Our Team

Igor B Roninson, PhD, Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Roninson developed functional genomics techniques for high-throughput target discovery, cloned the gene responsible for the major form of multidrug resistance in cancer, and was responsible for the discovery of the first selective CDK8/19 inhibitors and the identification of their unique activities in cancers. Dr. Roninson is Director of the Center for Targeted Therapeutics, SmartState Endowed Chair and Professor at the University of South Carolina. In the past, he served as the Director of the Cancer Center at Ordway Research Institute, Albany, New York and Distinguished Professor of Molecular Genetics and Head of the Division of Molecular Oncology, University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Roninson has authored over 175 articles and book chapters (H-index 79) and is an inventor of 47 issued US patents.

Mengqian (Max) Chen, PhD, Director of Research. Dr. Chen received graduate and postdoctoral training in prostate cancer and worked as Research Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, conducting research on CDK8/19 inhibitor drug discovery and discovering the roles of CDK8/19 in transcriptional reprogramming and prostate cancer. Dr. Chen serves as the Principal Investigator of Phase II SBIR grant from the National Cancer Institute supporting the development of CDK8/19 inhibitors for prostate cancer therapy.

Karthik Gopalakrishnan, PhD, Consultant, leading Senex’s Corporate Relationships, Strategic Planning and Business Development. Dr. Gopalakrishnan is a scientist by training and carried out postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He received a Certificate of Professional Development from the university of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. Dr. Gopalakrishnan started consulting with Senex in 2013 in addition to serving as an Associate Director, Office of Licensing and Ventures at Duke University (2004-2019) and is currently the Director of Licensing and New Ventures at the University of Alabama (Birmingham). He has completed over 150 licensing transactions with companies in the US and internationally with a deal value over $250M.  

Richard L. Davidson, PhD, Director. Dr. Davidson is known for classical studies on the mechanisms of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis in mamamlian cells. He has served as Executive Director of the Kimmel Cancer Center and Research Professor of Microbiology, Thomas Jefferson University and Head of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Benjamin Goldberg Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Robert (Bob) Bonczek is the founding partner of Aspentree Capital, a boutique investment company and President and CFO of MedBlue Incubator. Mr Bonczek has served as the CFO and/or President at various other companies including B3Bio, C2 Regenerate and Trimeris. In addition, he serves on the board of about 10 companies.  Mr. Bonczek holds a JD from UNC and an MBA from Wharton.

Dani P. Bolognesi, PhD.,  Professor Emeritus at Duke University, is Founder, CEO and CSO at Trimeris, Inc., a public company that developed Fuzeon®, a first-in-class HIV fusion inhibitor, in collaboration with Hoffmann-La Roche. He is also CEO and Chairman of b3Bio, Inc; CEO, Enci Therapeutics, Inc., CEO at C2 Regenerate, Inc and CSO of Istari Oncology, Inc.

George Wilding, MD, Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Wilding is an expert on genitourinary cancers, particularly prostate cancer and new prostate cancer drug development. He has served as Vice President and Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Clinical and Interdisciplinary Research; Professor, Department of
Genitourinary Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and as Director of Cancer Center and Head of Hematology-Oncology Division at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.

John Crown, MD, MBA, Medical Advisor. Dr. Crown, a leading medical oncologist with special expertise in breast cancer, holds Thomas Baldwin Chair in Cancer Research, Dublin City University and is Newman Clinical Research Professor, University College Dublin. Founder of Ireland’s first national cancer treatment research group, which includes 95% of medical oncologists in Ireland and has recruited over 3,000 patients on 52 clinical trials. Dr. Crown was a Senator of Ireland till 2016.

Mark Wentland, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Advisor. Dr. Wentland is Professor Emeritus at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to his tenure at Rensselaer, Dr. Wentlland conducted drug discovery research at Sterling Winthrop and his last position was Sterling Winthrop Fellow and Oncology Discovery Co-Chairman. Dr. Wentland has led efforts resulting in the discovery of nine drug candidates, six of which have been advanced to clinical trials.

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