Board of Directors
Robert F. Johnston, Chairman of the Board
Mr. Johnston is CEO of ExSAR, and has been Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2002. Mr. Johnston runs Johnston Associates, a venture capital firm that he founded in 1968 to provide seed capital for start-ups emerging in the biotechnology and healthcare fields. Mr. Johnston is the executive chairman of Pharmos Corporation, which acquired Vela Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He has founded numerous public companies including Sepracor, Cytogen (sold to EUSA Pharma), I-STAT (sold to Abbott), Genex and Envirogen (sold to Shaw Environmental), and was instrumental in the early formation of many private companies such as Sonomed, Immunicon (since sold to J&J), PharmaStem (formerly Biocyte), Praelux (since sold to Amersham/GE) and Targent (since sold to Spectrum Pharmaceuticals). Mr. Johnston served as CEO of Cytogen from July 1988 to April 1989 and as CEO of Praelux (formerly SEQ) from November 1997 to January 1999. Additionally, he is a member of the Advisory Council of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, and the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Mr. Johnston received his BA from Princeton University and his MBA from New York University.
Charles R. Cantor, PhD
Dr. Charles Cantor is a founder, and Chief Scientific Officer at SEQUENOM, Inc., which is a genetics discovery company with tools, information and strategies for determining the medical impact of genes and genetic variations. He is also the founder of SelectX Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company; Retrotope, an anti-aging company; and Dithera, a biotherapeutic company.
Dr. Cantor is professor emeritus Biomedical Engineering and Pharmacology and was the director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology at Boston University. He is adjunct professor of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego, adjunct professor of Molecular Biology at the Scripps Institute for Research, and distinguished adjunct professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to this, Dr. Cantor held positions at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley. He was also the director of the Human Genome Center Project of the Department of Energy at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Dr. Cantor has been granted 60 US patents and wrote a three-volume textbook on biophysical chemistry. He co-authored the first textbook on Genomics titled The Science and Technology of the Human Genome Project. In addition, he sits on the advisory boards of more than 15 national and international biotechnology firms, has published more than 450 peer-reviewed articles, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Myra Williams, PhD
Dr. Williams served most recently as President and CEO of Molecular Applications Group, a bioinformatics company that developed proprietary technology to predict gene and protein function for use in pharmaceutical and agricultural product discovery. Previously, Dr. Williams was Vice President of Worldwide R & D Information Resources for Glaxo Wellcome plc and Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Glaxo, Inc. She served in an executive capacity at Merck Research Laboratories for over twenty years, including several years as the Executive Director of Information Resources and Strategic Planning. Dr. Williams is a member of the boards of directors of a number of companies, and is a consultant to venture capital, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and software companies.
F. Raymond Salemme, PhD
F. Raymond Salemme is a founder and President of Imiplex LLC, a company developing protein-based nanotechnology for biomedical applications. Formerly, he held the post of CEO at Redpoint Bio, a biotechnology company using advanced technology to discover new products allowing the reduction of sugar and salt in food products. Prior to Redpoint, Dr. Salemme founded and built 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals (3DP), a company integrating structure-based design, cheminformatics and high-throughput screening for pharmaceutical discovery. 3DP ultimately grew to over 200 employees, went public with a market capitalization of $330 million in 2000, and was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2003. Prior to 3DP, Dr. Salemme held scientific and management roles at Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals and Genex Corporation. He also served as a professor of biochemistry at the University of Arizona. Dr. Salemme has served on numerous Federal and other advisory boards, including the NIST Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, the NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information and the Penn State University Nanotechnology Center. He also served on the Boards of ExSAR Corp and Via Science. Dr. Salemme holds 33 patents in the areas of cheminformatics, computer-directed drug discovery, and high-throughput thermodynamic screening technology, and has published more than 90 scientific papers. He received a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, and a BA in Molecular Biophysics from Yale University.
Robert J. Towarnicki
Mr. Towarnicki is the President, Chief Operating Officer and a Director of ExSAR. Mr. Towarnicki’s prior experience includes serving as: President and Chief Executive Officer of Nucleonics, Inc., an RNAi therapeutics company; Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cell Pathways, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLPA), a small molecule cancer prevention and therapeutics company; and President and Chief Operating Officer of Integra LifeSciences Corporation (NASDAQ:IART), a medical device company focused on tissue regeneration technologies. Earlier experience includes: General Manager of Focus Technologies, a privately held esoteric disease reference laboratory; Vice President of Development and Operations for Collagen Corporation (NASDAQ:CGEN); Plant Manager for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and ten years of increasing management responsibility in parenteral operations for Merck & Co. Mr. Towarnicki earned a BS and MS in Biology from Villanova University.