Silicon Team


Dr. Elliot Chaikof, MD, PhD

Co-founder and member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Johnson and Johnson Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School
Chairman of the Roberta and Stephen R. Weiner Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)

Elliot L. Chaikof, MD, PhD, has promoted alliances of clinicians, engineers, chemists, and biologists and in the process co-founded both Silicon Therapeutics and its underlying in silico drug engine INSITE. Prior to his current position at Harvard Medical School, he held the John E. Skandalakis Chair of Surgery at Emory University, serving as Chief of Vascular Surgery and also served as Adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering and a member of the Biomedical Engineering faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His laboratory has received over $20 million in federal funding for basic science investigations from the NIH and NSF, as well as funding from the American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. In addition, he served as Emory University PI of the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues, a 10-year $40 million NSF sponsored Engineering Research Center. To date, Dr. Chaikof has supervised over 40 postdoctoral research associates, 15 doctoral students, 4 masters students, and approximately one dozen undergraduate students. Approximately one dozen lab alumni currently hold tenured or tenure-track faculty positions in Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, and Surgery. Other members of the laboratory have assumed leadership positions in industry, including positions at Genzyme, Genetech, Merck, Amgen, Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson), Atrium Medical, Baxter, and Kimberly-Clark.
Dr. Chaikof's translational clinical research investigations have been supported by grants from industry and the NIH and reported in major surgical journals. He has been the PI for over 30 clinical trial protocols directed at endovascular therapies for aortic aneurysms, carotid disease, and peripheral arterial disease, as well as novel biologics, gene therapy, and tissue engineered products for the cure of venous and arterial disease. Significantly, he has either Chaired or has been a major participant on multiple national and international committees that have published clinical practice guidelines that impact the care of patients with vascular disease. Dr. Chaikof earned BA and MD degrees at the Johns Hopkins University and completed a residency in General Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital. While a surgical resident, he received a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and subsequently completed additional training in Vascular Surgery at the Emory University. Dr. Chaikof has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineering, and the American Surgical Association, and has recently served as President of the International Society of Applied Cardiovascular Biology. He has also served on study sections for the NIH (Bioengineering, Technology, and Surgical Sciences and Biomaterials), AHA (National and Southeastern Region), NSF, and JDRF, and has lectured at Gordon and Cold Spring Harbor Conferences, as well as at NIH Symposia on Reparative Medicine.

Dr. Lijun Sun, PhD

Co-founder & Chair of the SAB

Associate Professor & Director of Center for Drug Discovery and Translational Research Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, Harvard Teaching Hospital
Dr. Sun is a co-founder and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board at Silicon Therapeutics. He is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Center for Drug Discovery and Translational Research at the Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Previously, Dr. Sun held executive positions in a number of emerging biotech companies where he led anticancer and antiinflammation drug discovery and development programs. His major achievement includes the creation of multiple clinical development candidates, including the anticancer candidates ganetespib and elesclomol. Dr. Sun is a co-inventor of more than 100 issued or pending US patents covering novel chemical entities, manufacturing processes, formulations, and physical forms. He has authored >25 peer-reviewed publications in structure-based drug designs, medicinal chemistry, and biology. He received his Ph.D degree in chemistry from Emory University and trained as a postdoctoral research fellow at Emory Medical School.

Dr. Finith Jernigan, III, PhD

Co-founder & CTO

Dr. Jernigan is a co-founder and chief technology officer of Silicon Therapeutics and was instrumental in developing the underlying technology INSITE. Prior to founding Silicon Therapeutics, Dr. Jernigan was at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, where his focused on identification of tool compounds using novel in silico screening approaches for targets identified by BIDMC investigators. This work, performed in the labs of Drs. Sun and Chaikof, led to the creation Silicon Therapeutics’ proprietary drug discovery platform, INSITE. Prior to that, Dr. Jernigan earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the lab of Dr. David S. Lawrence. His work at the University of North Carolina focused on the synthesis and development of fluorescent sensors of kinases and the proteasome. This work led to multiple publications in top chemistry journals, including Journal of the American Chemical Society and Angewandte Chemie International Edition. Dr. Jernigan holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Salisbury University, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was a postdoctoral fellow at BIDMC/Harvard Medical School.

Lanny Sun

Co-founder & CEO

Venture Partner, Chengwei Capital
Lanny co-founded Silicon Therapeutics and handles the firms day to day operations as well as partnership and financing initiatives. He has spent his entire career in the healthcare sector working across a number of industries including drug discovery, CRO, investment banking, consulting, venture capital, private equity and non-profits. He started his career on Wall Street with Deutsche Bank Securities where he focused on Healthcare M&A and financings, completing over USD3.0bn worth of M&A and financing transactions. He then went on to assist multiple US teaching hospitals and private equity firms in their China market entry strategy as relating to healthcare, advising on over USD300mm in cross border transactions and developments including an USD250 million aged care community in Shanghai and a USD50 million cross border medical technologies fund. He joined Chengwei in 2015 to help the firm drive its healthcare portfolio strategy, including computational drug discovery and biotechnologies. He received his Bachelors of Science in Economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

Eric X. Li

Director of the Board

Founder, Chengwei Capital
Eric X. Li is founder and managing director of Chengwei Capital, which invests in entrepreneurial companies in the global Chinese economy and is one of China's largest and oldest evergreen VC funds. Chengwei’s portfolio includes over 50 companies operating in a wide range of industries such as manufacturing, consumer goods, education, the Internet, and oil and gas. Li serves on the board of directors of China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, his native city, and the board of CEIBS Ghana, the school’s branch in Africa. Li is a frequent contributor to leading publications such as The New York Times, Huffington Post, South China Morning Post, Christian Science Monitor, and the Global Times. Li is a Henry Crown fellow at the Aspen Institute. He received his Bachelors from Berkeley and his MBA from Stanford.

Dr. Jingsong Wang, MD, PhD

Director of the Board

CEO, Harbour BioMed
Dr. Jingsong Wang is the CEO of Harbour BioMed (HBM). Before founding HBM, he was the Head of China Research and Development and of Translational Medicine, Asia Pacific, for Sanofi. Dr. Wang joined Sanofi from Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he served in multiple roles with increasing responsibilities, including Director of Discovery Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology and Global Program Lead for multiple pre-clinical and clinical assets. Dr. Wang completed his Clinical Rheumatology Fellowship and subsequently was an Attending Rheumatologist and faculty member at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wang received his PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from China Pharmaceutical University and has also completed a Molecular Immunology Research Fellowship at Dr. Laurie Glimcher’s laboratory at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Wang is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served on the Research Grant Review Committee, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and as a scientific grant reviewer for the Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, National Health Service of the United Kingdom.

Diane Morris

Board Advisor
Chairman, Morris Capital Management

Diane Morris is the chairman of Morris Capital Management, an investment management company, a member of the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute and an active philanthropist. She has honed her broad leadership skills as a passionate fundraiser for the arts, education, and conservation. Her Board affiliations, to name a few, have included the Aspen Institute, United Nations Association, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Opera, All Kinds of Minds, the Pacific Presbyterian Hospital Foundation, the Graduate School of Education at the University of California-Berkeley, San Francisco University High School, Marin Country Day School, the San Francisco Day School, and the Advisory Board of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. Diane is a native of San Francisco and has two children. She holds a BS degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

DONALD JOHNSON, PHD

Dr. Donald Johnson is a Senior Investigator at Silicon Therapeutics. He has expertise in quantum mechanical calculations of materials and small molecules. Don most recently worked at the Army Research Laboratory where he studied energetic materials, mechanochemistry, and properties of nanodiamonds as a senior scientist. His work largely centered on using large-scale quantum molecular dynamics simulations to estimate strain energy storage within dense-core nanoparticles. Previously he was a postdoc at Pacific Northwest National Lab where he researched the thermodynamics and geochemistry of actinides. Dr. Johnson co-founded and chaired the first Postdoc Association within the DoD labs and he over 10 first-author publications in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Johnson studied computational materials science at Princeton University, earning a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2009 under the advisory of Dean Emily Carter.

JAMIE RICE, PHD

Dr. James Rice is a Senior Investigator at Silicon Therapeutics with expertise in adaptive immunology/ immuno-oncology and multiplexed immunoassay development During his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Rice developed multiple FRET assays in an effort evaluate the Antizyme/Antizyme Inhibitor PPI as a potential prostate cancer therapeutic target. Additionally, he developed peptide and mRNA based cancer vaccines through a collaboration with Department of Nanomedicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His previous work at Ciencia, Inc. included the development of a novel SPCE multiplexed immunoassay platform for the detection of autoreactive T cells in Type I diabetes. Dr. Rice serves on the editorial board two peer-reviewed immunology journals and has authored numerous publications in the fields of basic and applied immunology. Dr. Rice studied at the University of Connecticut where he earned a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology for his work on CD4+ T cell signaling and effector development.

VIPIN SACHDEVA

Vipin Sachdeva is a Principal Investigator in Silicon Therapeutics. Vipin was most recently with IBM in their T. J. Watson Research Center as a Senior Engineer working with several key IBM HPC clients including US and UK national laboratories on performance and programmability aspects of IBM's OpenPOWER initiative. Vipin’s previous work has applied high-performance computing to a wide variety of workloads including computational biology, seismic and other domains on several generations of IBM's hardware including Power, BlueGene and Cell processors. Vipin has over 10 years of experience of parallel programming and optimizing applications for CPUs, GPUs and other specialized hardware. Vipin is main author of a book chapter on multicore programming, over 30 refereed publications and has given multiple invited talks and has reviewed for multiple conferences and journals. He is a recipient of IBM's Outstanding Technical Achievement Award.

Bryce Allen, PHD

Bryce is an Investigator with STX and directs STX informatics infrastructure, which coordinates data storage, access, and analysis across the company. Allen’s doctoral research focused on large-scale computational screening and machine learning approaches to drug discovery, where he designed, tested and validated a large-scale high-throughput computational screening pipeline to discover novel multitarget inhibitors in kinase and epigenetic signaling space. This pipeline integrated ligand and structure-based models to prioritize chemical scaffolds using a combination of Bayesian statistics, docking, and molecular dynamics simulations. Additionally, he was a member of the Data Coordination and Integration Center for the Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures (LINCS), where he helped standardize and process chemical entities used in LINCS assays. Since joining the team at Silicon Therapeutics, Bryce has focused on data-driven approaches to improving molecular modeling methodology through the integration of chemical, genomic, and proteomic datasets to learn actionable therapeutic insights from orthogonal sources using machine learning and statistics. He received his PhD from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Stephan Schürer and Dr. Nagi Ayad.