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Pasithea

Our Leadership

Pasithea team is comprised of experts with decades of experience in research and drug development in neuroscience and and extensive know-how at leading biopharmaceutical companies.

Executive Team

Professor Lawrence Steinman, MD, PhD

MD Chairman

Lawrence is a professor of neurology and neurological sciences, pediatrics and genetics at Stanford Medical School, where he leads a research team that focuses on the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. He 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.

Lawrence received his doctoral degree from Harvard Medical School, and he was a post-doctoral fellow in chemical immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He has received many honors and awards, including the John M. Dystel Prize from the American Academy of Neurology and the National MS Society for his research on multiple sclerosis (MS), the Charcot Prize for Lifetime Achievement in MS research and the Cerami Prize for Translational Research. He has twice been awarded the Senator Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award by the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. Lawrence is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Tiago Reis Marques, MD, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Marques is a fellow at Imperial College London and a lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. Dr. Marques is also a psychiatrist at Maudsley Hospital, rated as one of the top three psychiatry centres in the world. His research focuses on topics including the mechanism of action of psychiatric medication and the unveil of novel treatment targets. Dr. Marques has co-authored international treatment guidelines and written book chapters, including in the leading book in the field, “Neurobiology of Mental Illness.

Graeme Currie, PhD

Chief Development Officer

Graeme has over 30 years of drug development experience in both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Graeme has held senior leadership roles at both public and privately held biotech organizations leading operations and development activities.  

Graeme held C-suite or senior management roles at BioClin Theraeutics, Dynavax technologies, Tolerion Inc., Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Sepracor, Protein Design labs and Gilead Sciences.

Graeme received a BSc from the University of Salford, and a Ph.D. from Aston University in the UK. Graeme has been involved in the development of 8 approved new drugs.

Lisa Ryner, PhD

Senior Director, Research

Lisa has over 25 years of drug development experience in both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.  Lisa was most recently Associate Director of Research at Tolerion Inc. 

Lisa prior roles include Staff Research Scientist at Genentech in Oncology Biomarker Development, Associate Director of Research at Tolerion Inc.  and Research Scientist positions at KAI Pharmaceuticals and Exelixis, Inc. 

Lisa held a Research Associate position in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University where she also did her Postdoctoral work.  She received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Columbia University.

Mike Leviten, PhD

Vice President (VP) of Research

Mike has over 25 years of drug development experience in both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Mike was most recently Director of Research of Prior roles include Director of Research at Annexon Inc. and Tolerion Inc., Director of Molecular Biology at Bayhill Therapeutics and Senior Scientist at Deltagen Inc.

Michael did postdoctoral work at University of California Berkeley and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

Advisory Board

Charles Nemeroff

MD

Chair and professor with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Additionally, he directs the Institute for Early Life Adversity Research within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences as part of the Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences.

His research is focused on the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders with a focus on the role of child abuse and neglect as a major risk factor. He has also conducted research on the role of mood disorders as a risk factor for major medical disorders including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. He has published more than 1,100 research reports and reviews, and his research is currently supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

He has served as president of the American College of Psychiatrists and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and he sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation. He is president-elect and a member of the board of directors of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

He has received a number of research and education awards, including the Kempf Award in Psychobiology, the Samuel Hibbs Award, the Research Mentoring Award, the Judson Marmor Award, the Vestermark Award and the Nasrallah Family Award for Advances in Psychiatric Neuroscience from the American Psychiatric Association; the Mood Disorders Award, the Bowis Award and the Dean Award from the American College of Psychiatrists; and the Julius Axelrod Award for mentoring from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2002. He was also named Alumnus of the Year from both the University of North Carolina and from the UNC School of Medicine. He received the doctorate honoris causa from Maimonides University in Buenos Aires in 2015.

Daniel R. Weinberger

MD

Director and CEO of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD) and a Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, Neuroscience and Genetic Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is regarded worldwide as one of the preeminent scientists in psychiatry research, having been at the forefront of scientific investigation of schizophrenia and related disorders for a generation. He attended college at the Johns Hopkins University, medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, and did residencies in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and in neurology at George Washington University. He is board-certified in both psychiatry and neurology.

Dr. Weinberger was instrumental in focusing the research landscape on the role of abnormal brain development as a risk factor for many psychiatric disorders. His lab identified the first specific genetic mechanism of risk for psychiatric illness, and the first genetic effects that account for variation in specific human cognitive functions and in human temperament. In addition, he and his colleagues developed the first high-fidelity animal model of schizophrenia. In 2003, Science magazine highlighted the genetic research of his lab as the second biggest scientific breakthrough of the year, second to the discovery of the origins of the cosmos.

Dr. Weinberger is a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of many honors and awards such as the

K.J. Zulch Neuroscience Prize of the Max Planck Society in Germany, the NIH’s Directors Award, The William K. Warren Medical Research Institute Award, the Adolf Meyer Prize of the American Psychiatric Association, the Gold Medal Award of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the Foundation’s Fund Prize from the American Psychiatric Association, and the Lieber Prize of the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (now the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation). He has been president of major professional organizations.  He has published over 700 papers in high-profile, peer-reviewed journals and has authored or edited 11 books. He has also written extensively on the impact of mental illness in our society, health disparities in brain research and the role of the developing brain during adolescence.