Strategic and Scientific Advisory Board (SSAB)
Donald Abrams, MD
Donald Abrams, MD, is Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco and a general oncologist at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. He provides Integrative Oncology consultations at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.
He served as Assistant Director of the UCSF Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital and was chair of the Community Consortium, a professional association of more than 200 primary care providers treating Bay Area patients with HIV. He conducted numerous clinical trials investigating complementary therapies in patients with HIV, including therapeutic touch, Traditional Chinese Medicine interventions, medical marijuana, medicinal mushrooms, and distant healing.
His interest in botanical therapies led him to pursue a two-year Fellowship in the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, which he completed in December 2004. His particular passion in the field involves nutrition and cancer. Since completing his Fellowship, Dr. Abrams has been providing integrative medicine consultation to people living with and beyond cancer at the Osher Center.
Dr. Abrams was the President of the Society for Integrative Oncology in 2010 and has been a member of various Education sub-committees of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He was Chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at Zuckerberg San Francisco General from 2003-2017. He co-edited the Oxford University Press textbook in Integrative Oncology with Andrew Weil, MD. He was also named a Top Cancer Doctor in Newsweek‘s 2015 Special Health Issue on Curing Cancer, in the category of Medical Oncology. Dr. Abrams is also on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Wholistic Research and Education Foundation in La Jolla, California. Dr. Abrams lives in San Francisco with his husband Clint and their four dogs.
Arup Sen, Ph.D.
Dr. Arup Sen received his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from Princeton University in 1974. He served on the staff and faculty at the National Cancer Institute (NIH, Bethesda, Maryland) and the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, California). For 25 years thereafter he held a variety of executive management positions at biopharmaceutical and medical device companies engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of products for cancer and degenerative diseases. Since 2006, Dr. Sen has focused on developing and commercializing proprietary technologies for water soluble nutrients including minerals, vitamins, and, natural plant chemicals.
His academic research was primarily in the field of cancer. He was Principal Scientist at Meloy Laboratories in Springfield, Virginia, conducting contract programs awarded by the National Cancer Institute. During his early career in the biotechnology industry, he managed commercial contract research and development programs for domestic and international corporations. In 2001, he founded GenoMechanix LLC to develop proprietary technologies and perform contract services in biomedical sciences for companies and academic institutions worldwide.
As an extension of developing technologies for water soluble nutrients from various medicinal plants that started in 2007, Dr. Sen’s work led to the discovery, in 2016, of naturally water-soluble plant lipids, including cannabinoids and terpenes, from cannabis and hemp plants. The proprietary process, Aqueous Phytorecovery Process (APP) he developed is the technology foundation for Infusion Biosciences, a company based in Canada. Infusion Bio established a joint venture with The Virginia Company in Washington State to commercialize natural water-soluble cannabinoids and natural oils with cannabinoids produced without artificial chemicals or heat. Dr. Sen also is the discoverer of water soluble minerals and natural plant nutrients that have applications in high pressure aeroponic (HPA) cultivation to predictably control and modulate chemotypes (the chemical ingredient profiles) of cannabis plants.
The collaboration between Infusion Biosciences and Elevar™ represents a unique opportunity to produce novel natural cannabis medicines through advanced, controlled HPA cultivation to produce consistent, high quality plant materials and the application of APP to recover cannabis ingredients in their natural state.
Bradley Douglass, Ph.D
Bradley Douglass, Ph.D., has a doctorate in Organic/Medicinal Chemistry, an M.S. in regulatory science and B.S. degrees in Computer Science and Neuroscience from a prestigious university.
Dr. Douglass has over 10 years of experience in the regulated chemical manufacturing, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and medical marijuana industries. He has extensive experience developing processing protocols with accompanying Quality Assurance and Quality Compliance methodology, as well as authoring and approving technical materials used in these operations. Specifically, he worked for two years as a senior scientist developing reactor technology and reaction designs for pharmaceutical licensees, and for six years as a regulatory, technical, R&D and QA/QC consultant in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, before entering the legal medical marijuana sector in 2010. Dr. Douglass has seven years of experience in legal cannabis jurisdictions developing state of the art analytical and quality control methods, systems and services, and helping companies to implement accurate analytical methods for product development, consumer safety and transparent labeling.
For the past four years he has served as Scientific Director of The Werc Shop developing unique, proprietary medical cannabis products and customized production processes and equipment. His expertise includes efficient, scalable production methodologies, in-process analytics to ensure product quality, purity and reproducibility, and novel, efficient production of pure, exceptionally safe, high quality cannabis concentrates. He has developed and implemented ISO and cGMP compliant quality management systems, including writing and implementing SOPs and Production (Batch) Record systems. No facility under his supervision has ever had a recall.
Jessica Tonani, Founder and CEO-Verda Bio
Jessica Tonani is a biotechnology professional with almost two decades of experience in life sciences at firms such as Affymetrix and Sequenom, where she held multiple positions including management roles. In past positions, Jessica managed product lines with sales in excess of $100,000,000. Jessica is regularly retained by venture capital firms, Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and life science firms, as well as venture-backed biotechnology companies.
Due to her expertise in the biotechnology field and her extensive product knowledge, Jessica has been widely quoted in journals such as Nature, Science, and Genome Technologies. Jessica was a Howard Hughes fellow with an MS in immunology and a BS in microbiology.
Lawrence J. Stuardi
Mr. Stuardi is a Member President & Founder, MRA Group, Inc. With over thirty-five years of real estate development and investment experience, encompassing more than $2 billion in projects, Lawrence Stuardi has earned a stellar reputation as both a civic-minded real estate developer as well as a trusted advisor and partner to many leading health care, academic, and financial institutions throughout the region. Having established Medical Realty Advisors in 1991, Mr. Stuardi has led what today has become MRA Group to be the foremost privately held health care, technology, and academic focused real estate development, investment, and services firm in the midAtlantic region.
For over twenty-six years MRA has been a leader in the planning and development of technology enhanced facilities for cutting edge health care and technology companies. Prior to the formation of MRA, Mr. Stuardi served as a real estate developer with Rouse & Associates (now Liberty Property Trust), one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate developers. He began his career with a Philadelphia based investment real estate firm, where he focused on corporate sale/leaseback arrangements and investment transactions. In addition to leading MRA in the development of several million square feet of complex commercial real estate projects, Mr. Stuardi has partnered with select investors nationally to acquire, repurpose and manage value-add opportunities that benefit from the seasoned experience, intense focus, equity and debt relationships that MRA brings to a project.
Mr. Stuardi currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Gwynedd Mercy University, in Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Drueding Center, a Philadelphia based transitional housing program for disadvantaged mothers and children. He formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Foundation, and on the Regional Board of Directors for Team Capital Bank. Lawrence graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and resides in Bucks County, PA with his wife Kate and three children.