Executive Team

Underdog’s principals comprise the founding CEO and V.P. Research of SENS Research Foundation, the nonprofit research organization dedicated to the development of comprehensive regenerative medicine solutions for the diseases of aging. They have devoted themselves over the last decade to the development of true rejuvenation biotechnologies.

Michael Kope

Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder

Underdog Pharmaceuticals

Mr. Kope extablished SENS Research Foundation in 2009 with Aubrey de Grey, and was its founding CEO, serving until 2019. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1990. He has served as the University of Michigan’s Intellectual Property Counsel; Director of Corporate Development for Aviron/MedImmune, Inc.; and as CEO and officer of a number of biotechnology startups.

Dr. Matthew ‘Oki’ O’Connor

Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder

Underdog Pharmaceuticals

Dr. O’Connor was awarded his Master’s degree in neuroscience from Northwestern Medical in 1999 and his PhD in Biochemistry from Baylor College of Medicine in 2005. His postdoctoral research includes work at UC Berkeley on muscle stem cells and aging. He is the author of 10 published manuscripts and lead inventor on the cyclodextrin patents. He is the outgoing VP of Research at SENS Research Foundation.

Advisory Board

Advisors include Aubrey de Grey, one of the most recognized names in the rejuvenation biotechnology industry (and with Mr. Kope, co‐founder of SRF), and Dr. Lajos Szente, a world‐leading expert in cyclodextrin development.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey

Chief Science Officer and Co-founder

SENS Research Foundation

Dr. de Grey is the biomedical gerontologist who devised the SENS platform, and established SENS Research Foundation to implement it. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Cambridge in 2000. He has served as CSO since SRF’s founding, and is also the VP of New Technology Development at AgeX Therapeutics, Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, and a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association.

Dr. Lajos Szente

Scientific Advisor and Co-Founder

CycloLab

Dr. Szente, a world-renowned cyclodextrin expert, is the Scientific Advisor and co-founder of CycloLab. He has Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees in organic chemistry, and has performed extensive post-doctoral research in the application of cyclodextrins in drug delivery and applied supramolecular chemistry. Lajos is an inventor of over 50 patents/patent applications, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of International Cyclodextrin Symposia.

Staff

Underdog’s growing team of technical, legal, and policy experts bring essential skills to assure a strong launch for the company.

Computational Chemist

Amelia Anderson

Amelia earned her Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018. Putting a lifelong love of science to work, she began at SENS Research Foundation as a summer intern in 2017 and is now a full time computational biochemist for Underdog Pharmaceuticals. Amelia loves her dog Bode, science jokes, and playing outside.

Principal Scientist

Dr. Daniel Clemens

Dr. Clemens received his B.S. in biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004 and Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of California, Irvine in 2013. Since 2016, Dr. Clemens has been applying his diverse scientific skillset to discovery- and preclinical- stage industrial pharmaceutical research. He maintains a focus on designing and executing assays to demonstrate safety and efficacy of compounds being considered for clinical testing and development. Daniel enjoys spending his free time wrangling his young daughter, with the help of his wife, and adventuring in the outdoors of northern California by bike and ski.

Engineer

Anne Corwin

Anne’s current work at SENS Research Foundation and Underdog Pharmaceuticals spans two areas. As a hardware engineer, she is responsible for equipment optimization, troubleshooting, and repair, and as a content editor, she supports Foundation writing, media, and messaging efforts. Prior to joining SRF and Underdog, Anne earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2002 and then worked in industry for several years as an EE specializing in Electromagnetic Compatibility. Anne shares a home in Santa Clara with her significant other and their four cats; in her off-hours, she enjoys painting, woodworking, science fiction, reading, and the occasional video game.

Research Associate

Darren Dinh

Darren earned his Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from University of California, Davis in 2016. He enters Underdog as a research associate with a focus on designing and optimizing in-vitro assays to move potential drug candidates along the path towards the clinic.  Darren enjoys baking desserts, playing classic video games and going on long walks around town with his corgi. Occasionally, he spend his free time, designing modular origami structures.

Director of Chemistry

Dr. Àngels Estiarte

Dr Estiarte has 15 years of corporate experience in drug research and development, advancing molecular candidates from discovery through clinical development. With a BS, MS and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Organic Chemistry, University of Barcelona, and postdoctoral fellow in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Angels is an author on numerous scientific publications and two book chapters, an inventor on over 10 patents, and is a PMP and Regulatory Affairs certified professional.

Research Associate

Tamari Kirtadze

Tamari hails from the east coast with a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from NYU Tandon School of Engineering. She entered the pharmaceutical industry to develop robust in-vitro assays to put drug candidates through their paces on their way to the clinic. Tamari loves her cat, rock climbing, ballroom dancing, long inclined walks, and participating in robot fighting competitions.

 

 

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