Our management team has decades of experience leading successful initiatives in pharmaceutical discovery, development, and commercialization.

Daniel M. Schmitt    President & CEO

Mr. Schmitt brings over 30 years of successful industry experience in operations management, new product development, and business development, having held senior executive positions in both large pharmaceutical and small biotechnology companies, including Fujisawa, Searle / Pharmacia, and Ilex Oncology. During his career, Daniel has led and contributed to the successful development and launch of over 12 pharmaceutical products, and has constructed and executed numerous high value licensing, acquisition, and development deals for biotech and pharmaceutical companies totaling nearly $1 billion in upfront and potential milestone payments.

Mr. Schmitt received his M.B.A and a B.S. in Chemistry and Theoretical Mathematics from West Virginia University, and has held research positions affiliated with the National Foundation for Cancer Research and at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He has served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Northwestern University, and as an external expert consultant for the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois-Chicago. Mr. Schmitt is also a founding member of Chicago Innovation Mentors.

Francis J. Giles, MB, MD, FRCPI, FRCPath     Chief Medical Officer

As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Giles is responsible for advancing Actuate’s research and development initiatives, leading the clinical programs, and supporting external collaborations and strategic partnerships. Dr. Giles previously served as Director of Developmental Therapeutics at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Center of Northwestern University where he has also served as Deputy Director and as Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He previously served as Deputy Director of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center, San Antonio, and Chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Director of the Institute for Drug Development. His prior positions include serving as Chairman, Clinical Research Committee, and Professor in the Division of Cancer Medicine at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; and as a faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Giles has led the development of novel drugs, immunotherapies, and other highly targeted approaches, including cancer-directed viruses, monoclonal antibodies, and molecularly directed agents. He has served as principal investigator on numerous national and international First in Human, Phase I, II, and III clinical studies of many novel agents, and has extensive global regulatory and reimbursement experience.

Andrew P. Mazar, Ph.D.    Scientific Co-Founder

Dr. Mazar serves as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence and the Director, Center for Developmental Therapeutics (CDT) within the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern University.  Prior to joining Northwestern University, Dr. Mazar was the Chief Scientific Officer at Attenuon, LLC in San Diego and led discovery and development efforts resulting in three drugs entering oncology clinical trials.

Dr. Mazar is the Chair of the NCI Nano Alliance Animal Model working group and a member of the NHLBI Scientific Review Board (SRB) for the SMARTT program, serves as Associate Editor for Recent Patent Reviews on Anti – Cancer Drug Discovery and is a member of the editorial board of Clinical Cancer Research.  He is also the co-author of 99 peer reviewed publications and 16 reviews and book chapters.  Dr. Mazar has founded or advised several start-up companies over the past 5 years and has been involved in raising >$120M in investment and partnership capital for these entities. 

Ludimila Cavalcante, MD    Lead, Medical Affairs

As Lead, Medical Affairs, Dr. Cavalcante is responsible for advancing Actuate’s clinical research and development initiatives. She is particularly focused on supporting external academic and industry collaborations and optimizing conduct of clinical operations.

Dr. Cavalcante has previously served as Principal Investigator on the 1801 first-in-human study at the Miami Cancer Institute where she served as leader of the phase one program in solid tumors. Dr. Cavalcante completed her internal medicine training at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, in Miami, FL, and her oncology fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison. She has a strong background in drug development and completed a fellowship in developmental therapeutics at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Her specific interests include immune-modulatory therapies and the full spectrum of oncology therapeutic drug development from pre-IND to global approval reimbursement.

Richard Kenley, Ph.D.    Vice President, Chemistry, Manufacturing, & Controls

Dr. Kenley’s career as an entrepreneur and senior business executive includes former President and CEO of Eurofins Advantar Laboratories; President of Pharmaceutical Development Business Unit of Cardinal Health; Senior VP and General Manager of the San Diego Facility of Magellan (acquired by Cardinal Health); and Founder and General Manager of Cabrillo Laboratories (acquired by Magellan). He is a recognized industry leader with experience in R&D, start-up and in multinational corporate environments with expertise in small molecule, peptide and protein therapeutics, drug delivery systems and manufacturing.

Dr. Kenley’s early career included positions as Senior VP of Product Development at Amylin Pharmaceuticals; Director of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Genetics Institute; Associate Director of Chemistry R&D, Baxter Healthcare Corp.; Department Head, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Syntex Research; and Section Head, Medical Chemistry, Stanford Research Institute, International.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pharmaceutical Scientists, has four patents, and more than 60 peer-reviewed research publications

Andrey Ugolkov (Ougolkov), MD, Ph.D.     Scientific Advisor

Dr. Ugolkov is a Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Developmental Therapeutics, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University and is a recognized expert on GSK-3 research in oncology.  Through his research, Dr. Ugolkov identified GSK-3 as a viable new therapeutic target in human cancer. Dr. Ugolkov brings extensive experience in clinical oncology, pathology and cancer research including establishment of heterotopic, orthotopic and metastatic xenograft tumor models. He is widely published in peer reviewed journals on the identification of new therapeutic targets in human cancer, and in pre-clinical testing of new anticancer drugs including GSK-3 inhibitors.

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