- IAN NISBET, PhD MAICD
Non Executive Chair
- Dr. Ian Nisbet is currently a partner at Afandin Pty Ltd., a life sciences consultancy company and Deputy Director (Commercialisation) at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. Ian has more than 3 decades of pharmaceutical industry experience, including roles as CEO and managing Director of Xenome Ltd.; CEO of Meditech Research Ltd.; Senior Director, Business Development and Oncology Alliance Management at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, and more than 17 years at CSL Ltd. Ian was Board Chair for Adipogen Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd. He is currently the Board Chair for vivoPharm Pty Ltd. and sits on the Board of Velacor Pty Ltd.
- MICHAEL A. COWLEY, PhD FTSE
- Professor Michael A. Cowley Professor Michael Cowley returned to Australia in 2008 to establish and Direct the Monash Obesity and Diabetes Institute (MODI). Michael has over 15 years experience in research and biopharmaceutical drug development. Prior to founding MODI, he was the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly listed (NASDAQ: OREX) biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of obesity. Michael’s previous positions include Core Director, and Associate Scientist at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Intellectual property that he developed led to the foundation of Thiakis Inc., and validated the obesity drug target serotonin 2C receptor, now under development by Arena Pharmaceuticals. Michael has published more than 60 papers and is the inventor of ~80 patents related to obesity, diabetes and the role of the CNS in metabolic disorders. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year and the Pfizer Australia Senior Research Fellowship. He was the recipient of a Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge, and Innovation (VESKI) Fellowship in 2008. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of The Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE), The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and Gubra ApS, Denmark.
- PETER DEVINE, PhD MBA FAICD
- Dr. Peter Devine is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Uniseed, a $60 million pre-seed venture capital fund operating out of the Universities of Melbourne, New South Wales and Queensland. In this role, Peter is responsible for implementing Uniseed strategy and managing the company’s investment activities with a team of three Investment Managers. Peter has extensive experience at board and executive management levels in early stage technology start-up companies. He has held senior R&D, business development and commercialisation positions in a number of Australian companies, as well as Australian universities. Before joining Uniseed, Peter was Vice President of Business Development at Progen Industries Ltd. He was Research, Development and Commercialisation Manager at Brisbane-based PanBio Pty Ltd from 1996 to 2000 and also worked in Business Development at UniQuest Pty Ltd, the commercialisation arm of University of Queensland. He is a recipient of the Commonwealth of Australia Centenary Medal for ‘distinguished service to business in the biotechnology industry’.
- CHERRELL HIRST, AO FTSE MBBS BEdSt DUniv FAICD
Non Executive Director
- Dr. Cherrell Hirst serves as the Chief Executive Officer of QIC BioVentures (part-time). Dr. Hirst is currently a Director of Medibank Private Ltd; Hatchtech Pty Ltd; Impedimed Ltd. (Chair); Tissue Therapies Ltd. She is also Chair of the Expert Advisory Board for the Queensland Tropical Health Alliance; and ; a member of the Higher Education Endowment Fund Advisory Board. Dr Hirst’s initial career was as a medical practitioner and for almost 20 years she led the Wesley Breast Clinic. She served as Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology from 1994 to 2004 and non-executive Chairman of Peplin Ltd. from 2000-2007. In recognition of her work in the fields of breast cancer and education, Dr Hirst has been awarded three honorary doctorates, a Centenary Medal in 2003 and the title of Officer of the Order of Australia in 1998. She was named Queenslander of the Year in 1995.
- JOSHUA FUNDER, LL.M. D.Phil
Non Executive Director
- Dr. Josh Funder is a partner at GBS Venture Partners and has more than 17 years experience in biotechnology research, management and venture investing. Before joining GBS, Joshua worked in corporate strategy and development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Boston and the Boston Consulting Group in San Francisco. He also worked with the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative to successfully negotiate reduced prices for anti-retroviral medicines and initiate pharmaceutical supplies across eastern and southern Africa. Josh has experience as founder, director and chairman of biotechnology companies in Australia and the United States and brings extensive experience of international venture syndication. He served as interim CEO of Proacta Inc. and is on the board of directors of Celladon Corporation (NASDAQ:CLDN), Spinifex Pharmaceuticals Inc., Neurovance Inc, Euthymics Inc. and Elastagen Pty Ltd. Joshua was a director of Peplin Inc. (ASX:PLI) which won the AVCAL award for the best early stage investment in 2010. Josh earned his Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degrees at Melbourne University and his Master of Laws degree at the London School of Economics. He holds a D.Phil in intellectual property for biotechnology from Oxford University where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.