Board of Directors
Augustine Lawlor, Chairman of the Board
Managing Director, HealthCare Ventures LLC
Augustine Lawlor has served as a member of the board of directors of Catalyst since 2006. Mr. Lawlor currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of Leap Therapeutics (LPTX). He has been a Managing Director of HealthCare Ventures since 2000. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Chief Operating Officer of LeukoSite, a HealthCare Ventures III, IV and V company. Prior to joining LeukoSite, Mr. Lawlor was Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Corporate Development for Alpha-Beta Technology. He has held similar positions at both BioSurface Technology and Armstrong Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Lawlor was previously a management consultant with KPMG.
Mr. Lawlor is currently a director of Cardiovascular Systems (CSII), GlobeImmune (GBIM), Promedior, Mosaic Biosciences, Tensha Therapeutics, HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Cleveland HeartLab, LLC, GITR, Anexon, and the Slater Center for Biomedical Technology. He served on the Board of Directors of Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) from March 2004 to August 2012 and the board of directors of Replidyne from March 2002 to March 2009.
Mr. Lawlor received a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University.
Errol B. De Souza, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Neuropore Therapies, Inc.
Errol B. De Souza, Ph.D. served as a member of the board of directors of Targacept (TRGT) from 2004 until the completion of the merger in 2015, and since the merger he has served on the Catalyst Board. Dr. De Souza is currently the President and CEO of Neuropore Therapies. From March 2010 until January 2016, Dr. De Souza served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Biodel, a specialty pharmaceutical company. From April 2009 to March 2010, Dr. De Souza was a pharmaceutical and biotechnology consultant. From April 2003 to March 2009, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Archemix Corporation, a privately held biopharmaceutical company. Dr. De Souza served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp. until its sale to H. Lundbeck A/S, in addition to Biodel and Archemix. Over Dr. De Souza’s career, he has also served in a number of high-ranking research and development roles, including Senior Vice President and Head of Global Lead Generation for Hoechst Marion Roussel and Senior Vice President and U.S. head of drug innovation and approval following that company’s merger with Rhône-Poulenc to form Aventis (now Sanofi-Aventis) and Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX).
Dr. De Souza currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Biodel and Bionomics (BNO.AX). He has served on the board of directors of IDEXX Laboratories (IDXX) and Palatin Technologies (PTN).
Dr. De Souza received his B.A. (Honors) in physiology and his Ph.D. in neuroendocrinology from the University of Toronto and was postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Jeff Himawan, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures
Jeff Himawan, Ph.D., has served as a member of the board of directors of Catalyst since 2008. Dr. Himawan is a Managing Director at Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, a healthcare focused venture capital firm, where he previously served as a Partner from 2001 to 2004 and as an Adjunct Partner from 1999 to 2001. He has over 20 years of experience as a scientist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Dr. Himawan was a co-founder and Managing Director of Seed-One Ventures, LLC, a venture capital firm that specializes in the initial formation, financing and early operational development of technology-based companies, from 1996 to 2001. From 1983 to 1996, Dr. Himawan was a scientist in academic and industrial settings. He is the named inventor in several issued patents in the fields of wireless communication, biotechnology and protein chemistry.
Dr. Himawan currently serves as a director of MediciNova (MNOV) and Horizon Pharma (HZNP) as well as Light Sciences Oncology (private). He previously served as a director of Iomai, Complete Genomics, OMT Therapeutics, Ception Therapeutics and Symphogen.
Dr. Himawan received his B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Andrea Hunt has served as a member of the board of directors of Catalyst since October 2017. Ms. Hunt served as the Vice President of New Product Gene Therapy, Neuroscience, Oncology and Ophthalmology with Shire from June 2016 until June 2017, where she developed and integrated disease area strategies for Shire’s gene therapy platform, Neuroscience, Oncology and Ophthalmology franchises. She previously served as the Vice President – Global Franchise Head for Blood Disorders with Baxalta from June 2015 to June 2016 before it was acquired by Shire. From 1988 to 2015, Ms. Hunt served in various roles with Baxter Healthcare, most recently as Vice President – Lead BAX855 and Gene Therapy in the Biosciences division from 2014 to June 2015.
Ms. Hunt served as a board member of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine and is an advisor to the Angiogenesis Foundation.
Ms. Hunt received an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a B.S. in Hospital Dietetics and B.A. in Foods & Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
John P. Richard
Co-Founder and Head of Corporate Development, Mereo BioPharma Ltd.
Operating Partner, Phase4 Partners
John P. Richard served as a member of the board of directors of Targacept (TRGT) from 2002 until the completion of the merger in 2015, and also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Targacept from January 2014 until the completion of the merger. Since the merger, he has served on the Catalyst Board. Mr. Richard is the co-founder and head of corporate development at Mereo BioPharma Group (MPH.L), and has served as a non-executive director for the life science investment firm Phase4 Partners since March 2011, and has previously served as an Operating Partner and Venture Partner at Phase4 Partners. From 2005 until 2015 he was also a Managing Director of Georgia Venture Partners, a seed venture capital firm that focuses on the biotechnology industry. Mr. Richard has served as a consultant to Phase4 Partners (or its predecessor) and certain of its portfolio companies, and two portfolio companies of Georgia Venture Partners.
Mr. Richard has been a director of the publicly-traded company Aviragen Therapeutics (AVIR; formerly Biota Pharmaceuticals) since August 2013.
Mr. Richard holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and B.S. from Stanford University.
Nassim Usman, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst Biosciences, Inc.
Nassim Usman, Ph.D., served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Catalyst since 2006. Dr. Usman joined Catalyst from Morgenthaler Ventures, where he is currently a Venture Partner. Prior to joining Morgenthaler in 2005, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Sirna Therapeutics, which was subsequently acquired by Merck (MRK), from 2004 to 2005, and held various R&D positions at both Sirna and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of R&D and Chief Science Officer, from 1992 to 2004. Dr. Usman was an NIH Fogarty and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow and Scientist in the Departments of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1987 to 1992. He has authored more than 70 scientific articles and is the named inventor in 130 issued patents and patent applications.
Dr. Usman serves on the boards of directors of Mosaic Biosciences (private) and Principia Biopharma (private), is a past director of Osprey Pharmaceuticals, Archemix Corporation and Atugen AG (now Silence Therapeutics, XRP1.F) and served on the scientific advisory boards of RXi Pharmaceuticals (RXII) and Noxxon Pharma AG (ALNOX:PA).
Dr. Usman received his B.Sc. (Honours) and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from McGill University. In his doctoral dissertation, he developed a method for the solid- phase synthesis of RNA that is widely used in science and in a marketed RNA product (Macugen™).
Mr. Williams was most recently senior vice president of biopharmaceuticals at Novo Nordisk Inc., where he was responsible for the general management of all aspects of the biotechnology business for the U.S. in three therapeutic areas, including hemophilia. Prior to Novo Nordisk, Mr. Williams was vice president of sales in the Respiratory and Dermatology Business Unit at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., where he ran all sales aspects of the respiratory and dermatology businesses. Before joining Novartis, Mr. Williams held numerous sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility for more than 20 years at Pharmacia & Upjohn Company (acquired by Pfizer in 2002). Mr. Williams served on the board of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the National Sales Network, Basic Supply Company, Inc., has been recognized as Industry Leader of the Year by the National Hemophilia Foundation, and chaired fundraising for the Boys & Girls Club of Trenton/Mercer County. Mr. Williams earned his B.S. in biology and chemistry from Marshall University.