Who We Are

External Advisory Board

Michigan Drug Discovery

External Advisory Board

The External Advisory Board is a volunteer group of industry experts who share a commitment to the University of Michigan. The Board provides strategic guidance to Michigan Drug Discovery leadership in order to advance research projects toward the clinic and strengthen the drug discovery enterprise at U-M.

L. Kay Chandler

Retired Partner, Cooley LLP; U-M JD (‘88) and BA (‘85)


Kay Chandler founded Cooley LLP’s San Diego office in 1992 and recently retired as a partner in the business department of Cooley LLP and member of the life sciences practice group. Throughout her career, she represented public and private life sciences companies in a wide range of corporate and commercial matters, advising biotechnology, diagnostic, medical device and other healthcare companies on complex commercial transactions, including technology licenses and acquisitions, research and development collaborations, supply, distribution and manufacturing agreements, and profit-sharing and co-promotion arrangements. She has been named to the 2006-2013, 2016 and 2017 editions of Best Lawyers in America in the category of Biotechnology and was named San Diego Biotechnology Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers of America in 2011. She has been recognized in Chambers USA:  America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2009-2018 editions in Life Sciences. Kay is currently based in San Diego.

Richard Douglas

Board leadership, including Novavax, Aldeyra and MaxCyte; Advisor at Red Sky Partners; Chair of U-M OTT NAB; University of California, Berkeley PhD (’79); U-M BS (’74) Chemistry


Richard Douglas is on the board of directors of Novavax, is Chairman of the Board of Aldeyra Therapeutics, an advisor to Red Sky Partners in Cambridge, and Executive Director of Labyrinth Choir. Until 2011, Richard was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and a Corporate Officer at Genzyme Corporation. He has over 30 years of biotechnology experience. Richard was a postdoctoral fellow in Leroy Hood’s laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. He chairs the University of Michigan Technology Transfer National Advisory Board. Richard is currently based in Boston and Florida.

Brian Gallagher

Partner, Abingworth; U-M PhD (’98) Organic Chemistry; University of Massachusetts Amherst BS (’92) Chemistry


Brian Gallagher has more than 20 years of investing, business development, operational and R&D experience in biotech and large pharmaceutical companies. He joined Abingworth in 2018 and sources and supports deals across a wide range of therapeutic areas and stages of development from start-ups to late-stage venture capital investments. Previously, Brian was a partner at SR One for nine years and established SR One’s Boston office.;Before SR One, he was at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for corporate development, operations and post-merger integration after the company’s acquisition by GSK. Earlier in his career, Brian held key roles in R&D and operations at Alantos Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Amgen) and at Eisai. He currently serves on the board of eFFECTOR Therapeutics and has previously served as a board member at Nimbus Therapeutics, Navitor Pharmaceuticals, River Vision (acquired by Horizon Pharma), Translate Bio (NASDAQ: TBIO), Aileron (NASDAQ: ALRN), Constellation (NASDAQ: CNST), Dicerna (NASDAQ: DRNA), and other companies. Brian is currently based in Boston.

Lawrence G. Hamann

Co-Founder, President, CEO, Interdict Bio; U-M PhD (’91) Organic Chemistry; University of Detroit BS (’86) Chemistry


Larry Hamann is currently Co-Founder, President and CEO of Interdict Bio, a new venture-backed stealth mode biotech company.  Previously, Larry was Global Head, Drug Discovery Sciences at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, with responsibility for Medicinal and Computational Chemistry, Computational Biology, Omics platforms, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Structural and Chemical Biology and Compound Management/Screening. Prior to assuming the role of Head of Drug Discovery Sciences for Takeda, Larry was Corporate VP for Chemistry at Celgene/BMS, where he oversaw medicinal and computational chemistry, biochemistry, structural and chemical biology and screening. In his 30 years in drug discovery, his teams have advanced 18 molecules into the clinic in oncology, immunology, metabolic diseases, virology, and neurology. Included among these are the anti-diabetic drug ONGLYZA™, the anti-hepatitis-C drug DAKLINZA™, and the RNA splicing modulator branaplam for treating spinal muscular atrophy.  Prior to Celgene, he was Executive Director, Global Discovery Chemistry at Novartis, after stints at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ligand Pharmaceuticals.  In August of 2017, he was awarded the American Chemical Society’s Heroes of Chemistry Award. Larry is currently based in San Francisco.

Christopher Kirk

Founder and CSO, Kezar Life Sciences; U-M PhD (’99) Cellular and Molecular Biology; University of California, Davis BS (’94) Biochemistry


Chris Kirk co-founded Kezar Life Sciences, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing treatments for autoimmune diseases and cancer. KZR-616, a first-in-class immunoproteasome inhibitor, is currently in three Phase 2 trials across five separate autoimmune diseases. Previously, Chris was VP of Research at Onyx Pharmaceuticals and also served as Director of Pharmacology and Biology at Onyx and at Proteolix, Inc. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Karyopharm Therapeutics, Inc., C4 Therapeutics, Inc. and Avidity Biosciences LLC. Chris is currently based in San Francisco.

Leah Makley

COO, Deciduous Therapeutics; U-M PhD (’14) Medicinal Chemistry; University of Dayton BS (’09) Biochemistry


Dr. Leah Makley is COO of Deciduous Therapeutics. Previously, she co-founded and served as CSO then CEO of ViewPoint Therapeutics, a venture-backed biotechnology startup developing medical treatments for aging-related protein misfolding diseases of the eye, including cataracts and presbyopia. Leah earned her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Michigan, where she used biophysical assays to identify, optimize, and characterize small molecule modulators of small heat shock structure and function. In her free time, Leah enjoys baking, painting, and dancing, and prefers to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Joel Martin

CEO and President, IntrepidaBio; U-M MBA (‘93) and BS (‘78) Chemistry; University of California, San Diego PhD (‘83)


Before founding IntrepidaBio, a preclinical biotechnology company dedicated to developing cures for cancer through drugs that alter the body’s first line of defense, innate immunity, Joel Martin was the President and CEO of Cebix Incorporated, a company that advanced a diabetes drug rapidly through a large, international Phase 2b trial, and President and CEO of Altair Therapeutics, a Phase 2 asthma company that was acquired in 2010. Joel was also a partner at Forward Ventures from 2001 through 2008, where he led successful investments in neuroscience and cancer companies such as Hypnion, Predix, and Cellective Therapeutics. He began his career as assistant professor of radiology at UCSD. Joel is currently based in San Diego.

Josh Ney

Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP; U-M JD (‘09) and PhD (‘07) Chemistry; Dartmouth College BA (’02) Chemistry


Josh Ney is a partner in the intellectual property department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP and a member of the firm’s life sciences practice group.  He is a registered patent attorney and counsels pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in patent portfolio creation and management, product life-cycle planning, and intellectual property due diligence.  Josh has also represented pharmaceutical companies in patent litigation under the Hatch-Waxman Act.  He has been named as a Top Young Lawyer by DBusiness Magazine in 2014; an IP Star by Managing Intellectual Property magazine in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017; and an Up & Coming Lawyer by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in 2018.  Josh is currently based in Ann Arbor and Washington, DC.

Mark Noe

VP, Pfizer Worldwide R&D; Harvard University PhD (‘96); U-M BS (‘91) Chemistry


Mark Noe is Vice President, Discovery Sciences at Pfizer. The Discovery Sciences group includes structural biology, analytical chemistry, primary pharmacology, compound management, HT ADME and HTS supporting drug design on the East Coast. The department also has an experimental design and computational chemistry group focused on targeted protein degradation technology and vaccine design. Mark has pursued projects as a medicinal chemist in the Oncology, Inflammation and Antibacterials groups at Pfizer. As leader of the Antibacterials Chemistry group, his team delivered clinical candidates from the macrolide, penem, oxazolidinone and monobactam classes along with a new class of LpxC inhibitors. He serves on multiple scientific advisory boards for academic institutions and the biotechnology industry. Mark is currently based in Connecticut.

Steve Worland

President and CEO, eFFECTOR Therapeutics; University of California, Berkeley PhD (‘84); U-M BS (‘79) Biological Chemistry


Steve Worland co-founded eFFECTOR, a clinical stage biotherapeutics company developing selective translation regulator inhibitors for cancer and other serious diseases, based on technology originally developed at UCSF. Steve is also a board member of Tracon Pharmaceuticals and Forge Therapeutics. Steve was CEO of Anadys (Hepatitis C and cancer) until its acquisition by Roche in 2011. Previously, he was VP and head of antiviral research at Pfizer and VP responsible for worldwide anti-infectives strategy at Warner-Lambert. Steve is currently based in San Diego.


For questions related to the MDD External Advisory Board, contact the Life Sciences Institute Development Team. LSIdevelopment@umich.edu