Jason Hickok is an ill-disciplined cell biologist who has wandered from topics as disparate as circadian regulation of the mammalian reproductive system to the symbiotic relationship of dinoflagellates with mangrove jellyfish. After spending years performing pure cell biology research, Jason realized he needed to focus on developing therapeutics if he wanted to have a tangible impact on human health. Jason decided to leave the tenure track and help found the Drug Discovery Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). This initiative created a very exciting time at UIC where he worked with the leading researchers in the Chicagoland area and helped them develop small molecule tools targeting their therapeutic area of interest. Eventually, this naturally led to his transition to business development in the CRO world. Jason is currently working for IRBM with Biopharma clients in the Pacific Northwest to help accelerate their discovery process.
Michele is an established business and science executive with more than 30 years of research experience, including over 20 years in biotech/pharma, leading small molecule drug discovery efforts from target identification through clinical trials and marketed drug products for oncology and CNS disorders, including SUTENT®, Pfizer’s marketed kinase inhibitor for renal cell carcinoma. In addition, Michele has held senior management positions within US and Asia CROs/CDMOs including Vice President of Global Drug Discovery for Curia, until her most recent appointment as Vice President for IRBM, formerly Merck’s Research Site and Center of Excellence in Rome, Italy which is now an independent, fully integrated discovery and early development contract organization focused on peptide, antibody and small molecule therapeutics, with the notable track record of oncology therapeutics, Zolinza ® and Zejula ®, and 2 anti-virals, Isentress® and Grazoprevir.