Scientific advisors

We have assembled leading scientific advisory boards in our two therapy areas:


David Alpers

David is William B. Kountz Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. He has extensive experience in drug development and drug safety, working with companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Takeda North America, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka North America.  

He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, and received his initial medical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard teaching hospital. 

David is the author of 220 peer-reviewed scientific/clinical papers and has served on editorial boards of many leading journals in the field.

Geert D’Haens

Geert is Professor of gastroenterology at the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam where he leads a group of more than 35 IBD researchers.

He is a graduate of the University of Leuven, Belgium and trained in gastroenterology, gastrointestinal endoscopy and inflammatory bowel diseases at the University Hospitals in Leuven and at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

He has authored more than 250 peer reviewed articles so far and participates in many drug development programs for IBD.

Peter Irving

Peter is Lead for IBD at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College London.

He studied medicine at Cambridge University and The London Hospital before training in gastroenterology. He has published over 60 articles and book chapters, as well as three books on IBD and is on the editorial boards of a number of prestigious journals in the field.

Tom MacDonald

Tom is Professor of Immunology and Dean for Research at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London.

Previously he was head of the Division of Infection, Inflammation and Repair at Southampton medical school, appointed a Wellcome Trust Reader at Bart's, awarded a personal chair at the University of London, and was an Associate Professor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He has been awarded an FRCPath and FMedSci and gained a PhD in immunology from Glasgow University. Tom has over 400 publications and has received the President's Medal from the British Society of Gastroenterology.

Julian Panes

Julian is chief of Department Gastroenterology at Hospital Clínic in Barcelona and has been the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Unit there since 1996.

Julian is also an assistant professor of Medicine of the University of Barcelona, where he also qualified as a MD. Julian has over 270 publications in international peer-reviewed journals and is on the editorial boards of various leading journals in the field.

Bruce Sands

Bruce is Chief of the Dr Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology and the Dr. Burrill B. Crohn Professor of Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

Previously Bruce was the Acting Chief of the Gastrointestinal Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, as well as Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was awarded his MD at Boston University and received a Master of Science in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Bruce is the Associate Editor for clinical IBD content of the field's leading journal, Gastroenterology.

Simon Travis

Simon is the Professor of Clinical Gastroenterology at the University of Oxford and a former President of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO, 2012-2014). He is a Fellow of Linacre College and Consultant Gastroenterologist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

He gained his MD degree at St Thomas’ Hospital London and trained in Gastroenterology both in London and in Oxford, where he gained his PhD. He is the author of 6 books, 30 chapters, over 200 papers and many international guidelines.

Inflammatory eye diseases

Pasquale Aragona

Pasquale is Full Professor of Ophthalmology at the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Head of the Sicilian Regional Excellence Centre for Ocular Surface Diseases at the University of Messina, Italy.

He gained his MD degree and also his specialisation in Ophthalmology and in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Messina. He obtained his Doctorate Diploma in Ophthalmology and Surgical Correction of the Refractive Errors at the University of Padua, Italy. Pasquale is the author of 200 scientific papers and sits on editorial boards for several leading journals in the ophthalmology field.

John Sheppard

John Sheppard, MD, MMSc, is the Program Director for Ophthalmology Residency Research, Clinical Director for the Thomas R. Lee Center for Ocular Pharmacology, and Professor of Ophthalmology, Microbiology & Molecular Biology at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Medical Director of the Lions Medical Eye Bank in Norfolk, Virginia.

He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of 67 pharmaceutical and surgical companies, and has been competitively funded by the NIH, the Orphan Drug Program and the NEI. Dr. Sheppard received the AAO Honor Award and Senior Honor Award, and Best Doctors in America since 2003.

Dr. Sheppard has served as a Principal Investigator for 96 multi-center and prospective clinical trials. He has authored over 120 papers, abstracts, and chapters, presented over 700 invited lectures, spoken in 22 countries, and served as an expert in over 200 cases. He serves on the editorial boards of EyeNet Magazine,, Eye and Contact Lens, and Clinical Ophthalmology. He is the Chief Editor for Medscape Ophthalmology.

James Rosenbaum

James holds the Richard Chenoweth Chair as Chief of Ophthalmology at Legacy Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon. He also holds the Edward E. Rosenbaum Chair in Inflammation Research at Oregon Health & Sciences University where he is Head of the Division of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases.

He gained degrees from Harvard College and Yale Medical School with honours. He did an internship and residency in internal medicine at Stanford Medical Center where he was also a fellow of the Arthritis Foundation. James has published nearly 500 papers or book chapters, mostly related to eye inflammation and has received numerous honours and awards.

Victor Perez

Victor L. Perez, MD received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the Washington University in St. Louis and medical doctorate from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He performed his residency training at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Perez then completed Cornea and External Diseases (Dr. Dimitri Azar) and Uveitis fellowships (Dr. Stephen Foster) at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary at the Harvard Medical School. In addition to this, he also trained as an Immunologist Scientist Research Fellow in Ocular Immunology at Schepens Eye Research Institute at the Harvard Medical School (Dr. JW Streilein) and a did a Research Fellowship in Immunology at the Department of Pathology, Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts (Dr. Abul K Abbas).

Dr. Perez is a board certified ophthalmologist by the American Board of Ophthalmology.  He was Professor of Ophthalmology and the Director of the Ocular Surface Center at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. He was recently recruited to Duke University as Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Duke Center of Ocular Immunology at Duke University.  His areas of expertise include high risk corneal transplantation, ocular surface reconstruction and uveitis.  Dr. Perez is also a NIH funded investigator and directs the Laboratory of Ocular Immunology, Transplantation and Ocular Surface Regeneration, dedicated to develop novel translational concepts with the goal of improving the treatment of patients with ocular surface diseases and corneal blindness.

Kelly Nichols

Kelly K. Nichols received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of California at Berkeley, completed a residency in ocular disease at Omni Eye Specialists of Colorado, and earned her MPH in biostatistics and PhD in vision science at Ohio State University. In 2014, Dr. Nichols was named Dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. Prior to that appointment, Dr. Nichols was a professor at the University of Houston, College of Optometry, where she co-founded and served as Executive Director for the Ocular Surface Institute, a translational research institute focused on bench-to-bedside research on ocular surface conditions. Earlier, Dr. Nichols was faculty at the Ohio State University College of Optometry. She currently serves as a medical advisor to the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation, has been an executive board member for the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society, and a founding member of Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. A leading expert in dry eye disease, Dr. Nichols is or has been on the editorial boards of the journals Optometry and Vision Science, and The Ocular Surface, and is extensively published. Her research interests encompass meibomian gland dysfunction, dry eye in menopause, dry eye diagnostics and therapeutics, and tear proteomics and lipidomics.