David Giegel, PhD

CSO & Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Giegel brings more than twenty-five years of expertise in drug discovery and development to August Therapeutics. He most recently served as President and Chief Scientific Officer of TissueNetix, Inc., a company he founded. Prior to TissueNetix, Dr. Giegel was President and Chief Scientific Officer of MicroStem. Previously, he was an Adjunct Associate Research Professor at San Diego State University, and was Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CONNECT, San Diego, where he mentored companies in the Springboard Program. Dr. Giegel also was Senior Director of the Molecular Sciences Group at Celgene, and held scientific leadership positions at MitoKor, Pfizer, and Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis. He earned his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Chemistry from Miami University in Ohio.

Paul Bien, MS

Scientific Advisor
Paul has 34 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, and has worked in preclinical microbiology, anti-infective and oncology clinical research, project management, and managed a Phase I Research Clinic. He has previously worked at Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis, DepoTech, Agouron, Pfizer, Trius Therapeutics,  Progenity, and Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. While at Pfizer he served as a Research Team Leader and Exploratory Development Director leading several oncology drug development teams. He has been involved in a number of successful drug development programs including Penetrex®, Sparfloxacin®, Cefzon®, Viracept®, Sutent®, Inlyta®, and Sivextro®. Paul received his BS in microbiology and public health from Michigan State University and his MS from the University of Michigan in clinical trial design and statistical analysis.

Ed Castellana, PhD

Scientific Advisor
Ed Castellana, PhD., is Senior Director of Portfolio Development at Evofem Biosciences. Previously Ed was Senior Director of Product Development at Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (Sienna). Prior to its acquisition by Sienna, Ed was head of R&D and member of the management team at Sienna Labs, Inc. where he was responsible for advancing the development of two topical products based on the science of plasmonic resonance through early stage clinical development into pivotal trials. Additionally, Ed oversaw the development of a transdermal delivery device and managed the production and distribution of clinical supply. With over 10 years of industry experience, his career encompasses a wide range of R&D and leadership activities centered on early product development in the medical device and diagnostics industries. Prior to Sienna, Ed has held R&D positions with several startups focused on developing biosensor platforms and devices for the healthcare sector, was a Research Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Texas A&M University. Ed received a BS in mathematical physics and chemistry from SUNY Fredonia and a PhD in chemistry from Texas A&M University.

Shawn Flanagan, PhD

Scientific Advisor
Shawn Flanagan is a highly accomplished and influential scientific leader with diverse knowledge of drug development and translational research. Shawn has creatively advanced a variety of large and small molecules of several therapeutic areas including endocrine (diabetes and obesity), infectious disease, cardiovascular, neuroscience, and oncology from Discovery/Pre-IND, proof of concept, NDA approval, and post-marketing. Shawn holds a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry from University of California, San Francisco and has over 20 years of experience at such companies as Amylin, Cubist, Ligand, Lilly, Merck, Orexigen, and Trius. Shawn was responsible for all aspects of Biopharmaceutic, Clinical Pharmacology, and Pharmacokinetic (DMPK/ADME) studies, reports, and original regulatory submissions for BYDUREON®, CONTRAVE®, and SIVEXTRO®, and significantly contributed to the development, prescribing information, and/or regulatory submissions of several other approved medications.

Michelle Higginson, RDN, CD, CNSC

Scientific Advisor
Michelle Higginson RDN, CD, CNSC received a BS in dietetics from the University of Connecticut. While she was an undergraduate, she designed and conducted a study (unpublished) at the University of Connecticut Health Center that investigated the impact of a person’s perception of taste on their food behavior and weight status. Michelle has over 16 years of experience as a Clinical Nutrition Specialist with a focus on critical care, metabolic and gastrointestinal disorders. Additionally, she has developed and provided a variety of patient and clinical education, coordinates a dietetic intern preceptorship and and is a strong patient advocate.

Stacy Markison, PhD

Scientific Advisor
Stacy Markison has held leadership positions in early pharmaceutical research and development over the past 15 years. She is currently the Senior Director of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Crinetics where she and her colleagues are progressing treatments for rare endocrine disorders and endocrine-related cancers. Stacy has more than a decade of chemical senses research experience within academia and industry. She received her PhD from the University of Florida where her research focused on the role of the gustatory system in recovery from nutrient deficiencies. Additionally, she worked at Senomyx leading efforts to explore the role of taste receptors within the digestive tract. As the Director of Biology, she guided human salty taste receptor projects aimed at identifying salt taste enhancers. Stacy’s research background also includes the neurohormonal control of ingestive behavior as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and the treatment of metabolic diseases such as obesity and cachexia at Neurocrine Biosciences. Stacy has over 40 publications and book chapters, and has received external funding from NIH and the Michael J. Fox Foundation during the course of her career.

Sam Nadler, MD PhD

Scientific Advisor
Dr. Nadler received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before entering the medical scientist training program and the University of Wisconsin – Madison. There he earned an MD and PhD with a thesis entitled, “Molecular Determinants of Obesity and Type II Diabetes.” He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington before fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Washington. He currently serves as a practice leader at the Polyclinic in Seattle, WA, a member of the medical quality oversight committee at Swedish medical center and a contributing editor for Critical Care Alerts.

Mark Rixon, PhD

Scientific Advisor
Mark is a practiced biotechnology professional with 30 years of industrial experience focusing on recombinant protein expression, antibody generation, and protein engineering. Mark has made significant contributions to the development of therapeutic protein candidates currently in Phase II and Phase III clinical trials and pre-clinical development, including recombinant monoclonal antibodies, receptor-Fc fusion proteins, and bispecific antibodies. Presently, Mark is Sr. Director of Protein Therapeutics at Alpine Immune Sciences, a biotechnology company developing IgSF receptor-Fc fusion proteins as biotherapeutics in autoimmune and immuno-oncology applications. Prior to joining Alpine Immune Sciences, Mark worked for 19 years at ZymoGenetics in the Protein Biochemistry and Protein Sciences groups focusing on biopharmaceutical hit validation, lead candidate characterization, and optimization of clinical candidate molecules. Prior to his tenure at ZymoGenetics, Mark worked in the biotechnology division at The Dow Chemical Company developing oncology focused recombinant antibody clinical candidates. Mark received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Washington which he followed with a Post-Doctoral fellowship at The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA.