Matthew H.J. Kim, J.D.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Inspired by both his parents’ battle to overcome their affliction with oral cancer, Matthew H.J. Kim founded Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. in 2011 and serves as the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
A seasoned business and legal executive as well as serial entrepreneur, Kim brings more than 20 years of experience encompassing intellectual property management, technology transfer, business and corporate development, and various product launches to his leadership role at Vigilant Biosciences. As CEO, Matthew leads the company’s strategic and fundraising efforts including the financing of approximately $12 million+ to date and leveraging a further estimated $5 million+ in nondilutive financing procured by the University of Miami to advance the sciences ultimately and exclusively licensed to Vigilant Biosciences. This licensed platform technology serves as the foundation of the initial products under commercialization as well as additional products in the research and development pipeline for the company.
Prior to starting Vigilant Biosciences, Mr. Kim was involved with the founding of several start-ups, including the first spin-off company from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as a strategic intellectual property asset management consulting group. He also provided strategic consulting for numerous biotechnology therapeutic and diagnostic, consumer and technology companies. His development and commercialization leadership experience for point-of-care and lab-based diagnostics products include an innovative continuous glucose monitor system, a painless point-of-care bilirubin detection for jaundice, a fluorescent-based diabetes screening system, and a novel imaging technology for cervical cancer screening.
Mr. Kim received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and his Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University. He is licensed to practice law in Georgia and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2015, Kim was honored by BioFlorida with the Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his extraordinary contributions to the growth of Florida’s life sciences industry in the leadership of a company.
Eric M. Stone, Ed.M., M.B.A.
Eric M. Stone is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Velano Vascular, Inc. Prior to starting this pioneering medical device company, he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for MolecularHealth.
Earlier, he launched the world’s first bioabsorable stent for Abbott while in Belgium and California, and was a founding member of Model Nʼs (NYSE: MODN) Life Sciences division. Stone began his career in Marketing with Trilogy Software. He co-founded social sector programs at Harvard and Wharton, and served for a decade on Harvard Universityʼs Alumni Association Board of Directors. Stone is a National Trustee of The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), a Director of Velano Vascular, and an Advisor to 3NT Medical and Empower Interactive. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School, a Masterʼs from Harvard University, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife and daughter live in San Francisco.
Timothy C. Barabe
Mr. Barabe brings to Vigilant Biosciences Board and C-level experience across a variety of different life science companies. Since 2001, Mr. Barabe has been on the Board of Directors of Opexa Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in the Woodlands, Texas since March 2014.
Mr. Barabe retired in June 2013 from his position as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Affymetrix, Inc. Previously, from July 2006 until March 2010, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Human Genome Sciences, Inc. He was with Regent Medical Limited, a U.K.-based, privately owned, surgical supply company, where he was Chief Financial Officer, from 2004 to 2006. Mr. Barabe served with Novartis AG from 1982 through August 2004 in a succession of senior executive positions in finance and general management, most recently as the Chief Financial Officer of Sandoz GmbH, the generic pharmaceutical subsidiary of Novartis. Mr. Barabe received his B.B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and his M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago.
Linda Niessen, D.M.D., M.P.H., M.P.P.
Dr. Linda Niessen is a Dean and Professor at the Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the only dental school in South Florida and the first private dental school in Florida.
Prior to this position, she served as a professor at Baylor College of Dentistry, Texas A&M University in Dallas from 1991 to 2013. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Niessen held executive positions at DENTSPLY International, a leading manufacturer and distributor of dental and other consumable medical device products, including most recently as Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer and prior as DENTSPLY’s Vice President, Clinical Education.
Dr. Niessen received her B.A. degree from the University of New Mexico and her D.M.D. degree from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Additionally, she received a M.P.H. degree from Harvard School of Public Health, a Certificate in Dental Public Health from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a M.P.P. degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Board Observer, venVelo, LLC
Allen H. Kupetz is the COO of venVelo, an early-stage investment fund and business accelerator in Winter Park, Florida. He also teaches undergraduate international business and MBA courses at Rollins College. He is a recognized thought leader on the present and future impact of technology on individuals and corporations and has spoken to and/or consulted with hundreds of companies on six continents.
Board Observer, Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research
Ms. Tanner is responsible for research partner institutions and projects throughout southeast Florida. She has extensive experience executing the kinds of initiatives that propel companies more rapidly towards their strategic goals.
Prior to joining the Institute, as head of Tanner Growth, she worked with companies’ leaders to identify promising and strategically relevant new directions, formulate sound plans to move forward in those directions and to execute de novo launches, mergers or acquisitions, strategic alliances and joint ventures. Previously, as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Strategist for eDiets.com, Inc., a leading provider of online weight loss solutions, Ms. Tanner implemented a paradigm-shifting diet licensing initiative, launched the award-winning eDiets Meal Delivery portion-controlled nationwide fresh meal delivery service and accelerated the company’s entry into the corporate hosted services market through the acquisition of Nutrio.com. Previously, Ms. Tanner spent thirteen years on Wall Street as an equity analyst and portfolio manager for companies including Salomon Brothers and Fred Alger Management. She then joined the successful turnaround team at Sensormatic Electronics Corporation, a global electronic security company, where she oversaw e-commerce and investor relations. She has made investments in and completed financings totaling hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of public and private growth companies.
The Vigilant Biosciences Scientific Advisory Board comprises of distinguished thought leaders and clinical advocates across fields of head and neck surgery, oncology, and oral medicine united in improving early detection and intervention for better outcomes.
Christine H. Chung, MD
Dr. Christine H. Chung serves as a Senior Member and Chair of the Department of Head and Neck-Endocrine Oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Chung is also a Professor within the Department of Oncologic Sciences at the College of Medicine University of South Florida.
Dr. Chung previously held the positions of Associate Professor of Oncology and Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Therapeutics Program at Johns Hopkins University, where she led the institution’s translational and clinical research efforts in the area of head and neck cancers. Prior to her work at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Chung served as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology and the Department of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University; and a staff physician at the Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Dr. Chung received her B.S. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her M.S. from Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, she received her M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School. She had her Internal Medicine Residency and Medical Oncology Fellowship training as well as Fellowship in Basic Science Research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Chung’s research focuses on molecular characterization of Head and Neck Cancer and translation of these findings to develop integral biomarker-driven clinical trials. She is the recipient of many honors, awards and grants. Chung is also a distinguished writer and frequent lecturer.
Joel B. Epstein, DMD, MSD, FRCD(C), FDS RCS(E)
Dr. Joel Epstein is a professor in the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a collaborative member of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute in Los Angeles. He is also a consulting staff member in the Division of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. He conducts a private referral practice in Oral Medicine and Oral Oncology.
Dr. Epstein has published in the area of oncology, infectious disease, facial pain and general areas of Oral Medicine, with more than seven hundred contributions to the literature in the form of papers, abstracts, text books, and book chapters.
Dr. Epstein graduated from Dentistry in 1976 from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He received a certificate in Oral Medicine and Masters’ of Science Degree in Dentistry from the University of Washington in 1979. He is a Fellow of the College of Dental Surgeons of Canada in Oral Medicine/Oral Pathology and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Medicine and was an examiner and President of the Board of Oral Medicine. He is currently a board member of the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance and of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer.
He was Professor and Head of the Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences and is currently a Professor in the Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, and Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Oral Cancer Biology, Prevention and Treatment at the Chicago Cancer Center, College of Medicine; Adjunct Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Surgery of the University of Illinois at Chicago; and on staff at Rush Medical Center and Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago.
Prior to relocating to Chicago, he was Professor of Oral Medicine and Director of the Graduate Program in Oral Medicine, and the DECOD (Dental Care for the Disabled) Program, at the University of Washington, Seattle. He was on the medical/dental staff of the British Columbia Cancer Agency; and Head of the Department of Dentistry at Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre; as well as on staff at other teaching hospitals in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of British Columbia.
W. Jarrard Goodwin, Jr., MD, FACS
Dr. W. Jarrard Goodwin is Sylvester Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He also serves as Chief Medical Officer of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which integrates all of the cancer research, education and patient care activities of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His primary responsibilities include overall clinical leadership of the University-owned cancer hospital (Sylvester/UMHC), and coordinating activities there with those occurring across the UHealth System, and at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Goodwin’s research focuses on the prevention and treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. He has been recognized for many professional accolades, including Best Doctors in America from 1990 to the present. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific publications dealing principally with the prevention and treatment of cancer of the mouth and throat. He is an active member of many scientific societies including the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the American Head and Neck Society, the American Society for Clinical Oncology, and the American Association of Cancer Research. In addition, he is an active Head and Neck Surgeon, involved in the multidisciplinary care of patients with cancer of the mouth, throat and neck.
Dr. Goodwin received a B.S. degree in Biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.D. from Albany Medical College at Union University. He had a fellowship in Head and Neck Surgery at M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute.
Athena S. Papas, DMD, PhD, FACD
Dr. Athena Papas is the Erling Johansen Professor of Dental Research, and the Head of the Division of Oral Medicine at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.
With expertise in the oral healthcare of the elderly, medically compromised, Sjögrens, cancer and bone marrow transplant patients, Dr. Papas has been the principal investigator of over 65 clinical trials. Dr. Papas was selected as the 2009 recipient of the International Association of Dental Research Pharmacology/Therapeutics/Toxicology (PTT) Distinguished Scientist Award and has been the President of the IADR PTT Group and chaired the distinguished scientist awards committee. She also has received the Gavel and Pierre Fauchard awards and is a life fellow of the American College of Dentists.
Dr. Papas received her B.S. from Tufts University, a PhD. in Oral Biology from MIT and her D.M.D. from Harvard University. She had a predoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital.
John B. Sunwoo, MD
Dr. John B. Sunwoo is an Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Stanford University. He is also the Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research in the Department of Otolaryngology.
Sunwoo is a member of the American College of Surgeons and is Board Certified in Otolaryngology by the American Board of Medicine. He is an active member of many professional societies including the American Academy of Otolaryngology, the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Head and Neck Society. He has been chosen to be included in Best Doctors in America and Castle Connolly Top Doctors. He has authored or co-authored dozens of scientific publications. He is the principal investigator of an independent laboratory focused on cancer immunology and stem cell biology in the Stanford Cancer Institute.
Dr. Sunwoo received his B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Brown University, his M.D. from Washington University School of Medicine and his M.A. in Biology/Medicine from Washington University School of Medicine. He has completed postdoctoral research fellowships at Washington University and the National Institutes of Health.