Leadership Team

Bruce Cohen, Interim Chair, has spent more than 30 years in leadership positions in life science and high technology companies. He was the founding President and CEO of three early stage biotechnology companies: Acacia BioSciences, Cellerant Therapeutics and VitaPath Genetics.  He also served as Chief Financial Officer for GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals prior to its merger into Oscient Pharmaceuticals.  In addition, he held senior positions in business development and marketing at SEQUUS Pharmaceuticals and in the International, Management Services and Information Technology business units at Baxter. 


Bruce was the President and COO of ViTel International, a privately held, pre-internet electronic messaging company. He also served as a management consultant with Monitor Company, working in the health care and high technology sectors.  He was one of the founders of the Tufts Veterinary School and a co-founder of the Health Professions Information Bureau.   Bruce has an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, and a BA and MA from Tufts University.



Michelle Peake, Director, has been working in the field of biotechnology for over 20 years, after graduating with a BSc with Japanese from Griffith University, Australia. She has worked for Agenix, a diagnostic company in Australia, and Cantab Pharmaceuticals in the UK, which was merged with Xenova Research in 2000. She has worked in all areas from research, to process development, with her main experience in cGMP manufacturing for biopharmaceuticals. She has extensive experience in protein purification, analytical assays and fill/finish.


In December 2003 Michelle was appointed as the Director of Manufacturing for Alpha Biologics and has since been based in Penang, Malaysia, where she has been responsible for the design and construction of the Alpha cGMP facility and equipment. She was promoted to Chief Executive Officer, Alpha Board of Directors and also to the board of the US parent company, Viropro. Michelle also held a board position at Progenix Research and helped establish the Malaysian ISPE affliliate.



Ivor Royston, M.D., Director, has been involved in the biotechnology industry in San Diego from its inception in 1978 with the founding of Hybritech, Inc. (later acquired by Eli Lilly) and with the founding of Idec Pharmaceuticals in 1986 (which later merged with Biogen). In 1990, Dr. Royston launched Forward Ventures and has been instrumental in the formation, financing, and development of numerous successful public biotechnology companies, including: Applied Molecular Evolution (acquired by Eli Lilly); Combichem (acquired by DuPont); Corixa (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline); Genesys Therapeutics (merged with Somatix and acquired by Cell Genesys); LigoCyte (acquired by Takeda); Morphotek (acquired by Eisai); TargeGen (acquired by Sanofi-Aventis); and Triangle Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead). Dr. Royston currently serves on the Board of Directors of BioCept, Syndax Pharmaceuticals, HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals, and Tangen Pharmaceuticals  


Dr. Royston was previously the Founding President and CEO of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (1990-2000) and on the faculty of the medical school and cancer center of the University of California, San Diego (1977-1990). He received his B.A. and M.D degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and completed post-doctoral training in internal medicine and medical oncology at Stanford University. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Dr. Royston to a six-year term on the National Cancer Advisory Board.



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