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Armand B. Cognetta III

Armand B. Cognetta III ****completed his PhD in Chemical Biology at the Scripps Research Institute under the supervision of Dr. Benjamin Cravatt. There he co-authored 19 scientific publications in prestigious journals such as Cell, Nature, and Science, as well as multiple patents, including a portion of the foundational IP for Abide Therapeutics (acq. Lundbeck) and Vividion Therapeutics (acq. Bayer).

Armand then joined the Flagship Pioneering start-up Inzen Therapeutics, where he built the company’s proteomics-based drug discovery platform for novel cell-death signaling factors from the ground up. After Inzen, he went through Y Combinator’s W20 batch to develop the next generation of induced-proximity medicines at Weatherwax Biotechnologies, where he currently serves as the founder and CEO. In his free time he likes to advise other biotechnology start-ups and do Type 2 fun activities like triathlons and ultra-marathons.

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Matthias Pauthner

Matthias, a Fulbright Scholar to the US, did his graduate work on HIV vaccine design and therapeutic antibody discovery in the lab of antibody-legend Dennis Burton at Scripps Research. He has published 40+ papers in journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Cell, and Immunity, and developed the first reliable vaccination protocol to induce neutralizing antibodies to clinical HIV isolates in nonhuman primates. He went on to show that such vaccine-induced antibodies were causal and sufficient to protect rhesus monkeys from HIV infection, a milestone in the HIV vaccine field.

After his PhD, Matthias joined Kristian Andersen's lab at Scripps Research, a preeminent expert on viral epidemiology and COVID-19 adviser to the National Academy of Sciences, where he worked on the systems immunology and genomic epidemiology of Ebola and Lassa Fever. He was the lead scientific coordinator for two large-scale HIV/Ebola response consortia with ~$100M in NIH funding, and took numerous trips to Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and DRC to build out clinical surveillance programs there. Most recently, Matthias was on the ground in DRC during the 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak where he and his team showed for the first time that Ebola survivors can systemically relapse many months after they recover from initial infection.

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Corentine Laurin

Corentine M. C. Laurin received her Medicinal Chemistry Masters from Glasgow University working on the synthesis of mitochondrial prodrugs with Dr. Richard Hartley. She completed her PhD at Oxford University, working on bromodomain inhibitors and assay development in the lab of Dr. Stuart Conway for the treatment of Chagas disease, leading to the publication of multiple papers on the development and optimisation of ligands for various epigenetic targets. Her scientific training included industry experience at Hoffmann-la Roche where she elucidated the SAR of an antiviral series, and at GlaxoSmithKline where she designed and synthesized fluorescent probes for T. cruzi bromodomains.

Corentine then went on to perform her postdoctoral studies at Yale in the lab of Dr. Craig Crews, where she led ligand discovery efforts for an undruggable target and worked on the design and synthesis of three separate heterobifunctional modalities (including PROTACs and molecular glue prodrugs). As a scientist at Weatherwax, Corentine is in charge of designing new molecules, prioritizing targets and analyzing biological data. She leads compound optimization (efficacy, PK/PD, etc) and also manages our CRO team remotely. In her spare time, Corentine likes to hike, dance, and learn new languages.

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Michael Baksh

Mike’s doctoral work was in the Groves lab at UC Berkeley; a combination of colloid and membrane biophysics, microscopy, and surface chemistry. Most notably, he showed that phase transitions of micron-sized, membrane-coated silica beads could be related to molecular interactions on membrane surfaces and between membrane-associated species. During his postdoc at Scripps, under M.G. Finn, his repertoire expanded to the study of RNA, viral nanoparticles, directed evolution, bioconjugation and biophysical assay development. In collaboration with the Bornhop Lab at Vanderbilt, Mike was instrumental in the development and validation of the backscattering interferometry (BSI) as a highly-sensitive, matrix-agnostic method of observing endpoint molecular interactions. This particular technique led to his subsequent position at Georgia Tech, where he continued to develop novel biophysical methods to investigate the gut microbiome (Nod2) and cystic fibrosis (CFTR). Mike also served as a member of the Petit Scholar's program, helping elite undergraduate students pursue independent scientific research projects.

Prior to joining Weatherwax, Mike was a scientist in Takeda’s biophysics group in Drug Discovery Sciences. His responsibilities ranged from strategic planning of assay development for early hit generation (screening), management of multiple CRO collaborations, and performing pilot lab work on critical targets. Much of his work has been focused around his biophysical science and leadership; obtaining high-quality data and focusing external personnel to drive projects and remove bottlenecks. He has been an integral part of core teams, providing biophysical support that has taken projects from discovery to clinical stages. As a scientist at Weatherwax, Mike is helping to establish a program for robust biophysical validation and hit-finding of small molecule therapeutics.

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Veronica Fulton

Veronica Fulton received her BA (summa cum laude) in Economics, Political Science and French from Vanderbilt University. Veronica went on to complete her Juris Doctor at Harvard Law School. During law school, Veronica worked as a teaching fellow in the Department of Economics at Harvard University, teaching micro and macro economics, and was awarded a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. She also served as an Article Editor for the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology and interned at a legal tech startup.

After law school, Veronica worked as an associate at two Big Law firms, where her practice focused on private equity, venture capital and hedge fund matters varying in size from $10 million to $4 billion. Veronica’s legal work included formation, fundraising, governance, operation and compliance of open- and closed-end funds. Veronica is now Chief of Staff at Weatherwax Biotechnologies where she supports the founders and leads people, legal and ops initiatives. In her free time, Veronica likes to watch F1, take hot yoga classes, and play with her cats.

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