+George P. Vlasuk, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Vlasuk joined Sirtris in 2009 and oversees all research, development, and operations at Sirtris, which is focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat diseases of aging.
Dr. Vlasuk has led numerous R&D efforts in both biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies throughout his career. Prior to joining Sirtris, Dr. Vlasuk served as Vice President of Metabolic Disease and Hemophilia Research at Wyeth, where he led teams focused on developing new therapeutic approaches for Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, diabetic complications, hemophilia, heart failure, dyslipidemia/atherosclerosis and cardiac arrhythmia. Prior to joining Wyeth in 2003, Dr. Vlasuk spent 12 years at Corvas International (now Dendreon) where he was Chief Scientific Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Dr Vlasuk also spent seven years at Merck and two years at California Biotechnology Inc. (now Scios).
Dr. Vlasuk holds a B.S. in Clinical Chemistry, a Ph.D. in Chemistry/Biochemistry, and did postdoctoral work in Molecular Biology. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and reviews, and is an inventor on 38 issued U.S. and foreign patents.
+Eric Jacobson, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Jacobson joined Sirtris in 2009 and oversees all clinical and regulatory activities and the development of Sirtris’ drug candidates. Dr. Jacobson's professional career spans 20 years and encompasses private practice, academic and industrial positions. Prior to joining Sirtris, Dr. Jacobson held the position of SVP, Clinical Research & Regulatory Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at Synta Pharmaceuticals. While at Synta, Dr. Jacobson oversaw all aspects of Clinical Development including the Medical Research, Medical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Q/A, Pharmacology, and Pharmacovigilance Departments. Prior to that Dr. Jacobson was Senior Director, Clinical Research at Millennium Pharmaceuticals where he participated in creating development strategies for various small-molecule and biotherapeutic compounds targeting rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, chronic hepatitis C, and HIV. Dr. Jacobson served as U.S. Medical Director of New Clinical Therapies at Serono Laboratories, Inc., where he directed a clinical research team supporting multinational registration of new products and expanded indications of existing products, and was an academic rheumatologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Dr. Jacobson was selected for “The Best Doctors in America” a number of times, including every year since 2000, and he has served as a reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Jacobson earned his M.D. from Rush Medical College of Rush University in Chicago, Illinois, and his B.S. at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
+James L. Ellis, Ph.D.
Vice President, Pre-Clinical Research
Dr. Ellis joined Sirtris in 2008 and is responsible for directing and managing the Pharmacology, Target Research, Enzymology and Preclinical Safety/Toxicology groups as well as overseeing many of the company's collaborations both internal and external to GSK.
Dr. Ellis has over 20 years of biopharmaceutical and academic experience. Prior to joining Sirtris, Dr. Ellis was Vice President of Research at Surface Logix responsible for the management of the company's internal and external research efforts in metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, inflammation and oncology. Prior to joining Surface Logix, Dr. Ellis held the position of Executive Project Director & Chief Biology Advisor at NitroMed Inc. in Lexington, MA. In this role, Dr. Ellis was responsible for managing NitroMed's biology group in support of various drug discovery programs in the areas of cardiovascular disease and chronic inflammation. Prior to joining NitroMed, Dr. Ellis was Senior Director, Pharmacology and Global Leader for Allergy & Respiratory Disease for UCB Pharma. Dr. Ellis was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD from 1992-1996.
Dr. Ellis has a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from University College London, a BSc. in Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and he carried out postdoctoral work at the Johns Hopkins Asthma & Allergy Center.
+Robert B. Perni, Ph.D.
Vice President, Chemistry
Dr. Perni joined Sirtris in 2007 and is responsible for medicinal chemistry, chemistry outsourcing, synthetic chemistry and biophysics. Prior to joining Sirtris, Dr. Perni spent nine years at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he played a number of roles. He joined the HCV protease inhibition research team at Vertex and assumed the position of Project Head as well as Head of the HCV protease medicinal chemistry group and subsequently led the effort to the discovery of Incivek™ (telaprevir), which is currently marketed in the U.S. and Europe. He was also Head of the Hits-to-Leads group at Vertex and managed worldwide chemistry outsourcing.
Prior to joining Vertex, Dr. Perni was Director of Chemistry at Avid Therapeutics focusing on antiviral drug discovery and development. He began his career in the Medicinal Chemistry Department at Sterling Winthrop, involved in antibacterial, antiviral and oncology drug discovery research where he was responsible for four clinical candidates in oncology indications.
Dr. Perni held a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Rochester and performed his graduate work in the total synthesis of indole alkaloids at Dartmouth College where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Northeastern University. He is the author or co-author of more than 140 research publications, abstracts, invited lectures, patents and published applications.
+John C. Roberts, Ph.D.
Vice President, Pharmaceutics and Strategy
Dr. Roberts was transferred from the GSK site in Research Triangle Park (RTP), NC to join Sirtris in late 2008 and serves as Vice President of Pharmaceutics and Strategy. In this role, he is accountable for multiple functions including those associated with drug substance, drug product, CMC-regulatory, clinical supply, DMPK, bioinformatics and site safety.
During his 10 years in RTP, Dr. Roberts contributed to numerous development projects across multiple therapeutic areas and led process-chemistry and cross-functional teams. He also helped build and establish a group that fully outsourced the synthesis and analysis of a substantial percentage of GSK's new compounds. Throughout his time in RTP, Dr. Roberts was involved with due diligence and alliance management activities and contributed to numerous regulatory submissions, both as author and reviewer. Before joining GSK, Dr. Roberts worked for three years in chemical development at Eisai Research Institute where his principal focus was on the development of controlled processes to produce particularly challenging synthetic targets. Dr. Roberts began his career in medicinal chemistry, working five years at Procept Inc., and he holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
+Jennifer M. Cermak, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Portfolio Management
Dr. Cermak joined Sirtris in 2008 and oversees finance, contract, license and compliance management. She is responsible for external research collaborations and alliance management with GSK related to shared scientific and clinical objectives.
Dr. Cermak has worked in leadership positions at several biotechnology start-up companies. She has research and development experience in new product development, compassionate use, first-in-man through Phase IV global trials across small molecules and biologics with device experience. She has participated in two IPOs and is experienced in alliance management for post-merger acquisitions with small business experience.
Dr. Cermak holds a Ph.D. in Pathology from Boston University School of Medicine, and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School.