Leadership

Markus Warmuth, M.D. | President and Chief Executive Officer

Yutaka Ishizaka | Senior Vice President, Planning & Operations

Anna Berkenblit, M.D., M.M.Sc. | Senior Vice President, Clinical Development

Lisa Marcaurelle, Ph.D. | Vice President, Discovery Chemistry

John Wang, Ph.D. | Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry

Peter Smith, Ph.D. | Vice President, Target Biology

Peter Fekkes, Ph.D. | Director, Target Compound Profiling

Takeshi Hamano, Ph.D., M.B.A. | Director, Planning & Operations

Yoshiharu Mizui, Ph.D. | Director, Target Biology

Lihua Yu, Ph.D. | Vice President, Bioinformatics

Ping Zhu, Ph.D. | Associate Director, Target Discovery and Genomics

Andrea Gerken, M.B.A | Associate Director of Business Development



Markus Warmuth, M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Markus Warmuth joined H3 Biomedicine as Chief Scientific Officer in August 2011 and became President and Chief Executive Officer on October 1, 2011. Markus brings significant experience in cancer biology, drug discovery and clinical oncology to H3. During his career as a pharmaceutical industry research executive, he has successfully built and shaped oncology research groups and portfolios.

Prior to joining H3, Markus was Head of Oncology Drug Discovery for the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR), Cambridge (U.S.) Site. There, he oversaw a significant part of NIBR’s global oncology drug discovery portfolio from target discovery to clinical development.

Markus studied and received his doctorate in medicine from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany. He trained in Internal medicine and oncology at the University of Munich. From 1998 to 2002, he had an appointment as a principal scientist with the “Clinical Cooperation Group Signaling” at the German National Research Center of Environment and Health (GSF), where he studied the mechanism of action of and resistance to multiple small molecule kinase inhibitors in leukemia and lymphoma.

From 2002 to April 2008, Markus worked at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), San Diego, where he was Director of Kinase Biology, Head of the Oncology Pharmacology Program and a member of GNF’s Research and Drug Discovery Steering Committee.

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Yutaka Ishizaka
Senior Vice President, Planning & Operations

Yutaka “Ish” Ishizaka joined H3 Biomedicine as Senior Vice President, Planning & Operations in July 2011. Previously, Ish served as Vice President of Andover Site Operations for Eisai Inc., where he was responsible for leading business planning, operations and legal affairs for Eisai’s largest U.S. R&D site.

Ish has more than 20 years of experience in business operations management, law and project management. While at Eisai he helped to guide the Andover Site’s growth from a mid-sized research laboratory of 50 employees to its current integrated research and development operation of approximately 300 employees. He built the administrative and legal functions in Andover including HR, Finance, IT, Facilities, EH&S, Contracts and IP, and led the development of a new $65 million research facility.

Prior to joining Eisai, Ish was a principal at the consulting firm of Lampert & Associates, a partner at the law firm of Graham & James and an associate at O’Melveny & Myers.

Ish received his J.D. from Columbia University Law School and is a member of the New York and Massachusetts Bar Associations. He earned a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

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Anna Berkenblit, M.D., M.M.Sc.
Senior Vice President, Clinical Development

Dr. Anna Berkenblit joined H3 Biomedicine in December 2013 to lead the company’s clinical development efforts, bringing over 15 years of clinical experience with her.

Prior to joining H3, Anna worked at AVEO Pharmaceuticals, where she served as Vice President, Head of Clinical Research. While there, she managed the clinical development of a portfolio of oncology compounds, including one candidate that advanced through NDA review. She also chaired the joint development committee between AVEO and Astellas Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for aligning all clinical, regulatory and operational activities across the partnership, and led the team responsible for regulatory filing, including the NDA submission and federal advisory committee presentation.

Before her time at AVEO, Anna worked with several oncology compounds that moved through the later stages of the regulatory process:

  • As the Vice President and Asset Team Lead for a tyrosine kinase inhibitor in Phase 3 trials at Pfizer Oncology;
  • As the Medical Director for Medical Research in Oncology at Wyeth Research in Cambridge with an mTOR inhibitor that was approved globally for renal cell carcinoma.

Prior to her work in pharmaceuticals, Anna performed her medical internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a hematology/oncology fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where she remained on staff to oversee the hospital’s Phase 1 oncology clinical trial program.

Anna received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School, an M.M.Sc. from Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology and a B.S. from Yale College. Her work has been published in numerous scholarly journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, European Journal of Cancer and Cancer.

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Lisa Marcaurelle, Ph.D.
Vice President, Discovery Chemistry

Dr. Lisa Marcaurelle joined H3 Biomedicine as Vice President of Discovery Chemistry in April 2011, from the Broad Institute, where she was Director of Synthetic Chemistry in the Chemical Biology Platform.

During her four years at the Broad Institute, Lisa established a synthetic platform for the large-scale production of diversity-oriented synthesis (DOS) libraries, generating a collection of more than 100,000 small molecules for use in high-throughput screening. While at the Broad, Lisa also served as a Project Leader for the Harvard/Broad Center for Chemical Methodology and Library Development (CMLD). Prior to joining the Broad, she worked at Infinity Pharmaceuticals from 2002 to 2007, where she was engaged in the synthesis of numerous DOS libraries and participated in oncology-focused medicinal chemistry efforts.

Lisa completed her post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with Professor Peter Seeberger. She obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, working under the guidance of Professor Carolyn Bertozzi. Lisa earned a B.A. in chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

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John Wang, Ph.D.
Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry

In April 2011, Dr. John Wang joined H3 Biomedicine from Eisai Inc. in Andover, where he was Discovery Chemistry Director in the Oncology Product Creation Unit. In this function, John initiated and supervised a number of preclinical projects at the Andover site.

Previously, John held various scientific leadership positions. He led and contributed to several successful oncology and immune projects in discovery. He made key contributions to the early discovery effort of Halaven™ (eribulin mesylate),* a recently FDA-approved cancer drug based on a complex natural product, Halichondrin B. He has led a global discovery team effort that resulted in the discovery of E6201, a naturally inspired drug candidate that is now in clinical trials in both psoriasis and cancer patients. In the past 10 years, his research effort has been focused on oncology drug discovery. Before joining Eisai, John completed his Ph.D. in organic synthesis under Professor Yoshito Kishi. He entered Harvard University for graduate study as a fellow from the Chemistry Graduate Program (CGP) between the U.S. and China. He earned his B.S. in chemistry from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

* Halaven™ is a trademark of Eisai Inc.

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Peter Smith, Ph.D.

Vice President, Target Biology

Dr. Peter Smith joined H3 Biomedicine in 2011 as the Director of Target Biology and was promoted to Executive Director in 2012. Peter came to H3 from Millennium Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA where he held positions of increasing responsibility in the oncology discovery group.

At Millennium, Peter led discovery and translational research efforts for the first-in-class NEDD8-activating enzyme inhibitor programs currently in clinical trials and he was a key member of the global development teams. His team’s work led to the design of stratified clinical trials and predictive classifiers of response and identified novel mechanisms of resistance. In addition, Peter and his group made key contributions to the drug discovery and translational biology efforts of several targets in the Ubiquitin-Proteasome system, autophagy pathways and mitotic kinases.

Prior to Millennium, Peter served as a post-doctoral researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School; at the Molecular Medicine Unit, St James’s University Hospital, University of Leeds, U.K.; and at the Cancer Research Unit, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. He is published in over 30 research journals, including Nature and Cancer Cell, and is named on three patents for his work.

Peter earned a Ph.D. from the Cancer Research Unit at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. and a B.S. in pharmacology from the University of Sheffield, U.K. He is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the British Association for Cancer Research.

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Peter Fekkes, Ph.D.
Director, Target Compound Profiling

Dr. Peter Fekkes joined H3 Biomedicine in 2012 as Director of Target Compound Profiling. Before coming to H3, Peter held several positions with increasing responsibility in the Center for Proteomic Chemistry at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (BioMedical) in Cambridge, MA. While at NIBR, Peter led the Target and Hit Qualification Group, supporting drug discovery efforts using pioneering hit identification techniques such as hypothesis-driven screening campaigns, and confirmation approaches like the analysis of direct binding of compounds to targets in high-throughput fashion, and other compound-profiling approaches. In addition, he was an integral part of the development, implementation and management of the FAST Lab, NIBR’s open-access small molecule (or medium-throughput) screening facility.

Prior to his work at Novartis, Peter served as a research scientist for SRU Biosystems and Phylos, Inc., and performed postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Diego.

Peter earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

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Takeshi Hamano, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Director, Planning & Operations

Dr. Takeshi Hamano joined H3 Biomedicine as Director, Planning & Operations in April 2011. Prior to joining H3, Takeshi held the position of Senior Manager, Strategic Operations and Talent Development in the global Eisai R&D organization, Eisai Product Creation Systems (EPCS). At EPCS, he was responsible for taking initiatives to streamline the business processes along with the launch of EPCS in 2009. Takeshi has also been involved in the project of establishing H3 from the beginning and contributed to crystalizing the unique concept and structuring the business model of the company.

Takeshi began his pharmaceutical industry career at Eisai Co. Ltd. in Japan as a research scientist of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, where he contributed to several drug discovery and development projects as well as establishing a technology infrastructure for drug transporter researches.

Takeshi received his M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the University of Tokyo.

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Yoshiharu Mizui, Ph.D.
Director, Target Biology

Dr. Mizui joined H3 Biomedicine after spending more than 20 years at Eisai Co., Ltd. Yoshiharu brings to H3 extensive pharmaceutical industry experience, including a decade’s worth of expertise leading projects from concept to clinical study. His wide-ranging work in molecular and cellular biology includes assay development, high-throughput screening, hit identification, and target identification. During his time at Eisai, Yoshiharu held positions of increasing responsibility, including Principal Scientist of Oncology, Director of Screening Technology and Senior Director of Lead Discovery Technology.

Yoshiharu attended The Graduate School of Kyushu University in Japan, where he earned his Ph.D. in agricultural science under Satoru Kuhara, as well as M.S. and B.S. degrees in agricultural chemistry. He has been published in approximately 20 research journals.

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Lihua Yu, Ph.D.

Vice President, Bioinformatics

Dr. Yu has spent more than 17 years in computational biology and bioinformatics, and has deep experience in the area of cancer genomics and predictive biomarkers. Her expertise in demonstrating how bioinformatics supports cancer genomics has enabled her to integrate the discipline into drug discovery and translational science continuums.

Before coming to H3 Biomedicine, Lihua spent 12 years with Astra Zeneca’s Research and Development unit, helping to build and deliver the multinational pharmaceutical company’s oncology bioinformatics capabilities. During her time there, she provided bioinformatics support to key areas of oncology drug discovery programs, including target identification and patient selection initiatives. She also led efforts to leverage public cancer genomic initiatives, such as The Cancer Genome Atlas, to facilitate genetic target identification.

Lihua received a B.E. in biomedical engineering and a B.E. in automation from Tsinghua University in Beijing. She earned her master of engineering from Tsinghua University and a Ph.D. from Boston University. Lihua is a two-time recipient of the AstraZeneca Global Scientific and Technical Achievement Award, and is an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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Ping Zhu, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Target Discovery and Genomics

Dr. Zhu has close to 20 years of experience in microbiology and cancer research. He came to H3 Biomedicine in 2012 from the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (BioMedical) in Cambridge, MA, where he did significant work with early drug discovery and target identification and validation in oncology, leading multidisciplinary teams across multiple geographic locations. In 2010, he earned the Novartis Catalyst Award for cancer drug discovery innovation.

Prior to his work at NIBR, Ping was a postdoctoral fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UCSD School of Medicine and a research scientist at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany. During his research tenure, he led the team working with the anti-epileptic drug valproic acid (VPA), demonstrating that it could be used for the treatment of leukemia and solid tumors.

Ping received his medical degree from Shanghai Second Medical University in China, and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from University of Karlsruhe in Germany. He is published in nearly 20 research journals, including Nature and Molecular Cell, and is named on three patents for his work with enzyme inhibitors, macrophages and HSF1-related diseases.

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Andrea Gerken, M.B.A
Associate Director of Business Development

Andrea Gerken joined H3 Biomedicine to lead Program and Alliance Management in November 2012. Prior to joining H3, Andrea held the position of Manager of Research Operations in Ophthalmology and prior to that as Alliance Manager in the External Drug Discovery group at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). At NIBR she was responsible for strategic planning, research operations and integration activities following the acquisition of Alcon. During her tenure as Alliance Manager, several programs achieved successful clinical milestones for oncology and diabetes indications.

Andrea began her career in industry at Triad Therapeutics and GNF (The Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation) as a researcher in drug discovery biology. Andrea received her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and her B.S. degrees in physics and math from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

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