Team

David M. Chao, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer
Member, Board of Directors
David M. Chao, Ph.D.

Dr. David M. Chao serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of BioMed Valley Discoveries and the Stowers Institute for Mstedical Research. Prior to joining BioMed Valley Discoveries, Dave was head of operations for strategic alliances at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. His previous positions also include co-founder and executive at two biotech start-ups and consultant at McKinsey & Company. After receiving combined MA and BA degrees in biology from Harvard University, Dave received a PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was a predoctoral fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dave serves on the board of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, American Century Companies, Nectagen, and the Pembroke Hill School.

Gary DeCrescenzo, MS

Executive Director, Head of Chemistry
Gary DeCrescenzo, M.S.

Gary DeCrescenzo is Head of Chemistry at BioMed Valley Discoveries. Prior to joining BioMed Valley Discoveries, Gary was Senior Director of World Wide Medicinal Chemistry at Pfizer Inc, where he oversaw medicinal chemistry and early chemical development. He previously held senior leadership positions in research and development at Pharmacia Corporation and GD Searle. Gary received a BS in Chemistry and a MS in industrial chemistry from the University of Central Florida.

Caroline Emery, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Translational Sciences
Caroline Emery, PhD

Dr. Caroline Emery is an Associate Director of Translational Sciences at BioMed Valley Discoveries. Previously, Carrie held a position in early pharmaceutical development at Novartis Oncology, where she supported the evolution of novel agents into the clinic. She earned her PhD in developmental genetics from the University of Oxford, UK, and completed postdoctoral training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard University, where she studied mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies in melanoma. Carrie received a BSc degree in pathology and microbiology from the University of Bristol, UK.

Anna Groover, Ph.D.

Scientist, Translational Sciences
Anna Groover, PhD

Dr. Anna Groover is a Scientist in the Translational Sciences group at BioMed Valley Discoveries, where she manages day-to-day clinical operations for clinical trials involving BVD-523, a selective, reversible, ERK1/2 inhibitor. Anna joined BioMed Valley Discoveries after completing her PhD in anatomy and cell biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She received a BS degree in biology from Baylor University

Deb Knoerzer, MS

Associate Director, Translational Sciences
Deb Knoerzer, MS

Deb Knoerzer is an Associate Director of Translational Sciences at BioMed Valley Discoveries. Prior to joining BioMed Valley Discoveries, Deb was Vice President of Research Operations for Horizon Discovery where she led the research operations for multiple sites within the US. She has a vast range of experience in both small and large organizations, serving as Chief Operating Officer at SAGE labs and holding a variety of senior positions during her 19 years within the pharmaceutical industry including positions at Pfizer, Pharmacia, Searle, and Monsanto. Deb received a BS in biological sciences from Illinois State University and a MS in biological sciences from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Brent L. Kreider, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer
Member, Board of Directors
Brent L. Kreider, Ph.D.

Dr. Brent L. Kreider serves as Chief Operating Officer of both BioMed Valley Discoveries and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. In his previous position as Vice President and Global Head of Scientific Operations at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Brent provided senior management oversight to scientific support functions at Institute sites throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Prior to joining Novartis, he held senior leadership positions at three biotech companies. Brent received a PhD in microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania and performed postdoctoral research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dean Welsch, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Translational Sciences, Head of Pharmacology
Dean Welsch, Ph.D.

Dr. Dean Welsch is an Executive Director of Translational Sciences and Head of Pharmacology at BioMed Valley Discoveries. Prior to joining BioMed Valley Discoveries, Dean held positions of increasing responsibility in research and development at Monsanto, Searle, Pharmacia, and Pfizer. Prior to leaving Pfizer, he was Senior Director and Research Fellow in the company’s Indications Discovery Unit, where he was responsible for identifying and validating through clinical proof-of-concept new indications for development compounds. Dean received a BS in Chemistry from Hope College, a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota, and performed postdoctoral research in the lab of Dr. Paul Friedman at Merck Sharpe and Dohme Research Labs.

Halle (Huihong) Zhang, RN, MMedSci, Ph.D.

Director, Translational Sciences
Halle (Huihong) Zhang, RN, MMedSci, PhD

Dr. Halle Zhang is a Director and Project Leader at BioMed Valley Discoveries, where she leads the clinical development of Clostridium novyi-NT, a bacterial oncolytic therapy. Prior to joining BioMed Valley Discoveries, Halle served as a Clinical Trial Lead within the Harvard Catalyst network. Her previous positions also include LAM Foundation Research Fellow at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Research Scientist at Tufts University, where she examined cell signaling in cancer and metabolic diseases. Halle is an RN with over ten years of clinical experience in medical, surgical, pediatric, and operating room settings. Halle received a Master in Medical Sciences in immunology and a PhD in medicine from the University of Birmingham, UK.