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Peter McWilliams, Director

McWilliams is a Venture Partner with Sanderling Ventures and has more than 15 years of experience in biomedical research and management. He works actively with Sanderling portfolio companies in the role of Chairman, Director, CEO and member of the management team. Prior to Sanderling, Dr. McWilliams worked at Genentech where, as a Product Manager in Oncology Commercial Development, he managed a pipeline of oncology products in clinical and pre-clinical development and was the Commercial Team Leader for Avastin. Prior to that he was an Associate with Booz & Co. (now PwC) in San Francisco where he focused on projects for major US and International life science companies. Prior to that he was a Software Engineer and Applications Specialist with Oxford Molecular.

Dr. McWilliams received an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, where he was an R.C. Kopf Fellow and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma. He received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Chemistry from Princeton University where he received a Hugh Scott Taylor fellowship. He received a B.A. in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University.

John B. "Brock" Metcalf, Interim CEO

Mr. Metcalf is Founder and Managing Partner of Reference Capital Management and has nearly twenty years' experience with all aspects of technology development, working cooperatively with all levels of management. Prior to co-founding Reference Capital, he was a partner at Cascadia Partners and co-founder of Oregon Life Sciences (OLS) LLC, an early stage venture firm focused largely on the biotechnology and biomaterials markets. OLS invested in 22 companies and maintains significant positions in 10 firms. Prior to OLS, Dr. Metcalf was a principal in the international biotechnology advisory firm, the Epistat Group where he oversaw all aspects biotechnology transfer negotiations and licensing agreements.

Brock holds a B.A. in Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. in Biology from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is a past Trustee of Oregon Graduate Institute and is currently active on the Corporate Development Committee of Oregon Health and Sciences University's Oregon Graduate Institute School of Science and Engineering.

Arthur Vandenbark, Founding Scientist

Arthur A. Vandenbark is a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA Portland Health Care System and a Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Molecular Microbiology & Immunology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). He is the author of more than 300 scientific publications, an inventor on 15 issued US patents and the recipient of many awards including a Fulbright Scholarship, the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award and the 2014 Technology Transfer Achievement Award from OHSU. His major interest is in developing natural immunoregulatory mechanisms to block inflammation and promote neuroregeneration in multiple sclerosis and other CNS diseases.

Professor Vandenbark completed his postdoctoral fellowship at OHSU. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington State University and an A.B. degree from Stanford University. He has mentored more than 40 post-doctoral and clinical fellows.

Halina Offner, Founding Scientist

Halina Offner, Dr. Med., is a Professor in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Dr. Offner was awarded the prestigious Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award in 1994. Beginning in 1995, her interest in the possible causes of increased incidence of MS in females implicated estrogen and estriol as key contributors to this underlying gender difference in murine EAE models of MS. Turning to the role of the immune system in producing CNS damage in middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) during the early 2000’s, her focus resides on the regulatory roles of T-cells and B-cells in EAE and stroke. Dr. Offner holds editorial positions with several journals and is a member of an NIH Study Section.

Dr. Offner graduated from the University of Copenhagen Medical School in 1976 with the esteemed Doctor Medicine Degree, focusing on the immunology of multiple sclerosis (MS). In 1984, she moved her laboratory to OHSU in Portland, OR. There she developed the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of MS in Lewis rats to study pathogenic mechanisms mediated by myelin antigen specific T cell lines.