John H. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer & Director
John H. Johnson is a recognized leader in the biopharmaceutical industry with more than three decades of experience. He was most recently the CEO of Strongbridge Biopharma plc prior to its acquisition by Xeris Biopharma Holdings. Mr. Johnson has held executive management roles at leading global corporations, including Johnson & Johnson, where he spent the majority of career. He served as the Company Group Chairman of Biopharmaceuticals within Johnson & Johnson, where he was responsible for the Johnson & Johnson Biotechnology, Immunology and Oncology commercial businesses. Mr. Johnson also served as President of Eli Lilly & Company’s Worldwide Oncology Unit, following the company’s 2008 acquisition of ImClone Systems, Inc., where he served as CEO and a member of ImClone’s Board of Directors. John is also an experienced Director having served on numerous boards across industry, biotech, and biopharmaceutical services companies. Mr. Johnson is currently Chairman of Autolus Therapeutics (AUTL), and a Director of Xeris Biopharma Holdings, Inc. (XERS), Axogen (AXGN), and Verastem Oncology (VSTM). Mr. Johnson was also a Board member of BioAgilytix during Cobepa’s investment period.
Haiching Ma, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Ma joined Reaction Biology in 2001 as employee number one. He is the Chief Science Officer, where he developed and implemented the current Reaction Biology technology and service platforms. Dr. Ma is the Principal Investigator for multiple SBIR awards and an RO1 award from NIH all Reaction Biology totaling over $12 million, and which cover research topics including assay development for human kinome and epigenome targets, toxicity predictions, chemical microarray HTS and cell death prevention that reduce side effects from radiation therapies. Dr. Ma is serving as a national Steering Committee Member for the NIH National Cancer Institute’s Chemical Biology Consortium. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the Medical School of The University of Pennsylvania and continued his postdoc training there in the Institute for Medicine and Engineering.
Sebastian Dempe, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Germany
Sebastian Dempe is biologist by training and received his doctorate degree from the German Cancer Research Center/ University of Heidelberg in 2010 where he was exploiting the capacity of parvovirus H1, currently tested in clinical studies, for the virotherapy of cancer using various preclinical research models. Starting his career in Business Development at ProQinase (2011-2014), he was later appointed as Executive Director Business Development of Crown Bioscience, Inc., leading the company’s European Business Development team until June 2019. Sebastian re-joined ProQinase as CEO/ Managing Director on July 01, 2019.
Richard S. Kollender
Chief Financial Officer & Chief Business Officer
Mr. Kollender has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Reaction Biology, he served as Strongbridge BioPharma’s President and Chief Financial Officer and was responsible for strengthening the company’s financial position and footprint as a successful rare disease organization until it was acquired by Xeris Biopharma, Inc., in October 2021. From 2003, he served first as a Principal and then as Partner of Quaker Partners Management, LP, a healthcare investment firm. In addition, from August 2016 through September 2018, he served as Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Rapid Micro Biosystems, a Quaker Partners’ portfolio company, where he played a key role in the business expansion and adoption of the company’s Growth Direct™ System. Previously, he held positions in sales, marketing, and worldwide business development at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and served as investment manager at its corporate venture capital arm, S.R. One. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant, initially with KPMG. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Restorative Therapies. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Rapid Micro Biosystems (NASDAQ: RPID) and as an adjunct faculty member at Lehigh University. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Strongbridge BioPharma, Insmed, NuPathe, Inc., and Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in addition to several other privately held companies. He holds an MBA and a certificate degree in the graduate program in health administration and policy, both from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in accounting from Franklin and Marshall College.
Chief of Staff to the CEO
Neena Marano is an experienced client services, human resources, and operations professional and has been with Reaction Biology since 2014. Throughout her time with the Company, she has supported a diverse number of business functions, including marketing, customer service, IT, HR, recruiting, and facilities management. She most recently served as Associate Director, Business Operations & HR, where she planned, directed, and coordinated company-wide operations, facilitated business improvements, and worked closely with the EC and senior leadership teams. She also led the full recruiting and onboarding process for new employees. Prior to this role, she served as Business Operations Manager, where she worked to improve processes, streamline operations, increase productivity, and manage/support various departments, including HR and Client Service. Neena was previously in the role of Systems Administrator, where she worked directly with the CIO to manage technical support operations, train employees, and manage all computer networks. She has held roles of increasing seniority in the Marketing and Client Service group, responsible for staffing, training, and managing the group, executing marketing campaigns, and acting as a client service representative. Neena holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bard College and is currently pursuing a Master of Business degree at West Chester University.
Eric S. Bodle, PhD
Vice President, Global Scientific Operations
Dr. Bodle brings more than 16 years’ experience in the CRO industry. Dr. Bodle will help strengthen and develop the biochemistry organization’s processes and procedures allowing for continued growth while maintaining the highest quality science.
Prior to joining Reaction Biology, Dr. Bodle was the General Manager of Eurofins Agroscience Services, responsible for Eurofins’ largest environmental toxicology laboratory in the U.S. He also previously served as the Assistant Director of Analytical Chemistry and Formulation Sciences at WIL Research Laboratories.
Dr. Bodle holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Akron and an MBA from the University of Maryland Smith School of Business.
Vice President, Corporate Development
Andrew Khouri brings over 15 years of experience in strategy and finance across the life sciences industry. Before joining Reaction Biology, he was with Rapid Micro Biosystems, where he was responsible for corporate strategy and led multiple private and public financings. Prior to Rapid Micro, he was Vice President at Quaker Partners, a healthcare investment firm, where he focused on investments across the spectrum of the healthcare industry, including biopharmaceuticals, medtech, life science tools, and digital health companies. He began his career as a strategy consultant with Leerink Swann, advising global pharmaceutical companies on strategy development, commercial planning, and organizational restructurings. Andrew holds a BA in Biology from Harvard University.
Vice President of Quality
Mike Krsulich brings over 15 years of experience leading cGxP quality management activities involving quality system development and technical quality oversight to Reaction Biology. Mike has worked in collaboration with domestic and international teams including external strategic partners to successfully progress small molecule, large molecule, cell and gene therapies as well as medical device programs from pre-clinical development through to commercialization. Mike is focused on leading the quality function by developing a harmonized global quality strategy and implementing best operating practices. Prior to joining Reaction Biology, Mike was most recently Senior Director of GxP Quality Assurance at Renovacor, Inc. prior to its acquisition by Rocket Pharmaceuticals and previously Senior Director of GMP Quality Assurance at Galera Therapeutics. Earlier in his career, Mike held positions of increasing cGxP quality assurance responsibilities at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Eisai Inc., OPK Biotech, LLC., Globus Medical Inc., WuXi AppTec, Inc., and McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Mike holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Kurumi Horiuchi, PhD
Senior Director of Biochemistry, USA
Kurumi Horiuchi, PhD joined Reaction Biology in 2004. She is responsible for assay development and handles orders for custom biochemical assay development, including kinetic analysis for mechanism of action studies. Previously, she held positions as an enzymologist in the Enzymology Department at DuPont Merck, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she was involved in all stages of drug discovery, from target identification to clinical studies, including HTS, SAR, and mode of action studies for lead compounds. As an enzymologist, she focused specifically on difficult enzymes and problem compounds and developed assays for kinetic analyses in areas including cancer, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and antibacterial and antiviral therapies. Dr. Horiuchi holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the School of Science and Engineering at Waseda University. She completed postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on smooth muscle regulation.
Jamin Steffen, PhD
Associate Director of Biochemical Assay Services
Jamin Steffen joined RBC in 2022 and leads a team that performs target-specific assays to support customer projects. He received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Arizona, and post-doctoral training as a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA fellow from Thomas Jefferson University, studying structural and molecular effects of PARP inhibitors. Jamin has also worked with biotech start-up companies leading various cancer-related research projects.
Ekaterina Kuznetsova, PhD
Vice President, Product Development, USA
Ekaterina Kuznetsova, PhD joined Reaction Biology in 2014 from Structure Genomic Foundation, with initial concentration on developing new assays and protein products for epigenetic targets, with all these years growing with Reaction Biology, she has lead the protein group and involving heavily in assay development both based on customer requests for special targets and internal R&D development plans. Under her leadership, Reaction Biology offers hundreds proteins for internal customer services and for customer researches, she made significant contributions in building Reaction Biology’s broad targets portfolios, and helped Reaction Biology to become one of the world leading CROs in drug discovery services for Epigenetic targets and the hot Ras pathways.
Michael Kubbutat, PhD
Head of Biochemical Drug Discovery and Head of Drug Development, Germany
Michael Kubbutat studied biology and cell biology and obtained his Ph.D. at the Research Center Borstel, Germany. In 1994, Michael Kubbutat started post-doctoral studies at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (London, UK) in the group of Prof. Karen Vousden. Together with the group of Prof. Vousden, he moved in 1995 to the National Cancer Institute, Frederick, USA. In 1999 he joined the Tumor Biology Center Freiburg, Germany first as a group leader (Molecular Cell Biology), and later as Head of the Target Identification & Validation Department. In 2001 he joined ProQinase as Head of R&D. Since 2010, Michael Kubbutat is Head of Biochemical Drug Discovery & Head of Drug Development at Reaction Biology Europe.
Holger Weber, PhD
Head of In Vivo Pharmacology, Project Management & Internal Innovations
Holger Weber studied biology and obtained his Ph.D. at the Max-Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg, Germany. In 2001 he joined the research group of Prof. Augustin at the Tumor Biology Center, Freiburg. The scientific focus and interest during that time was the field of angiogenesis, first as a Post-Doc, later as a group leader. In 2007 he left basic research and started to work at ProQinase as a group leader in the Department of Cellular Drug Discovery. Since 2014, Holger Weber is Head of In Vivo Pharmacology responsible for the resorts Project Management and Internal Innovations.
Cynthia Obodozie, DVM, PhD
Vice President, Operations
After completing her veterinary studies in Berlin, Germany, Cynthia wrote her doctoral thesis at the pharmaceutical company Bayer (formerly Schering AG, Berlin) in the preclinical oncology department in the field of antiestrogens and their anti-tumor effects on endometrial cancer. As a postdoc, Cynthia joined the research group of Prof. Augustin at the Tumor Biology Center, Freiburg, with a focus on tumor angiogenesis. Then she switched to ProQinase GmbH and worked as a senior scientist and later as a group leader in the in vivo pharmacology department. In the additional position as Head of Animal facility, she takes care of the concerns of the animals, the equipment, and the staff as well as the official regulations regarding animal studies. Since 2020, Cynthia Obodozie is Head of In Vivo Pharmacology responsible for the resorts Project Management and Animal Affairs.
Jan Ehlert, PhD
Head of Cellular Drug Discovery, Germany
Jan Erik Ehlert is cell biologist by training and has gained his PhD at the Research Center Borstel, Germany, in the field of chemokine biology in innate immunology. During his Postdoc studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he extended his scientific focus on the relevance of angiogenesis in lung cancer. In the year 2001, Jan Ehlert joined ProQinase as group leader in the field of target identification and validation in cancer biology. Since 2010, he is member of the management team at ProQinase as Head of the Department of Cellular Drug Discovery. His team is specialized on cellular assay systems in oncology, cellular screening and 3D assay systems. Jan Ehlert is co-inventor in several patents on compound classes issued to treat kinase-related cancer diseases.
Christian Loch, MPH, PhD
Director of Kinase Assay Services
Christian Loch joined RBC in 2023 as Director of Kinase Assay Services and manages the team responsible for the company’s signature Hotspot drug-screening assay. Previously, he served as Co-founder, Chief Executive and Science Officer of AVMBioMed, a CRO specialized in proteomic assays informative to post-translational modification and protein expression. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Director of Research & Development at LifeSensors, a biotechnology company focused on the ubiquitin pathway. Dr. Loch has over 15 years industry experience and has successfully commercialized various reagents and assays. He received his PhD from the University of Virginia studying epigenetics, a Master’s in Public Health Epidemiology from the University of Washington and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. In addition to his professional work, Christian has maintained involvement with the academic community, serving as Adjunct Professor at Villanova University, Executive Advisory Council Member at James Madison University, and Visiting Lecturer at West Chester University.
Jianghong Wu, PhD
Director Of Cell Biology
Jianghong Wu, PhD joined RBC in 2012 and leads a team that performs kinase cell-based target engagement assays and other cell-based customer services. Dr. Wu has extensive experience in cell biology, molecular biology, and drug screening studies, and has over 20 years of research experience. He holds a Ph.D. degree in immunology from Nagoya University, Japan and did postdoctoral studies at the University of Toronto, and Thomas Jefferson University.
Safnas F. AbdulSalam, PhD
Director of Assay Development, USA
Safnas F. AbdulSalam joined Reaction Biology in 2019 and manages assay development activities from special customer requests and from internal research projects. She holds a PhD degree in Chemistry from University of Cincinnati, and postdoctoral training in Indiana University School of Medicine, where she optimized and executed high throughput screening assays to identify small molecule glycogen synthase inhibitors as potential therapeutics for glycogen storage disorders.
Charles Schmidt, PhD
Director of Biophysics
Charles Schmidt, PhD joined RBC in 2021 as associate director of biophysics. He received his PhD in Biophysics from the University of Virginia with a background in protein structure determination by NMR and biophysical assay development. Following his graduate work, he held positions at Progenra, Inc. and LifeSensors, Inc., with a focus on SPR and TSA assay development and HTS centered on the ubiquitin-proteasome system.
Julian Wooltorton, PhD
Associate Director of In Vitro Safety
Julian Wooltorton joins us as the Associate Director of In Vitro Safety. He has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of London, UK and Merck Sharp & Dohme Neuroscience Research Centre. He has over 20 years of research experience and joins us from Delaware State University. Julian is a member of the electrophysiology group; he will be the key scientist to manage customer projects related to ion channels and in vitro toxicity tests.