Meet Our Team

Sarcomatrix is a preclinical stage-rare disease pharmaceuticals company co-founded in 2013 by the Dean Burkin Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno, and biotech industry veterans. We’re led by a close-knit team of industry experts who have more than 130 years of collective experience developing and commercializing more than 20 medicines.

Our entire team of leaders, employees, and advisors is passionately focused on discovering and developing first-in-class therapies using novel patented scientific platforms in muscular wasting diseases.

Core Team

Clinical and Business Leadership Team

Our Clinical and Business Leadership Team is ready and in place but we’re using only their initials below for confidentiality until funding is secured.

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David Craig, MBA
CEO and President

David Craig is a pharmaceutical executive with more than 30 years of experience leading and scaling organizations to commercial success. Mr. Craig has been a member of, and led, teams responsible for the commercialization of blockbuster #1-in-market, or first-in-class, novel medicines including EPOGEN (erythropoietin alfa), NEUPOGEN (filgrastim), HEPSERA (adefovir dipivoxil) and ANDEXXA (andexanet afla). He has held leadership roles at Amgen, Sequus, Gilead Sciences, AcelRx, Portola, and the UNR Licensing Office. Mr. Craig earned a BS in Pharmacy from South Dakota State University and an MBA from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School.

Ryan Wuebbles, Ph.D.,
Chief Science Officer
Dr. Wuebbles has more than 20 years of R&D experience as a translational scientist with more than 30 publications and 11 patents. He was previously Research Assistant Professor leading a research department with oversight of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and bioanalysis of two medicines from preclinical to IND. His experience includes comprehensive pre-clinical programs of different modalities including small molecules, oligonucleotide, and protein therapeutics, and he has focused on treatments for all forms of muscular dystrophy. Dr. Wuebbles earned his PhD in Developmental Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
David Maine, BS,
Chief of Staff, Business Operations
David Maine is a solutions-driven serial entrepreneur (5x) with experience leading cross-functional teams in the development of innovative businesses based on academic research. As co-founder and CFO of biopharmaceutical company Strykagen, David has designed and implemented risk-adjusted business strategies that have achieved over $3M in funding (SBIR/STTR grants and private investment from a major biotechnology company), established private partnerships, applied IP strategy, and developed a framework for IND applications, GMP manufacturing, phase 1 clinical trials, and orphan drug designations. Mr. Maine holds a BS in Environmental Resource Economics, and an MA in Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno.
J. M., MD, Ph.D.
Chief Medical Officer
J.M. has more than 20 years of experience in drug development and is our Chief Medical Officer and SVP for Medical and Regulatory Affairs.
J. P., PhD
Chief Technical Officer
J.P. has more than 22 years of experience in technical operations, developing proteins and small molecules, and in strategic planning and global distribution.
K.G., MS
VP Quality Assurance
K.G. has more than 18 years of experience in drug development and quality systems, overseeing drug manufacturing from pre-clinical to commercial.

Scientific Advisors

Dean Burkin, PhD

Dr. Burkin is a recognized world expert on the role of integrins and laminin play in muscle disease and was the first to show that α7β1 integrin can serve as a surrogate for the loss of dystrophin in DMD. Additionally, his pioneering work shows laminin-111 protein can substitute for the loss of laminin-211 in LAMA2-CMD.

Rachelle Crosbie-Watson, PhD

Dept. Integrative Biology & Physiology University of California Los Angeles

Crosbie-Watson specializes in the muscle proteins related to dystrophin, the problem gene in Duchenne, which she was able to isolate and named the “sarcospan.” In addition, her lab at UCLA has been dedicated to understanding the function of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex, which is crucial to increasing understanding of the disease.

Jeffrey Chamberlain, PhD*

Professor of Neurology and Medicine, McCaw Endowed Chair in Muscular Dystrophy, University of Washington, Seattle

Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain’s lab studies mechanisms leading to the muscular dystrophies, the structure & function of dystrophin (mutated in DMD, among the most common inherited diseases), and approaches to therapy. His group developed miniaturized dystrophin genes that we named “micro-dystrophin” and were also the first to show that AAV vectors could be used for systemic gene delivery to muscle.

Alan Beggs*, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics, Director, The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston

Dr. Alan Beggs’ lab focuses on gene discovery and improving methods for identification of pathogenic mutations utilizing genomic approaches in Human patients and animal models to understand the pathophysiology of rare genetic conditions, and to develop animal models for use in creating targeted therapies to treat these devastating childhood disorders.

Business Advisors

Mick Hitchcock, PhD

Member Board Of Trustees, American Council on Science and Health

Sheldon Koenig, MBA*

President and CEO of Esperion Therapeutics

Reza Oliyai, PhD

President and CEO, Oliyai Consulting Corporation

Dana Dunn

President, Dunn Regulatory Associates, LLC

Uri Lopatin, MD*

President and CEO, Pardes Biosciences*

* Informal advisors, advisory agreement pending

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