Cocoon is led by a committed group of physicians, scientists, and engineers dedicated to providing patients freedom from serious diseases.

Team

Ailis Tweed-Kent

CEO & Founder

Dr. Ailis Tweed-Kent is an up-and-coming entrepreneur and leader in the development of innovative medical technologies. With her education in medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Ailis has first hand knowledge of the burden of disease. In 2013, Ailis was inspired by her patients to found Cocoon to develop innovative silk therapeutics leveraging silk as a materials science platform. Prior to Cocoon, she worked on the design, development, and delivery of diagnostic technologies for global health collaborating with organizations such as PEPFAR/Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Global Health Delivery Project. She brings a multidisciplinary approach with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. She was recently named to the Boston Business Journal’s 2017 Women to Watch in Science and Technology as well as the Boston MedTech’s 40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovators.

Peter Mitchell

Chief Scientific Officer

Peter Mitchell comes to Coccoon Biotech with 25 years of commercial pharmaceutical leadership focused on arthritis and inflammation, and has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. He started his career in basic research in cartilage biology, leading drug discovery projects focused on arthritis and inflammation at Pfizer in Groton, Connecticut. In 2003, he joined Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, where he became Senior Director in the Translational Sciences, and then Tailored Therapeutics, Departments, with work focused on how to provide tailored therapeutics in the areas of autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases. He earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Following his graduate work, Dr. Mitchell completed post-doctoral research in cancer cell biology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and then went on to perform rheumatology research for three years at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Mike Santos

Vice President R&D

Mike Santos has 12 years of pharmaceutical experience in parenteral formulation and drug delivery.  Before joining Cocoon Biotech, Mike worked at Genzyme a Sanofi company, in the Polymers, Biomaterials and Drug Delivery department where he was responsible for the development of novel systems for controlled and/or local delivery of small and large molecules.  Mike has formulation experience that spans across multiple disease areas including orthopedics, oncology, diabetes, animal health, and vaccines where he has lead programs from discovery through Phase I.  At Cocoon, he is leveraging his expertise in formulation and drug delivery from a wide variety of polymer formats.  

Steve Myers

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Steve Myers, FACM, FACR graduated from the Johns Hopkins University.  He completed his M.D., residency in internal medicine and rheumatology fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr. Myers then joined the Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine faculty.  He served as Staff Physician and Chief of Rheumatology at the Indianapolis Veterans Administration Hospital, and was a member of the medical staff and clinical practice at the Indiana University and Wishard Memorial Hospitals.  His research interests and areas of grant support included synovial pathophysiology, articular cartilage, and osteoarthritis. He served as Clinical Director of the Rheumatology Division and Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Myers joined Eli Lilly and Co. as a Clinical Research Physician in 1998.  He participated in the Phase 3 trials, submission and registration of recombinant parathyroid hormone for osteoporosis treatment, in phase 2 RA studies, and in the development of Lilly strategy and external asset evaluation in RA and osteoarthritis. After transitioning to the Management team he led clinical strategy development for, and the physicians conducting early phase studies with biologics in RA, autoimmune diseases and both small molecules and biologics in a variety of musculoskeletal and urological diseases.   He retired from his Senior Medical Director position at Lilly in 2014 and joined the Cocoon Biotech team in early 2016.

Board of Directors

Annalisa Jenkins

Executive Chair

Annalisa Jenkins, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.P., President and Chief Executive Officer at leading gene therapy company Dimension Therapeutics, is a biopharma thought leader with 20 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Dimension in September 2014, Dr. Jenkins served as head of global research and development at Merck Serono Pharmaceuticals from 2013 to 2014, where she also served as executive vice president global development and medical from 2011 to 2013. Prior to this, Dr. Jenkins held several leadership roles at Bristol Myers-Squibb from 1997 to 2011, most recently serving as senior vice president and head of global medical affairs. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jenkins was a medical officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Dr. Jenkins is a member of the board of directors of Ardelyx, Inc., iOX Therapeutics Limited, MedCity, TSI, Cocoon Biotech Inc, and Vium (elected to Executive Chair in 2017), and previously served as a board member of Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Prosensa Holding N.V. (acquired by BioMarin Pharmaceutical), and Viventia Bio, Inc. (acquired by Eleven Bio). She also is a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and serves on the board of the Center for Talent Innovation (U.K.). She is also an executive committee member of Springboard Enterprises, and is on the Advisory Panel of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Dr. Jenkins graduated with a degree in medicine from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London and subsequently trained in cardiovascular medicine in the U.K. National Health Service. 

Grace Colón

Board Member

Dr. Colón brings over 25 years experience in biopharma, genomics, healthcare, drug delivery and industrial biotechnology.  Currently she is President and CEO at InCarda Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering a novel approach of treating cardiovascular conditions and diseases by the inhalation route.   She is also a senior advisor at New Science Ventures (where she was formerly a partner), serves on the boards of Proterix Bio (Executive Chairman; formerly CEO) and PerceptiMed, and is an advisor at Kiverdi.  She has served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University since 2014.   She also co-founded Pyranose Biotherapeutics, an early stage discovery platform company.   Previously she was founding President of the Industrial Products Division at Intrexon Corporation, where she established a new division focused on leveraging synthetic biology for bioindustrial applications such as biofuels and renewable chemicals and was a key contributor to the company’s $100M Series E raise.  Prior to Intrexon, she was head of Clinical Operations for Gilead Sciences, where she was responsible for global execution of clinical trials.   At Gilead, she also created and led both the Alliance Management and Commercial Strategic Planning groups.  Prior to Gilead, she was VP, Corporate Planning at Affymetrix, where she was responsible for strategic planning and project management and where she also served as COO for the International Genomics Consortium, a non-profit medical research organization focused on cancer genomics.  Earlier in her career she was a consultant with McKinsey & Co., where she served clients in healthcare, biotech, high tech and venture capital.  She was also an engineer with Merck & Co. in France and in Rahway, NJ.  Dr. Colón received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar.

Mary Thistle

Board Member

Mary Thistle currently serves as the Gates Medical Research Institute’s Chief of Staff. Mary is a biopharmaceutical leader with more than 25 years expertise of driving accelerated growth, leading organizations’ strategy, operations, and business development. Before joining the Gates MRI, she was the COO for Dimension Therapeutics, a gene therapy company focused on rare diseases of the liver. Prior to Dimension, Mary was the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, the global leader in anti-infective medicines. Prior to Cubist, Mary held a number of senior executive operating roles across finance, commercial, manufacturing and business development. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts. Mary serves on the Board of Directors for Enterome Biosciences.

Ailis Tweed-Kent

CEO & Founder

Dr. Ailis Tweed-Kent is an up-and-coming entrepreneur and leader in the development of innovative medical technologies. With her education in medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Ailis has first hand knowledge of the burden of disease. In 2013, Ailis was inspired by her patients to found Cocoon to develop innovative silk therapeutics leveraging silk as a materials science platform. Prior to Cocoon, she worked on the design, development, and delivery of diagnostic technologies for global health collaborating with organizations such as PEPFAR/Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Global Health Delivery Project. She brings a multidisciplinary approach with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. She was recently named to the Boston Business Journal’s 2017 Women to Watch in Science and Technology as well as the Boston MedTech’s 40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovators.

Advisory Board

Andrew Bellinger

Advisory Board

Dr. Bellinger is an accomplished physician and scientist with more than 10 years of experience in pharmaceutical innovation. He is the Chief Science Officer of Lyndra.  He graduated from Princeton University majoring in physics before studying mathematical modeling of the human body at NYU. He received his MD and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University. He trained in internal medicine at UCSF and now continues to practice medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He also works with Robert Langer at MIT on novel drug delivery platforms.

Dean Eliott

Advisory Board

Dr. Eliott is Associate Director of the Retina Service, Fellowship Director, and the Stelios Evangelos Gragoudas Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Eliott attended Duke University for college, and he received his medical degree with honors from Vanderbilt University. He completed his residency at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and he received his vitreoretinal fellowship training at the Duke Eye Center. He then served as Chief Resident and faculty member at Duke. Following this, Dr. Eliott was Director of the Retina Service, Associate Professor, and Fellowship Director at Kresge Eye Institute. Subsequently, he was Director of the Doheny Retina Institute, Professor, and Fellowship Director at Doheny Eye Institute. Dr. Eliott has received numerous teaching awards, including the Crystal Apple Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists and the Lifetime Mentor Award from the Vit-Buckle Society. He has been a principal investigator for many clinical trials, including the Argus II retinal prosthesis, stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cell transplants, stem cell-derived retinal progenitor cell transplants, and gene therapy studies.

Duncan Lascelles

Advisory Board

After graduating from the veterinary program at the University of Bristol, U.K., with honors, Dr. Lascelles completed a PhD in aspects of pre-emptive/perioperative analgesia at the University of Bristol. After an internship there, he completed his surgical residency at the University of Cambridge, U.K. He moved to Colorado for the Fellowship in Oncological Surgery at Colorado State University, then a period of post-doctoral research in feline pain and analgesia at the University of Florida, and is currently Professor in Small Animal Surgery and Pain Management at North Carolina State University. He runs the Comparative Pain Research and Education Centre which is dedicated to answering critical questions through high quality, innovative research. He is board-certified in small animal surgery by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. His career has been focused on developing algometry methods in spontaneous disease animal models, and probing tissues from well-phenotyped animals with spontaneous disease to understand the neurobiology, with a strong translational focus. The aim of his research is to improve pain control in companion animals, and facilitate analgesic development in human medicine.

Mark Papich

Advisory Board

Dr. Mark G. Papich is the Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Professorship in Veterinary Pharmacology at North Carolina State University. He is the Supervisor of the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory in the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. He is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology (ACVCP), and has served as president of ACVCP. He is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He has served on various Expert Committees, the Council of Experts, and Chairman for the Veterinary Drugs Expert Committee for the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). He is a member and past Chairholder of the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) Veterinary Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing subcommittee (VAST) and on the Expert Panel on Microbiology for CLSI. He served as a member of the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He has taught veterinary pharmacology for over 25 years. He has authored/edited eight books on veterinary pharmacology and is one of the editors of the 9th and 10th editions of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He is author or co-author of over 220 research papers published in refereed journals and has authored over 125 book chapters, and review papers.

Mark Prausnitz

Advisory Board

Mark Prausnitz is Regents’ Professor and J. Erskine Love, Jr. Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Prausnitz and colleagues carry out research on biophysical methods of drug delivery using microneedles, lasers, ionic liquids and other microdevices for transdermal, ocular and intracellular delivery of drugs and vaccines. He has co-founded five companies, including Clearside Biomedical (NASDAQ:CLSD) and Micron Biomedical. He teaches an introductory course on engineering calculations, as well as two advanced courses on pharmaceuticals. He has published more than 250 journal articles. He earned a BS degree from Stanford University and PhD degree from MIT, both in chemical engineering.