Robert Armstrong, PhD - Director
Rob is the CEO, board member and co-founder of Boston Pharmaceuticals. With over 20 years of experience working in research and development in the biopharmaceutical industry, Rob has been involved in the discovery and clinical development of programs across multiple disease areas. Rob created and led the small molecule R&D organization at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA. He subsequently co-led research at Lilly as Vice President of Global Medicinal Chemistry, was head of the translational medicine group Chorus and was the Vice President of Global Externa R&D. He served on the finance and scientific advisory boards of Lilly BioVentures. Prior to working in the industry, Rob was a tenured Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry a the University of California at Los Angeles. Rob received his BS in Chemistry at the University of California at San Diego, his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Colorado State University and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Rob is an advisor to Gelesis and serves on the board of directors of early stage biotechnology companies Curza, Cloud Pharmaceuticals, Entrega Bio and Artax Biopharma.
John Kozarich, Director
Dr. Kozarich has 40 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and academia. He is Distinguished Scientist and Executive Advisor at ActivX, was Chairman and President from December 2004 to March 2017 and served in senior management positions since February 2001. Prior to his role at ActivX, Dr. Kozarich was Vice President at Merck Research Laboratories where he was responsible for a variety of drug discovery and development programs and external biotech collaborations. Dr. Kozarich previously held full professorships at the University of Maryland and Yale School of Medicine. He was named Director of the Year for 2014 by the Corporate Directors Forum, has been an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Awardee, a recipient of the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry from the Division of Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Distinguished Scientist Award of the San Diego Section of the ACS. Dr. Kozarich currently serves as Chairman of Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Chairman of Intec Pharma and is Adjunct Professor of Chemical Physiology at The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Kozarich holds a B.S. in chemistry from Boston College, a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University.
Governor Michael O. Leavitt - Director
Michael O. Leavitt is the Founder and Chairman of Leavitt Partners where he advises clients in the health care and food safety sectors. In 1993, Leavitt was elected governor of the State of Utah. He served three terms (1993-2003). In 2003, he joined the Cabinet of President George W. Bush, serving in two positions: first leading the Environmental Protection Agency as Administrator (2003-2005), and then as Secretary of Health and Human Services (2005-2009). At HHS, Leavitt administered a $750 billion budget — nearly 25 percent of the entire federal budget — and over 67,000 employees. He led the implementation of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program. The task required the design, systematization and implementation of a plan to provide 43 million seniors with a new prescription drug benefit. By the end of the first year, enrollments exceeded projections, prices were lower than projected and seniors expressed high levels of satisfaction. Leavitt’s strategic ability can be seen in his redesign of the nation’s system of quality and safety standards for imported goods. In the spring of 2006, President Bush assigned him to lead a government-wide response. Within months, Leavitt recommended a major strategic shift in U.S. policy on import regulation and trade. Leavitt is, at heart, an entrepreneur. As governor, he organized a group of his colleagues to form Western Governors University. At WGU, degrees are earned based on competency rather than credit hours. WGU now has more than 20,000 students who reside in each of the 50 states and several foreign countries. Enrollment is growing at 35 percent a year. In November 2008, TIME magazine named WGU “the best relatively cheap university you’ve never heard of.” His skill led his colleague governors to elect him as chairman of the National Governors Association, the Republican Governors Association and Western Governors’ Association. Leavitt is a seasoned diplomat, leading U.S. delegations to more than 50 countries. He has conducted negotiations on matters related to health, the environment and trade. At the conclusion of his service, the Chinese government awarded him the China Public Health Award – the first time this award has ever been given to a foreign government official.
Joe is the founder and CEO of Endeavor Capital Group, a Utah-based investment company which focuses on real estate investments, energy technology and health and wellness technologies. He has served as a board member of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation for more than 15 years where he has helped support a wide range of philanthropic and humanitarian endeavors at local, national and international levels. Joe played a vital leadership role in other Sorenson companies including serving as president of healthcare company Sorex Medical and led the development of new products for Sorenco Laboratories. Joe graduated from LDS Business College with a degree in accounting.
Jeff Davis, Director
Jeff is an executive with international "Big Company" and entrepreneurial "Start Up" experience. Jeff is the Founder and CEO of Molio Inc., a venture-backed, creative and media analytics agency, famous for building brands on YouTube with capabilities to originate, co-create and validate new brands with its Innovation and Validation Model atAM:LABS. For 23 years, Jeff built brands at Procter & Gamble, in numerous product sectors (consumer-packaged goods, pharmaceuticals and beauty) and in several countries (USA, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia). For 11 years at P&G, Jeff led the Pharmaceutical division in Germany and Canada and later was the Director of Global Business Development in Cincinnati responsible for partnering, licensing or acquiring new drug candidates from a network of Pharma, Biotech and Venture Capital communities. After retiring from P&G in 2009, Jeff was the angel investor, board member and eventual CEO of Orabrush Inc. According to Google, Orabrush was one of the first companies to build and commercialize a product on a global level leveraging only YouTube advertising and recognized Orabrush as one of the 10 most iconic ad moments on YouTube alongside billion-dollar brands. DenTek Oral Care acquired the Orabrush brand in 2014. Jeff has run global billion dollar businesses and has also successfully launched two startups with successful exits. Jeff serves as adjunct professor of Marketing at the University of Utah business school and is a published academic author. Jeff earned a B.S. in Marketing and a B.A. in German from the University of Utah.