TEAM  BIOS

Andrew Koff, PhD

 

President & Founder

Andrew has been at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for over 25 years, where he started the Laboratory of Cell Cycle Regulation and holds the title of full Member (equivalent to tenured full professor). Andrew is internationally recognized for his work describing the mechanism by which cells make the decision to proliferate or withdraw from the cell cycle into a non-proliferative state, and the outcome of losing this control during normal development and in cancer in all tissues.  His earlier discoveries surrounding the identification and function of the cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors resulted in more than 90 peer-reviewed papers, as well as 12 patents and have opened up a number of additional fields of research and drug development. 

Andrew founded Atropos and became an entrepreneur because he is passionate about the science behind it. Over the last few years, Andrew’s attention has turned to understanding the decision made by cells after they withdraw from the cell cycle. Andrew has published on the first genes and proteins controlling this differentiation process called senescence after growth arrest (SAGA, or geroconversion). He firmly believes the molecular understanding of this pathway is important for improving upon the effectiveness of CDK4 inhibitors to treat patients with cancer, and might allow for the identification of compounds that could also limit the onset of many age-related morbidities. Through Atropos, Andrew has taken his seminal discoveries further to devise a proprietary, phenotypic screening drug discovery platform called FATES.

Andrew has received approximately $12M in funding from various sources including the National Institute of General Medicine, the National Cancer Institute, and philanthropic agencies.  His current distinctions include the Pew Foundation and Irma T. Hirschl Scholar. Andrew was also a past recipient of the Boyer Young Investigator Award and the Frederick R. Adler Chair at his academic institution. Andrew has been named as one of the top 250 highly cited researchers in Molecular Biology and Genetics by the Institute for Scientific Information.

 

William D. Tap, MD

 

Vice President & Co-founder

William D. Tap, MD is the Chief of the Sarcoma Medical Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He is a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of patients with soft tissue and bone sarcomas. Bill has extensive experience in translational medicine as it applies to oncology and early drug development. He is an expert in developing therapeutic strategies in rare diseases and neoplasms, incorporating basic science research, correlative science, clinical medicine, and health outcomes tools. Bill’s academic research interests are focused on understanding the genetic and molecular nuances of sarcoma with an emphasis on identifying and validating therapeutic targets, treatment biomarkers, and modeling drug resistance. He is also focused on understanding cellular gerocoversion and its application to clinical medicine. Bill received his Medical Degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and performed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, and his fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

 
 

Nathanie Trisnadi, PhD

 

Director of Laboratory Operations & Research Scientist

Nathanie established the lab at Atropos and is currently conducting research to translate discoveries in senescence after growth arrest into therapeutic drugs. She has experience in developing assays, particularly in imaging, and adapting these methods for different systems. Her work with advanced microscopy techniques and quantitative image analysis helped progress Atropos’ FATES platform towards drug discovery. Nathanie received her B.A. from the University of California - Berkeley and her Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Atropos, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Ethan Than, MBA

Head of Business Development and Partnership

Bringing 15 years of drug development experience spanning operations, business development and strategic partnership at both large (Pfizer) and emergent (FibroGen) companies, Ethan joins Atropos Therapeutics as its Head of Business Development and Partnership. Ethan is an advisor to early stage companies focused on aging therapeutics, digital health and AI healthcare diagnostics while also serving as a mentor in the FAST accelerator program of the California Life Sciences Institute. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Haverford College and his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

 

Harsha Agarwal, PhD

 

Laboratory Scientist

Harsha joined us after completing her PhD in Biophysics at Ulm University, Germany using single molecule in vivo approaches focused on measuring the interactions of chromatin binding proteins in different cellular states to determine how chromatin domains are established.  These proteins and the domains that they form are fundamentally important for gene expression and replication and contribute to the establishment of the senescent state.  She will be leveraging this experience at Atropos Therapeutics to identify compounds that can modulate the senescent state through the FATES platform and seek to develop additional high content assay tools for this purpose.

 

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