Management and Scientists

Professor Peter Leedman, MBBS PhD FRACP FAHMS

Founding Scientist; Director, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research; Head, Laboratory for Cancer Medicine in the Perkins

Peter Leedman is a physician scientist who is the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Head of the Laboratory for Cancer Medicine in the Perkins and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Western Australia. His laboratory has focused on the mechanisms regulating expression of key therapeutic targets in cancer, and devising ways to abrogate them. His team has an internationally recognised track record of discovery in RNA biology and cancer, and their recent work in microRNAs and cancer has lead to the identification of several potential targets for new therapies.

Professor Leedman completed medicine at the University of Western Australia (UWA), then trained in endocrinology at Royal Melbourne Hospital in the mid-1980s. He completed his PhD in Medicine at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne with Len Harrison on autoimmune thyroid disease from 1987-1991. From 1991-1994 he was a Lucille P Markey Fellow with Bill Chin, a Howard Hughes Investigator in the Division of Genetics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston where he worked on the molecular mechanisms of thyroid hormone action. He returned to WA in the mid-90s to establish his laboratory in cancer biology and RNA and to play a key role in developing WA’s premier adult medical research Institute, the Perkins.

Peter is a co-inventor on several microRNA-related patents and is a co-founder of MiReven.

Dr Keith Giles, PhD

Founding Scientist

Keith Giles is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine.  Previously he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research.  Dr Giles has a research track record that spans the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in cancer cells, to the role of specific oncogenic signalling pathways in the development and progression of cancer.  He has published a number of research and review articles and a book chapter on microRNAs and cancer, is a regularly invited speaker on microRNAs at scientific meetings, and has attracted competitive research funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Cancer Council WA, and the Scott Kirkbride Melanoma Research Centre among others.  Dr Giles has a Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) from Curtin University, a Graduate Diploma in Pathology and a PhD in Medicine from the University of Western Australia.  He is a co-inventor on several microRNA-related patents and is a co-founder of MiReven.

Dr Eric Marcusson, PhD

Scientific Advisor, Member of Scientific Advisory Board

Dr Eric Marcusson is an experienced scientist and manager with an extensive background in preclinical oncology drug discovery and RNA therapeutics. Throughout his career he has helped to develop innovative technologies and approaches to identify genes that make effective targets for specific molecularly-targeted therapies and helped to drive these therapies into the clinic.

At Isis Pharmaceuticals, Dr Marcusson led the preclinical discovery team that was responsible for progressing two drugs into the clinic for oncology indications. Importantly, he also co-led the team that built data packages that were able to deprioritize two drug candidates before clinical candidate nomination, thus saving the company millions of dollars in wasted expenses.

Dr Marcusson was also part of a small group that founded a biotechnology company, Regulus Therapeutics, that was built around oligonucleotide therapeutics and a new discovery in biology, microRNA. Dr Marcusson helped the company progress through a successful IPO. He has experience with microRNA, antisense oligonucleotides, siRNA, long noncoding RNAs and ribozymes for drug discovery, target validation and functional genomics.

In 2013, Dr Marcusson founded his own consulting company and has been advising biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the area of RNA therapeutics as well as doing technology evaluation for venture capital and other financial firms on companies in the oncology and RNA therapeutics fields. Dr Marcusson has been invited to give multiple presentations and has published extensively in the area of RNA therapeutics. He is a co-inventor on more than 50 patents and patent applications.

Dr Marcusson has been involved with miReven for some years during the development and testing of mRx-7.

Dr Andy Bader, PhD

VP R&D Triumvira Immunologics Inc and Consultant/Advisor to Biotech

Dr Andy Bader is a strategic R&D leader with 20+ years’ collective experience in research and fast-paced biotech environments. He gained his PhD from the University of Innsbruck before completing post-doctoral studies at the Scripps Institute in California, where he became a staff scientist in 2005.

He then began his biotech career working with Asuragen Inc in 2006 before becoming the Director of Research, then VP, Translational Research at Mirna Therapeutics Inc in Austin Texas. He co-founded Orros Biotherapeutics, LLC in 2017 and took on the VP R&D Triumvira Immunologics in 2018, as well as consulting to a number of Biotech companies.

He has extensive experience in oncology drug development from early-stage drug discovery into Phase I clinical trials. He played a pivotal role in development of the first-in-class microRNA that subsequently went into phase 1 clinical trials for liver cancer via Mirna Pharmaceuticals. In that role he developed expertise covering target selection, in vivo drug delivery, pharmacology, PK/PD, translational research, biomarkers, assessment of drug combination therapies, in vitro and in vivo modelling of cancer and molecular imaging.

He has also extensive experience in bioanalytical assay development, Phase I clinical trial design and human sample analysis. Andy has deep understanding and awareness of RNA therapeutics and cancer biology, which is of particular relevance to miReven. Andy is an inventor on more than 15 patent families.

Andy’s experience also extends to fundraising efforts via investor interactions (including IPO roadshow) and government grants, as well as in strategic planning of scientific and corporate goals.

Mr David Lucido

Financial/Corporate Advisor

David has developed and implemented practical growth strategies for market-leading technical and industrial organisations for almost twenty years. He is internationally recognised for his ability to improve the competitiveness, financial performance, and internal alignment of large organisations, with demonstrated results in mature and contracting markets.

As a Non-Executive Director and Board mentor, David brings drive and creativity to improve organisational performance. He combines strategic vision with a proven ability to engage stakeholders at all levels, and across different cultures.

David’s executive appointments include Director – Perth Natural Resource Management (Perth NRM), Principal – 3Pillars Asia Pacific, Group CEO – Westlink Logistics, CEO – National Ports Corporation and Head of Strategy & Business Development – Wood Group. David’s professional clients include numerous SMEs, and technical organisations across a range of sectors, and include Merck Sharp & Dohme, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, Rio Tinto, DuPont, Amcor, ANZ Bank, National Australia Bank, Arup, Canon and Monash University.

Professor Geoffrey McCaughan , MBBS, FRACP, PhD

Clinical HCC Advisor

Prof McCaughan is an expert liver specialist with special expertise in liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC) and liver transplantation. He is the Director of the AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre and Australian Liver Transplant Unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He is Head of the Liver Injury & Cancer Program at the Centenary Institute and a Professor in Medicine in the Central Clinical School at the University of Sydney.

Geoff is actively involved in multiple clinical trials of new therapies for HCC as well as running a laboratory focused on HCC and discovering new ways to treat it.