Leadership

Craig F. Plato, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Founder

CP 1

Since founding PBI in 2010, Dr. Plato has been growing the company and leading a team of scientists in providing pre-clinical CRO services to clients in Pharmaceutical and Biotech organizations, as well as academia.  Dr. Plato leads and prioritizes the company’s scientific endeavors.  He collaborates with clients and directs strategic planning to meet study objectives. Prior to founding PBI, Dr. Plato led in vivo pharmacology for Gilead Sciences, Inc. which acquired his previous employer, Myogen, Inc., in 2005 to diversify to the cardiovascular and renal disease areas.  During his tenure at Myogen-Gilead, Dr. Plato led CKD drug discovery efforts, participating extensively in preclinical & clinical development activities for the Endothelin Receptor Antagonist program, and managed the team responsible for generating preclinical data requested by the FDA for approval of Ambrisentan Orphan Drug status for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2009.  Craig led his team to the forefront of several drug discovery efforts including Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors, Protein Kinase D Inhibitors, and α-Myosin Heavy Chain upregulators for the Myogen-Novartis collaboration, focusing on heart failure and pathological cardiac hypertrophy.  From those projects, Dr. Plato provided the first direct evidence for and patented the use of HDAC inhibitors as combination therapeutics for the treatment of cardiac dysfunction. Craig served on the APS Renal Section Steering Committee (2006-2009), was Chair of the APS “Physiologists in Industry Committee” and authored or co-authored several articles on the committee’s homepage. Prior to these efforts, Dr. Plato was a Senior Scientist in Cardiorenal and Safety Pharmacology at Abbott Laboratories where he focused on diabetic nephropathy, electrophysiologic safety, and platelet function.  During Craig’s academic career, he was twice awarded the American Physiological Society (APS) “Excellence in Renal Research Award” and the American Heart Association “Merck New Investigator Award.”

Dr. Plato received his Ph.D. Degree in Physiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin.  He performed his postdoctoral training and was appointed to the faculty in the Hypertension and Vascular Research Division at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kristin Joly, M.S., Associate Director, In Vivo Operations

Ms. Joly has been with PBI since its inception in 2010 and worked at Gilead & Myogen with Dr. Plato since 2005.  Kristin has been instrumental in her contribution to the strategic direction of PBI and its in vivo laboratory. Ms. Joly drives organizational systems and improvements in operational efficiencies.  She represents the vivarium operations on project teams. Ms. Joly also plays a key role in training technical and animal care staff, oversees Vivarium operations, and coordinates PBI’s IACUC activities.  Prior to PBI, Ms. Joly spent 4.5 years at Myogen-Gilead Sciences as a research staff member and, prior to that, interned at the State of CT Forensic Science Laboratory.

Ms. Joly earned her M.S. in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven, West Haven, CT and B.S. in Biology from University of Scranton, Scranton, PA.

A Successful and Experienced Team

Since PBI’s inception, Dr. Plato has thoughtfully hired a highly talented team of Ph.D., M.S. and Bachelor-degreed scientists. The team is comprised of scientists with 150+ years of combined pharmaceutical and biotech industry experience in drug discovery, in vivo pharmacology and animal science, in addition to many decades of academic research at notable R1 academic institutions. Our scientific team is experienced in study protocol development, study design and layout, small animal surgery, physiological and pharmacological functional evaluations, data management and study reporting. Operating within PBI’s Code of Conduct, our work is based on rigorous science, intense focus and regulatory compliance.  Collectively, our team’s expertise and skills cover all the critical aspects of PBI’s integrative discovery research approach to exceed our client’s expectations.

Board of Directors

Craig F. Plato, Ph.D., CEO & Founder, Plato BioPharma, Inc.

See bio above.

Dan Mitchell, M.B.A.

Mr. Mitchell founded and is a Manager of Sequel Venture Partners, L.L.C., a venture capital firm formed in January, 1997.  Sequel invests in seed and early stage opportunities primarily in the Front Range of Colorado. Prior to Sequel, Mr. Mitchell founded Capital Health Venture Partners, a health care focused venture capital firm, where he was a General Partner from 1986-2006.  From 2002 to 2009, he served on the board of directors of Replidyne, Inc., a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company acquired by Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. In February 2014, Mr. Mitchell joined the board of directors of ARCA biopharma, Inc., a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, where Mr. Mitchell serves as a member of the board of directors’ Audit Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

Dan received an M.B.A. from the University of CA-Graduate School of Business, Berkeley, CA and his B.S. for the University of Illinois.

Larry Gold, Ph.D.

Dr. Larry Gold is the founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of SomaLogic. Prior to SomaLogic, he founded NeXagen, Inc., which later became NeXstar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In 1999, NeXstar merged with Gilead Sciences, Inc. to form a global organization committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel products that treat infectious diseases. Before forming NeXagen, Dr. Gold also co-founded and served as co-Director of Research at Synergen, Inc., a pioneering biotechnology company later acquired by Amgen, Inc.

Dr. Gold has been a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) since 1970. While at the university, he served as the chairman of the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Department from 1988 to 1992. During his career, Dr. Gold has received many accolades including the CU Distinguished Lectureship Award, the National Institutes of Health Merit Award, the Career Development Award, and the Chiron Prize for Biotechnology. In addition, Dr. Gold has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1993 and the National Academy of Sciences since 1995. Dr. Gold also serves on the board of directors of CompleGen and MicroPhage.

Dr. Gold received an A.B. in Biochemistry from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Connecticut.

Scientific Advisory Board

Richard J. Gorczynski, Ph.D. – Cardiovascular Disease Area

Over 30 years in Pharma and Biotech discovery and development research
Head of CV Disease Research: Searle/Monsanto; Somatogen; Myogen; Gilead Sciences
Expert in CV drug discovery; lead development of multiple marketed drugs

Ronald J. Shebuski, Ph.D. – Thrombosis Disease Area

25 years in Pharma and Biotech; lead development of multiple marketed drugs
Principal, Cardiovascular Research Consulting, LLC
Head of CV Therapeutic Area: Pharmacia; Upjohn
Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota Medical School

Albert Petkus, D.V.M. – Attending Veterinarian

36 years as a veterinarian; 34 years in laboratory animal medicine
Director of Animal Resources, University of Colorado, Boulder