Team

Matthew Fox

Chief Executive Officer

Professional Bio

As Chief Executive Officer of Q-State Biosciences, Matthew Fox is responsible for overseeing the company’s operations, developing the growth strategy, and delivering revenue. Most recently, Matthew co-founded Pairnomix and led the personalized research company as Chief Executive Officer. While at Pairnomix, he helped build the market for personalized research services and grew the brand until it combined with Q-State.

Prior to joining Pairnomix, Matthew served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Upsher-Smith Laboratories, where he led business intelligence efforts, developed and maintained trade and advocacy partnerships, and sourced new opportunities to expand and grow the business. Prior to that role, Matthew served as a Portfolio Manager at Bank am Bellevue in Zurich, Switzerland, investing in global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. He holds a B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

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Dr. Graham Dempsey

Head of Research and Development

Professional Bio

Graham Dempsey, Ph.D., leads Q-State’s research and development efforts. In this role, he oversees all internal development work and ensures successful execution of Q-State’s partnered programs with pharmaceutical companies and foundations. Graham began his scientific career at the University of Pennsylvania, developing novel single molecule methods for high sensitivity fluorescence measurements of molecular function. He then joined Harvard University where he developed a new super-resolution imaging technique called stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), allowing for multicolor, live-cell fluorescence imaging of biological samples with nanometer spatial resolution. The technique was commercialized by Nikon Instruments. Graham received a B.A. in Biochemistry and Physics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University.

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Dr. Owen McManus

Chief Technology Officer

Professional Bio

Owen McManus, Ph.D., is a drug discovery scientist with extensive experience in drug discovery, electrophysiology, and technology development. He worked for over twenty years at Merck Research labs where he led basic research teams at multiple discovery stages including target identification and validation, assay development, lead identification and optimization. These teams produced a number of clinical candidate compounds in multiple therapeutic areas. He was also Director of Operations at the Johns Hopkins Ion Channel Center, which provided HTS screening and lead optimization for ion channel and transporter targets for the academic community through the NIH Molecular Libraries program. He also worked as Director, Ion Channel Screening and Drug Discovery at Essen Bioscience, a leading instrument development company. At both Essen and Merck, he worked on development of novel instrumentation and technologies to support drug discovery, which have led to several marketed products. He is currently Chief Technology Officer at Q-State Biosciences working to advance Q-State technologies in drug discovery efforts.

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Wendell Taylor

Head of Business Development

Professional Bio

Wendell Taylor leads business development efforts at Q-State. His responsibilities include identifying new opportunities for Q-State and leading the company through transactions that will drive business growth and create value. Wendell most recently served as the Vice President of Business Development and Head of Transactions at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw a broad range of acquisitions and collaborations across therapeutic areas and stages of development. Prior to his role at Vertex, Wendell spent 20 years as a partner at WilmerHale. His legal practice focused on advising national and international companies on corporate law matters, including mergers, acquisitions, and financings. While at WilmerHale, Wendell also served on the Executive and Hiring Committees and was co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. Wendell has received numerous awards throughout his career and was selected as one of Boston Business Journal’s “40 under 40”. He has also taught courses on mergers and acquisitions at the Boston University School of Law and holds leadership positions at several non-profits in his community. Wendell earned a B.S. in biology and history from the College of William and Mary and a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.

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Michael LaCascia

General Councel

Professional Bio

Michael LaCascia is a Senior Vice President at Q-State and serves as the company’s General Counsel. In this role, he oversees Q-State’s legal functions, including licensing, transactions, compliance, and corporate governance. Michael joins Q-State from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he held several leadership roles within the company and was most recently Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to serving in the corporate biotech industry, Michael spent 14 years as a partner at WilmerHale, an international law firm. He has also taught courses in mergers and acquisitions as an adjunct professor at Boston University School of Law. Michael earned an A.B. in economics from Harvard University and a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.

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Mette Smedegaard Andersen

Head of Strategy and Partnerships

Professional Bio

Mette Smedegaard Andersen joins Q-State from The Boston Consulting Group, where she was a Core Member of the Healthcare practice. Her work there centered on strategy development for Pharma and Biotech, ranging from R&D to drug launch and innovation strategies in companies across the US and Europe. Mette holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, a MPhil in Nanotechnology from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard University. While at Harvard Business School, she studied business model innovations for precision medicine.

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Dr. David Gerber

Head of Scientific Affairs

Professional Bio

Dr. David Gerber currently serves as the Head of Scientific Affairs at Q-State and brings twenty years of experience in CNS disease biology and drug discovery to the company. Prior to joining Q-State, David was scientific co-founder and Vice President of Research at Galenea Corp., where he led discovery programs in schizophrenia, cognition and neurodegeneration, including several R&D collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies. A key aspect of this work included development and application of novel platform technology to directly target synaptic transmission for CNS drug discovery.  Before founding Galenea, as a postdoctoral fellow and Research Scientist in Susumu Tonegawa’s lab at MIT, his research focused on molecular and genetic factors involved in schizophrenia, and particularly on the potential link between calcineurin dysfunction and schizophrenia pathogenesis. David received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Denise Johnson

Head of Human Resources

Professional Bio

Denise Johnson leads all human resources functions at Q-State. She has over 20 years of experience in a variety of areas, including developing HR processes and policies, compliance, employee relations, performance management, recruiting, benefits, compensation and training. Denise began her career at PriceWaterhouse (PwC) and KPMG, LLC. She then worked for 10 years as a consultant to early stage technology companies. She has held management and consulting positions with emerging growth companies in various industries including software, financial services, and life science organizations. Prior to joining Q-State, Denise established the HR infrastructure for Correlagen Diagnostics, Inc., a leading developer of genetic testing that assists physicians with early diagnosis for a more precise and tailored treatment. Denise earned her B.A. in English Literature with an advanced certificate in Human Resource Management from Northeastern University and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.

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Dr. Luis Williams

Head of Cell Biology

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As Head of Cell Biology at Q-State, Dr. Luis Williams leads a team of scientists to develop and execute protocols, including neuronal differentiation and the use of gene editing technology, for the purpose of creating various types of neuronal cellular models. He also oversees his team’s efforts to functionally characterize these models using various proprietary Q-State technologies. Prior to joining Q-State, Luis worked in the laboratory of Q-State co-founder Dr. Kevin Eggan, where he developed models of various nervous system disorders. Luis holds a B.S. in biology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, an M.S. in molecular genetics from the University of California-Davis, and a Ph.D. in stem cell biology from Harvard University.

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Dr. Kit Werley

Head of Engineering Research

Professional Bio

As Head of Engineering Research at Q-State, Dr. Kit Werley is responsible for developing new instrumentation and optical assays to probe neuronal excitability and synaptic signaling, which are used for disease modeling and phenotypic drug screening at high throughput. Previously, during his postdoc at Harvard University in the laboratory of Q-State co-founder Dr. Adam Cohen, Kit developed the prototype for Q-State’s Firefly microscope, the workhorse instrument at Q-State.  He received his Ph.D. in the field of ultrafast optics from the chemistry department at MIT and his Bachelor’s in chemistry from Stanford University.

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Dr. Amy Elder

Head of Chemistry

Professional Bio

Dr. Amy Elder serves as Q-State’s Director of Chemistry. In this role, Amy manages many of the company’s drug discovery and development efforts. She oversees medicinal chemistry efforts, including the selection of compounds for use in drug screening studies, the analysis of drug screening data, and the selection of lead candidate therapies for further internal or partnered analysis and development. Amy has previously worked for a variety of drug discovery companies. Most recently, she served as Director of Chemistry at Galenea in the CNS area. Prior to this role, she worked at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda Oncology) in inflammation and oncology and at Pfizer in the CNS area. Amy has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Dr. Eric White

Head of Genomic Assay Development

Professional Bio

Eric White is Head of Genomic Assay Development at QnA Dx, a subsidiary of Q-State Biosciences offering genetic sequencing and interpretation services as part of the Q-State precision medicine services platform. Eric is responsible for designing and validating all genetic sequencing tests offered through QnA Dx. He also supports the company’s efforts to source and evaluate new genomic technologies that could further enhance the company’s sequencing and variant interpretation capabilities. Eric has more than 15 years of experience in genomic assay development. Most recently, he served as Director of Assay and Technology Development at Claritas Genomics. He also held Associate Director and Staff Scientist positions at Thermo Fisher Scientific. In these roles, he helped optimize the company’s Ion Torrent PGM and Proton next-generation sequencing platforms. Eric holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed his postdoctoral work at Yale University.

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Dr. Chani Maher

Head of Precision Medicine Services

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As Head of Precision Medicine Services, Dr. Chani Maher leads many operating aspects of Q-State’s precision medicine service offerings. Her responsibilities include managing teams of sales, marketing, and advocacy professionals to drive new business to the company, and coordinating with Q-State scientists to ensure timely deliverables. Chani also regularly liaises with Q-State’s executive leadership to inform precision medicine services strategy. Previously, Chani served as Director of Business Operations at Pairnomix until the company merged with Q-State. In this role, she drove the day-to-day operating activities of Pairnomix and provided managerial oversight to the company’s functions and employees. Chani earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota, as well as a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences and a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY-Buffalo.

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