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Managing Director and Chief Medical Officer, Velocity Pharmaceutical Development at Panorama Research, Inc.
Jim is a pioneer of the biotechnology industry. He is an outstanding biomedical entrepreneur with an international reputation in cytokines, therapeutic antibodies, molecular biology, and pharmaceutical drug development. During his 25 year career, he has written or coauthored eight books, over 250 papers/chapters, over 30 patents, and he has served on the editorial boards of six journals. His work on therapeutic antibodies and other protein therapeutics has spanned the entire range of biopharmaceutical product development from target discovery, process science to advanced clinical trials. Jim has also served as chairman of the biomedical screening committee of the Life Science Angels.
Jim began his biotechnology career as a founding scientist at Cetus Immune Research Labs, one of the very earliest biotechnology companies, starting in 1982. He became Director of Research in 1985. Cetus later became Chiron, which was ultimately acquired by Novartis for $5.1 billion. While at Cetus, Jim developed technologies that were critical to the practical development of recombinant antibodies as a new class of biotherapeutics (encompassing many blockbuster drugs today). In 1991, Jim founded the Panorama Institute of Molecular Medicine (PRI). The PRI team has discovered and initiated development of a diverse and innovative portfolio of drug candidates addressing major unmet needs in cancer, infectious, autoimmune, cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic diseases. PRI has incubated more than 20 life science projects which have led to Jim co-founding the Palo Alto Institute of Molecular Medicine and more than a dozen other companies. To date, PRI-initiated projects and/or companies have led to five IPOs and numerous successful acquisitions.
Jim holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University School of Medicine where he was a Medical Scientist Training Program scholar. He completed housestaff training in internal medicine at Stanford Medical Center followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Stanford Cancer Biology Research Labs working on therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies for cancer and infectious diseases. Currently he continues his roles at PRI and Life Science Angels, and serves on the boards of several biotechnology companies. He also supports the hospital in Turmi, South Omo Valley, Ethiopia and serves on the Boards of two non-profits: the Sustainable Sciences Institute and the Sankofa Center for African Dance and Culture, focused on education, diagnosis and therapy of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Ghana.