Team

Leslie J. Williams

Co-Founder, Director, President & CEO

Leslie J Williams, a 25-year biopharmaceutical industry veteran, is an experienced biotech CEO and board of directors’ member with demonstrated expertise in building companies, raising funds, and negotiating strategic collaborations.  

Leslie is founding CEO, President & Director of hC Bioscience, Inc. an innovator and leader in protein editing with tRNA based therapeutics. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Ocular Therapeutix (OCUL), Windtree Therapeutics (WINT), and CSCRI (Coral Sea Clinical Research Institute).  In addition, she serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Life Science Leader, the Advisory Board of Life Science Cares and serves as an EIR at UVA and University of Iowa.  Ms. Williams was formerly the founder and CEO of ImmusanT, developing immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases and was CEO at Ventaira Pharmaceuticals developing therapies using the lung as a portal for delivery.   Williams prior pharmaceutical experience includes INO Therapeutics, Merck and GSK.  She was also a venture partner at Battelle Ventures where she sourced and evaluated deals and assisted early-stage technology companies with strategy, management, business development and M&A.

Williams holds an MBA from Washington University, John Olin School of Business, and a B.S. degree with honors in nursing from the University of Iowa. Before entering the industry, she was a critical-care nurse at Duke University, Medical College of Virginia and at the University of Iowa.

David H. Altreuter

Chief Technology Officer

Since 2001 Dave has specialized in the design, translation, and development of novel drug products wherein innovative delivery has a central or critically-enabling role. 

Most recently VP of Product Design and Characterization at Lyndra Therapeutics, Dave’s career has spanned primary contributor and leadership responsibilities across a spectrum of pharmaceutical science and CMC roles from drug substance design, formulation and process development to manufacturing at Acusphere, Alnylam, Selecta Biosciences, Quiet Therapeutics and Lyndra Therapeutics.  

This journey has led to more than 40 patents and patent applications and has advanced programs through more than two dozen clinical trials across 18 unique new medical entities or drug substances.  Dave has helped bring both parenteral and oral modalities into the clinic for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostics use.  While these programs have included small molecules, natural products, contrast agents, peptides, proteins, oligonucleotides, and plasmids, Dave’s role at hC Bioscience returns him to his passion for developing nucleic-acid based drugs that have the potential for transformative impact on the lives of patients.  

Dr. Altreuter is trained as a chemical engineer. He received his PhD at UC Berkeley and his BSE from Princeton University.

Yosef Landesman

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Landesman brings 20 years of experience in drug discovery, development, and regulatory approval in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Using the power of small molecules and small interfering RNAs, his work aims to target oncological, immunological, neurological, and
metabolic diseases, as well as viral infections.

Prior to joining hC Bioscience, Dr. Landesman served as Senior Vice President of Research and Translational Medicine at Karyopharm Therapeutics. From 2011 through 2022, his leadership was critical to advancing preclinical and clinical research, preclinical DMPK, translational medicine, bioinformatics, and Karyopharm’s Expanded Access Program. Dr. Landesman led the preclinical development of XPOVIO® (selinexor), which received three FDA approvals for the treatment of multiple myeloma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. He also initiated discovery and development of the Pak4/NAMPT dual inhibitor KPT-9274, which is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Prior to Karyopharm, Dr. Landesman worked at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals where he played a critical role in establishing the “RNAi Lead Development” department and contributed to the development of ONPATTRO® (patisiran). He began his career in industry as a scientist at GPC Biotech where he developed small molecule Cyclin Dependent Kinase inhibitors.

Dr. Landesman serves on the Data and Safety Monitoring Board of Advenchen Laboratories, LLC. He is a founder of the patient advisory group Cure Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma International. His work has resulted in inventorship on 17 patents for proprietary therapeutics and treatment biomarkers. He received his PhD in Molecular Genetics and Virology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and then completed postdoctoral training and became faculty at Harvard Medical School.

Gautam Goel

Chief Data Science Officer

Gautam is a leader in translational computational biology and a seasoned professional with an impactful 20-year track record in biotech, academia and tech industry.

Most recently, Gautam built and headed an inter-disciplinary R&D/Consulting practice of five Ph.D. computational biologists to implement pipelines for analysis of multi-omics datasets including single-cell RNA-seq, CyTOF, proteomics and metabolomics from cross-sectional/longitudinal observation/intervention studies. Gautam advised biotech and pharmaceutical companies on challenges in early-stage target discovery, biomarker analysis and patient stratification for clinical development, and identification of mechanisms of action and resistance to treatments. Prior to that, he spearheaded biomarker research and platform development as Director of Precision Medicine at ImmusanT to accelerate clinical development of Antigen-specific Immunotherapies. He led the biomarker discovery program in Celiac Disease which resulted in the 1st blood-based diagnostic and an immune response monitoring toolkit to support Phase 2 clinical trials.

Gautam trained as a Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and The Broad Institute with Dr. Ramnik J. Xavier, where he investigated mechanisms of IBD pathogenesis to discover druggable targets and drug candidates. Gautam’s technical expertise includes Antigen-specific Immunotherapy, Systems Immunology, Dynamical Systems Theory, Machine Learning, and Systems Biology. Gautam’s work has led to over 45 publications in disease areas including Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac Disease, Chronic Inflammation and Infectious diseases. Gautam holds a PhD and MS in Bioengineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, a MS in Computer Science from National Center for Software Technology, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Pune. 

Conlin O’Neil

Senior Director, Drug Product Development

Prior to joining hc Bioscience, Dr. O’Neil was Director of Formulations at Codiak BioSciences, and worked as part of the CMC team developing programs in oncology/immuno-oncology, including exoIL-12™ and exoSTING™, and as CMC team leader for exoASO™-STAT6.  At Codiak he also supported the manufacturing and quality teams in building a fit-for-purpose dedicated GMP exosome manufacturing facility.  Prior to joining Codiak, he was head of formulations at Selecta Biosciences developing PLA/PLGA nanoparticle therapeutics.  This included leading development of a novel transmission blocking malaria vaccine targeting the Pfs25 antigen with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and discovery of immunomodulatory formulations to induce tolerance to adeno-associated virus for repeat dosing without neutralizing anti-drug antibodies.  

Dr. O’Neil completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland with a thesis focused on drug delivery applications of block copolymer self-assembling nanoparticles. 

Sarani Ghoshal

Principal Scientist

Dr. Ghoshal obtained her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Memphis and received per postdoctoral training from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.  Her postdoctoral research focused on biological mechanisms that cause liver fibrosis and liver cancer.  She has extensive experience in assay development (in vitro) and developing animal  models for cancer and rare diseases (in vivo). 

During her postdoctoral training, Sarani worked with Nimbus Therapeutics, Enanta Pharmaceuticals, and Gilead Sciences.  Prior to joining hC Bioscience, Sarani was a Senior Scientist at Korro Bio. 

Trinayan Kashyap

Executive Director, Research & Development

Trinayan brings more than a decade of preclinical and clinical experience in oncology and inflammatory diseases to his role at hC Bioscience. Prior to joining our team, Trinayan was Executive Director of Research at Karyopharm Therapeutics, where he was a key member of the discovery effort for the first-in-class selective inhibitor of nuclear export (SINE) compound, Xpovio® (selinexor). He made major contributions to the development of the Investigator’s Brochure, as well as multiple regulatory authority applications for market authorization, which ultimately led to the approval of selinexor for the treatment of multiple myeloma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Trinayan also initiated the preclinical development of eltanexor, another SINE compound, which is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. In addition, Trinayan led the Karyopharm Expanded Access Program, broadening the global reach of selinexor treatment. He published a number of manuscripts based on his research efforts and numerous collaborations, and was named as inventor on two patents related to nuclear transport modulators.

Prior to Karyopharm, Trinayan studied the role of cell adhesion molecules in cancer invasion in the laboratory of Dr. Issac Rabinovitz at Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Trinayan obtained his MS in Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and is pursuing his MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

 

Seyed Alireza ('Ali") Zammi dahaj

Senior Computational Biologist

Ali received his Ph.D. in Quantitative Biosciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research was focused on the evolution of nascent multicellularity and the role of biophysical mechanisms such as cell branch entanglement in increasing the size of cell clusters. 

Prior to joining hC Biosciences, he was a senior scientist at GenoTwin Inc where he was developing machine learning models to understand immune system responses to different pathogens. 

Ali has extensive experience developing quantitative models and data analyses of various types of biological data such as microscopy images and NGS data.

Monika Tasak

Scientist I, tRNA biology

Dr. Tasak received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of Rochester. Monika’s thesis was focused on tRNA decay caused by lack of tRNA post-transcriptional modifications in evolutionarily distant yeast species and on the role of tRNA modifications in human disease. She has extensive experience investigating tRNA molecular biology in yeast and in humans using both genetic and biochemical approaches.

Alan Leggett

Associate Scientist, Research & Development

Alan received his Bachelors of Science from the University of Vermont in Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology where he completed his thesis on asbestos induced Malignant Mesothelioma. Upon completion, he worked at The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Nathanael Gray’s lab. During this time he focused on the development of small molecule kinase inhibitors and degraders (PROTACS). He also worked to help develop the ‘dTAG system’ for targeted protein degradation.

 

Prior to joining hC Bioscience he worked at Skyhawk Therapeutics to develop small molecules that modify RNA expression. 

Lingyue Yan

Scientist I, Drug Development

Dr. Lingyue Yan received her PhD in biomedical engineering from State University of New York at Buffalo. During her PhD, she successfully developed various nanoscale drug delivery platforms, including liposomes, polymers and exosomes for various therapeutics, especially RNA molecules.

In addition to drug delivery, Lingyue has experience in molecular biology, bioinformatics and analytical methods.

Alysia Cox

Senior Scientist, Drug Development

Dr. Cox obtained her PhD in translational and molecular medicine from the University of Milano-Bicocca, funded by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship as part of the NABBA project. As part of this work, she collaborated with Enviroinvest, Hungary, and Nerviano Medical Sciences, Italy.

Alysia received her postdoctoral training Cedars Sinai Medical Center and the University of Southern California.  Her postdoctoral research, funded by a fellowship from the PKD Foundation, focused on developing nanoparticles for drug delivery to treat Alzheimer’s disease, glioblastoma, and chronic kidney disease.  She has extensive experience in lipid and polymeric nanoparticle formulation, along with characterization and analysis in vitro and in vivo.

Ruan Zhang

Associate Director, Biology/Immunology

Dr. Zhang obtained his PhD in Immunology from University of Minnesota and had postdoctoral training at University of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Most recently Dr. Zhang was Laboratory Director in the Transplant Immunology Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai Medica Center. While there he led translational studies in novel treatments. Dr. Zhang has extensive research experience in murine and human immune regulation in tolerance, autoimmunity, and tumorigenicity.

Dr. Zhang has worked at FloDesign Sonics, ImmusanT, and TScan. Prior to joining hC Bioscience, he was a Principal Scientist at Garuda Therapeutics.

Sagi Ravid

Research Associate, Drug Development

Sagi obtained his B.S. in chemical engineering from Northeastern University, while being trained as a Research Assistant on translational medicine and immunology in labs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. During his training, he worked on formulating and characterizing amphiphilic hydrogels, and lipid and polymeric nanoparticles for transplantations, colorectal cancer, and glioblastoma.

Prior to joining hC Bioscience, Sagi was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to lead investigations on lipid-coated iron oxide nanoparticles for simultaneous PET/MRI diagnostics of glioblastoma in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

 

Janice Conlon

Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Janice has 20+ years in the biotech industry with a sales & marketing background and was most recently focused on small, start-up clinical stage biopharma project management for buildouts of new spaces and supporting Sr. Leadership teams’ general administration, onboarding of new personnel and has mastered the dynamics of supporting an organization through expansion – moving it from a clinical stage through the pre-launch phase, approval by the FDA, and finally into a commercialized organization. 

Janice has strong administrative and commercial operations biotech experience having worked at Albireo Pharma, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Novartis and EMD Serono.  She also has a background working for a life-science transaction firm having previously worked at Locust Walk Partners and enjoys the work associated with contract management and Business Development & Licensing.