About Us

Senior Management

Howard Berman, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer and
Chairman of the Board

Fred Grossman, D.O., FAPA

President and Chief Medical Officer

David Snyder, M.B.A.

Chief Financial Officer and
Chief Operating Officer

Arun Swaminathan, Ph.D.

Chief Business Development Officer

Michelle Frazier, Ph.D.

Senior VP of Regulatory

Aaron Thome, Ph.D.

Head of Neuroinflammation Platform

Daniel Barvin, M.B.A.

Vice President of Operations and Patient Advocacy

Board of Directors

Howard Berman, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board

Wilbur Ross

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce

Dieter Weinand

Anabella Villalobos, Ph.D.

Head of Biotherapeutics and Medicinal Sciences at Biogen

Ann Lee, Ph.D.

Chief Technical Officer at Prime Medicine

Hideki Garren, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer at Prothena

Dov Goldstein, M.D., M.B.A.

Chief Financial Officer at BioAge

Scientific Advisory Board

Shimon Sakaguchi M.D., Ph.D.

Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Lawrence Steinman, M.D.

Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Clive Svendsen, Ph.D.

Director of the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute

Malcolm Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and Professor at Baylor College of Medicine

Stanley Appel, M.D.

Peggy and Gary Edwards Distinguished Endowed Chair for the Treatment and Research of ALS, Co-Director of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute

Guillaume Dorothée, PhD

Team head in neuroimmunology at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris

Howard Berman, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board

Howard co-founded Nicoya Health in 2020 to realize the vision and research of Dr. Stanley Appel and merged the company with Coya Therapeutics in 2021 where he currently serves as Chairman and CEO.

He has over 18 years of entrepreneurial and industry experience working at the interplay of science and business. His experience offers him a unique combination of business acumen and scientific credibility with the ability to assess, quantify, and bridge both disciplines.

Howard gained corporate experience with increasing responsibilities and positions as a Medical Science Liaison at AbbVie where he spent 7.5 years launching Venetoclax in CLL and later, supporting numerous solid tumor assets. He also served in leadership roles at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and later Eli Lilly where he was the scientific point of contact between the company and key opinion leaders for development and initiation of collaborations, clinical trials and investigator initiated trials.

Howard began his career at MD Anderson Cancer Center in the technology transfer division where he was responsible for assessing the market, patent, and scientific merits of numerous oncology-based technology platforms in order to ascertain their commercial viability He received a Bachelor in Biology from the University of Michigan and a Masters and Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Pharmacology from Weill Cornell Medical School.

Fred Grossman, D.O., FAPA

President and Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Grossman brings over 20 years of drug development expertise having held senior executive leadership positions in large and small pharmaceutical companies leading the development and FDA approval of numerous multi-billion dollar blockbuster drugs addressing significant unmet medical needs particularly across CNS disorders. He has close relationships with thought leaders worldwide and has negotiated directly with the FDA and Global Health Authorities for approval of many drugs across therapeutic areas. Dr. Grossman held executive positions at Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Sunovion. He served as President and Chief Medical Officer at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (BSE; 532296), a $1.5 Billion per annum global pharmaceutical company based in India, overseeing development of the entire pipeline including generics, complex generics including 505(b)(2) candidates, and next-generation biologics (including bi-specific antibodies). He also previously served as Chief Medical Officer at Mesoblast, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESO), developing allogeneic cellular therapies for inflammatory diseases. Dr. Grossman is Board-Certified in Psychiatry and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and was a Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has held several academic appointments and authored numerous scientific publications

David Snyder

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer

David S. Snyder brings to Coya Therapeutics over 25 years’ experience as the CFO of public and high growth companies. Prior to joining Coya, Mr. Snyder served as the CFO of DisperSol Technologies, LLC and its wholly owned subsidiary Austhera BioSciences, Inc. DisperSol and Austhera are currently advancing two late-stage, small molecule drugs through the clinic and are using their proprietary KinetiSol platform to build a pipeline of NCEs. Prior to joining DisperSol/Austhera, from 2014-2020 Snyder was the CFO of Exicure, Inc. (Nasdaq: XCUR) a company developing nucleic acid therapeutics. From 2008 to 2014, he was the CFO of Cellular Dynamics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICEL) a company developing ipsc-based stem cell tools and primary cell therapeutics. From 2007-2008, Mr. Snyder served as Senior Vice President of Finance, Site Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Roche NimbleGen. Prior to 2007, Snyder was CFO of companies in real estate, software, and manufacturing. Early in his career Mr. Snyder worked for financial and real estate investor Sam Zell. He received his BA summa cum laude from Ottawa University and his M.B.A. with high honors from the Harvard Business School, where he was designated a George Fisher Baker Scholar.

Arun Swaminathan, Ph.D.

Chief Business Development Officer

Arun Swaminathan, Ph.D., has over 20 years of hands-on healthcare business executive experience with an emphasis on corporate and business development, strategy, and finance. He possesses a
demonstrated history of prospecting, evaluating, structuring, and closing company validating
transactions that augment both organizational and shareholder value.

Prior to joining Coya, Arun served as Chief Business Officer (CBO) for Actinium Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: ATNM) where he was responsible for all business development. Within 1 year of joining Actinium, he successfully moved forward negotiations to closure and executed a $452M deal with $35M upfront. Prior to Actinium, he was the CBO at Alteogen (196170.KQ) where he spearheaded over $6B in deals, including deals with two of the top 10 global pharma companies and a $1B+ deal within the first year of assuming the role of CBO. Prior to this, he co-founded and served as CEO of Lynkogen Inc, a pre-clinical stage biotech.

Arun began his career in clinical development and commercial roles of increasing responsibility at
BristolMyers Squibb and Covance. He obtained his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Pittsburgh.

Michelle Frazier, Ph.D.

Senior VP of Regulatory

Dr. Frazier brings over 20 years of strong regulatory expertise since her tenure at the FDA followed by a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. She spent 7 years at the FDA, where she was a team lead reviewing over 60 new molecular entities, overseeing multiple biologic license applications, including the first anti-angiogenic monoclonal antibody approved for cancer therapy. In turn, she was recognized multiple times for her leadership and excellence. Subsequent to FDA, she demonstrated a proven track record for overseeing and guiding successful global regulatory strategies at prestigious bio pharmaceutical companies for numerous biologic drug products leading to FDA approval of multiple biologic license applications and supplements, including Udenyca® (pegfilgrastim-cbqv biosimilar), and Blincyto®, the first bispecific monoclonal antibody product. As part of her career, Dr. Frazier has also provided strategic advice to multiple biotechnology companies. Dr. Frazier received a B.S in Microbiology from Washington State University and a Ph.D. In Cell Biology from Loyola University.

Aaron Thome, Ph.D.

Head of Neuroinflammation Platform

Aaron joins Coya to lead its Neuroinflammation Program and is responsible for developing and testing novel therapeutics that target inflammatory mechanisms which lead to disease pathogenesis. Aaron retains his position as Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Neurology at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics, working closely with Dr. Stanley Appel (Coya Scientific Advisory Board), who is renowned for his discovery of Tregs as a treatment for inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. Aaron’s transformational work includes elucidating neuroinflammatory mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease (ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.) and developing therapeutic approaches to modulate or halt the progression of these devastating diseases. He completed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Appel at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, having received his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham at the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics. Aaron received his B.S. in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University.

Daniel Barvin, M.B.A.

VP of Operations and Patient Advocacy

Daniel Barvin Joined Coya in 2021. Prior to joining Coya, Daniel spent his time as an advocate fighting for awareness and the rights of Presymptomatic Familial ALS patients. He started the first ever Familial ALS focused team through his work at I AM ALS. During this time, Daniel interacted with presymptomatic patients, researchers, pharma executives, and advocacy organizations. In addition, Daniel has held operations and design positions at Morgan Stanley, Dril-Quip and GE.  Daniel received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western and his M.B.A from Rice University. 

Hideki Garren, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Medical Officer at Prothena

Dr. Garren has 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, spanning all aspects of novel drug development from discovery, to early-stage clinical trials, to late-stage clinical trials, to commercialization. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Prothena, a late-stage clinical company with expertise in protein dysregulation, focusing on rare peripheral amyloid and neurodegenerative diseases. From 2013 to 2020, he served as VP, Global Head of Neuroimmunology for F. Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) & Genentech Inc., where he led the teams that conducted the Ocrevus® Phase III trials for multiple sclerosis and Enspryng™ Phase III trials for the rare disease neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. Previously, Dr. Garren served as Executive Director, Translational Medicine Expert in neuroscience for Novartis Pharma.

In 2002, Dr. Garren co-founded Bayhill Therapeutics, centered on a novel therapeutic platform for treating autoimmune diseases that he co-discovered while at Stanford University, and served as Executive VP, Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Operating Officer. He served as adjunct clinical faculty in the Department of Neurology at Stanford University from 1997 to 2009. Dr. Garren earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the California Institute of Technology and his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of California Los Angeles.

Wilbur Ross

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence as the 39th U.S. Secretary of Commerce on February 28, 2017. Secretary Ross is the former Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of WL Ross & Co. LLC and has over 55 years of investment banking and private equity experience. Secretary Ross has been chairman or lead director of more than 100 companies operating in more than 20 different countries. Named by Bloomberg Markets as one of the 50 most influential people in global finance, Secretary Ross is the only person elected to both the Private Equity Hall of Fame and the Turnaround Management Hall of Fame.

Dieter Weinand

Dieter Weinand is an experienced executive with over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceuticals and biotech industries. Mr. Weinand presently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Replimune Group Inc. (NASDAQ: REPL), Mnemo Therapeutics, Umoja Biopharma, Inc., Inspirna, Inc., and Ziel Bio, Inc. Previously, Mr. Weinand was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Bayer Pharma AG and member of the Management Board at Bayer AG. Prior to his work at Bayer, Mr. Weinand held various positions in commercial, operational, and strategic areas of the pharmaceutical industry. These included responsibilities spanning various therapeutic areas and geographies for companies such as Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Otsuka. Mr. Weinand is a former board member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries & Associations (EFPIA), and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA), and served as a member of the Board of Directors of HealthPrize Technologies.

Anabella Villalobos, Ph.D.

Head of Biotherapeutics and Medicinal Sciences at Biogen

As head of Biotherapeutics and Medicinal Sciences at Biogen, Dr. Villalobos is responsible for the delivery of high-quality, differentiated drug candidates that advance through the clinic to become transformative medicines. Additionally, she has built a new gene therapy unit, setting the initial direction of effort including hiring the first team.

Prior to Biogen, Dr. Villalobos was at Pfizer for 28 years where she most recently served as Vice President of Medicinal Synthesis Technologies and Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry. As the leader of several medicinal chemistry groups throughout her tenure at Pfizer, Dr. Villalobos’ teams delivered more than 30 candidates which showed increased survival to the clinic. Noteworthy were clinical candidates to combat Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, insomnia, and stroke. Among other accomplishments, she contributed to the design and discovery of CP-118,954 (icopezil), an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, which was advanced to Phase II clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease. This candidate became part of the agreement that led to the successful co-promotion of Aricept by Pfizer and Eisai. Dr. Villalobos has also championed new scientific directions that have improved design practices in medicinal chemistry including the Central Nervous System Multi-Parameter Optimization (CNS MPO) design tool and a novel PET ligand design and discovery approach.

Dr. Villalobos obtained her B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Panama and her Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas where she was a Fulbright-Hayes fellow. She was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University in synthetic organic chemistry for two years.

Ann Lee, Ph.D.

Chief Technical Officer at Prime Medicine

Ann Lee is currently the Chief Technical Officer at Prime Medicine, Inc. She was previously SVP and Head of Cell Therapy Development and Operations (CTDO) at Bristol Myers Squibb from 2019 to July 2021 where she was responsible for developing new cell therapy processes and technologies, manufacturing cell therapy products, designing new facilities, and building the global supply chain to deliver these new medicines for patients. Previously, she served as Executive Vice President of Technical Operations at Juno Therapeutics, which was acquired by BMS via Celgene. Prior to Juno, Dr. Lee joined Genentech in 2005, and she became SVP, Genentech and Head of Global Technical Development at Roche in 2009. She was responsible for developing and delivering all clinical stage products in Roche’s global pipeline, as well as technology transfers and technical support for all commercial products. Earlier, she was at Merck & Co., where she led and developed new vaccines and technologies in R&D, and then was responsible as VP for process engineering and technical operations at 10 chemical sites around the world. Over the course of her career, she has contributed to the development of hundreds of new investigational drugs, and the licensure and commercialization of 25 new vaccines and medicines, with the most recent being two new CAR-T cell products for blood cancers.

Dr. Lee has authored over 40 scientific publications and holds several patents. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences. She serves on the Board of Directors for American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Alliance of Regenerative Medicine, and JW Therapeutics. She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a masters and Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering with a concentration in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University.

Dov Goldstein, M.D., M.B.A.

Chief Financial Officer at BioAge

Dr. Goldstein brings over 20 years of strategic financial and operational experience within the healthcare sector. He currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer at BioAge.Previously, he was the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer of Indapta Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing a proprietary, off-the-shelf, allogeneic FcRy-deficient natural killer (G-NK) cell therapy to treat multiple types of cancer. Dr. Goldstein was previously Chief Executive Officer of RIGImmune. Prior to that he served as the Chief Financial Officer at Schrödinger, LLC from 2017 to 2018. Dr. Goldstein held various leadership roles at Aisling Capital, a private investment firm, from 2006 to 2017, serving as its Managing Partner from 2014 to 2017. Dr. Goldstein served as the Chief Financial Officer of Loxo Oncology, Inc. between 2014 and 2015. From 2000 to 2005, Dr. Goldstein served as Chief Financial Officer of Vicuron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., raising over $250 million in equity financings, facilitating company partnership transactions and participating in the M&A process when Vicuron was acquired by Pfizer, Inc. for $1.9 billion. Prior to joining Vicuron, he was Director of Venture Analysis at HealthCare Ventures.

Dr. Goldstein currently serves on the board of Directors of NeuBase Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NBSE) and Gain Therapeutics (Nasdaq: GANX). He previously served as a director for ADMA Biologics, Loxo Oncology, Esperion Therapeutics, Duranta Therapeutics, Cempra and a number of private companies. He received a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Stanford University, an MBA from Columbia Business School and an M.D. from Yale School of Medicine.

Shimon Sakaguchi M.D., Ph.D.

Member – National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Shimon Sakaguchi is University Distinguished Professor at Osaka University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Sakaguchi is renowned for his discovery of regulatory T cells (Tregs), which can prevent autoimmunity but can also aid tumor survival and is the world’s authority of Treg biology and function. He was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Emperor in 2009, designated as Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese Government in 2017, and has been awarded many international prizes including Cancer Research Institute’s William B. Coley Award, Keio Medical Science Prize, Canada Gairdner International Award and Crafoord Prize.

Lawrence Steinman, M.D.

Member – National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Steinman is a professor of neurology and neurological sciences, pediatrics, and genetics at Stanford University Medical School and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. He is a renowned expert on neuroinflammation and was senior author on the seminal 1992 Nature article that reported the key role of a particular integrin in brain inflammation, leading to the development of the drug Tysabri. He is the recipient of the John Dystel Prize from the American Academy of Neurology and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for his research on MS, the Charcot Award from the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation, and the Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine from Molecular Medicine.

Clive Svendsen, Ph.D.

Director of the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute
Professor in Residence at UCLA
Consulting Professor at Stanford Univeristy

Dr. Clive Svendsen is Director of the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, Professor in Residence at UCLA and Consulting Professor at Stanford University. Dr. Svendsen is a renowned expert on stem cell biology and regenerative therapeutic approaches. He did his pre-doctoral training at Harvard University and received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in England, where he then established a stem cell research group before moving to the University of Wisconsin in 2000 to become Professor of Neurology and Anatomy, Director of an NIH-funded Stem Cell Training Program and Co-Director of the University of Wisconsin Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center.

Malcolm Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and Professor at Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Brenner is the founding director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and the Fayez Sarofim Distinguished Service Professor at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also a member of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center, the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, and the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Brenner has devoted his career as a physician-scientist to the field of stem cell transplantation through the therapeutic use of T cell immunologic approaches and genetic engineering strategies. His lab was among the first to study the anti-leukemic effects of IL2 following stem cell transplantation during the 1980s and to study the safety and feasibility of post-transplant immunization. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Therapy and as former President of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT)and International Society for Cell Therapy. Dr. Brenner has earned widespread recognition for his scientific achievements and leadership in the field, including the ASGCT Outstanding Achievement Award, Human Gene Therapy’s Pioneer Award, and the American Society of Hematology Mentor Award. He obtained his BA and medical degrees as well as his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the UK where he became a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal College of Physicians. Dr. Brenner is a co-founder of AlloVir, formerly ViraCyte, LLC.

Stanley Appel, M.D.

Peggy and Gary Edwards Distinguished Endowed Chair for the Treatment and Research of ALS, Co-Director of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute

Dr. Stanley Appel is the Peggy and Gary Edwards Distinguished Endowed Chair for the Treatment and Research of ALS, Co-Director of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, Chair of the Stanley H. Appel Department of Neurology, Houston Methodist Hospital and Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is also Director of the MDA/ALSA ALS Research and Clinical Center at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute. Dr Appel’s seminal research documented the intimate relationship of neurodegeneration and ALS progression with dysfunctional and decreased levels of Tregs. He is also renowned for his discovery of cryopreservation of Tregs, demonstrating the ability to expand, freeze and re-thaw Tregs, while maintaining viability and suppressive function. Dr. Appel is a member of numerous professional societies and committees and has authored 15 books and over 440 articles on topics such as ALS, neuromuscular disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease.

Dr. Guillaume Dorothée, PhD

Team head in neuroimmunology at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris
Dr. Guillaume Dorothée, PhD is a tenured senior investigator (CR1) and group leader in neuroimmunology at the french National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in the laboratory “Immune system, Neuroinflammation, and Neurodegenerative Disorders” at the Saint-Antoine Research Center in Paris, France. He is a fundamental and cellular immunologist, with strong training and expertise in T cell biology, innate immune recognition mechanisms, neuroimmunology and neuroinflammation. He obtained his Ph.D in Immunology from University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris 6) in 2003, and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and Curie Institute in Paris. Based on a translational research approach his group addresses the role of neuroimmune interactions in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases, with a particular interest in the interplay between cellular adaptive immunity and innate neuroinflammation, for developing innovative immunotherapy approaches and immune-related biomarkers. His studies in murine models showed that Tregs critically control Aβ-specific CD4+ T cell responses (Toly-Ndour et al, J Immunol, 2011), and play a beneficial role in the pathophysiology of AD-like amyloid pathology (Dansokho et al, Brain, 2016). His group was the first to show the therapeutic potential of Treg-targeting IL-2-based immunomodulatory approach in AD-like pathology (Dansokho et al, Brain, 2016). He contributed to provide evidence that development of Tau pathology is associated with detrimental parenchymal CD8+ T cell infiltration, which promotes cognitive deficits and innate neuroinflammation (Laurent et al, Brain, 2017), in contrast to non-detrimental Aβ-specific CD8+ T-cell responses in the context of amyloid pathology (Bruley-Rosset et al, J Neuroinflammation, 2015). His clinical studies evidenced distinct patterns of anti-Aβ antibodies in typical and atypical forms of AD (Dorothée et al, Arch Neurol, 2012), and he contributed to provide evidence of early and beneficial neuroinflammation in the brain of patients with AD (Hamelin et al, Brain, 2016). Guillaume Dorothée is a Scientific Council member of Association France Alzheimer, and an Executive/Steering Committee member of the French Club for NeuroImmunology (CFNI), and of the International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART) – PIA “Immunity and Neurodegeneration”.