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Kanayo Okwuasaba, MD 

Co-founder

Kanayo trained as a medical doctor at the University of Jos, Nigeria and he brings at least 10 years of clinical research experience. Dr. Okwuasaba worked as a clinical research coordinator and project manager at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, an affiliate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA. During this time he managed a $3 million R01 NIH-funded HIV Neuroaids study.

 

Dr. Okwuasaba spent some time at the Africa Center of Excellence in Phytomedicine Research and Development (ACEPRD), University of Jos, Nigeria, where he supported a clinical observation trial for an oral contraceptive drug target.

 

Kanayo co-founded Panacea Clinical Research LLC during which time he directed the successful application of a provisional US patent approval for an oral contraceptive small molecule target. Dr. Okwuasaba also worked at Thomas Jefferson University as a clinical research coordinator.

Vivian Nkweteyim, MS, PharmD

Co-founder

Vivian obtained an MS in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Buea, Cameroon, and holds a PharmD from Jefferson University Philadelphia which she completed in 2018. She has a passion for drug discovery and development and brings an enormous amount of pharmaceutical chemistry experience to the company.

 

Vivian's experience on the African continent as well as locally aligns with our company’s goal of strengthening clinical research infrastructure on the African continent diversity of thought and personnel training.

Justin Scarborough, MS

Research Scientist

Justin is a doctoral student at Howard University, Washington, DC., where he seeks to understand the relationship between various neurocognitive measures and health outcomes. He completed a Master of Science degree at Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA and as part of his Masters's thesis, he examined the relationship between cognitive decline and relinquished leisure activities in older African Americans with mild cognitive impairment.

Justin worked at the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, Philadelphia, as a clinical research coordinator on multiple NIH-funded research studies that assessed the efficacy of a behavioral intervention for older African Americans with mild cognitive impairment and the effect on poorly controlled diabetes.

Justin also brings industry experience having completed an internship at Centocor Ortho Biotech in the Immunology Biomarkers Department where he worked to establish molecular response signatures in human colonic epithelial cells with a focus on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Karthik Krishnamurthy, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr. Karthik earned his PhD in Biophysics from the National Institutes of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India. He then completed a research fellowship in Dr. Worley's lab at the Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA. Currently, Dr. Karthik is pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Pasinelli's team at the Department of Neuroscience, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA.


The overall goal of his research is to understand the molecular changes that precede motor neuron loss and function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease with no cure and the patients ultimately die due to respiratory failure. Neuromuscular junction (NMJ) dysfunction is a converging hallmark of both familial and sporadic ALS wherein the motor neurons lose their ability to send signals to the muscle to make contractions.

Using genetic models of ALS (mutant FUS and C9ORF72), Dr. Karthik investigates the molecular targets of early NMJ dysfunction using both in vivo and in vitro systems. Another aspect of his research involves understanding stress granule formation induced by mutant FUS protein and screening potential modifiers of the stress granule-related neuronal death. He employs a combination of biochemical, cell biological, and live-cell imaging approaches to understand these questions. Dr. Karthik brings at least 10 years of scientific research experience to our team.

Management Team: About
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