Dr. McKinnell was appointed Optimer’s Chief Executive Officer in February 2013 and has served as Chairman of the Board since April 2012. He has served as a director since January 2011, and Optimer's lead independent director from March 2012 to February 2013. Dr. McKinnell served as Chairman of the Board of Pfizer, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from May 2001 until his retirement in December 2006 and Chief Executive Officer from January 2001 to July 2006. He served as President of Pfizer, Inc. from May 1999 to May 2001, and as President of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Group from January 1997 to April 2001. Dr. McKinnell served as Chief Operating Officer of Pfizer from May 1999 to December 2000 and as Executive Vice President from 1992 to 1999. Dr. McKinnell currently serves as lead independent director of Moody’s Corporation and is a director of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. McKinnell also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Accordia Global Health Foundation. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Connecticut Science Center, and is a member of the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa. He served as director of Pfizer and ExxonMobil Corporation until 2007 and John Wiley & Sons until 2005. Dr. McKinnell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business from the University of British Columbia, and M.B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Anthony E. Altig has served as a director since November 2007. Mr. Altig is the Chief Financial Officer of Biotix Holdings, Inc. a company that manufactures microbiological consumables. From December 2004 to June 2007, Mr. Altig served as the Chief Financial Officer, of Diversa Corporation (subsequently Verenium Corporation), a publicly-traded company developing specialized industrial enzymes. Prior to joining Diversa, Mr. Altig served as the Chief Financial Officer of Maxim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, from 2002 to 2004. In addition to these and other corporate positions, Mr. Altig served as a consultant to the biotechnology and technology industry during his tenure at both Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP, and KPMG, LLP. In addition, Mr. Altig serves as a director and chair of the Audit Committee for MultiCell Technologies, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company and OccuLogix, Inc. dba TearLab Corporation, a publicly-traded health care company focused on evidence-based ophthalmic devices for the diagnosis and treatment of age related eye diseases. Mr. Altig received a B.B.A. degree from the University of Hawaii.
Mr. Auerbach, has served as a director since June 2005 and lead independent director since February 2013. Over the last 18 years, Mr. Auerbach had served as directors for several companies. He currently serves as a director in Ventrus Bioscience, Inc., a development stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of late-stage prescription drugs for gastrointestinal disorders, specifically, hemorrhoids, anal fissures and fecal incontinence. From January 2006 through March 2010, Mr. Auerbach served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Neuro-Hitech, Inc., an early-stage pharmaceutical company which specialized in brain degenerative diseases. From June 2007 through August 2009, he served as a director for Collexis, a company which develops knowledge management and discovery software. From July 2007 through February 2009, Mr. Auerbach also served as director for RxElite Holdings, Inc., a company which develops, manufactures and markets generic prescription drug products in specialty generic markets. From September 2003 through October 2006, Mr. Auerbach served as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc., principally a manufacturer and marketer of generic pharmaceuticals and the parent of Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. From 1993 to 2005, Mr. Auerbach served as Chief Financial Officer of Central Lewmar LLP, a national fine paper distributor. Mr. Auerbach received a B.S. degree in accounting from Rider University.
Dr. Chang, has served as a director since November 1998. Dr. Chang is the Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Nu Skin Enterprises Inc., a publicly-traded personal care and nutritional supplement company. Dr. Chang served as the President of Pharmanex, Nu Skin Enterprises’ nutritional supplement division, from April 2000 to February 2006. Dr. Chang served as Vice President of Clinical Studies and Pharmacology of Pharmanex from 1997 until April 2000. From 1994 until 1997, he was the President and Chief Scientific Officer of Binary Therapeutics, Inc., a development-stage company in the biotechnology industry. From 1981 to 1991, Dr. Chang was a research executive at Wyeth Research, a research-based pharmaceutical products company and formerly known as Wyeth-Ayerst Research, and Rhone Poulenc-Rorer Inc., which is now Sanofi-Aventis. Dr. Chang received a B.S. degree from Portsmouth University and a Ph.D. degree from the University of London.
Michael N. Chang is a co-founder and a director. Dr. Chang has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since our inception in November 1998 until May 2010. Before joining Optimer®, Dr. Chang was the Chief Scientific Officer of NuSkin Enterprises, Inc., a NYSE listed direct selling company based in Utah. Dr. Chang joined NuSkin Enterprises upon its acquisition of Pharmanex, Inc., a natural healthcare company, which he co-founded and where he was employed since January 1995 as Senior Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Science Officer. Before Pharmanex, Dr. Chang worked for 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, at Merck & Co, Inc., a publicly traded research driven pharmaceutical company, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., which is now Sanofi-Aventis, a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, and ArQule, Inc., a development stage oncology company. Dr. Chang holds 35 US patents and more than 60 publications. He received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Fu-Jen University in Taiwan, a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from Brandeis University and post- doctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT.
Dr. Grebow, has served as a director since February 2009. From January 1991 to February 2011, Dr. Grebow held several key positions with Cephalon, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, including Executive Vice President, Cephalon Ventures, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Business Development and Senior Vice President, Drug Development. Prior to joining Cephalon, Dr. Grebow served as the Vice President, Drug Development for Rorer Central Research, a division of Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from 1986 to 1990. Dr. Grebow received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, a Masters of Science in Chemistry from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Physical Biochemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dr. Newman has served as a director since July 2012. He served as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Tenet Healthcare Corporation until his retirement in June 2012. Dr. Newman also served as Chief Executive Officer of Tenet’s California region. Before joining Tenet, Dr. Newman held executive positions at Columbia/HCA Inc. from April 1997 to February 1999 and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Touro Infirmary in New Orleans from August 1990 to March 1997. Prior to 1990, Dr. Newman served as Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine and as Director of Gastroenterology and Nutrition Support at Children's Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Newman completed a five year term on the Board of Directors of the Federation of American Hospitals and presently serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Labor Education and Healthcare Advisory Committee. Dr. Newman holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University, an MBA from Tulane University and a medical degree from the University of Tennessee.
Robert L. Zerbe, M.D. has served as a director since December 2009. Dr. Zerbe currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and President at QuatRx Pharmaceuticals, a private biopharmaceutical company he co-founded in 2000. Prior to QuatRx, he served as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Clinical Research and Development at Parke-Davis, during which time he oversaw the successful development programs for Lipitor®, Neurontin®, and other products. Prior to joining Parke-Davis, he held a variety of research and development positions, including Vice President of Clinical Investigation and Regulatory Affairs at Eli Lilly and Company in the U.S. and U.K. Dr. Zerbe also serves on the board of directors of A.P. Pharma, Inc. and Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. Dr. Zerbe earned his medical degree at Indiana University and received his post graduate training in internal medicine, endocrinology and neuroendocrinology at Indiana University and the National Institutes of Mental Health.