Leadership

Dr. Dean Y. Maeda

  • PhD, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Oregon State University, 1997
  • BS, Chemistry, Willamette University, 1990
  • Current Role: Director of Chemistry and Preclinical Development
  • Joined Syntrix: 2002

Dr. Maeda has been with Syntrix for over 10 years, and during that time, has acted as lead medicinal chemist on a number of drug development projects.  During his tenure, Dr. Maeda fostered key collaborations with prominent scientists in academia and industry to further preclinical development milestones.  Dr. Maeda is the Principal Investigator on a multi-year SBIR grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which has led to the identification and preclinical advancement of SX-682 as a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.  Dr. Maeda was also responsible for the optimization of processes utilized in the synthesis of Phase II candidate, (L/D)-aminopterin.  Dr. Maeda still leads preclinical lead optimization efforts at the bench, and he has over 20+ years of hands-on chemical research experience.  As a supporter for chemical education, Dr. Maeda also closely oversees the Syntrix internship program, instructing select college students in the chemistry behind small molecule drug development.  Dr. Maeda was an invited speaker at the 2013 NHLBI Regional Innovation Conference held in San Francisco.

Dr. John Zebala

  • MD, Cornell Medical College, 1993
  • PhD, Molecular Biology, Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1993
  • Current Role(s): President, Chief Executive Officer
  • Joined Syntrix: 2001

Dr. Zebala has led Syntrix from a basic research organization to a clinical-stage company.  During his 10+ year tenure with the company, he was responsible for establishing company direction and bringing company drug assets into Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical studies.  Dr. Zebala was directly responsible for successfully authoring, submitting and opening Investigational New Drug (IND) applications with the FDA; navigating pre-IND and other post-IND Type B meetings with the FDA; designing and managing the toxicology studies that supported IND applications; directing the manufacture and supply of drug in compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practice; authoring and implementing Phase 1 and 2 clinical trial protocols and securing Institutional Review Board approval; securing National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding as Principal Investigator on over $20 million in grants to the company and $30 million in private financing; and securing deal discussions over these assets with several pharmaceutical companies.  He is an inventor on over 20 issued or pending US patents, and author to more than 25 peer reviewed scientific articles.  Dr. Zebala has served as an invited reviewer on numerous NIH study sections and review groups concerning drug development and therapeutics.  He is the recipient of several research prizes and scientific awards including the David Roger Health Policy Colloquium Award from the Weill Cornell Medical College in 2011.  Dr. Zebala was invited speaker at the National Cancer Institute investor forum at Boston University in 2009.  Prior to joining Syntrix, Dr. Zebala developed foundational microarray technology for genomic analysis.

Dr. Stuart Kahn

  • MD, New Jersey Medical School, 1985
  • M.S. Biochemistry, Rutgers, 1993
  • Current Role: Medical Director
  • Joined Syntrix: 2007

Dr. Kahn oversees the clinical operations at Syntrix.  When Dr. Kahn first joined Syntrix he organized the company’s clinical team to enable clinical product development.  The clinical team includes members who perform protocol development, data management, statistical support, site and subject recruitment, clinical site monitoring, quality assurance, clinical report writing, IRB submissions, and support of FDA submissions.  The clinical operations team is now advancing clinical programs for the treatment of chronic inflammation and pain.  The chronic inflammation program is engaged in running or planning phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3 clinical trials.  The pain program is initiating early phase clinical trials.  Under Dr. Kahn’s guidance the clinical trial team has obtained funding for the clinical trial operations from the US National Institutes of Health and private investors.  Dr. Kahn has authored 35 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and has served as an invited reviewer for several NIH study sections, other funding agencies, and numerous scientific journals that span his expertise in chronic inflammation and drug development.  Dr. Kahn is the recipient of several scientific awards including a Burroughs Welcome New Investigator Award.  Prior to joining Syntrix Dr. Kahn contributed fundamental insights into the relationship of microbial pathogens and the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory disease.