Scientific Advisory Board

Dennis A. Ausiello, MD is the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Physician-in-Chief of the Medical Service at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has made a substantial contribution to knowledge of epithelial biology in the areas of membrane protein trafficking, ion channel regulation and signal transduction. He has published more than one hundred papers, book chapters, and textbooks and currently serves as the co-editor of Cecil's Textbook of Medicine (Elsevier), now in its 22nd edition. A nationally recognized leader in academic medicine, Dr. Ausiello was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in 1999 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe.

Dr. Ausiello served as Chief of the MGH Renal Unit for 13 years and oversaw its development into one of the most sought after research and training programs in the world. As Physician-in-Chief of the Medical Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, a position he has held since 1996, he leads one of the strongest Departments of Medicine in the country. He is closely involved with the Partners HealthCare System, linking the resources of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to provide comprehensive health care. He oversees the training of more than 150 house officers, 500 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, and dozens of students at Harvard Medical School, many of whom have gone on to careers as physician-scientists. Dr. Ausiello was also Director of the MD/PhD Program at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until 1999. He served for three years as Chairman of the Executive Committee on Research of the Massachusetts General Hospital where he oversaw a research budget of 300 million dollars annually.

David Brenner, M.D. a distinguished physician-scientist, is Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the school of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, since February 1, 2007. In this role, Dr. Brenner leads the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSD Medical Center and UCSD Medical Group. He was recruited to UC San Diego from the Columbia University Medical Center College of Physicians and Surgeons, where from 2003-2007 he was Samuel Bard Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, a Member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, a Member of the Columbia University Institute of Nutrition, and Physician-in-Chief of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia.

He earned his M.D. from the Yale University School of Medicine. After completing his residency at Yale-New Haven Medical Center, he served as a research associate in the Genetics and Biochemistry Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Brenner first joined UC San Diego in 1985 as a Gastroenterology Fellow, later joining the medical school faculty, and serving as a physician at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. In 1993 he became Professor and Chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Brenner is a leader in the field of gastroenterolocial research, specializing in diseases of the liver. For five years he was Editor-in-Chief of Gastroenterology, the premier journal in the field. The overall theme of his research has been the translation of basic molecular biological principles to the molecular pathophysiology of liver diseases. Over his 15 years as an independent investigator, Dr. Brenner's research has developed into three general areas: the molecular defect in protoporphyria, intracellular signaling in hepatic proliferation and apoptosis, and hepatic fibrosis.

Richard Bucala, M.D., Ph.D., received his B.S. and M.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University. He then pursued a combined M.D./Ph.D. program at Rockefeller University and Cornell Medical College. After additional post-doctoral work in Molecular Biology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Dr. Bucala trained in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women's and Harvard Medical School. In 1986, he returned to the Rockefeller University as a Research Associate and underwent sub-specialty training in Rheumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He is presently Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine where he directs an international research laboratory, teaches, and practices rheumatology. Dr. Bucala discovered the fibrocyte and defined the properties of these cells in the host response. Current research interests include the role of innate immunity in infection and autoimmunity, the mechanism of action and immunogenetics of the cytokine MIF, and the pathogensis of idiopathic fibrosing disorders.

Jeremy Duffield MD, PhD, directs the Laboratory of Inflammation Research at the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a member of the Nephrology Division and practices Nephrology and Internal Medicine at UW Medicine. He has held an adjunct position in Immunology since 2007. Jeremy received his undergraduate degree, majoring in Developmental Biology, in 1989 and his MD from Oxford University in 1992. He trained in Internal Medicine at Edinburgh University and completed his PhD in Macrophage Biology in 2001. He completed subspecialty training in Nephrology in the UK then worked at Harvard Medical School from 2003 - 2010, studying the role of macrophages in inflammation and fibrosis. He directs an international research laboratory focused on functions of macrophages and mechanisms of action, teaches, and practices nephrology part-time. Dr. Duffield has established a key role for macrophages in both the development of fibrosis and normal resolution of fibrosis. Current research interests include defining functional subpopulations of macrophages in kidney inflammation and repair, WNT signaling in inflammation and fibrosis, molecular mechanisms of phagocytosis in tissue repair. He has recently described kidney pericytes of the peritubular capillaries as precursors of scar forming myofibroblasts and is studying the role of pericytes in microvascular integrity and angiogenesis.

Jack Elias, M.D., currently the Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, was named Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, effective October 1, 2006. Dr. Elias received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and was an intern and resident at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. He returned to Penn as a senior resident and completed fellowships there in both Allergy and Immunology and in Pulmonary Medicine. Dr. Elias came to Yale in 1990 as Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Allergy and Immunology and Critical Care Medicine. He has established an international reputation for pioneering work on asthma, COPD and pulmonary fibrosis.

Richard Gomer, Ph.D., received a B.A. degree in Physics from Pomona College and a Ph.D. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology. He did postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Gomer joined the Rice University faculty in 1988 and was a HHMI investigator there for 15 years. In 2010, he moved to Texas A&M University where he is a Professor of Biology. His research accomplishments include finding that a cell-cycle dependent musical chairs mechanism regulates initial cell-type choice in Dictyostelium development, identifying and purifying several eukaryotic cell-density (quorum) sensing factors, developing shotgun antisense as a genetic tool, and elucidating the physics and biochemistry of a morphogenetic rearrangement in Dictyostelium. He also has designed and built detector and data systems for astrophysics research. A chance meeting with Darrell Pilling led to the discovery of the regulatory mechanisms of fibrocyte differentiation and their role in fibrotic pathology.

Professor Khaw is Director of the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre in Ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK. He is also Director of Research and Development at Moorfields Eye Hospital, which is the largest Eye Hospital in Europe\USA and Director of the Eyes and Vision Theme for one of the five newly appointed UK Academic Health Science Centres of excellence.

Professor Khaw's laboratory group carries out research into the basic biology of healing with a view to developing new treatments for the prevention of scarring and regeneration of tissues after ocular surgery and disease. Based on their laboratory work they have designed specific single applications of intra-operative anti-metabolites, which have led to the "More Flow regimen" and long-term clinical trials in UK, the Far East and Africa. This trial has also shown prospectively for the first time that progression after field and disc change can be almost completely stopped by control of scarring and maximal pressure lowering.

Professor Khaw's group has also begun to popularise the concept that the prevention of fibrosis may open the door to regeneration in the human body. In collaboration, they have also carried out research into stem cells and have recently discovered and named a new line of multipotent stem cells in the adult retina that can de-differentiate into various cells of the retina, and help maintain vision in a model of retinal blindness. They are also working on an exciting new project to partially rescue optic nerve function using a combination of stem cell and anti-fibrosis therapy.

Victor Kotelianski, M.D., Ph.D., joined Alnylam in April 2003. Dr. Kotelianski was formerly Distinguished Investigator, Director of Biological Research at Biogen, Inc., where he worked since 1994. At Biogen, he played a leadership role in the development of the pre-clinical pipeline. In his prior experience, he served as Director of Research, Institut National de la Sante et de la Reserche Medicale (INSERM) in Paris, France, and was a leading research scientist at the Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow. Dr. Kotelianski is an author on over 150 publications. He received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from National Academy of Sciences in Moscow and his M.D. from Uzhgorod University Medical School.

Darrell Pilling, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. from the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Birmingham in England. His thesis focused on immunological memory and surface markers expressed on T cells that were able to distinguish naive T cells, T cells that were recently activated, and long-term memory T cells. During his post-doctoral training as an ARC Research Fellow at Birmingham University, Dr. Pilling was able to identify that type I interferon secreted by fibroblasts prevents leukocytes from dying in the joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. His research interests are focused on the basis of leukocyte accumulation and retention at sites of inflammation and fibrosis, and in particular the role of fibrocytes. In 2002 he moved to Rice University, where in collaboration with Richard Gomer, Ph.D., they identified proteins that inhibit fibrocyte differentiation in vitro, and fibrosis in vivo. In 2010, he moved to Texas A&M University where he is a Research Assistant Professor.

Larry Kauvar, Ph.D., serves as Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Trellis Bioscience, a company he founded in 1998. Trellis is a venture backed biotechnology company that discovers human antibodies directly from patients blood. Prior to Trellis, Dr. Kauvar served as Chief Scientific Officer of Telik (Nasdaq: TELK) for 12 years, a company he founded in 1986. Dr. Kauvar received his Ph.D. from Yale and his BA from Harvard. He was a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, and a Weingart Foundation scholar at UCSF prior to starting Telik.


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