Ed Cannon, Ph.D
President and Chief Executive Officer, Unigen Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Cannon became President and CEO of Unigen in July 2008, and brings with him a rich portfolio of experience. Dr. Cannon served as CEO of AerovectRx, a therapeutics company, where he continues to serve as Executive Chairman. Other previous roles include President, CEO and director of AdipoGenix; founding CEO of Elixir Pharmaceuticals; co-founder, director, and President of the Therapeutics Division of Dyax Corp.; and founder, director and CSO of Hygeia Sciences, the leading developer worldwide of monoclonal antibody-based home diagnostic products. Dr. Cannon continues to serve as a director at AdipoGenix, a Boston-based biopharmaceutical company developing small molecule drugs to treat metabolic diseases. In addition, he serves as a director of Smart Cells, Inc.
Dr. Cannon earned his doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Georgia, trained in molecular immunology at Harvard Medical School and has held faculty positions at Brandeis University and University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Qi Jia, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer, Unigen Pharmaceuticals
Serving as Unigen’s Chief Scientific Officer since 1995, Dr. Jia’s work has impacted the ECONET consortium significantly. Dr. Jia has established collaborations with six organizations around the globe to collect indigenous medicinal plants; he spearheaded the creation of the ECONET’s prized natural product library containing thousands of collections; and he has been instrumental in the development of drug discovery technology platforms, particularly in areas of high throughput fractionation & purification, online data collection, structure dereplication, lead discovery, chemo-informatics and product development.
Dr. Jia is an expert in the field of ethno medicinal plants. His research studies have focused on the application of traditional Chinese medicine, specifically relating to anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulation activities, as well as the discovery of drug leads from Bolivian medicinal plants for the treatment of HIV infection, cancer, tuberculosis and fungal infections. Dr. Jia holds 16 issued and pending patents, has co-authored 26 presentations at professional conferences, and over 20 peer-reviewed publications in the field of natural product chemistry.
Dr. Qi Jia received his B.S. in Medicinal Chemistry from Beijing Medical University in 1985 and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Texas Christian University in 1995. Dr. Jia has studied ethnomedicinal plants for over twenty years.
Abeysinghe A. Padmapriya, Ph.D.
Vice President of Organic Synthesis and Manufacturing of New Chemical Entities,
Dr. Padmapriya joined Unigen Pharmaceuticals to serve as Director of Organic Synthesis in 1996. In this role, one of his key contributions involved the development of short novel synthesis for natural products. He later became Vice President of Organic Synthesis and Manufacturing of New Chemical Entities and Operations. Prior to joining Unigen, Dr. Padmapriya worked in various research capacities including several roles in pharmaceutical development with Hybridon Inc., in Worchester, MA, and Nexagen, Inc, in Boulder, CO. He has co-authored multiple publications and several patents in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. Dr. Padmapriya’s experience and knowledge in the fields of natural products and pharmaceutical development are quite extensive and are demonstrated by the quality and complexity of his work.
Dr. Padmapriya earned his B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Sri Lanka. He further studied at Ceylon Institute of Industrial Research and earned his Ph.D. at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in Organic Synthesis of Natural Products. Dr. Padmapriya performed his post-doctoral research at McGill University in Montreal and went on to study the synthesis of novel anti-cancer natural product based compounds at the University of Virginia.
Wenwen Ma, Ph.D.
Vice President of Quality, Unigen Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Ma holds an integral role at Unigen Pharmaceuticals. As Vice President of Quality, Dr. Ma develops and leads quality improvement initiatives; evaluates quality assurance protocols; and ensures department-wide compliance with quality standards and upgrades and corporate compliance against internal and external requirements. Dr. Ma has served in many positions at various pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology organizations, and brings with her vast experience in the fields of quality control and quality assurance management, along with a strong background in the areas of analytical and natural product chemistry. Her proven experience involving Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) regulations and compliance supports Unigen in establishing and maintaining its high standard of quality in its systems and processes.
Dr. Ma holds a Ph.D. in Natural Product Chemistry from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy Pharmacy School at Purdue University, Indiana. She received her Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the School of Pharmacy, Shanghai First Medical College, China. Her work has been published in more than 20 peer-reviewed journals, and she has received a number of awards and honors for her contributions in the fields of natural product chemistry, pharmacognosy and new drug discovery.