Team

Leadership

Mug shot of Keith Dewedoff

Keith Dewedoff

Interim CFO

Mug shot of D. P. Peter Ghoroghchian

Dr. P. Peter Ghoroghchian

Co-Founder, President & CEO, Board Member

Mug shot of Dr. Rafal Gorzaczniak

Dr. Rafal Goraczniak

Co-Founder; Director, Platform Development

mug shot of Dr. Amir Moarefi

Dr. Amir Moarefi

AD, Corporate Development & Pipeline Strategy

Mug shot of Marilena Perrone

Marilena Perrone

Manager, Project Management and R&D Operations

mug shot of Dr. Myung Shin

Dr. Myung Shin

VP, Discovery Sciences

Scientific Advisors

Dr. Thomas Andresen

Dr. Thomas Andresen

Dr. Dennis Benjamin

Dr. Dennis Benjamin

Dr. Steven Dowdy

Dr. Steven Dowdy

Dr. Shridar Ganesan

Dr. Shridar Ganesan

Dr. Adrian Krainer

Dr. Adrian Krainer

Dr. Iain Mattaj

Dr. Iain Mattaj

Dr. Henrik Oerum

Dr. Henrik Oerum

Dr. Samuel Gunderson

Dr. Samuel Gunderson

Dr. Thomas Tuschl

Dr. Thomas Tuschl

Our Investors

Qiming logo
Xontogeny logo
Bristol Myers Squibb logo
Janus Henderson logo
Affinity Asset Advisors logo
ven Bio logo
Ikarian logo
Life Sci logo
Boxer Capital logo

Keith Dewedoff

Mr. Keith Dewedoff is the Interim Chief Financial Officer of Ceptur Therapeutics. Previously, he served as a CFO Advisor for Danforth Advisors, guiding both public and private biotech companies on financial growth strategies & operational restructurings, as well as the CFO of Kaizen Bioscience, where he is currently on the Board of Directors. Earlier in his career, Mr. Dewedoff was the Head of Corporate FP&A & Strategic Planning for Radius Pharmaceuticals, where he led Finance and Business Planning activities. He has also previously served in multiple global and domestic management consulting roles for various companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, as well as in various corporate roles for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Penn Medicine and The Philadelphia Stock Exchange (acquired by NASDAQ). Mr. Dewedoff earned his BS in Management & Economics from Northeastern University.

Dr. P. Peter Ghoroghchian

Dr. Peter Ghoroghchian is the co-founder of Ceptur Therapeutics and its President and Chief Executive Officer. He was previously Senior Vice President and Head of Therapeutic Development at Repertoire Immune Medicines (2019-2020), Chief Technology Officer at Poseida Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PSTX; 2016-2019) and Chief Scientific Officer at Vindico NanoBioTechnology (acquired by Poseida; 2009-2016). Earlier in his career, Dr. Ghoroghchian was an attending physician in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as well as the Charles W. and Jennifer C. Johnson Clinical Investigator in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. He earned his B.S. in chemical engineering from MIT followed by his Ph.D. and M.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. After medical school, Dr. Ghoroghchian completed residency training in internal medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as fellowship training in hematology and adult medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Rafal Goraczniak

Dr. Rafal Goraczniak is the co-founder of Ceptur Therapeutics and its Director of Platform Development. Together with Dr. Samuel Gunderson, he is the inventor of the Company’s U1 Adaptor gene silencing technology. Dr. Gorczniak is the author of more than 30 scientific publications on the biochemistry of mRNA processing and is an inventor on several patents on U1 Adaptors and their applications. He has also over 10 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of oligonucleotide bioconjugates. Dr. Goraczniak earned his MSc in molecular biology and his PhD in biochemistry at the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland. Subsequently, he was a special fellow at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and completed his post-doctoral fellowships at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Dr. Christoph Rosenbohm

Dr. Christoph Rosenbohm is the Chief Technology Officer at Ceptur Therapeutics. He was previously Head of Oligonucleotides Technical Development at Roche (2019-2021), Head of Synthesis & Optimization at Roche Innovation Center Copenhagen (2014-2019) and Sr. Director of Research Operation at Santaris Pharma (2010-2014). Dr. Rosenbohm is the author of more than 30 scientific publications and is an inventor on more than 15 patents/applications in the oligonucleotides field

Dr. Rosenbohm holds a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Southern Denmark (the lab of Prof. Jesper Wengel). After his PhD, Christoph worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Danish Technical Univerisity. In addition Christoph holds an executive MBA in Technology, Market and Organisation from Copenhagen Business School.

Dr. Myung K. Shin

Dr. Myung K. Shin is the Vice President of Discovery at Ceptur Therapeutics. Previously, he was an Executive Director of Early Discovery Genetics at Merck and Co., Inc. leading target identification and validation of human genetics targets across multiple therapeutic areas. Earlier in his career, Dr. Shin was a faculty member and PEW Scholar in Biomedical Sciences at Fox Chase Cancer Center. His research focused on Endothelin pathways during neural crest development and provided mechanistic insights into human genetics diseases such as Hirschsprung’s disease and pigment disorders. Dr. Shin received his B.A. from Northwestern University and Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Shin was a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow at HHMI/Princeton University and currently serves on the Executive Advisory Board for Chemistry of Life Processes (CLP) Institute at Northwestern University.

Daniel Heller

Mr. Daniel Heller is a member of the Board of Directors of Ceptur Therapeutics. He is a General Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Affinity Asset Advisors, a New York based health care investment fund. Mr. Heller has over 15 years of buy-side and sell-side Biotech investment experience and is currently also a member of the Board of Directors at Kurome Therapeutics. Prior to joining Affinity, Mr. Heller was the Director of Research at Perceptive Advisors, LLC, a Biotechnology analyst at CIBC World Markets, and a venture capital analyst at Paramount Capital Investments. He has also previously held positions at Merck and Pfizer. Mr. Heller earned his BA from the University of Arizona, his MS in Biochemistry from Rutgers University, and his MBA from Cornell University.

Aaron Kantoff

Mr. Aaron Kantoff is an independent member of the Board of Directors of Ceptur Therapeutics. He is a Venture Partner on the Medicxi investment team as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Centessa (NASDAQ: CNTA) and RayzeBio. Prior to Medicxi, Mr. Kantoff was a Partner at Apple Tree Partners (ATP; 2011-2019), where he was a key member of the life sciences investment team. While at ATP, he played a leading role in assembling several portfolio companies and served on the boards of Akero Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AKRO), Corvidia Therapeutics (acquired by Novo Nordisk), Marengo Therapeutics (fka Elstar Therapeutics), Limelight Bio, Stoke Therapeutics (NASDAQ: STOK) and Syntimmune (acquired by Alexion); he also led many of ATP’s crossover and public biotech investments. Prior to ATP, Mr. Kantoff held various roles in private equity and investment banking. He earned his B.S. in finance and international business from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.

Dr. Aaron Royston

Dr. Aaron Royston is a Managing Partner at venBio with a background in life science investing, healthcare strategy, and as an entrepreneur. Since joining venBio, he has been involved in launching and investing in a number of venBio companies including Apellis Pharmaceuticals (IPO 2017), Menlo Therapeutics (IPO 2018), Akero Therapeutics (IPO 2019), Harmony Biosciences (IPO 2020), RayzeBio, Artiva Biotherapeutics, Neurogastrx, Impel NeuroPharma, and Swift Health Systems. Prior to joining venBio, Dr. Royston was a member of the investment team at Vivo Capital, a life science venture capital firm. Previously, he worked at Bain & Company, where he advised biotechnology companies on a range of strategic and operational issues. Earlier in his career, he coordinated clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where his research has been published and presented in multiple medical journals and conferences. Dr. Royston received his B.S. in biological sciences from Duke University, and his M.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Romesh Subramanian

Romesh Subramanian, Ph.D., is the founder of Dyne Therapeutics where he served as CEO and CSO from 2018-2021. Prior to Dyne, Dr. Subramanian led new modality research at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., focusing on nucleic acid, antibody, and enzyme replacement therapies. Dr. Subramanian further co-founded RaNA Therapeutics, now Translate Bio. Prior to RaNA, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Pfizer and Thrasos Therapeutics. Dr. Subramanian has served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Atlas Ventures, an advisor to multiple Venture Capital groups, and currently serves on the advisory board of the Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Loyola College, a master’s degree from Duke University and a Ph.D. from Emory University.

Dr. Colin Walsh

Dr. Colin Walsh is a Partner at Qiming Venture Partners USA and is based in South San Francisco, CA. He currently serves on the boards of Elevation Oncology, Korro Bio and Element Science and is a board observer of Amphivena Therapeutics, Icosavax, and Ventyx Biosciences. He further serves on the business advisory board for the Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine and is an advisor to the Stanford SPARK program and the UCSF Catalyst program, where he provides mentorship and support to student- and faculty-led translational research projects. Before joining Qiming, Dr. Walsh was a Vice President on the life science investment team at ND Capital where he sourced, structured, and managed investments in biotech, biopharma, and platform companies. Prior to ND Capital, he held a number of roles as an early employee at Precision NanoSystems, a 5AM Ventures backed biotech developing a suite of technologies to enable the development of RNA-based therapeutics and other complex drug formulations. Dr. Walsh earned a Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley – UCSF Graduate Program in Bioengineering, where he worked on novel delivery systems for RNA therapeutics as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. He also holds a Management of Technology certificate from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and a dual BS with Honors in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Dr. Thomas Andresen

Dr. Thomas L. Andresen is the CEO of T-Cypher Bio and the former CSO of Torque Therapeutics, now Repertoire Immune Medicines. While at Torque, he led the company’s cellular immunotherapy programs from early-stage discovery to CMC scaling and through to clinical development. Dr. Andresen is a serial entrepreneur, having founded several US and EU life-science companies that further include Nanovi A/S and Monta Biosciences. His company creation track record spans early discovery to commercial and maps across multiple immunotherapy approaches for oncology. Dr. Andresen sits on several boards/advisory boards, including for Tidal Therapeutics (acquired by Sanofi), Monta Biosciences, and Nanovi; in academia, he’s further founded the Institute of Health Technology at the Technical University of Denmark, where he maintains a professorial position. Dr. Andresen has co-authored over >200 research articles, has been listed as an inventor on >45 patent applications, and has received multiple research prizes, including the Elite Research Price from the Danish Ministry of Science.

Dr. Dennis Benjamin

Dr. Dennis Benjamin is the former SVP of Research at Seattle Genetics where he was a key developer of the company’s ADC technology and clinical pipeline. Prior to Seattle Genetics he worked at Praecis Pharmaceuticals and Genetics Institute, advancing DNA encoded libraries and working in protein and small molecule discovery. Over his career he has led teams that have discovered 25 biologics and small molecules that entered clinical trials and contributed to 4 drug approvals. He is currently an advisor and SAB member at several start-up biotechnology companies. Dr Benjamin earned his B.S. in Chemistry at M.I.T., a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at U.C.S.F. and was a Hitchings-Elion Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford.

Dr. Steven Dowdy

Dr. Steven F. Dowdy is a Professor of Cellular & Molecular Medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine and a cancer biologist, specializing in the development and delivery of RNA therapeutics as well as in G1 cell cycle control in cancer. The Dowdy lab is focused on the molecular details of delivery of RNA therapeutics across the endosomal lipid bilayer as well as the synthesis of endosomal escape domains to overcome this rate-limiting and billion year-old delivery challenge; its members were the first to synthesize bioreversible, charge neutralizing phosphotriester backbone RNAi prodrug triggers that increase metabolic stability, that augment pharmacokinetics and that enhance endosomal escape. Dr. Dowdy currently serves on five Science Advisory Boards for biotech companies and is an elected member of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (OTS) Board of Directors.  He earned his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from UC Irvine, working with Prof. Eric Stanbridge on tumor suppressor genes, and performed his postdoctoral fellowship studies at the Whitehead Institute, MIT, working with Prof. Bob Weinberg on the biochemistry of the Rb tumor suppressor gene. Dr. Dowdy was previously a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (1994-2012) and an Assistant Professor at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (1994-2001).

Dr. Shridar Ganesan

Dr. Shridar Ganesan is the Associate Director for Translational Science, Chief of the Section of Molecular Oncology, and the co-Leader of the Clinical Investigations and Precision Therapeutics Program at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; he is also the Omar Boraie Chair in Genomic Science and Professor of Medicine at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Ganesan is a medical oncologist with clinical expertise in triple-negative breast cancer, hereditary breast cancer and rare cancer. His research interests include the characterization of DNA repair abnormalities in cancer with a focus on the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene, the multi-modal molecular characterizations of different cancers, and the identification of biomarkers of response and resistance in early phase clinical trials. He has authored or co-authored over 120 publications, serves on multiple national and international grant review committees and is an Associate Editor of JCO-Precision Oncology. Dr. Ganesan earned his A.B. from Princeton University, his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University, and conducted his post-doctoral medical and graduate research training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr. Adrian Krainer

Dr. Adrian Krainer is the St Giles Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Deputy Director of Research of the CSHL Cancer Center. A world-renowned biochemist recognized for his basic work on RNA splicing and the development of its mechanism-based therapeutic applications, his seminal work with antisense oligonucleotides in mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy led to the development of nusinersen (Spinraza), which is the first FDA-approved drug for this disease; he is also a co-founder and a member of the Board of Directors at Stoke Therapeutics (NASDAQ: STOK). Dr. Krainer is the recipient of the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize, the RNA Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Reemtsma Foundation International Prize in Translational Neuroscience, the Speiser Award in Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine, amongst others. He previously served as the President of the RNA Society and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Krainer earned his B.A. in Biochemistry from Columbia College, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University, and completed his independent postdoctoral fellowship at CSHL.

Dr. Iain Mattaj

Dr. Iain Mattaj is the founding Director of Fondazione Human Technopole in Milan, Italy. Dr. Mattaj has made seminal contributions to the fields of transcription, RNA metabolism, nucleocytoplasmic transport and cell division. His prominent standings in these fields are underlined by his election as the past President of the RNA Society, Fellow of the Royal Society (London), Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, elected Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Member of Academia Europea, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (London) and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (US). Dr. Mattaj was previously awarded the prestigious Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2001. He is further a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and helped to make The EMBO Journal a highly successful international publication, acting as Executive Editor from 1990 to 2004. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Mattaj was a member of EMBL Heidelberg, Germany, serving as Group Leader (1985-1990), Coordinator of the Gene Expression Unit (1990-1999), and, subsequently, as the institute’s Scientific Director (1999-2005) and Director General (2005-2018). Dr. Mattaj earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry with honors from Edinburgh University, Scotland, his Ph.D. from the University of Leeds, England, and completed his postdoctoral research at the Friedrich Miescher Institute and at the Biocentre, University of Basel, Switzerland.

Dr. Henrik Oerum

Dr. Henrik Oerum is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Ceptur Therapeutics. He is the co-founder and the Chief Scientific Officer of Civi BioPharma and has previously founded 3 other oligonucleotide companies. Dr. Oerum has over 25 years of experience in the development and commercialization of oligonucleotide therapeutics, has authored >70 peer reviewed publications, and has been listed as an inventor on numerous patents in the field. In 1993, he founded PNA Diagnostics A/S, where he was also the Chief Scientific Officer until 1999. During his tenure at PNA, the company was sold to Boehringer Mannheim (1994) and later to Hoffman-La Roche (1997). In 1996, Dr. Oerum cofounded Exiqon A/S, a nucleic acid diagnostics company that was floated on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange in 2007 (CSE:EXQ). In 2000, he co-founded the LNA-oligotherapeutics company Santaris Pharma A/S, where he served as Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of Business Development until its acquisition by Roche in 2014. Thereafter, he worked for Roche Pharma as Global Head of RNA therapeutics until March 2016, where he left to pursue new opportunities, leading to his founding of CiVi. Dr. Oerum earned his M.Sc. in molecular biology from the Technical University of Copenhagen, his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the Medical University of Copenhagen, and he completed his postdoctoral studies at the Royal School of Pharmacy, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dr. Samuel Gunderson

Dr. Gunderson is the co-founder of Ceptur Therapeutics and a member of its Board of Directors. Together with Dr. Rafal Gorczniak, he is the inventor of the Company’s U1 Adaptor gene silencing technology. A Professor of Molecular Biology at Rutgers University, Dr. Gunderson has made major contributions in the fielda of gene expression regulation at the level of transcription, RNA splicing, and polyadenylation. He was the first to discover a novel mode of gene regulation where the 3′ end of a gene (the polyA site) rather than the 5′ end (transcription initiation and promoter elements) decides whether that gene will be expressed; the discovery involved demonstrating how the U1A and U1 snRNP splicing factors regulate gene expression by inhibiting 3′-end formation (polyadenylation) of pre-mRNA of specific genes, including of the U1A gene itself as part of an autoregulatory loop. This mechanism of polyadenylation inhibition forms the basis for Ceptur’s U1 Adaptor gene silencing technology. Dr. Gunderson earned his B.Sc. in genetics and cell biology from the University of Minnesota and his PhD in genetics under the supervision of Dr. Richard Burgess at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He further completed his postdoctoral training at the European Molecular Biology Lab, Heidelberg, Germany.

Dr. Thomas Tuschl

Dr. Thomas Tuschl is a Professor of RNA Molecular Biology at Rockefeller University. Dr. Tuschl is world renown for his research into the regulation of RNA and has discovered small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs) and piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards, including the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Project Award, the Ernst Jung Prize, the Max Delbrück Medal, the Molecular Bioanalytics Prize, the Meyenburg Prize, the Wiley Prize and the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize. He is also the co-founder and a former Director of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY).  Dr. Tuschl earned his BS in Chemistry from Regensburg University and a PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen, Germany. Prior to Rockefeller, Dr. Tuschl was Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.