An experienced entrepreneur with a strong scientific and operational background, Sue brings a decade of experience in pharmaceutical management and research with Abbott Labs and Eli Lilly & Company and more than 16 years of senior management experience with entrepreneurial firms in Florida including three start-ups. At AGTC, Sue has successfully secured investments of more than $91 million from nationally recognized venture capitalists and granting agencies; negotiated and closed on a major collaboration with a top five Biotech company; lead the company to complete critical milestones; and recruited an experienced management team. Her experience as a group leader with Abbott’s Diagnostic Division helped hone her skills in bringing new products and technologies from the lab bench into the market place.
Sue sits on the board of the University of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship, BioFlorida, Southeast BIO, Gainesville Area Innovation Network, and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council. She has a degree in biochemistry from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Florida where she was one of the first graduates from the Warrington College of Business Entrepreneurship program.
Larry Bullock joined AGTC in February 2014. Mr. Bullock has more than 30 years of financial executive management experience, including over two decades as a chief financial officer in the biotechnology industry. In his previous positions as Chief Financial Officer, he has successfully navigated the IPO process three times, building a body of expertise in all aspects of the financial management of a biotechnology company, including private and public company financing, SEC reporting, and establishing collaborations and licensing agreements between biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Bullock also has experience in marketing-based financial analysis, operations management, and sales.
Prior to joining AGTC, Mr. Bullock was Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary at BioMimetic Therapeutics, Inc., which he successfully took public and after nearly a decade with the company, was instrumental in the process of selling it to Wright Medical in 2013. From 1996 to 2003, he was with Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Chief Financial Officer and also led the company's IPO process. Previously, Mr. Bullock served as Chief Financial Officer at La Jolla Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which he also took public, and as Chief Financial Officer and a Founding Partner of Natural Products, Inc. Mr. Bullock's prior experience includes seven years with Warner Lambert, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in cost accounting, international finance and sales. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing from the University of Utah.
Dr. Chulay brings broad medical and regulatory expertise to AGTC. Since joining the company in 2007, he has achieved Investigational New Drug submissions and strong clinical trial results for the Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and Leber Congenital Amaurosis programs.
Prior to joining AGTC, Dr. Chulay served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at AlphaVax, where he led successful clinical trial programs of recombinant viral vector vaccines for cytomegalovirus and influenza. Dr. Chulay has also worked at GlaxoSmithKline as the Principal Clinical Program Head in HIV and Opportunistic Infections, responsible for bringing two anti-infective drugs to market; Walter Reed Army Medical Institute of Research (WRAIR) as Chief of the Department of Immunology; and U.S. Army Research Institute of Infectious Disease as Chief of the Virology Division. Dr. Chulay earned a medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School and a degree in tropical medicine and hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He served his residency at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and was a fellow in Infectious Disease at WRAIR. He has been a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention and Control of Malaria, published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is a reviewer for several leading medical journals.
Steve has more than 15 years of experience as a senior executive in the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining AGTC, he was most recently employed by NeoStem, Inc., a developer of cell-based therapeutics, where Steve served as Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors. He was Senior Vice President of Operations and Corporate Development for Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., where he was part of the senior leadership team that achieved approval of the first-ever stem cell drug therapy, Prochymal®. Steve was also responsible for the launch and overall management of the Bio-Surgery business unit as well as operational oversight for mulitple functional areas including manufacturing, human resources, IT, legal and business development. Prior to Osiris, Steve served as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at Genzyme Corporation and as Vice President of Corporate and Business Development. Over his ten years at Genzyme, Steve was the senior leader for its global corporate and business development team that provided strategic and transaction support, including support for many of Genyzme's cell therapy opportunities. He has also held positions at DuPont Pharmaceuticals, E.I. Dupont de Nemours and Company, Inc., and Booz Allen & Hamilton. Steve earned a B.S. from University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Shearman has over 20 years of experience as a senior pharmaceutical executive, with a track record of achievements in drug discovery and development. Prior to joining AGTC, he was employed by EMD Serono, Inc., the U.S. and Canadian subsidiary of Merck KGaA, since 2009 as Senior Vice-President of Research & Early Development. In that role, Dr. Shearman was responsible for discovery research & early development strategy for multiple treatment modalities and played a leadership role in establishing numerous collaborative partnerships. Previously, Dr. Shearman was Executive Director of Merck & Co. Research Laboratories, Boston, where he was Head of the Neuroscience Drug Discovery Department and member of the Core Leadership Team. He also served as Senior Director of the Department of Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience at the Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories Neuroscience Research Centre, U.K.
Dr. Shearman earned a B.Sc. (Hons) from the University of Bristol, a Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham and conducted academic research at institutes in Japan and Germany. He has also authored more than 110 research publications and book chapters, and has served on numerous editorial, scientific and government advisory panels.
As Controller, Tavara manages the finances for AGTC and supervises the accounting team. Prior to joining AGTC, Tavara spent six years in public accounting with a firm in the Gainesville area where her emphasis was on financial audits of entities with significant grant expenditures. Tavara has considerable experience in the compliance requirements of both the Federal and Florida Single Audit Acts and she has been a guest lecturer for the Florida School Finance Officers Association on topics related to Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statements and Auditing Standards.
Tavara received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Florida Fisher School of Accounting and Master of Business Administration degree with an Accounting Concentration from Saint Leo University. She is a certified public accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Tavara currently serves as the Florida regional coordinator for the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers, is a member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants Women in Leadership Committee and serves in various local volunteer positions.
Since AGTC’s inception, Dr. Knop has been responsible for the development of all upstream and downstream unit operations comprising the company’s proprietary rHSV co-infection method for rAAV manufacture.
Dr. Knop joined AGTC in 2002 after completing his doctoral research in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University which focused on biocatalytic production of value-added pharmaceutical intermediates useful in the synthesis of anti-influenza medicinals. He has defined, and executed technology transfer on, multiple phase 1 and 2 clinical material generation processes for rHSV raw material and rAAV clinical trial material to contract manufacturing organizations, academic and corporate partners. Dr. Knop has authored dozens of manuscripts, presentations, and posters encompassing the production, processing, and purification of rHSV and rAAV vectors for use in gene therapy applications.
With expertise in viral vector development, preclinical research, and assay methods development, Dr. Ye leads AGTC scientists in the development of gene therapy products, including research design and oversight of preclinical animal studies, and assay methods transfer.
Prior to joining AGTC in 2004, Dr. Ye served as Senior Scientist of Preclinical Research and Development at MediGene, Inc. After receiving his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Ye conducted his postdoctoral trainings both in molecular biology at Cornell University Medical College and in molecular genetics of herpes simplex virus at the University of Chicago, where one of his focuses was on the oncolytic virus development for the treatment of brain tumors.
Dr. Feinsod is a board-certified ophthalmologist with extensive corporate and regulatory expertise in the development of novel therapies for ophthalmic diseases. In his previous positions he has played key roles in corporate finance, developing and implementing clinical and regulatory strategy, due diligence, and licensing. He has been a founder in several companies including Imagen Biotech, a venture-backed company dedicated to developing breakthrough ophthalmology treatments for high unmet needs. At Imagen he secured financing of $40MM from a syndicate of three global investor groups and led all company activities. Prior to Imagen, Dr. Feinsod was SVP of Strategy and Product Development at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals where he spent five years in a variety of functions helping to develop and launch Macugen and an anti-PDGF aptamer now in Phase 3 clinical trials with Ophthotech. Prior to joining Eyetech, Dr. Feinsod served as medical officer for the FDA Division of Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic and Ophthalmologic Drug Products, where he was a primary reviewer for both IND and NDA ophthalmology regulatory applications. Concurrently, he held a clinical trials/drug development fellowship position in George Washington University's Department of Ophthalmology and served on the University hospital's Institutional Review Board. Previously, Dr. Feinsod conducted post-doctoral molecular biology research with a focus on nucleotide science at Cornell University Medical Center.
He received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of Business and his MD from the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. Dr. Feinsod holds several patents in the field of ophthalmology and in emitted light-stabilization. Dr. Feinsod serves on the board of directors of World Eye Mission, a non-profit organization. He continues to practice ophthalmology on a part-time basis.