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Meet Our Team

The Epiodyne team brings together years of cutting edge research, clinical insights into brain disorders and a passion for company building.

Management

Don Gehlert, Ph.D.

Don Gehlert, Ph.D.

Head of Biology

Julio Medina, Ph.D.

Julio Medina, Ph.D.

Head of Chemistry

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Don currently serves as Epiodyne’s head of biology and oversees preclinical and IND-enabling work. Don brings to the team extensive experience in drug discovery and development.  His expertise is in exploratory development and disease biology, with primary focus in psychiatry and metabolic disorders. During his career at Lilly, Don led or participated on preclinical teams that introduced 19 molecules into the Lilly pipeline, including both small molecules and biologics. He also participated on Phase I and Phase II clinical development teams that designed and delivered translational proof of concept studies in the areas of ADHD, obesity, AUD, depression, pain and migraine.  Three of these molecules resulted in marketed therapies and several are currently in late stage clinical development.  Don has also been an advisor to several venture-backed biotechcompanies, including Cerecor and Spruce, on drug discovery, due diligence on clinical molecules and licensing strategies. He is a co-author on 181 publications and a co-inventor on 15 issued and pending patents. He did his post-doctoral studies at the NIH and received his Ph.D. at the University of Utah.

Julio currently serves as Epiodyne’s head of chemistry and brings 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development. Julio is also the founder and CEO of R2M Pharma, a collaborative contract drug development company. Prior to joining Epiodyne, Julio worked at ORIC Pharmaceuticals as the Vice President of Drug Discovery and at Amgen as an Executive Director of Research where he was responsible for leading the Medicinal Chemistry group in South San Francisco. Previously he held the position of Director of Chemistry at Tularik. Julio has successfully led programs on protein-protein interactions, kinases, GPCRs agonist and antagonists, nuclear receptors and enzymatic targets to identify 9 clinical development compounds in oncology, immunology and metabolic disease therapeutic areas. He is a co-author on 83 publications and a co-inventor on 50 issued and pending patents. He did his post-doctoral studies at Columbia University and received his Ph.D. at the University of Miami.

Alex Tkachenko, Ph.D.

Alex Tkachenko, Ph.D.

CEO

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Prior to Epiodyne, Alex served as CEO of BlackThorn Therapeutics, a biotech company developing targeted medicines for neurobehavioral disorders.  Under Alex’s leadership, BlackThorn recruited an outstanding team and board, raised a $40M Series A with a top-notch investor syndicate, and built a unique technology platform and a deep pipeline with a first-in-class compound already in the clinic at the time of company launch. Alex started his industry career with Genentech, where he was involved with the development and commercialization of several breakthrough drugs, including Rituxan, Tarceva, Kadcyla and Perjeta.  Earlier, Alex served as a squad leader in the Soviet Army and completed a tour of combat duty in Afghanistan.  A Ph.D. biologist, Alex also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Don currently serves as Epiodyne’s head of biology and oversees preclinical and IND-enabling work. Don brings to the team extensive experience in drug discovery and development.  His expertise is in exploratory development and disease biology, with primary focus in psychiatry and metabolic disorders. During his career at Lilly, Don led or participated on preclinical teams that introduced 19 molecules into the Lilly pipeline, including both small molecules and biologics. He also participated on Phase I and Phase II clinical development teams that designed and delivered translational proof of concept studies in the areas of ADHD, obesity, AUD, depression, pain and migraine.  Three of these molecules resulted in marketed therapies and several are currently in late stage clinical development.  Don has also been an advisor to several venture-backed biotechcompanies, including Cerecor and Spruce, on drug discovery, due diligence on clinical molecules and licensing strategies. He is a co-author on 181 publications and a co-inventor on 15 issued and pending patents. He did his post-doctoral studies at the NIH and received his Ph.D. at the University of Utah.

Julio currently serves as Epiodyne’s head of chemistry and brings 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development. Julio is also the founder and CEO of R2M Pharma, a collaborative contract drug development company. Prior to joining Epiodyne, Julio worked at ORIC Pharmaceuticals as the Vice President of Drug Discovery and at Amgen as an Executive Director of Research where he was responsible for leading the Medicinal Chemistry group in South San Francisco. Previously he held the position of Director of Chemistry at Tularik. Julio has successfully led programs on protein-protein interactions, kinases, GPCRs agonist and antagonists, nuclear receptors and enzymatic targets to identify 9 clinical development compounds in oncology, immunology and metabolic disease therapeutic areas. He is a co-author on 83 publications and a co-inventor on 50 issued and pending patents. He did his post-doctoral studies at Columbia University and received his Ph.D. at the University of Miami.

Prior to Epiodyne, Alex served as CEO of BlackThorn Therapeutics, a biotech company developing targeted medicines for neurobehavioral disorders.  Under Alex’s leadership, BlackThorn recruited an outstanding team and board, raised a $40M Series A with a top-notch investor syndicate, and built a unique technology platform and a deep pipeline with a first-in-class compound already in the clinic at the time of company launch. Alex started his industry career with Genentech, where he was involved with the development and commercialization of several breakthrough drugs, including Rituxan, Tarceva, Kadcyla and Perjeta.  Earlier, Alex served as a squad leader in the Soviet Army and completed a tour of combat duty in Afghanistan.  A Ph.D. biologist, Alex also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Board

Brook Byers

Waycross Capital

Doug Crawford, Ph.D.

Mission Bay Capital

Terry Rosen, Ph.D.

Arcus Biosciences

Brian Shoichet, Ph.D.

University of California, San Francisco

Greg Yap

Menlo Ventures

Alex Tkachenko, Ph.D.

Epiodyne

Investors

Menlo Ventures
Bioinnovation Capital
Alexandria
Waycross Ventures
Mission Bay Capital
R2Pharma