Class Notes: Fall 2022

Published in Hopkins Medicine - Fall 2022


Warren C. Lovinger, of Nevada, Missouri, received the 2021–22 National Claypoole Award from the American College of Physicians at its annual meeting in Chicago in April 2022. This award recognizes a physician who has spent a long career (40 years for Lovinger) treating patients in a community, while also serving in other ways to advance that community and the medical profession.


Mario D. Saltarelli (Ph.D., neuropharmacology, 1989), of Tiburon, California, was appointed chief executive officer and chief medical officer of GABA Therapeutics Inc. in April 2022. Saltarelli has held primarily senior executive roles at companies such as Pfizer, Abbott (AbbVie), Annexon and Syntimmune.

In September 2022, Selwyn Vickers became the president and chief executive officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Most recently, Vickers was chief executive officer of both the University of Alabama Health System and of the University of Alabama/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance, while at the same time serving as senior vice president for medicine and dean of the University of Alabama Heersink School of Medicine.


Carolyn Meltzer became the dean of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in March 2022. Meltzer had been the William P. Timmie Professor and chair of the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Emory University.


An expert in the development of immune-modulating drugs and nanoparticles, Curtis Ruegg (Ph.D., pharmacology and molecular sciences, 1990), of the San Francisco Bay Area, was appointed chief development officer and chief operating officer of NaNotics LLC in April 2022. Ruegg will support the development and commercialization of NaNots, a unique nanomedical platform for treating various diseases via depletion of molecular drivers from blood.


Nathan J. Rudin, of Madison, Wisconsin, works in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, partly in pain medicine and a large part in diagnosing and treating patients with Ehlers–Danlos syndromes. Rudin’s wife, Felice Borisy-Rudin (Ph.D., neuroscience, 1992), J.D., is a policy analyst for the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project at the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Comprehensive Injury Center.


In December 2021, Christopher Garcia (Ph.D.) and his team at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Stanford University were the first lab to solve the full-length structure of a Janus kinase, a crucial signaling molecule. Garcia is a structural biologist with expertise in cytokines. His lab inspired the creation of Synthekine, a biotech company that develops selective therapeutics using engineered cytokines. It signed a potential $1 billion research tie-up with Merck & Co. in late 2021.

Michael Severino joined Flagship Pioneering as chief executive officer–partner and chief executive officer of one of its companies, Tessera Therapeutics, in spring 2022. Tessera uses a new category of genome engineering technology, called gene writing, to write curative therapeutic messages into the genome. Most recently, Severino was vice chairman and president of AbbVie Inc., concentrating in the areas of hematologic oncology, immunology, neuroscience, genetics and genomics, computational biology and precision medicine.


In April 2022, Traci Brooks was named the chief of pediatrics of Cambridge Health Alliance, a community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north communities. She had served as the interim chief since September 2021. Since joining CHA in 2000, Brooks has held nearly every pediatric leadership position across CHA, most recently serving as the medical director at both CHA Cambridge Pediatrics and the system’s three school-based health centers in Cambridge, Everett and Somerville.

Stephen K. Doberstein (Ph.D.) was appointed as a Class I director to the board of directors of Forte Biosciences Inc. in May 2022. Doberstein has been a principal of Kahiliholo Consulting, LLC, since February 2020 and previously served as senior vice president and chief scientific fellow of Nektar Therapeutics Inc. from October 2019 to March 2020.


Gwendolyn Binder (Ph.D.), was promoted to president of science and technology at Cabaletta Bio in January 2022. As one of Cabaletta’s first employees in 2019, Binder established and currently leads the preclinical, translational, manufacturing and quality teams. Prior to joining Cabaletta, Binder held positions at Adaptimmune, the Translational Research Program at the University of Pennsylvania and VIRxSYS Corporation. In addition, she serves on the board of directors of Instil Bio Inc. and on the scientific advisory board for Immatics N.V.


In April 2022, Nurjana Bachman (Ph.D.) was appointed senior vice president for corporate development and strategy at ROME Therapeutics, which is using the repeatome to develop new therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases. Most recently, Bachman was vice president of biopharma and corporate alliances at Foundation Medicine. She has also held positions at Claritas Genomics and at Boston Children’s Hospital.


Lefei Sun (M.A.) was appointed non-executive director of HUTCHMED in May 2022. The biopharmaceutical company develops and commercializes targeted therapies and immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and immunological diseases. Sun has been a managing director and head of health care for General Atlantic’s China region since 2018, directing its private equity investment and portfolio management in the health care and life sciences sectors.


Protara Therapeutics appointed Jathin Bandari, a practicing urologic oncologist, as its chief medical officer in January 2022. Before joining Protara in April 2020 as vice president, head of clinical development, Bandari was at the University of Rochester, where he maintains a faculty appointment.


Hwajin Lee (Ph.D.) is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Uppthera, a pharmaceutical venture company headquartered in Songdo, South Korea. The company raised KRW 28 billion ($22.14 million) of Series B venture funding from IMM Investment, SBI Investment Korea Company and Enlight Ventures in May of 2022. Albatross Investment, Paratus Investment, Meritz Securities and KDB Capital also participated in the round. As of May 2022, Uppthera has raised $34.88 million.


Arun K. Das was promoted from executive director of new product planning and business development to chief business officer of Cabaletta Bio in January 2022. Prior to joining Cabaletta in 2019, Das was a resident physician in general pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs, and a business development and operations consultant for several biotech startups.

Fellows and house staff

Gordon Klein (pediatrics, 1976–78) continues his work as senior scientist and adjunct professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. In 2021, he became editor-in-chief of the new section on parathyroid disorders, mineral metabolism and bone function for the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute in Basel, Switzerland, and in early 2022 he added the job of associate editor for Frontiers in Endocrinology Bone Research (Lausanne), an official journal of the Bone Research Society (UK).

Eliav Barr (HS, internal medicine, 1987–1989; fellow, cardiovascular medicine, 1989–1990) was appointed head of global clinical development and chief medical officer at Merck in March 2022. In more than two decades at Merck, Barr has led the development of novel therapies and vaccines for oncology and infectious diseases, such as chronic hepatitis C and HIV-1. Most notably, he led the development of Merck’s human papillomavirus vaccines.

Sarah J. Hanson (HS, obstetrics and gynecology, 2007–2010) has become the Botswana site director for the Harvard-Botswana Partnership at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Global and Community Health. Hanson has worked internationally with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and the World Health Organization in South Sudan, Nepal, India, South Africa, Uganda, Honduras, Costa Rica and Thailand. For over a decade, she worked with the Indian Health Service on the Navajo reservation and throughout Alaska. She lives in Gaborone, Botswana, with her husband and three children.