Lantern’s Team

Comprised of experienced management, dedicated advisors and an accomplished Board of Directors

Management and Advisors

Panna Sharma

President & Chief Executive Officer

Panna Sharma

President & Chief Executive Officer

Panna Sharma is the Chief Executive Officer and president of Lantern Pharma. As Chief Executive Officer, Panna oversees Lantern’s use of AI and genomics in developing its therapy product pipeline to innovate the repurposing, revitalization and development of precision therapeutics in oncology.

Prior to joining Lantern in 2018, Panna was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cancer Genetics, Inc., a provider of DNA-based cancer diagnostics and services some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the world. In 2001, Panna founded TSG Partners, a specialty advisory group combining corporate strategy and corporate finance to create shareholder value for companies and investors in the life sciences, biotechnology and environmental sciences sectors. Prior to TSG, Mr. Sharma served in the roles of Senior Vice President of E-Business Solutions and Chief Strategy Officer at iXL Inc. (later merged with Scient). For the six years prior to his being at iXL Inc., Mr. Sharma helped successfully found, manage and sell or take public two other consulting and professional services firms. From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Sharma was a partner at Interactive Solutions, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Sharma served as a consultant to Putnam Investment Management, LLC and Bank of America Corporation.

Panna holds a Bachelor of Science in the Philosophy of Science, Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence from Boston University.



Greg Tobin, PhD

Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer

Greg Tobin, PhD

Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Gregory Tobin is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Lantern Pharma. Dr. Tobin has extensive experience in project direction and management; design, planning, and execution of research projects and coordination of multi-site studies. Dr. Tobin’s primary interests are in the development of cancer therapies using precision medicine, including clinical trials involving patient stratification. In addition to his work at Lantern Pharma, Dr. Tobin has led scientific programs at Biological Mimetics, Inc. since 1999 and is the Principal Investigator on six active grants from the NIH or DoD. Prior to joining Biological Mimetics, Inc., Dr. Tobin was a Senior Scientist at the National Cancer Institute where he led projects related to the development of animal models for AIDS and cancer, the design and analysis of large and small molecules for cancer treatment, and several HIV vaccine-related projects. Dr. Tobin studied oncogenesis using transgenic mouse models as a post-doctoral scientist in the laboratory of Dr Terry Van Dyke (University of Pittsburgh) and mechanisms of virus replication as a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. J. Bert Flanegan (University of Florida School of Medicine).  



Harry Kochat, PhD

Advisor, CMC & Manufacturing Solutions

Harry Kochat

Advisor, CMC Technical & Regulatory Advisor

Dr. Kochat has over 25 years of experience in innovative drug discoveries and development, with a proven record of incubating new business models and pharmaceutical operations at the Senior Management level. He is highly recognized as a champion for his patent protected scientific inventions, with more than 400 issued domestic and international patents. Dr. Kochat is the author or co-author of over 60 peer-reviewed scientific publications, demonstrating his commitment to addressing unmet clinical needs. He provides comprehensive CMC consultation oversight of chemistry, manufacturing and analytical controls of Lantern’s corporate project support. He is now serving his full-time career at the UTHSC-Plough Center as the Director of Operations/Business Development. Prior to joining UTHSC, he served in a senior executive role at BioNumerik Pharmaceutical Inc. for 22 years on its oncology platform. At BioNumerik he successfully developed three innovative therapies from discovery at the bench to patient side and launched 13 clinical-ready preclinical programs. Dr. Kochat received his PhD degree in medicinal synthetic organic chemistry, and completed his postdoctoral training at Purdue University and at Rice University in chemistry and bio-organic chemistry.



Barry Henderson, MS

Advisor, UK and Europe



Peter Nara, DVM, MS, PhD

Co-Founder, Advisor

Peter Nara, DVM, MS, PhD

Co-Founder, Advisor

After earning a Master of Science degree in our college’s Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology in 1979, Pete enrolled in the combined DVM/PhD program in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He received his DVM degree in 1984 and his PhD in retro virology and immunology in 1986. He completed residency training in veterinary pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in 1988 and served as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute during this time.

 

Throughout the late 1980’s and 1990’s, Dr. Nara served in various leadership positions at the National Cancer Institute. In 1997, he co-founded Biological Mimetics Incorporated (BMI) and currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of this corporation.

 

Pete is a highly sought-after consultant in the biotechnology community and has served on many scientific advisory committees and task forces. He holds an endowed entrepreneurial chair at Iowa State University, and in 2011 was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His scientific areas of interest are novel mechanisms of virulence, pathogenesis, and host adaptation to infectious diseases and cancer and development of innovative approaches to diagnostic tests, vaccines, and treatment.

Dr. Nara has been an invited lecturer and keynote speaker at numerous national and international scientific conferences. He holds eight patents on technology related to retro viruses and tumor biology and is involved in development of 10 additional provisional patents. His scientific research funding has totaled more than $6 million in grants from the National Institute of Health, Department of Defense and other agencies. He is an author on more than 125 scientific publications and 61 book chapters and reviews.



Stella Robertson, PhD

Advisor

Stella Robertson, PhD

Advisor

Dr. Robertson has over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical Research and Development, including R&D strategies, project management, clinical trials, regulatory filings for US and international registrations, product launch, market support, translational medicine, and medical communication. Dr. Robertson is a co-founder of Bios Partners, a member and investor with the Cowtown Angels, and the owner of Arrochar Consulting, LLC. She formerly was a VP in R&D at Alcon Laboratories, Inc., a Division of Novartis, where she grew and led organizations that were responsible for the ophthalmic pipeline, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices. She received a Ph.D. in Biology-Immunology from Johns Hopkins University, is an adjunct member of the Ophthalmology Department of UTHSCD Southwestern Medical School, and is a community volunteer. She holds a number of patents and is the author or co-author of over 50 publications.



Kishor Bhatia, PhD, FRCPath, MRCPath

Senior Scientific Advisor

Kishor Bhatia, PhD, FRCPath, MRCPath

Lead Scientific Advisor

Dr. Bhatia has over 30 years of global oncology research experience studying the molecular pathogenesis of cancers. He has extensive experience in basic and translational oncology research having handled international collaborative research with oncologists in the US, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey and South America. He has over 30 years of rich experience in the areas of teaching, basic research, molecular pathogenesis, in the study of pathogenetic mechanisms of lymphomas and infection associated cancers.As a former fellow and adjunct investigator at the NCI, former Director of the AIDS Malignancy Program, and as the first Director of the Children’s Cancer Research Center of King Faisal Hospital in Riyadh, Dr. Bhatia has a long history of spearheading research portfolios and innovative clinical trial preparation and design. Throughout his career, he has led and executed strategies for developing precision oncology assays, guiding preclinical research strategies, identifying and building alliances with organizations that are in line with commercial growth strategies in oncology and diagnostic product development and services and executing a plan for growth of precision oncology, which he is now translating for direct patient benefit in pharma.  Kishor earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Mumbai and was a fellow of the Royal College of Pathology UK. He did his postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University and served as Research Assistant professor at Georgetown University where he was involved with the cloning sequencing and expression analysis or PARP. Dr. Bhatia has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers in international journals. He has made over 100 research presentations at international conferences worldwide and is also currently on the faculty of the Asian Institute of Public Health and an adjunct investigator with the NCI. 



Shiv Srivastava, PhD

Advisor

Shiv Srivastava, PhD

Advisor

Dr. Shiv Srivastava is an investigator at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), where he served as the founding Scientific Director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) for over 25 years. Shiv co-led the establishment of the multi-disciplinary basic science and translational research programs in prostate cancer and unique bio- resources at the USUHS, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and Murtha Cancer Center (MCC). His research focuses have been the discovery and translation of prostate cancer driver genes, the development or evaluation of technologies for improving prognosis and treatment of prostate cancer, and the molecular basis of racial disparity in prostate cancer. Shiv earned his PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, and completed fellowships at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute. He has published over 100 papers on cancer biology, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics and computational biology, and other oncology research approaches.



Board of Directors

Arun Asaithambi, PhD

Arun Asaithambi, PhD

Co-founder and Board Member

Dr. Arun Asaithambi is a biochemical engineer, biotech scientist and an experienced healthcare & technology entrepreneur, who is building global organizations integrating multiple technology applications that include Bio-technologies, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics to benefit customers specifically in Biotech, Fintech, Food Tech and Automobiles.

As a serial entrepreneur, Arun has successfully helped to build and grow four tech companies (see below) over the last 9 years, securing multi-millions in terms of private funding, partnerships, revenues and grants/contracts:

  • Lantern Pharma Inc. (2013) – Co-founded the Dallas-based Genomics & AI based biotech company developing precision cancer drugs;
  • Intuition Payment Systems (2012) – Co-founded this leading AI-based integrated Point of Sales/Care and Payments Systems in India;
  • Dosai Asai Foods (2011) – Co-founded (now exited) India’s first semi-robotic /semi-automated food-tech restaurant company;
  • Signal Therapeutics (2010) – Founded his first start-up as a 25-year-old final year PhD student at Iowa State. Signal Therapeutics was an innovative biotech start-up company developing novel peptidomimetic based therapeutic tech platform for anti-ageing and metabolic disorders.


John Fucci

John Fucci

Board Member

Mr. Fucci has five years of experience in private equity focused primarily on angel and venture capital investments. He is a partner at Steelhead Capital Management and BIOS Partners and is active in a variety of industries including biotechnology, consumer packaged goods, energy, and real estate. Mr. Fucci currently serves on the board of Lantern Pharma, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on clinical-staged cancer therapies. Mr. Fucci double majored in Finance with an emphasis in Real Estate and Entrepreneurial Management from Texas Christian University.



Jeff Keyser, JD, MPH, PhD

Jeff Keyser, JD, MPH, PhD

Board Member

Dr. Donald Jeffrey Keyser is currently serving as Board Chairman for Lantern Pharma. Dr. Keyser founded Renibus Therapeutics, a company developing novel therapies for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of kidney disease. He is on the Renibus Board of Directors and is the President and Chief Operating Officer for the company. Dr. Keyser founded ZSPharma and was instrumental in multiple rounds of private equity and a highly successful IPO and was eventually acquired by Astra Zeneca for $2.7 Billion. He was on ZSPharma’s Board of Directors and was the Chief Operating Officer for the company.

Dr. Keyser was the inventor of the Mucinex product line for Adams Respiratory Therapuetics. He developed and executed the R&D and Regulatory strategy for Adams Respiratory Therapuetics as Vice President of Development and Regulatory Affairs. Adams Respiratory Therapuetics was acquired by Reckitt Benckiser for $2.3 Billion. He was previously employed as Chief Compliance Officer & Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Encysive Pharmaceuticals,Vice President Technical & Regulatory Affairs, Medeva Americas, Sr. Director Regulatory Affairs, Marion Merrell Dow and Regulatory Principal, Abbott Laboratories.

Dr. Keyser received his Pharmacy degree from Creighton University, a Juris Doctorate from Creighton University, a MPA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a PhD in Economics from The University of Texas at Dallas.



Panna Sharma

Panna Sharma

President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Panna L. Sharma, served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Cancer Genetics, Inc. from May 2010 to February 02, 2018. Mr. Sharma founded TSG Partners (also known as The Sharma Group) in 2001 and served as its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner from 2001 to 2010. Prior to Sharma Group , Mr. Sharma spent three and one-half years at iXL Inc. (later merged with Scient) in the roles of Senior Vice President of E-Business Solutions and Chief Strategy Officer. For the six years prior to his being at iXL Inc., Mr. Sharma helped successfully found, manage and sell or take public two other consulting and professional services firms. From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Sharma was a partner at Interactive Solutions, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Sharma served as a consultant to Putnam Investment Management, LLC and Bank of America Corporation. Mr. Sharma served as a Director of Cancer Genetics, Inc. since May 2010 until 2018. Mr. Sharma served on the board of directors of EpicEdge, a health care and government focused IT services firm, from 2001 to 2003 and as chairman of the Advisory Board for EndoChoice, a global leader for the gastrointestinal treatment market from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Sharma attended Boston University from 1987 to 1992 in the University Professor’s Program.



David Silberstein, PhD

David Silberstein, PhD

Board Member

Dave received his PhD in Immunology at Columbia University and Postdoctoral training at Harvard Med School/Brigham & Women’s Hospital. He continued for 7 years at Harvard, leading a research team studying the biochemistry of inflammation. This was followed by 20 years at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals where he had leadership roles in genomics, translational science, company-wide portfolio management, and science support for two products through launch to aggregate sales of > $30 billion. Since 2013, he has worked independently with a number of early stage biotech companies and as a consultant to investment firms. Current work includes his role as Principal Investigator of an NCI-funded clinical trial in patients with multiple brain metastases.