Board & Executive Team
William Ju, M.D.
President, CEO & Member, Board of Directors
Dr. Ju is a board-certified dermatologist who has 17 years of biopharmaceutical experience in a wide variety of therapeutic areas, including dermatology. Prior to joining Follica, Dr. Ju was chief operating officer at PTC Therapeutics, where he played an important role in successfully leading and building the company including helping PTC triple in size, complete a $50 million Series E round, and enter into a partnership with Genzyme worth over $400 million. Prior to PTC, he held executive positions at Pharmacia Corporation and Merck Research Laboratories in a broad spectrum of product development functions. Dr. Ju served as project leader for SUTENT®, introduced CANCIDAS® into humans, and was part of the registration team for CRIXIVAN®. Dr. Ju began his pharmaceutical career at Hoffmann-La Roche where he was a clinical leader for the development of dermatology compounds. Before entering industry, he was a senior staff fellow in basic research in the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology and was affiliated with the Dermatology Branch at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Dr. Ju obtained his M.D. with Alpha Omega Alpha honors at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his A.B. with Phi Beta Kappa honors at Princeton University.
G. Kirk Raab
Mr. Raab has almost 5 decades of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He held marketing management roles at Pfizer, started Beecham's pharmaceutical business in Latin America, and served as Vice President, Latin America, Executive Vice President, President and COO, and Director at Abbott Laboratories. Mr. Raab joined Genentech as President, COO and a Director in 1985, and was elected CEO in 1990. He was the Founding Chairman of the California Health Care Institute and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. He has been involved in a number of biotech companies, including board positions at Amgen and Connetics, among others. Mr. Raab graduated with honors from Colgate University and is a Trustee Emeritus.
Daphne Zohar is the founder and managing partner of PureTech Ventures, a Boston-based venture creation firm specializing in translating breakthrough research from top tier academic institutions into therapies that will impact human health and well-being. PureTech's senior partners include entrepreneurs and leaders from the highest echelon of pharma, biotech and academia. In 2010, Ms. Zohar was recognized by BioWorld as one of 28 leaders predicted to be the "movers and shakers" of the biotechnology industry over the next twenty years and by Fierce Biotech as one of the "Top 10 Women in Biotech." Previously she was named one of the world's leading young innovators by MIT's Technology Review magazine and one of the top "40 under 40" by the Boston Business Journal. A successful entrepreneur, Ms. Zohar created PureTech and assembled a leading team to help implement her vision for the firm. She sits on the Boards of Directors of PureTech Ventures, Enlight Biosciences (a technology development company whose backers include Merck, Pfizer, Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, and Novartis), Follica, Inc., Libra Biosciences (where she is Founding CEO), Mandara Sciences (where she is Founding CEO), Karuna Pharmaceuticals, Tal Medical, and Satori Pharmaceuticals. She also sits on the Technology Development Fund Advisory Board at Children's Hospital Boston, the Tufts University School of Medicine Advisory Committee for Drug Discovery and Development, and is an Editorial Advisor to Xconomy, a national technology news blog.
Chris Ehrlich is a General Partner at InterWest Partners. Ehrlich serves on the boards of a number of life sciences companies and was involved with founding a pain therapeutics company. Prior to joining InterWest, Ehrlich held a number of positions in life science-related companies, including licensing & business development at Purdue Pharma, business development at Genentech, Inc., and biotechnology strategy development at LEK Consulting. He also worked at The U.S. Russia Investment Fund.
About InterWest Partners:
InterWest Partners (Menlo Park, CA, and Dallas, TX), founded in 1979, is a leading diversified venture capital firm focused on building long-term relationships with entrepreneurs and portfolio companies. Currently investing its ninth fund (IW IX), a $600 million fund, InterWest has raised more than $2 billion of capital since inception.
Kevin Bitterman, Ph.D.
Kevin J. Bitterman is a principal in Polaris' Boston office. Kevin joined Polaris in July 2004 and focuses on investments in the life sciences. Prior to joining Polaris, Kevin completed his Ph.D. in genetics at Harvard Medical School under the guidance of Dr. David Sinclair. His doctoral research focused on small molecule regulation of a novel class of protein deacetylases. Kevin has authored papers in the journals Nature, Science and Molecular Cell and is a cofounder of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals.
Stephen Prouty, Ph.D.
VP & Head of Research
Dr. Stephen Prouty joined Follica in May, 2006. As Vice President and Head of Research, Dr. Prouty oversees Follica's preclinical and human proof-of-concept clinical research programs. Prior to joining Follica, Dr. Prouty oversaw diverse research programs at Johnson and Johnson as a Staff Scientist for 4 years and a Principal Scientist for 9 years. While at the Skin Biology Research Center of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products WorldWide, Dr. Prouty worked with Dr. Kurt Stenn on numerous dermatology-focused programs. Dr. Prouty's research resulted in the cloning and characterization of the gene for human stearoyl-CoA desaturase, as well as the discovery of novel enzymatic reactions for other members of the desaturase gene family in sebaceous glands, a novel regulator of acne. Dr. Prouty then joined J&J's Enterology Team where he developed and managed drug and biomarker discovery projects for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Prouty obtained his Ph.D. in Anatomy/Neurobiology from Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed his postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine, where he was awarded an American Cancer Society Fellowship.
Scott C. Kellogg
VP and Head of Operations
Mr. Kellogg has worked in the medical technology industry for over 17 years and is currently the Vice President and Head of Operations at Follica, Inc. Prior to joining Follica, Mr. Kellogg was an integral member of the founding teams at Afferent, Corp., Sontra Medical, Inc., and UltraCision, Inc., where he served as the Vice President of Development, Vice President of R&D, and Director of Engineering, respectively. In all of these leadership roles, Mr. Kellogg was focused on commercializing novel medical technology. These technologies included surgical modalities, transdermal analyte detection, transdermal drug delivery, and neurostimulation. Additionally, he served in lead project management roles at Mentor Medical, Inc. and Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Mr. Kellogg graduated with high honors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a BS in Engineering and received his MS and MBA from Northeastern University. He is an inventor on multiple domestic and international patents.
Shikha P. Barman, Ph.D.
Dr. Barman has over 16 years of experience in the translation of concepts into products in areas of drug delivery, pharmaceutical development and tissue engineering. Her expertise is in the design of cell-targeted delivery systems, customized to permeate molecular barriers such as the skin, corneal, and blood-brain barriers. She has contributed to approximately 25 U.S. Patents/PCTs, 65 publications and 3 book chapters. As senior director at Inotek Pharmaceuticals she coordinated cross-functional project teams for IND submissions for Phase I/II trials. At Sontra Medical Corporation she was responsible for all pharmaceutics and vaccine development in CMC and drug products to deliver vaccines and drugs epidermally. As head of gene delivery at Zycos, Inc., she led efforts to develop cell-targeted delivery systems for DNA therapeutics to treat HPV and cancer. As team leader at Focal, Inc, she developed delivery systems, hemostats, wound-healing tissue engineered constructs and tissue sealants. Dr. Barman has a Ph.D in Polymer Science and in Plastics Engineering from University of Massachusetts, a M.S. in Polymers from University of Massachusetts, and B.S. / M.S. in Chemistry from Auburn University.