Our Team

nealsimonNeal G. Simon, Ph.D., CEO, has headed Azevan Pharmaceuticals since 2005. Dr. Simon is the former Chair of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University. A neuroscientist with over 25 years research experience, his research in drug development, hormone-neurotransmitter interactions, and behavioral regulation has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership, the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central PA, the H.F Guggenheim Foundation, and private corporations. He serves on foundation and scientific advisory boards and consults for biotechnology companies. Dr. Simon received a B.A. with honors from the State University of New York at Binghamton, the M.S. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University, and was a National Research Service Postdoctoral Fellow at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 1996, he served as a Distinguished Research Professor at Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France.

Eve M. Damiano, M.S., RAC Sr. VP Operations, has spent over 27 years in the biotechnology industry, focusing on product development and regulatory strategies. Throughout her career, Ms. Damiano has held various professional positions progressing from bench scientist through senior management. Her experience was garnered at companies including Centocor, MedImmune, OraSure Technologies and Vicuron Pharmaceuticals, having served as the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at the latter two companies. She holds a BS degree from California University of Pennsylvania and a MS degree from The Drexel College of Medicine.

michaelbrownsteinMichael Brownstein, Ph.D., M.D., Vice President Drug Development, earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and completed his graduate training at the University of Chicago, where he earned an M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology. He received his clinical training at the Boston Children’s Hospital and then moved to the National Institutes of Health to work with Julius Axelrod, recipient of a Nobel Prize in 1970 for his studies in the field of neuropharmacology. Dr. Brownstein remained at NIH after completing his fellowship, where he served as Chief of the Laboratory of Genetics of the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Human Genome Research Institute. For two years, he was the Scientific Director of the NIMH Intramural Research Program. While at the NIMH/NHGRI, he directed the Brain Molecular Anatomy Project. Simultaneously, he contributed to the Mammalian Gene Collection, a trans-Institutional effort to clone and sequence cDNAs corresponding to all human, mouse, and rat transcripts. Subsequently he directed the functional genomics program at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, MD for three years. Currently he is a Scientist Emeritus at the NIH. He has worked in the fields of neurobiology, neuroendocrinology, biochemical pharmacology, genetics, and genomics; has published more than 300 papers in peer reviewed journals; and has served on major editorial boards and continues to serve on a number of scientific advisory boards. Dr. Brownstein also co-founded several successful bio-pharmaceutical companies.

Geoffrey W. Smith has been an active founder, manager, and investor in healthcare and technology companies since 1995. Geoff currently serves on the Board of Directors of Azevan Pharmaceuticals, Biomerix Corporation, Crosstrees Medical, Inc., and Vivios Pharmaceuticals and is a Board Observer for ARYx Therapeutics and Cara Therapeutics. Geoff also serves on the Board of Trustees for Continuum Health Partners, a nonprofit hospital system in New York City that comprises five historically distinguished hospitals: Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, Roosevelt Hospital, Long Island College Hospital, and The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Earlier in his career, Geoff was a corporate attorney in New York City. Prior to receiving his law degree, he served as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School. Geoff received a B.A. with honors from Williams College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

michaelpaviaDr. Michael Pavia joined Oxford Bioscience Partners as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence in 2002. Prior to joining Oxford, Dr. Pavia was Chief Technology Officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where his major focus was to improve the productivity of the drug discovery and development process through the appropriate use of new technologies. Dr. Pavia has 20 years experience in pharmaceutical research and discovery. He was formerly Vice President-Cambridge Research at Sphinx Pharmaceuticals, a division of Eli Lilly & Co., focusing on the development of combinatorial chemistry technologies. Prior to Sphinx, Dr. Pavia held senior scientific positions in the Department of Chemistry at the Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research Division of Warner-Lambert. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Lehigh University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Paul Maddon is a Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Progenics, where he is the founder and had served in various capacities. Dr. Maddon serves as chair of the advisory committee of The Rockefeller University’s Science Outreach Program and is a member of Rockefeller’s University Council and the Bridges to Better Medicine Committee. He serves as a trustee of Columbia University and is a member of the advisory committee of Columbia’s Science Honors Program. At Columbia, Dr. Maddon was graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in biochemistry and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received an M.D. from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A molecular virologist and immunologist by training, he has made seminal contributions to understanding viral entry and infection.

carterCarter Meyer has been the chief executive officer of Scientific Health Development (SHD) since its formation in February 2006, and is a general partner of its newest fund. Located in Dallas, Texas, SHD is an investment fund focused on earlier-stage life science companies. Mr. Meyer is a director of all SHD portfolio companies. Prior to joining SHD, Mr. Meyer was an attorney in private practice for more than 12 years, most recently with the Dallas office of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. Mr. Meyer has a B.B.A. in finance from Texas Christian University and a J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law.

nealsimonDr. Neal G. Simon, CEO, has headed Azevan Pharmaceuticals since 1999. Dr. Simon is the former Chair of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University. He has over 25 years research experience in behavioral neurobiology. His research in drug development, hormone-neurotransmitter interactions, and behavioral regulation has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Ben Franklin Northeast Tier Technology Partnership, the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central PA, and the H.F Guggenheim Foundation, and private corporations. He serves on foundation and scientific advisory boards and consults for biotechnology companies. Dr. Simon received a B.A. with honors from the State University of New York at Binghamton, the M.S. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University, and was a National Research Service Postdoctoral Fellow at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 1996, he served as a Distinguished Research Professor at Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France.

emilcoccaroEmil F. Coccaro, M.D., is currently the Ellen C. Manning Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago. Dr. Coccaro has been the recipient of various awards, including the A.E. Bennett Award for Outstanding Research (1989) and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill?s Exemplary Psychiatrist Award (1992). He also serves on the editorial boards of several journals, among them International Clinical Psychopharmacology, Journal of Personality Disorders, and Aggression and Violent Behavior. In addition, he is the Impulse Control and Personality Disorders Section Editor for Current Psychiatry Reports. Dr. Coccaro has been the recipient of a number of research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Borderline Personality Disorder Research Foundation, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. Dr. Coccaro is the author or co-author of over 130 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as 175 abstracts and 40 book chapters. He has edited or co-edited three books, most recently, Aggression: Psychiatric Assessment and Treatment, published by Marcel Dekker. He lectures widely on topics such as mood and personality disorders and the neuroscience, neuropsychopharmacology, genetics, and treatment of impulsive aggressive behavior.

Dr. Coccaro received his undergraduate B.S. degree in Biology from Fordham University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1975. He continued his studies at the New York University School of Medicine, completing his M.D. degree in 1979. After a medical internship at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and a psychiatric residency at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, Dr. Coccaro joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1983. In 1989, Dr. Coccaro moved to Philadelphia to found and direct the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit at the MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine. Dr. Coccaro moved to the Pritzker School of Medicine as the Director of the Clinical Neuroscience & Psychopharmacology Research Unit in September 1999. He became Chairman of the Department in November 2004. Dr. Coccaro is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP).

Ned Heindel, Ph.D., is the Howard S. Bunn Chair Professor of Chemistry at Lehigh University where he has conducted research and taught since 1966. At Lehigh, Dr. Heindel’s research has involved the development of diagnostic and therapeutic products under the support of nine pharmaceutical companies, three federal agencies, and four foundations. He has consulted in big and small pharma, and has mentored 40 doctoral students, 131 M.S. students, and 23 postdoctoral fellows most of whom undertook careers inside the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Heindel has served on two corporate boards, five science advisory boards, three editorial boards, and four professional boards.

In 1994, Dr. Heindel served as national President of the American Chemical Society. His awards have included two honorary doctorates, the Robinson Award , the Briody Award, the L. W. Brady Cancer Achievement Award, the Henry Hill Award in Medicinal Chemistry, the Mosher Award for Contributions to Chemistry, and the Ben Franklin Partnership Award for Corporate Collaborations. He holds a PhD from the University of Delaware and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University.