Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Thomas Burke, MBA
CEO, Board Member

An accomplished Pharmaceutical/Biopharmaceutical veteran with 30+ diverse years of management experience leading a global pharmaceutical organization across multiple disciplines, including corporate leadership, operations (manufacturing/supply chain), business development (M&A, licensing), portfolio management, project management, P&L, sales and marketing. Tom received his MBA in Marketing from University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN and a BASc in Economics from University of MN.
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Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.38.59 PMPatrick M. Schlievert, Ph.D.
CSO, Co-Founder, Board Member

Dr. Patrick M. Schlievert is Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Hennepin Life Sciences. He is also Professor and Department Executive Officer of the Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Dr. Schlievert and his clinical colleagues have described the causes of 27 newly recognized infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. These include the first description, in 1981 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, of toxic shock syndrome toxin, the major cause of the tampon-associated toxic shock syndrome in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 1987, Drs. Larry Cone and Schlievert provided the first description of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (also known as the “flesh-eating streptococcal disease”) and its cause in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Most recently, Dr. Schlievert has focused his attention on the establishment of Hennepin Life Sciences and its development of dual-acting anti-infective technologies, which contain broad spectrum antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The CDC has noted that infections constitute the greatest healthcare costs in the United States. The top four infections include catheter-associated urinary tract infections, catheter-associated blood stream infections, surgical site infections, and Clostridium difficile infections. Other important infections include genital infections, including sexually-transmitted infections, skin infections, and upper respiratory tract infections. Through Hennepin Life Sciences, it is Dr. Schlievert’s hope that a dual-acting anti-infective can significantly reduce these infections.

In addition to Dr. Schlievert’s scientific accomplishments, he has trained large numbers of new scientists and physicians. He has received multiple teaching awards for his teaching of graduate and medical students, including being recognized the 2016 American Society for Microbiology Graduate and Medical Teacher of the Year.

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Marnie Peterson, Pharm.D., Ph.D. 
Vice President of Drug and Clinical Development, Board Member
Marnie started her career as an academic scientist and clinician. Through her 20 years of experience, her work has evolved into an inventor and developer of therapeutics. She holds expertise in experimental and clinical pharmacology and microbial pathogenesis, with a focus in the development of new therapeutics for infectious diseases. Before joining Hennepin Life Sciences, Dr. Peterson was tenured faculty at the University of Minnesota Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology. At the University, she successfully established a research program and was granted over $9 million dollars from the NIH, DOD, and various foundations and industrial partners. She holds a significant patent portfolio for her discoveries, one of which served as the basis for the establishment of Hennepin Life Sciences. She earned a Ph.D. in Infection from the University of Birmingham, Medical School, United Kingdom, and Pharm.D. and B.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota.

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William Houghton, MD
Medical Affairs
William Houghton, MD, has more than 20 years of clinical development and regulatory affairs experience. He is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Clene Nanomedicine and prior to Clene he was Chief Medical Officer at Orphan Medical, where he oversaw 5 successful NDA registrations for orphan and rare disease indications. After Orphan’s acquisition by Jazz Pharmaceuticals he transitioned to vice president for clinical development at Jazz. Bill has also worked at Alexza, Anesiva, and Xenome Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Orphan Medical, he was a medical director at Abbott Laboratories for 12 years in Australia and Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Houghton received his M.D. from The University of Sydney.

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Mark Robbins, Ph.D, J.D.
Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Robbins is a biopharmaceutical drug development professional with over 30 years of broad-based drug development and commercialization experience in both start-up and fully integrated pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies. His therapeutic area expertise includes CNS, cardiovascular, oncology, endocrine/metabolic, women’s heath, and diagnostics. Dr. Robbins is President of Kodiak Strategic Consultants. In that capacity, he also serves as the President of Tansna Therapeutics, a CNS drug development company, Chief Operating Officer of Bullet Biotechnology, an immunotherapy company and VP, Regulatory and Quality Assurance of QOL Medical. Prior to these roles, he served in senior management positions at Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Certus International, and Mallinckrodt and has had management responsibility overseeing all areas of Research and Development, Clinical Development, Regulatory Affairs, manufacturing, and supply chain functions. He has also implemented regulatory/clinical strategies leading to many successful NDA/BLA approvals. He received his B.S. degree in Biochemistry from UCLA, his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Minnesota Medical School, and his J.D. magna cum laude from Saint Louis University.

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Michael Killeen, C.P.A.
Controller
Mr. Killeen has been the Controller of Hennepin Life Sciences since January 2013. He has over twelve years of experience as an accounting professional, and over five years of financial management in the medical industry, most recently serving as financial reporting manager at Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (Roseville, MN). Previously, from 2003 to 2007, Mike served as a supervisor and auditor in the public accounting industry at Grant Thornton, LLP (Minneapolis, MN) and completed a two year secondment overseas in Hong Kong, China serving American clients with international operations. From 2007 to 2009, he worked as a financial reporting analyst at Compellent Technologies in another technology-based growth environment following their initial public offering. Mr. Killeen is a licensed C.P.A (inactive) in the State of Minnesota and has a degree in accounting and management information systems from the Luther College.

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Thomas Willard, MBA
Business Development, Market Strategy & Project Management
Tom has worked at Hennepin Life Sciences since September 2014. With over 23 years of experience, 10 of which is global experience with Biopharmaceutical and Biotech companies, Tom has developed, launched and/or managed over 47 products across 18 therapeutic areas, ranging from oncology to CNS. His experience includes developing products in phase I to phase III, NCEs, NDAs, 505(b)(2)s, Orphan drugs, OTC products, life science products and patient outcome modeling. Tom has held commercial leadership roles at Upsher-Smith Laboratories, UCB (Schwarz Pharma), UCB (Celltech) and Medeva Pharmaceuticals. He received his MBA in Marketing from Clemson University in Clemson, SC and a B.S. in Microbiology and Cell Biology from Purdue University.

 



 

Board Members

Bill Faulkner, MBA – Co-Founder
Chairman
Bill is a successful entrepreneur and executive leader, experienced in platform technology commercialization and company strategy, financing and operations across multiple industries. Currently he is an active chairman of three portfolio companies in biotech, energy, and related industry applications. Previously, Bill has started and successfully sold companies in the infrastructure technology sector, and has also worked with institutional equity firms in various leadership positions in their portfolio companies. He also served as a Nuclear Engineer in the US Navy, and has led several non-profit boards, particularly in the educational arena. Bill received his MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and ha undergraduate degrees in Physics and Economics.

 

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Douglas Wicks, Ph.D. – Co-Founder
Board Member
Dr. Wicks received his doctorate in Polymer Science and Engineering for the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. After receiving his degree Douglas work for Bayer Material Science in a variety of research roles eventually rising to VP for Coatings and Colarants Research at Bayer. Following his time at Bayer. Dr. Wicks was introduced to antimicrobial research while a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi There his research at the interface of polymer science and medicinal chemistry was focused on using failed antimicrobial pharmaceutical candidates as biocides. Dr. Wicks’s relationship with HLS co-founders William Faulkner and Prof. Patrick Schlievert, started in Minneapolis where he was employed in venture capital backed industrial biotech. Dr. Wicks is currently the Director of Global R&D for Imerys Corp.

 

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Bill Bradford, M.D., PhD
Advisor & Board Member
Dr. Bradford has over 20 years of experience in the biopharma industry in executive, development and medical affairs roles, ranging from preclinical and clinical development to drug approval and post marketing programs. Currently Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Director at Indalo Therapeutics, Director at The Bluefield Project, and Principle at WZB Consulting. Previously Founder at Cascadia Therapeutics, SVP Clinical Development at InterMune, and held clinical positions at IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals and Genentech. Dr. Bradford trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and practiced academic medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his B.A. from Williams College. He is an author on over 40 peer-reviewed scientific publications and an inventor on 16 issued US patents.

 

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John Bullion, MBA
Advisor & Board Member
John was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Orphan Medical, Inc., a NASDAQ listed specialty pharmaceutical company that developed and marketed eight (8) new drugs to treat rare diseases. He was responsible for the growth of this business from its spin-off until its sale 11 years later to Jazz Pharmaceuticals for nearly $150 million. He was also a co-founder of Chronimed, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical distribution company, an early Board member of LifeTime Fitness and a Vice President and Partner of FBS Venture Capital Company. He has held Board, financial and operating positions in other small to large companies.  He is currently the CEO and Chair of BoundaryMedical, Inc. whose systems allow medical providers to prove clinical outcomes and improve financial performance. John received his MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

 

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Shaun Andrikopoulos, MBA
Advisor & Board Member
Entrepreneurial leader with operating CEO and investment industry experience. Current president of advisory firm Solitude Management, LLC. Founded and led 500 employee oil services company as the CEO and Chairman of EnerCrest, Inc. Raised and deployed $80 million in venture capital as EVP of Strategy and Director at Silicon Valley Internet Capital, was Wall Street Journal #1 All Star Equity Analyst as Director & Senior Equity Analyst of the Internet Group Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. Energy policy advisor to Gov. John Kasich in Ohio. Extensive Board and corporate governance experience. Tuck School of Business, MBA, Stanford University, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Chicago Booth School Board Consortium, graduate.

 

 



 

Scientific Advisory Board

Jon B. Bruss, MD, MSPH, MBA, FIDSA
Alarus Development International, LLC
Dynamic 20-year career with broad experience in clinical drug development (preclinical through phase IV) in multiple therapeutic areas. Leader with vision; achieving results in challenging global development programs, including experience with successful registration in US, Europe, Japan and other countries. Experience has included development work with first in new classes of compounds, and includes adults, elderly, pediatric, and neonatal populations. Anti-infective drug development experience has included over 7 classes of antibiotics, multiple anti-virals, anti-fungals, vaccines and biologics. Other experience includes vaccine research, clinical pediatrics, infectious disease, public health management, and tuberculosis control. Proven management skills on multifunctional teams, matrix settings, and multi-cultural environments in government, governmental agencies, large corporations and small entrepreneurial businesses.
Jon earned a B.S. at the University of Utah and a M.S. in Public Health at Tulane University of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In 1986 Jon earned his medical degree from University of New Mexico, School of Medicine and in 2004 received his MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.

 

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David J. Chase, Ph.D.
After a 35-year career in academia and industry, David Chase retired as Director of Scientific and Medical Affairs in Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Companies. He served in this role for the Women’s Health franchises for the entire 15 years he was at J & J, as well as for Baby and Skin Care for several years. David’s group had or shared  responsibility for safety assessments and testing of ingredients, materials, experimental prototypes, and final products; clinical studies to demonstrate efficacy/performance and safety of products; contributing biological perspective to product discovery and development; establishing and maintaining relationships with extramural biomedical professionals; interacting with FDA on matters relating to medical device development and marketing clearance; and educating R&D, senior business executives, and other business partners in relevant areas of biology and medicine. David had worldwide responsibilities, including clinical studies in the U.K., Germany, Poland, the Philippines, and China, as well as the U.S.
David earned a B.A. at the University of Montana and a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on physiology, endocrinology, and reproductive biology. He did postdoctoral research in biochemical endocrinology at the University of Michigan for six years, and taught and did research the State University of New York, Binghamton, for six years before starting his career in the healthcare industry. Before joining Johnson & Johnson in 1999, David was responsible for Phase 2-3 clinical studies of women’s health drugs (prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, Organon) and for finding and reviewing drug candidates for in-licensing (various indications related to women’s health, Wyeth).
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Katherine Laessig, MD, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Medical
Safety and Quality Assurance
Dr. Laessig has over 16 years of regulatory experience at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1999  through 2015. Most recently, she served as the Deputy Director of the Division of Anti-Infective Products (DAIP) for eight years and was responsible for review of antimicrobial drug and biologic products for the treatment as well as prevention of infectious diseases. Prior to joining DAIP, she held several positions of increasing responsibility in the Division of Antiviral Products. Her major area of expertise is antimicrobial product development. She remained active in clinical practice with a weekly HIV/AIDS clinic at the Whitman Walker Clinic in Washington, DC from 20002016. Dr. Laessig began her career as an infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She received her medical degree from the University of Maryland in Baltimore in 1992 and completed an internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship, both at The George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC. She graduated from Cornell University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts in biology and a concentration in microbiology. She is board certified in infectious diseases and is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
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Jack D. Sobel, M.D. – Dr. Sobel is Dean of the School of Medicine at Wayne State University
Dr. Sobel was previously Chair of Internal Medicine and served as Chief of Division of Infectious Diseases and Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine. A graduate of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr. Sobel did his fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland and the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He has specialized as a “Candidologist”, specifically in Candida infection of the genitourinary tract. His research interests have encompassed microbiology, immunology and molecular biology of Candida infections including immunologic Candida studies as well as tissue culture methods and development of animal models of experimental vaginal candidiasis. More specifically, multiple studies on the diagnosis and treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis in women. More recently, studies on Candida infection of the urinary tract have emerged. Ongoing studies include invasive candidiasis and candidemia, evaluating  epidemiology and investigation of new antifungal drugs. Other studies include new diagnostic tests for VVC and evaluating new treatment regimens for recurrent and refractory vaginal candidiasis.
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Glenn S Tillotson MSc, PhD, FIDSA, FRSM, FCCP, FISC.
Consultant at GST Micro LLC, Durham NC and Visiting Distinguished Scientist, PHRI, Rutgers University, Newark NJ
Glenn Tillotson has 30+ years pharmaceutical experience in early pre-clinical and clinical research, commercialization, medical affairs, scientific communications including publication planning strategic drug development, life cycle management and global launch programs. Dr Tillotson has been instrumental in the development and launch of ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, gemifloxacin, fidaxomicin and most recently solithromycin. Glenn has held several key committee positions at the American College of Chest Physicians, he is on the Scientific Steering Committee for the GTCBio the Annual Summit on Anti-infective Partnering. Currently Dr Tillotson has published >150 peer-reviewed manuscripts, presented >270 scientific posters and is on several journal Editorial Advisory Boards including the Lancet Infectious Disease, eBioMedicine Expert Reviews in Anti-Infective Therapy and F1000.