Team

Belinda Pastrana, CEO

Belinda Pastrana, Ph.D. is a tenured professor at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus and a Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar awardee and International Year of Chemistry Distinguished Women Chemist and Chemical Eng., with 26 years of experience in protein purification and characterization, 16 years in bioprocess. She is an interdisciplinary scientist who obtained an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from Rutgers University and a Post Doctorate in Pharmacology and Molecular Biology at Mayo Clinic and Foundation, in Rochester, Minnesota. Her experience in protein purification and characterization has allowed her to make significant contributions in the characterization of lung surfactant proteins for the treatment of Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome (NRDS), and she helped develop new spectroscopic technology for the molecular characterization of proteins. Dr. Pastrana has continued her passion for the use of molecular biophysical techniques in the study of proteins as an independent scientist and recently was granted a patent on the determination of the mechanism and extent of protein aggregation. She continues to innovate and is currently developing a novel high throughput platform for the developability assessment of protein therapeutic candidates under varying formulation conditions.

To date, she has fully characterized more than 15 proteins using a wide array of molecular biophysical techniques. Dr. Pastrana has been a major contributor to the use of 2D IR correlation spectroscopy for the study of proteins as evidenced by the more than 55 peer-reviewed published manuscripts and abstracts. She has also directed her research group effectively and defined new comparability methods for the determination of the stability of highly related recombinant proteins in solution using a combination of molecular biophysical techniques such as CD, DSC, FT-IR and 2D IR correlation spectroscopy. She has extended this approach to determining the stability of domains using perturbation correlation analysis of the intact protein. Her most recent publication is an in depth evaluation of the role an excipient has on the selective aggregation of a peptide in a protein-peptide complex. As a consequence of the research innovation and the impact of her research, she has lectured in several national and international forums (2DCOS-6, -7, FACSS SciX 2014, 43IUPAC, CaBP-19 and BioXFEL 2015) and has been invited to several international conferences among them of analytical vibrational spectroscopy in Kobe, Japan (2013) and Vienna (2015). She has also been invited by the FDA, Protein Engineering summit (PEGS), and PepTalk to lecture on the subject of Protein Aggregation during the years of 2013-to-date.

William Lockwood, CFO

An investor and co-founder of PDS and a co-founder of technology ecosystem institutions in PR. He obtained in M.Phil and BA in technology strategy and development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and Brown University. He is a member of the SBIR Advisory Committee of the US National Science Foundation. Lockwood has also trained in biosciences technologies, IP and business ventures at Kellogg and Sloan-MIT and the MIT Whitehead and Broad Institutes. After a decade of public service in technology investments, large infrastructure privatization transactions and public finance, he founded Lockwood Financial Advisors Corp in 1993 and its Generans Bioventures unit, the only biosciences innovation and venture support group in PR, in 1999. The firm has advised McKinsey & Co. on several Puerto Rico transactions in the $500M-$1BN range as well as Abbott, HP Labs. He has extensive experience in new venture governance, corporate strategy, capital raising and transactional experience. He is one of 12 investors in SmartOrg, a Stanford University spinoff supporting biologics and pharma R&D decision analysis rationalization. He is the founding Chairman of the PR Science Technology and Research Trust and former Chairman and co-founder of Grupo Guayacán, General Partner to four Funds of Funds investing in top quartile private equity partnerships in the US and Europe. Former member of the Guayacán Direct Fund’s Advisory Committee managed by Advent-Morro (1996-2009). As former President, Fiscal Agent & Executive Vice President and Assistant to three Presidents of the Government Development Bank for PR he has served as investment banker, credit rating, investor relations and privatization transaction manager.

Board of Advisors

Franklin Prendergast, MD, Ph.D.

Former Director for Research at Mayo Clinic, also former Director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, which he founded, and a scientist with extensive administrative experience. His research priorities include the structure, dynamics and function of proteins, the biochemistry and biophysics of bioluminescence and bio imaging. He is an Eli Lilly and Company Director since 1995, Member of Public Policy & Compliance Committee and Member of Science & Technology Committee. He is also a Director, Chairman of Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee, Member of Audit Committee and Member of Compensation Committee of Cancer Genetics, Inc and a Director of LifeSync Holdings, Inc. and acelerate, Inc. Upon his retirement he remains a Trustee at the Mayo Foundation and a consultant to the Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Department and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Departments. He is a Former Director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute. He obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from Mayo Graduate School, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and his MA and BA (1st Class Honors in Physiology the University of Oxford and his MD with Honors from the University of the West Indies.

Isao Noda, Ph.D.

Chemical engineer, bio engineer and corporate inventor with 55 granted US patents and 34 granted EU patents in the broad area of polymer science and spectroscopy. He is a graduate of Columbia University where he did his BS, MS, M.Phil. and PhD in chemical engineering and bioengineering. He also obtained a D.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Tokyo. He developed the Two-Dimensional Correlation Spectroscopy (2DCOS) algorithm and has applied it to polymer dynamics at the Procter and Gamble Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he serves as Research Fellow after a distinguished career over three decades. He has also been actively involved in the research and development of a novel class of bio-based biodegradable plastics. He is a recipient of the 1991 William F. Meggers Award from the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and the 2002 Williams-Wright Award from the Coblentz Society. In 2002, he was appointed to the position of Honorary Adjunct Professor of the Department of Biological Science and Biotechnology at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He has received numerous honors and awards from the American Chemical Society, Chinese Chemical Society and Chinese Optical Society, New York State Society for Applied Spectroscopy’s Gold Medal, the Bomem-Mechelson Award from the Coblentz Society, and the Ellis R. Lippincott Award jointly from the Optical Society of America, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and the Coblentz Society. He is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Elizabeth Plaza, R.Ph.

Founder and former CEO of Pharma BioServe with operations in Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, California, Madrid, Spain and Limerick, Ireland, is a global executive, investor and expert in compliance with FDA, EMMA, and JPN regulations. Ms. Plaza holds a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, magna cum laude, from the School of Pharmacy of the University of Puerto Rico. Pharma-Bio Serv focuses on regulatory compliance, consulting, quality risk management, technology transfer and quality systems. Other corporate units include Scienza Labs, which provides microbiological and analytical testing, field support, method development, and validation. The Pharma Serv Academy provides technical training and online training; and the Integratek division is responsible for software development, mobile apps development, consulting services, programming services, BI and portal design. She has received numerous industry awards.

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