Linette Castillo, PhD
Dr. Castillo-Pichardo obtained her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus in 2011. Her Ph.D. Dissertation investigated grape polyphenols at physiologically relevant concentrations as breast cancer therapeutics and chemosensitization agents against epidermal growth factor receptor targeted therapy. As a post-doctoral fellow at Universidad Central del Caribe (UCC) Dr. Castillo-Pichardo was involved in the discovery and characterization of Ehop-016, a novel inhibitor for the small GTPase Rac that has been implicated in the promotion of cancer cell migration and invasion, and thus metastasis. After her post-doctoral experience she had the opportunity to become an Assistant Professor at UCC. As an independent investigator, Dr. Castillo-Pichardo is interested in the study of small molecule inhibitors for Rac and related proteins against metastatic breast cancer progression. Her current research is focused on validating Ehop-016 derivatives as potential anti-metastatic breast cancer therapeutics.
Gayathri R. Devi, PhD
Dr. Devi is Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Sciences and in the Department of Pathology at Duke University School of Medicine. She is a member of Women’s Cancer Program at Duke Cancer Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at North Carolina Central University, a historically black college, where she is leading Duke-NCCU collaborative initiatives in cancer health disparities and education. Dr. Devi received her undergraduate degree from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, in 1991, Masters (Biochemistry) in 1993, and a Ph.D. (1998) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.
Kosmas Kretsos, PhD
Dr. Kretsos is the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Consortium for Clinical Investigation, a new nonprofit organization in the making that aims to enhance and increase clinical research. Previously, he was a strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London. His clients included global pharmaceutical and medical devices companies, private equity and venture capital firms, as well as public policy organizations. Prior to PwC, Dr. Kretsos had a core pharma R&D role at UCB where he led design and execution of clinical trials in Europe and USA. He was also part of Entelos Inc., a pioneering Silicon Valley company, testing drug candidates for big pharma clients, via use of virtual patients and simulated clinical trials. Dr. Kretsos holds a Diploma of Chemical Engineering from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece; a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the SUNY at Buffalo, USA; a MBA from Imperial College at London, UK.
Jaime Matta, PhD
Dr. Jaime Matta is a cancer researcher with a laboratory established at Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU). In 1988, Dr. Matta earned a Ph.D. and a D.Sc. in Biology from the University of California (UCLA). He later received a postdoctoral position from the President of the University of California at UC Santa Barbara. In 1992 Dr. Matta began his work as an Assistant Professor at PHSU, succeeding in securing extramural funding for his research projects over the past 25 years. Dr. Matta has been affiliated with several organizations such as the American Association for Cancer Research, the Society of Toxicology and the Association for Medical School Pharmacology Chairs. A fundamental part of his career has also been the training of basic and clinical scientists serving as mentor for students and faculty in various institutions. Currently, Dr. Matta serves as PHSU Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Principal Investigator of the PHSU-MCC U54 Cancer Partnership and as an independent researcher through a SC1 Research Grant, where he conducts research at the interface of basic and clinical fields of Cancer. His laboratory research is focused on DNA repair as a risk factor for breast cancer and on epigenetic factors that regulate repair. Dr. Matta has published about 60 manuscripts in international scientific journals, and is a member of the editorial board of two scientific journals and external evaluator for multiple cancer journals.
Daniel Sullivan, PhD
Dr. Daniel Sullivan is a senior member of the Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant at Moffitt Cancer and executive president and associate center director, Clinical Investigations. He is chief medical officer for M2Gen, a Moffitt Cancer Center biotechnology company. He is also a professor at the University of South Florida’s Departments of Oncologic Sciences, Internal Medicine and Molecular Medicine. Dr. Sullivan’s research interests include the mechanism of drug resistance to common anti-tumor agents for patient with hematologic malignancies, small cell lung cancer, malignant melanoma and rectal carcinoma. Dr. Sullivan received his bachelor’s degree and medical degree, followed by a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Louisville, KY. He completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology from the University of Florida. Before coming to Moffitt in 1995, Dr. Sullivan was an associate professor at the University of Louisville in the Department of Biochemistry and Medicine. Dr. Sullivan is a member of numerous editorial boards and national councils. He is co-chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Investigational Drug Steering Committee, a member of the NCI Operational Efficiency Work Group and has served as chair of the American Cancer Society Cancer Drug Development Peer Review Committee. In addition, he is a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and a manuscript reviewer for 19 different peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Sullivan has received numerous professional awards and has been named one of America’s Best Doctors for nine years in a row.
Madeline Torres-Lugo, PhD
Dr. Torres-Lugo began his academic studies as an undergraduate chemical engineering student at University of Puerto Rico. She continued her graduate training in protein crystallization and pharmacokinetics at the University of Purdue under the supervision of Dr. Nicholas A. Peppas. In 2001 s
he became assiatnt professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at University of Puerto Rico. Her research has been focus on the study of biomaterials interactions with tissues for therapeutic applications and medical diagnosis.
Kevin Williams, PhD.
Dr. Williams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a faculty member of BRITE at North Carolina Central University. Dr. Williams has over 25 years combined experience in both academic and biopharmaceutical-based research with a focus on cancer and drug discovery. Dr. Williams received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Bath in the UK and received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge (UK). He completed his postdoctoral work at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Prior to joining NCCU in 2007, he spent six years as a Senior Scientist at Biogen in the Department of Protein Engineering and four years at Amphora Corp as Director of Enzyme Drug Discovery. At NCCU he has obtained NIH and DOD research support and mentored 12 Masters level graduate students. His lab currently focuses on identifying novel modulators of the hedgehog pathway. Dr. Williams serves as course director and main instructor for the undergraduate bioprocessing and graduate-level biomanufacturing classes. He is co-author of over 45 publications and co-inventor on 9 patents.