Jake Reder, Ph.D.
Cofounder, Director, & Chief Executive Officer
Jake cofounded Celdara Medical and currently serves as a Director and as CEO. He had previously founded the New Ventures Office at Dartmouth Medical School and still serves as its first Director. Prior to Dartmouth, Jake led business development, open innovation, and knowledge management initiatives at Cabot Corporation where he served as a member of Cabot’s Research Council, Technology Board, and Nanotechnology EHS Council. Jake joined Cabot from PolyTechnos Venture-Partners, a Munich-based venture capital firm. He has served on numerous non- and for-profit boards, including Virtici, MBV, StemSynergy Therapeutics, NIH’s TREAT Program and the University of Vermont’s SPARK Program. Jake has testified before Congress on entrepreneurship, was appointed by the Governor to the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center’s Board of Directors, and by US Senator Jeanne Shaheen to her Small Business Advisory Council. Jake earned a B.Sc. with First Class Honours from the University of Waterloo, and a Ph.D. (Chemistry) as a Brown-Wetherill Fellow at Purdue University and Ludwig Maximilians Universität.
Michael W. Fanger
Cofounder, Chairman, & Chief Scientific Officer
As cofounder and CSO, Mike sets Celdara Medical’s scientific strategy, and provides leadership to individual Programs and mentorship throughout the organization. Formerly, Mike was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Celldex Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDX), as well as the Founder and Director of Medarex (formerly NASDAQ: MEDX; acquired by BMS in 2009 for $2.4B) from its inception in 1987 until 2004. Mike has been a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School since 1981, and was Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology from 1992 until 2002. He is a graduate of Wabash College and received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Yale University.
VP for Research and Discovery
As Vice President for Research and Discovery, Paul is responsible for the integration and enhancement of research and discovery activities across Celdara Medical's internal team and external partners. Paul was a co-founder, together with Mike Fanger, of Medarex (formerly NASDAQ: MEDX). He has M.S. and Ph.D degrees from the University of New Hampshire, and has been a Professor of Physiology and Microbiology and Immunology at Dartmouth Medical School since 1981.
VP of Business Development
As Vice President of Business Development, Shruti leads partnering activities across the company from Celdara Medical’s Washington DC office. She joined Celdara in March 2018 and brings extensive experience in corporate and business development. Most recently she was Founder and Principal at Perspicere and worked closely with early-stage companies as an advisor on their deals, strategy, and new product planning needs. Her engagements resulted in signing of licensing deals with pharma and biopharma companies and multiple evaluations to drive product strategies and venture financing activities for her clients. Prior to her consulting practice, she was Director of Business Development at Human Genome Sciences (HGS), responsible for search and evaluation, in- and out-licensing transactions, and merger and acquisition activities. At HGS, she closed over ten strategic licensing deals for therapeutics and enabling technologies. She was also a member of the deal team for HGS's sale process and subsequent acquisition by GSK for $3.6Bn. Shruti started her career as a process engineer, first at Merck and then at North American Vaccine. She holds Bachelor's degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Brandy Houser, Ph.D.
Brandy Houser, Ph.D. received her Ph.D. in immunology from Harvard University under the guidance of Dr. Jack Strominger for the discovery of specialized macrophage subsets at the human maternal-fetal interface. During her graduate career she was a commercialization fellow at Harvard Medical School.
Following her graduate studies, Brandy was the Alliance Manager for Partners Healthcare, the corporate entity that oversees operations for the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During this time she managed technologies from both hospitals as well as programs for Pfizer’s Center for Therapeutics. She also helped to create the business and operations plan for The Human Translational Immunology Center at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Most recently, Brandy was an Investment Associate at Brandon Capital Partners, an Australian venture capital firm. At Celdara Medical, she is responsible for operations of the New York/New Jersey office, as well as sourcing and vetting new pipeline assets.
Irena Ivanovska, Ph.D.
Irena Ivanovska, Ph.D. is a Director at Celdara Medical, where she leads several internal therapeutic development programs. In addition, she serves as an Alliance Manager in support of Celdara’s Pipeline Development Service partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. She also leads Celdara’s due diligence efforts for reviewing new opportunities.
Prior to Celdara, Irena was a Senior Research Biologist at Rosetta Inpharmatics, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck and Co.), where she identified and validated cell cycle microRNAs as targets for oncology, developed siRNA delivery methods to physiologically-relevant primary cell systems and identified gene expression disease biomarkers. As an associate principal investigator in the Respiratory and Immunology department at Merck-Boston, she led a cross-functional team that delivered a validation package and a small molecule lead for an autoimmune disease target.
Irena received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University for discovering new structural and signaling pathways that regulate yeast cell division. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute of MIT, she identified a new histone modification critical for proper chromosome structure. She received an NIH National Research Service Award and a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Career Development Fellowship to pursue these studies. Irena has been a member and a volunteer in several biotechnology professional organizations, including HBA, WEST and AWIS.
Joana Murad, Ph.D. received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Sao Paulo, School of Medicine in Brazil where she was involved in the discovery of regulatory RNA molecules expressed by the immune system in response to tumor development. She then joined the Norris Cotton Cancer Center as a postdoctoral fellow, delving deeper into the field of tumor metabolism and metabolic diseases, focusing on adipocyte development and function, and glucose/fat metabolism. Joana has published several peer-review papers in multiple scientific fields, based on studies she designed and led. At Celdara Medical, she leads multiple development Programs and pipeline diligence projects, spanning oncology, cell therapies, molecular biology, immunology, metabolic disease, RNA-related technologies, and protein production and purification.
Yolanda C. Nesbeth, Ph.D.
Yolanda C. Nesbeth, Ph.D. is a Director at Celdara Medical where she leads multiple internal therapeutic development programs, in addition to managing a CLIA certified lab providing molecular diagnostics for systemic sclerosis patients, clinicians and drug developers.
Yolanda previously worked as a Consultant with Clarion Healthcare providing strategic advice to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on key scientific and commercial matters related to drug development, promotion and regulatory processes. In this capacity, she evaluated the attractiveness of hundreds of products, resulting in comprehensive recommendations for in-licensing, purchase or partnering, and conducted competitive assessments and situational analyses to inform corporate strategy within respiratory, infectious disease and various oncology markets. At Celdara Medical, Yolanda continues to provide strategic support and performs diligence on numerous opportunities for the Celdara Medical pipeline.
Yolanda received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Dartmouth Medical School. During her graduate career she developed therapeutic cell-based technologies and immunotherapies against ovarian cancer. She was the Ph.D. Class Marshal and Graduate Student Speaker at Dartmouth Medical School Commencement, a Kauffman Fellow Finalist (1 of 11 worldwide in healthcare), an Albert J. Ryan Fellow and a winner of the University of the West Indies Open Scholarship (highest award offered). Yolanda serves as a Reviewer for DOD and NIH SBIR/STTR study sections, and is a member of various biotech organisations. An avid tennis player, she is Captain of her recreational and USTA tennis league teams, and volunteers with various organisations serving children and youth.