about us

Who We Are

Elizabeth Reczek, Ph.D. – President and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Reczek joined Excelimmune, Inc. in 2007. She was a founding member of the company's original research team, which was responsible for the development of Excelimmune's core human antibody discovery technology, from initial concept through to the successful isolation of antibodies against Staphylococcus aureus from human donors. From 2010 to 2012, as Director of Research, Dr. Reczek oversaw the development of the company's Antibody Combination Therapeutic (ACT) expression technology and is a named inventor on the patent, awarded in December of 2013. In February 2013, Dr. Reczek assumed the role of President and CEO. She currently serves as the company's President and Chief Scientific Officer. Elizabeth obtained her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at MIT, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship focused on tumor cell signaling pathways at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Jason M. Walsh, MBA – Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Corporate Development

Mr. Walsh, a senior finance and operations executive with over twenty years of biotechnology management experience, joined Excelimmune, Inc. in early 2013 to lead finance and corporate development activities. Previously, Jason was a founder and Chief Business Officer of the cancer therapeutic company, Provenance Biopharmaceuticals Corp. At Provenance, he led all finance, business operations, and corporate development activities. He raised several rounds of financing and helped advance the company's lead molecule into the clinic. Prior to starting Provenance, Jason was Head of Finance and Business Operations for Lexigen Pharmaceuticals Corp. There, he helped lead Lexigen from its start-up phase through various stages of funding and multiple corporate pharmaceutical company partnerships and, ultimately, to the successful sale to the global pharmaceutical company, Merck KGaA. Prior to his executive position at Lexigen, Jason founded and led several entrepreneurial ventures in a wide range of industries. He is a founder, Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of The Bioscience Network, a non-profit educational and professional development organization for the life science industry. He has his Masters in Business Administration from Babson College.

Thomas A. Dahl, PhD – Vice President of Product Development

Dr. Dahl joined Excelimmune, Inc. in 2013 as Vice President of Product Development. Tom has more than 20 years of experience in experimental therapeutics in both academia and biopharmaceutical industry, including product development, clinical trial design, execution and interpretation, as well as experience in data presentation to funding communities, analysts, and biotech and pharmaceutical partners. He has held senior management positions in a number of biotech companies, including CEO, COO and VP of Clinical Development. Additionally, Tom has served as an advisor and consultant to biotech companies, specializing in start-ups and early stage (through Phase 2 clinical trials) development. He has submitted a total of 8 INDs to the FDA across multiple therapeutic areas including infectious diseases, and has designed and overseen more than 30 clinical trials. Tom received his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University and served on the faculty of Tufts Medical, Dental and Veterinary Schools for several years before joining the biotech community.

Hugh H. Russell, PhD – Director of Antibody Technologies

Dr. Russell joined Excelimmune, Inc. in 2007 as a founding member of the company's original research team. During his tenure, Hugh has overseen the development of the antibody discovery and screening platforms, and initiated functional in vitro studies for characterization of anti-S. aureus antibodies. As Director of Antibody Technologies, Hugh works on the pre-clinical development of antibody technologies and on intellectual property for Excelimmune. Hugh received his Ph.D. in Infectious diseases from the Imperial College London using molecular and biochemical methods to study Gram positive bacterial pathogens.

Karoly Nikolich, PhD – Executive Chairman

Dr. Nikolich is an experienced executive in biotechnology and life science companies, and an expert in central nervous system therapeutics with a successful track record in creating and leading early- and late-stage companies and programs. He held senior R&D leadership and executive positions at leading large biotechnology and technology platform companies. Additionally, he founded and served as CEO of three early-stage biotechnology/life science companies. During his 12 years at Genentech, Dr. Nikolich initiated and built the company's first neuroscience program, led and participated in preclinical and clinical development programs, including nerve growth factor, new neurotrophic factors, tPA for stroke, growth hormone and heregulin. As VP of Research at Lynx Therapeutics, he established and managed a major partnership with BASF in Germany and was part of the management team that carried the company's public stock offering. Dr. Nikolich has a strategic perspective and vision to create pioneering, proprietary therapies for CNS diseases. He established and managed many successful partnerships, collaborations, and licenses with companies, as well as, with academic and government institutions. As a scientist, Dr. Nikolich has published over 130 research and review articles, and has served as an investment advisor to several public and private venture funds

Mark de Souza, PhD – Director

Dr. de Souza is a serial entrepreneur and investor who has a passion for developing first-in-class therapies for rare and neglected diseases with a high unmet medical need. He is a co-founder and member of the board of directors of NFlection Therapeutics and Myotherix.

He was President and CEO of Lotus Tissue Repair, which he co-founded in 2010 to develop recombinant collagen VII as protein replacement therapy for a devastating orphan genetic disease, dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Lotus Tissue Repair secured a $26 million Series A commitment from Third Rock Ventures in 2011. The company was acquired by Shire in early 2013.

Prior to founding Lotus, Mark was Vice President of Business Development at Dyax Corp, a biopharmaceutical company which discovered, developed and commercialized KALBITOR®, its lead product in hereditary angioedema, an orphan genetic disease. Since 2003, he led the business development team, which was responsible for licensing Dyax's phage display technology and products, including KALBITOR®, generating greater than $200 million in license fees and other forms of financing from 50+ antibody, protein, and peptide technology and product licensing transactions. Prior to joining Dyax, Mark conducted academic research at the University of California, Berkeley.

George Risi, MD, MSc – Clinical Advisor/Collaborator – Infectious Disease

Dr. Risi is an infectious disease clinician in Missoula, MT, where he founded Infectious Disease Specialists, PC, an organization dedicated to clinical research and education regarding infectious diseases. Additionally, he serves as an Infectious Disease Advisor to the St. Patrick Hospital and an Infectious Disease Consultant for the NIH/NIAID at Rocky Mountain Laboratories. He has extensive clinical experience with Staphylococcus aureus and has served as a collaborator and clinical advisor to Excelimmune for the company's Staphguard® program. Dr. Risi is committed to the advancement of Staphguard® and is a strong supporter of the Excelimmune model of Antibody Combination Therapeutics (ACT) for the treatment of infectious diseases. Dr. Risi earned his MD from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia after which he pursued a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Louisiana State University Medical Center. In 2011, he earned a M.Sc. degree in the Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.