Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer: John C. Fini
Mr. Fini has over 35 years of leadership experience in the management of sponsored research, with a specific focus on financial stewardship & compliance.
Mr. Fini began his career at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (a Harvard Medical School affiliate). He moved from there to Dartmouth Medical School and then to the University of Lowell. Prior to entering the biotech entrepreneurial space, Mr. Fini spent more than 17 years overseeing a portfolio of nearly $1 billion dollars as the Financial Director for Research Management at the Massachusetts General Hospital (a Harvard Medical School affiliate), and then at Partners HealthCare System (a merger of multiple Harvard affiliated hospitals, including MGH).
After leaving the Harvard hospitals, Mr. Fini spent several years doing private consulting, serving academic clients on both the east and west coasts. This led to the founding of Proteris Biotech in 2014.
Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer: M. Elizabeth Fini, Ph.D.
Dr. Fini is a molecular biologist, best known for her scientific contributions to our understanding of diseases of the eye. She has more than 30 years of leadership experience in academia as a scientist, professor, mentor and administrator. She currently serves as Professor of Ophthalmology, Tufts University School of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She holds multiple NIH and foundation grants in support of her basic research program.
Dr. Fini’s first faculty appointment was at Harvard Medical School. From there she moved to New England Eye Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, then to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In 2008, Dr. Fini joined USC in Los Angeles as Professor and Vice Dean for Research at the Keck School of Medicine. In July 2008, she was also appointed as Director, USC Institute for Genetic Medicine. She continued in this position until the department was closed in 2017. Shortly thereafter, she accepted an offer to return to Tufts.
Dr. Fini earned her doctoral degree in biology at Dartmouth College and did postdoctoral training at Dartmouth Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chief Medical Officer: Joseph T. Barr, O.D., M.S.
Dr. Barr is an optometrist and clinician-researcher with more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in both academic medicine and the ophthalmic pharmaceutical industry. He currently serves as an emeritus professor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.
Dr. Barr began his academic career in the School of Optometry at The Ohio State University. There he rose to the rank of full professor and also served as an associate dean and chief of the Contact Lens Clinical Service. In 2007, Dr. Barr accepted a vice president position with Bausch & Lomb, one of the world's largest suppliers of eye health products. Valeant Pharmaceuticals purchased the company in 2013, and relocated company headquarters. Soon thereafter, Dr. Barr returned to Ohio State. He co-authored on our team paper demonstrating clusterin efficacy in treating mouse dry eye. He joined Proteris Biotech in 2018.
Dr. Barr received his O.D. from The Ohio State University and completed a clinical fellowship in cornea and contact lens.
Director, Laboratory Operations: Shravan K. Chintala, Ph.D.
Dr. Chintala is a molecular cell biologist with over 20 years of academic leadership experience in basic, translational and clinical ophthalmology and vision research.
Dr. Chintala started his faculty career at Tufts University School of Medicine. With award of his first NIH R01 grant, he accepted a tenure-track faculty position at the Eye Research Institute of Oakland University in Detroit. There he rose through the faculty ranks. He left this position in 2016 for the opportunity with Proteris Biotech.
Dr. Chintala received his Ph.D. in microbiology from Osmania University in India. He obtained formal training in cell biology at Cleveland Clinic Foundation and molecular biology and neuroscience at UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Manufacturing: Mark R. Wilson, Ph.D.
Dr. Wilson has more than 25 years of leadership experience in academia as a scientist, professor, mentor and administrator. He is currently a Senior Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. He previously served as Professor and Associate Dean for Research.
Dr. Wilson discovered the molecular chaperone function of clusterin and is arguably the world’s expert in the field. His lab has been leading the development of methodologies for the large-scale production of recombinant human clusterin. He co-authored on our team paper demonstrating clusterin efficacy in treating mouse dry eye.
Medical & Clinical Affairs: Timothy L. Comstock, O.D., M.S.
Dr. Comstock has over 30 years of leadership experience in medical and clinical affairs in the ophthalmic pharmaceutical and medical device industry. He provides consulting services for start-ups, including Proteris Biotech.
Prior to founding his consulting company, Dr. Comstock served as Director, Clinical Scientific Affairs, Pharmaceuticals; Bausch & Lomb. In this position, he directed developing and executing clinical strategy for all pharmaceutical development programs, directing applied and basic clinical research projects targeting intraocular and ocular surface diseases, including dry eye, and had clinical/scientific responsibility for all global clinical trials. He had clinical responsibility for 3 NDA approvals (Zylet, Retisert, Besivance) and clinical/medical function support for 1 NDA (Lotemax Ointment).
Dr. Comstock holds an O.D. and M.S. in Physiological Optics from The Ohio State University College of Optometry, and he also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship.
Regulatory Affairs: Judy F. Gordon, D.V.M.
Dr. Gordon is founder and president of ClinReg Consulting Services. She has over 20 years progressive clinical, regulatory, quality and R&D experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.
Dr. Gordon has worked to gain FDA approval for multiple PMAs for Class III devices, and has made many presentations to Advisory Committees. She has also directed clinical trials of biologics, pharmaceuticals, and Class I, II and III medical devices, from protocol development through clinical reporting to FDA. Dr. Gordon has further served as the industry representative to Medical Devices Dispute Resolution Advisory Panel to FDA and the Ophthalmic Devices Advisory Panel to FDA.
Dr. Gordon earned her doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Bologna, Italy.
Legal Affairs, Len Nannarone, J.D.
Mr. Nannarone is an attorney for Nannarone Law Group, with offices in Scituate, Massachusetts and Mountain View, California. He focuses his legal practice on start-up corporate transactions, secured lending, mergers & acquisitions, initial employment contract and offer negotiations, general corporate representation, securities and finance transactions. He currently represents several venture capital funds and start-ups, including Proteris Biotech.
Mr. Nannarone received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law. .
Patenting and Licensing, Christopher Moulding, M.B.A.
Mr. Moulding currently serves as Associate Director in the Office of Technology Licensing at the City of Hope, Duarte, California. He previously served in a similar capacity at the University of Southern California, where he worked closely with Dr. Fini in developing the patent portfolio that Proteris Biotech is licensing.
Mr. Moulding has been involved in Technology Transfer for over 25 years, having held licensing positions at UCLA, Caltech, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and USC. He worked at Genentech, Chiron, and Systemix in business development, and was a co-founder of Recombinant Capital.
Mr. Moulding began his academic career as a research associate at Harvard Medical School and NIH, and thereafter he earned an MBA from Stanford Business School.
Scientific and Medical Advisory Board
Stephen C. Pflugfelder, M.D.
Dr. Pflugfelder is an academic ophthalmologist and clinician-scientist with internationally recognized expertise in dry eye. He currently serves as Professor, Director of the Ocular Surface Center, and the James and Margaret Elkins Chair in Ophthalmology in the Cullen Eye Institute of Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.
Dr. Pflugfelder is a leader in the field of dry eye research. He developed the first mouse model of dry eye disease and identified a causal role for MMP9 in collaboration with Dr. Fini. He co-authored on our team paper demonstrating clusterin efficacy in treating mouse dry eye.
Shigeru Kinoshita, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Kinoshita is an academic ophthalmologist and clinician-scientist with internationally recognized expertise in dry eye. He served from 1992-2015 as Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Kyoto, Japan. He currently serves as Professor and Chair, Department of Frontier Medical Science and Technology for Ophthalmology.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Kinoshita has built a reputation in the global ophthalmic community as an innovative researcher and a pioneering spirit, particularly in the fields of ocular surface and corneal wound healing. His group was the first to identify clusterin expression in the corneal epithelium its down-regulation in severe mucin-deficient dry eye, and its localization in amyloid deposits associated with corneal dystrophies. His group also identified clusterin expression by the corneal endothelium and its presence in the aqueous humor. He co-authored on our team paper demonstrating clusterin efficacy in treating mouse dry eye.
Reza Dana, M.D., M.Sc., M.P.H.
Dr. Dana is an academic ophthalmologist and clinician-scientist with internationally recognized expertise in the immunology of dry eye. He has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of inflammation pertaining to the ocular surface, including dry eye.
Since 1995, Dr. Dana has been a full-time member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. He currently serves as the Claes Dohlman Professor and Vice Chair of Ophthalmology, and Associate Chief of Ophthalmology for Academic Programs, at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear. He also serves as Senior Scientist & W Clement Stone Scholar, Schepens Eye Research Institute; Director, Cornea & Refractive Surgery, Massachusetts Eye and Ear; and Director, Cornea Center of Excellence.