Robert O. Baratta, MD
Chairman, Chief Medical Officer And Head Of Product Development
Robert O. Baratta is highly respected practicing ophthalmologist in South Florida, and an experienced senior executive, leader, and innovator. He has held leadership and advisory positions with the Florida Society of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Vanderbilt University Eye Institute. He is also an accomplished entrepreneur, having served as Chief Executive Officer of Ascent Surgical Partners, an ambulatory surgery center management company, and Chairman of MedAmerica HealthCare Suppliers, a medical supplies company exporting to Central America. Dr. Baratta is one of the inventors of PolyCol, and received his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was elected to the Board of Directors of FPIC Insurance Group in 1996 and was elected its Chairman in 1999. FPIC Insurance Group was listed on the NASDAQ exchange (NASDAQ: FPIC) until its sale in 2010. Dr. Baratta was responsible for the turnaround of that business, its subsequent sale and successful return of value to shareholders.
President and CEO
Eric Schlumpf has extensive startup, early stage and large public company leadership experience. His background includes leadership roles in a variety of industries, including health care, telecommunications and high tech. Eric was recently CEO of PathMD, an early stage pathology laboratory company based in Los Angeles, which grew to become the premier pathology provider in the market during his tenure. Prior to PathMD, Eric was a VP and General Manager for T-Mobile USA; responsible for its largest and most important US market. He was a founder of Archstone Consulting, an international consulting firm, and he was a partner with Deloitte and Touche, where he advised several multinational pharmaceutical, health care and technology companies. Eric is one of the inventors of PolyCol, and he holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, and a Masters of Business Administration from Texas Christian University. He has completed additional post-graduate studies at Southern Methodist University and the University of California, San Diego. Eric has served as a board member and advisor for several companies.
Senior Vice President, Program Management and Corporate Development
Shawn DeLorey oversees Stuart Therapeutics operations and corporate development activities. He has extensive experience managing enterprises in heavily regulated industries, including the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors; and a functional background in: business strategy and corporate development; supply chain and operations management; product development and growth; regulatory compliance and quality management; and sales and marketing. He has worked in companies ranging from venture-funded startups to private and publicly held major corporations in the US and abroad, and has a track record for delivering results. Shawn is an inventor of PolyCol, and has held senior executive and operating management roles such as: SVP at US Foods; VP, Business Development at GEN3 Partners; Principal at A.T.Kearney and Arthur Andersen; and Vice President at Foxcode Operations Advisors.
Brian J. Del Buono, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Research & Development
Brian Del Buono has nearly 35 years of multinational R&D and business development experience in FDA-regulated pharmaceuticals and biologics, with an emphasis in biotech/pharma R&D innovation and management on both branded and generic FDA-regulated products. His academic and corporate research focused on cell structure and function, particularly in the areas of transmembrane signal transduction and interactions between the cell surface and the extracellular matrix (ECM). He spent a number of years devising in vitro tissue models of a variety of tissues including epithelial, endothelial and hepatic microenvironments, as well as models of blood cell adhesion and extravasation in the circulatory and lymphatic systems. During this time he researched the interactions between ECM components and their effects upon cellular function, particularly interactions between various collagen types and non-collagen ECM components. Brian holds a B.S. in Microbiology (Chemistry minor) from Juniata College and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Microbiology/Biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University, and was a postdoctoral fellow in Biochemistry and Hematology/Oncology at Boston University School of Medicine. He spent several years as a Research Fellow and on the faculty of Boston University School of Medicine, before moving into industry to continue to build his research and product development career. He also holds a J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, which he has leveraged to gain additional experience in other aspects of business development in the bio/pharma arena including intellectual property, regulatory affairs, strategic business development, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate transactions including licensing and large merger integration efforts.
David Calkins, PhD.
Chief Science Officer
David Calkins, Ph.D., is the Vice-Chairman and Director for Research for the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and the Denis M. O’Day Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences for the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he has been faculty since 2004. He also is Director of the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center, home to over 50 vision scientists. As a neuroscientist, he is also Professor of Psychology in the Vanderbilt University College of Arts and Sciences and faculty in the Vanderbilt Brain Institute. Dr. Calkins is a leading authority on the neurobiological basis of vision loss in blinding eye disease, neuroprotection and regenerative medicine for conditions that affect the retina and early visual pathways. He is also a recognized authority in the synaptic organization of the retina and early visual pathways as it relates to structure-function relationships and visual perception. His work has been widely acclaimed for its quantitative approach, rigor and pre-clinical implications, not only for optic neuropathies, but for age-related neurodegenerative diseases more generally. His key publications in Nature, Neuron, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Neuroscience, and Progress in Retinal and Eye Research have been lauded not only for their thoroughness and scope, but also for their clarity and incisive theoretical underpinnings. Dr. Calkins’ research has enjoyed continuous NIH funding since his first academic appointment in 1998 with numerous foundation and industry grants to support his program. Dr. Calkins was a founding member of the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s Catalyst for a Cure research consortium to understand neurodegeneration in glaucoma and find new therapeutic interventions. Dr. Calkins’ work has been recognized with awards from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Glaucoma Research Foundation, and the American Health Assistance Foundation. In 2010, he was named an ARVO Silver Fellow for his contributions to the vision community.
In 2011, he was awarded the Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize of The New York Academy of Medicine. Most recently he won a 2013 Senior Scientific Investigator Award from Research to Prevent Blindness.
Vijay Aggarwal, PhD
Vice President of Strategy
Vijay has more than 30 years of senior executive experience in both pharmaceutical services and clinical diagnostics. Previously, Dr. Aggarwal has held multiple senior level executive roles, including: CEO of VaxiGenix, Inc.; President & CEO of Aureon Laboratories, Inc.; President of AAIDevelopment Services, Inc.; and President of Quest Diagnostic Ventures.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Aggarwal held many positions within SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, (now part of Quest Diagnostics), including direct responsibility for all of SBCL’s U.S.-based laboratories as Executive Vice President of Laboratories, and for all reimbursement contracting as Vice President of Managed Care. Dr. Aggarwal currently serves on the boards of several private companies, including: AccuGenomics, Inc.; Allergenis; Genisphere LLC; Moleculera and Targeted Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Inc.. Dr Aggarwal is an active member of the New York Angels. He earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology/Toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia.
Philip N. Sussman
Philip Sussman has served as CFO and a member of senior management at several public and private life sciences companies. In these positions he led an IPO on NASDAQ and established collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca AB, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Eli Lilly & Co., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Pfizer Inc., Solvay Pharmaceuticals B.V., Unilever plc, and Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited that provided in aggregate more than $200 million in research funding and equity investments. Previously, he was Director of Strategy & Business Development at Ciba-Geigy Corp.’s (now Novartis) Pharmaceuticals Division. He has a BS in Physics from Stony Brook University, an MS in Biotechnology from Manhattan College, and an SM in Management with a concentration in Finance from the Sloan School of Management, MIT.
Walter Flamenbaum, MD
Walter Flamenbaum, M.D., is a Managing Director of The Channel Group since 2014. Prior to that he was one of the Founding Partner of Paul Capital Healthcare Funds, which has invested over $1 billion in forty investments, and is currently a Partner Emeritus at Paul Capital. He led the development and refinement of its investment strategy, processes and techniques, as well as actively participating in the majority of the Fund’s investments, including roles in sourcing, negotiating and other activities. He was primarily responsible for the development of the diverse team of healthcare and financial investment professionals, allowing for the Fund’s development and successes to date. Dr. Flamenbaum has 40 years of healthcare experience, including the development and evaluation of pharmaceutical and biotechnology-based drugs, medical devices and diagnostics. He is board certified in internal medicine, nephrology and clinical pharmacology and was a professor of medicine at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Flamenbaum served in the U.S. Army at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He earned his M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and his B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College.