Nandan Padukone, PhD, MBA

Dr. Padukone is an experienced biotechnology entrepreneur and executive having founded, built and advised several early and mid-stage biotechnology companies. Dr. Padukone has been Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the JDRF T1D Fund and led the development of the tech technology platform, clinical pipeline and corporate strategy of IM Therapeutics prior to its financing. He also served as Senior Vice President of Business Development of NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company focused on novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. Previously, Dr. Padukone served as the Senior Vice President of Innovation at the Joslin Diabetes Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, where he led strategic R&D alliances, company creation, clinical trial services and healthcare partnerships in diabetes and related complications. Prior to Joslin, Dr. Padukone was President and CEO of Nuvera Biosciences, a biotech company he co-founded with MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop cancer diagnostics and personalized medicine for breast cancer. He is currently a Board Member of C2I, a biotechnology accelerator in the Greater Boston area and continues to advise entrepreneurs and early-stage ventures as a mentor with MassBio and the MIT Deshpande Center. Dr. Padukone holds a PhD in biochemical engineering from North Carolina State University, an MBA from the University of Denver, an MS in chemical engineering from SUNY Buffalo, and a Bachelor of Technology in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology of Mumbai.


Robert Perni, PhD
Vice President, R&D

Dr. Perni is a medicinal chemist with more 32 years of biopharma research and management experience. Previously, Dr. Perni has served as Vice President, Chemistry at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals where his responsibilities encompassed medicinal chemistry, synthetic chemistry, biophysics, chemistry outsourcing and compound management. His efforts resulted in the identification of three clinical candidates for multiple indications. Dr. Perni also served as Project Head, Chemistry at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he led the HCV protease team to the discovery of Incivek™ (VX-950, telaprevir) which was approved for sale in 2011 in the US, Europe and Japan, and as Director of Chemistry at Avid Therapeutics (Philadelphia, PA, 1995-1997) focusing on antiviral R&D against hepatitis B. Dr. Perni also currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Barnett Institute at Northeastern University, WntRx Pharmaceuticals and CreaGen Biosciences. Dr. Perni held a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Rochester (1984-1986) and performed his graduate work in the total synthesis of indole alkaloids at Dartmouth College where he was awarded a PhD in Organic Chemistry (1983). He received his BS in Chemistry from Northeastern University (1979). He is the author or coauthor of more than 170 research publications, abstracts, review articles, invited lectures, issued patents and published IP applications.


Peter Gottlieb, MD
Co-founder, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Gottlieb is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine with tenure at the University of Colorado Health Science Center, and Director of Translational Research Unit at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, and a practicing endocrinologist. Dr. Gottlieb is active in diabetes research, and currently serves as an Investigator for Type 1 Diabetes at Trialnet, Center Director for T1D Trialnet research at the University of Colorado, member of the Gastroparesis Clinical Research Consortium Data Safety Monitoring Board at NIDDK/Johns Hopkins, member of the Steering Committee of the T Cell Workshop at Immunology of Diabetes Society, and member of Viacyte Data Safety and Monitoring Board. He has previously served the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as member and President of Board of Trustees Mountain States Region. Dr. Gottlieb currently serves on the Editorial Board of Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, and as a reviewer for Current Opinion in Diabetes and Endocrinology, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Diabetes, and Diabetes Care, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Gottlieb earned a BS degree, Cum Laude, from University of Pennsylvania and MD degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.


Aaron Michels, MD
Co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Michels is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, & Immunology at the University of Colorado Denver, the Frieda and George S. Eisenbarth Clinical Immunology Endowed Chair, Director of Clinical Immunology at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, and a practicing endocrinologist. Dr. Michels is active in Diabetes research and has authored or co-authored many articles published in peer reviewed journals. His research focuses on understanding the basic immunology of type 1 diabetes to design specific therapies to prevent and stop the autoimmune destruction of insulin producing cells.   He discovered that small ‘drug-like’ molecules targeted to diabetes risk HLA molecules can block self-reactive T cell responses and translated these findings from bench to bedside.   He is also involved in clinical trials using medications to safely alter the immune system to prevent and treat type 1 diabetes. Dr. Michels has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years and is committed to caring for patients with diabetes along with pursuing research to prevent and ultimately cure type 1 diabetes. Dr. Michels earned a BS degree in chemistry, Summa cum laude, and MD degree from Creighton University.