U.S, before moving to Biogen in Cambridge, Mass., for six years prior to joining Eisai.