“Our Motif Drug Discovery platform, together with our knowhow and trusted partners enables the advancement of challenging programs through innovative and rigorous science” – Dalia Cohen, Ph.D. Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research

Our integrated drug-discovery platform (Motif) enables us to work across the entire pre-clinical research process. Our collaborations range from modular projects such as molecular engineering, biophysical screening, phenotypic screening or gene-to-structure as well as integrated drug-discovery programs where our partners utilize the full capability of the platform to develop drugs for challenging drug targets.

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Management Team

Johan Pontin

Johan Pontin

FOUNDER & CEO

Prior to co-founding Beryllium in 2009 I co-founded Pod Holding Ltd (Pod Investment) in 2000 and served as its Managing Partner until 2008. During my 8 years at Pod I served as lead partner on investment activities for a number of companies, including the cancer company, Pintex Pharmaceuticals and the anti-infectives company Paratek Pharmaceuticals (PRTK). In addition to my early-stage company-building expertise I also have considerable public company management experience. I served as Head of Corporate Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions at ASSA ABLOY (ASSA-B, STO) and as a Shareholder Value Management Consultant with Coopers & Lybrand. My foundational leadership experience comes from the Royal Swedish Navy where I served as a PT Boat Commander. Giving back to the community is a core value of mine and I am particularly focused on charities and nonprofits focused on helping children thru education and direct support. I currently serve as a trustee at the Museum of Science in Boston and as a trustee with the Novack Family Foundation. I have a Bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston College.

 

 

Chris Tauer

Chris Tauer

Chief Financial Officer

I started working at MediChem Life Sciences, a drug discovery and technology company, in a finance role when I graduated from college. deCODE Genetics acquired MediChem three years later, and I stayed on as vice president of finance at the Icelandic company’s U.S. office. Later, I became chief financial officer of Emerald Bio when the company spun out from deCODE in 2009, and I continue to hold this role at Beryllium. I have a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Eastern Illinois University.

I am both a true competitor and a consummate team player with everything I take on. I believe a team is always stronger than an individual. This should not come as a surprise, as I am also a sports fanatic. I enjoy watching and playing almost any sport, and I am an avid follower of the Chicago Cubs and Bears. I bring both a strong level of loyalty and a love of a good deal to my role as chief financial officer. I have been with Beryllium – and the company’s forbears – for more than 15 years, collectively, making me the longest-serving member of the team. My role has evolved over the years; I started my career as an entry-level accountant and worked my way up the proverbial ladder.

Paul Wengender

Paul Wengender

Chief Business Officer

I bring to Beryllium Discovery over 20 years of experience leading diverse functional groups and driving forward-thinking life science teams. As Founder of Blue Sky BioServices I served the company and all stakeholders as CEO and Chief Commercial Officer for 11 years. Over that period I had the privilege to lead Blue Sky from 2 to 45 employees and grew shareholder value 5-fold. Previously, I was a Scientific Manager and Outsourcing Coordinator at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals responsible for various internal and external preclinical research collaborations. I earned a BS in Recombinant Gene Technology at SUNY Fredonia, MS from Penn State with thesis study on bacterial pathogens, and a MBA at Boston University with concentration in Entrepreneurship and Finance. I am passionate about mobilizing high impact science toward real solutions that improve the quality of drug discovery. My unique combination of expertise in preclinical drug discovery, business development, and entrepreneurship allows me to add value to Beryllium’s exciting portfolio of partnerships.

Dalia Cohen, Ph.D.

Dalia Cohen, Ph.D.

CSO and Head of Research

As head of research, I utilize my expertise from my time in academia, big pharma, biotech startups and my own consulting firm to lay the groundwork for our company’s future drug discovery methods and breakthroughs. Before joining Beryllium, I founded ALN Associates, a life sciences consultancy. I previously served as the chief scientific officer at Asterand, a global supplier of human tissue and tissue-based research services, and also at Rosetta Genomics, a microRNA-based diagnostic company, where I developed three diagnostic tests based on microRNA. Before that, I worked for 15 years at Novartis and held several executive positions, including vice president and global head of functional genomics. Prior to my work at Novartis, I was a research fellow in oncology at Sandoz Pharmaceutical and the group leader for the development of several compounds. I also served as an adjunct professor at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School for 10 years. I am currently a member of ATR’s (Accelerating Translational Research) board of directors, as well as of the advisory boards for Cambridge BioSource, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, MassBio’s Forums, Rhenovia and RealBio. I hold a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in virology and a doctorate in cell biology from the Faculty of Medicine at Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

I truly love science, and it is the lens through which I view the world. I am also transparent – what you see is what you get with me. As a scientist, I am focused on results while also being interested in taking risks. I love working in a team setting for both its energizing capabilities and its motivational powers. I find it invigorating to work in collaboration with several of the best scientific minds in the world to tackle the challenges facing drug discovery.

Thomas Edwards, Ph.D.

Thomas Edwards, Ph.D.

Vice President, Structural Biology

With over a decade of industry expertise, I have been at the forefront of numerous, successful structure determination research collaborations, including hepatitis C virus (HCV), oncology and diabetes targets. Prior to joining Beryllium, I was a crystallographer and senior research scientist at the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease (SSGCID). I have deposited more than 200 crystal structures into the international Protein Data Bank and have published 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. I obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Puget Sound and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Washington, and was a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

I pride myself on succeeding where others have failed in the world of science. I am innovative in my approach and work to find feasible solutions to challenging problems. Creativity is an underlying core component of my scientific approach. I am also results-driven, working to obtain the answers to questions as quickly as possible to enable future thought and additional questions and problems to tackle. I am passionate about finding solutions to scientific challenges. With deep expertise in RNA, DNA and protein structural biology, I enable an optimally productive client-consultant relationship as a key company liaison on many projects. I am the primary Beryllium contact for the company’s strategic work with the SSGCID.

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