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Scientific Advisors

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Kathryn Peterson, MD

Kathryn Peterson, MD, MSCI is a Co-Founder of NexEos Bio whose research forms the foundation of our technologies. Additionally, Dr. Peterson is a Professor of Gastroenterology and serves as the Associate Chief for the Division of Gastroenterology at University of Utah Health. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Peterson is the James W. Freston Presidential Endowed Chair in Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Dr. Peterson specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the digestive system including Eosiniphilic Esophagitis, Barrett’s Esophagus, and inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Peterson is one of the U of U Health's most productive investigators within the Division of Gastroenterology. Currently, her research is supported by ten grants. She has been the Principal Investigator or co-Investigator on 38 previous grants. Her research has generated 46 peer-reviewed journal articles and many other publications. She has presented her research nationally and internationally. Dr. Peterson has also mentored 26 faculty and trainees. Clinically, she has been listed in the top one percent of Academic Medical Center Providers by Press-Ganey.

She completed her medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern, followed by residency and a fellowship at the University of Utah. She received a masters in Epidemiology from Harvard University.

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Jeffrey Yap, PhD

Jeffrey Yap, PhD, is a research professor in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the University of Utah. Prior to this, Dr. Yap was a professor at Harvard Medical School, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Pittsburg.

He is also the Director of the Center for Quantitative Cancer Imaging and a member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Dr. Yap's research interest is in the use of quantitative multimodality imaging to develop and evaluate novel cancer therapy in murine tumor models and cancer clinical trials.

Dr. Yap received a Bachelor's of Science in Physics at the University of Dallas and a PhD in Medical Physics at the University of Chicago.

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Emmett T Cunningham, Jr, MD, PhD, MPH

In addition to being a key Advisory Partner for NexEos, Dr. Emmett Cunningham is an Executive Advisor in the Blackstone Life Sciences group. Previously, he was a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone Life Sciences, having joined Blackstone as part of its acquisition of Clarus in December 2018. Dr. Cunningham joined Clarus in 2006 as a Managing Director.

Dr. Cunningham has led investments in medical technology and biotechnology, including partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. Prior to joining Clarus, Dr. Cunningham was the Senior Vice President, Medical Strategy at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he held a leadership role on the team that developed Macugen, a first-in-class product for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Prior to Eyetech, Dr. Cunningham was at Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE). Dr. Cunningham is an internationally recognized specialist in infectious and inflammatory eye disease with over 400 publications.

Dr. Cunningham is a member of the Board of Directors of Galera Therapeutics. Dr. Cunningham was the founder and chairman of the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS) symposium held for more than a decade in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

Dr. Cunningham received an MD and MPH in epidemiology and statistics from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in neuroscience from the University of California at San Diego for work done at The Salk Institute.

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Kenneth J. Mandell, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Mandell is a Harvard-trained ophthalmologist and serial entrepreneur with broad drug development experience. He has personally contributed to more than a dozen Investigational New Drug (IND) applications and overseen the conduct of numerous Phase 1-3 clinical trials. He has more than 10 granted U.S. patents and is co-inventor of TYRVAYA® (Viatris Inc.) treatment for dry eye disease and Aldeyra’s reproxalap eye drop for ocular inflammation.


Dr. Mandell is founder and CEO of LayerBio, an MIT spinoff developing novel sustained-release implants for ocular applications and currently serves as a strategic advisor to Aramis Biosciences, a Harvard spin-off developing novel therapies for dry eye disease. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer of Intergalactic Therapeutics, Neurotech Pharmaceuticals, and Noveome Biotherapeutics.

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Cadmus Rich, MD

In addition to acting as a key advisor for NexEos Bio, Dr. Cadmus Rich serves as Chief Medical Officer and Head of R&D for Aura Biosciences, an oncology company developing first in class oncology treatments for primary tumors to reduce the incidence of metastatic cancer, starting with the lead indication in choroidal melanoma and a secondary indication in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Prior to this, Dr Rich has held progressive positions in Ophthalmology R&D including Medical Director/Senior Director at Quintiles, Head of Clinical Trial Management at Alcon, Therapeutic Unit Head for Intraocular Lens R&D at Alcon and VP, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs for Inotek Pharmaceuticals.

Cadmus has extensive experience in R&D, having led or participated in nearly 75 development programs including the submission and approval of multiple devices and pharmaceutical products in the U.S., EU, China, Japan and Brazil/Latin America. He has directly led or participated in over 150 clinical trials across multiple ophthalmology and systemic indications as an executive leader, medical director, medical monitor and principal investigator.

Prior to joining the Research and Development industry, Dr Rich practiced cataract/refractive surgery and comprehensive ophthalmology and served as a Principal Investigator in multiple clinical trials. His passion is to combine his experience in ophthalmology, leadership, business and research and development to meet unmet medical needs for patients and coaching and mentoring professionals.

Dr Rich received his MD and Ophthalmology training at UNC Medical School/UNC Hospitals, his BA in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University, his MBA in Health Care Administration from Regis University and his Certified Physician Executive (CPE) from the American Association for Physician Leadership. Cadmus has served on the board of directors of the North Carolina Specialty Hospital. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Prevent Blindness, the nation’s longest-acting volunteer eye health and safety organization.

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