Lantern’s Team

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

Management and Advisors

Panna Sharma

Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Mr. Sharma has served as our Chief Executive Officer, and President since July 2018 and a director since August 2018.  As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sharma oversees our use of AI and genomics in developing our therapy product pipeline to innovate the rescue, revitalization and development of precision therapeutics in oncology.

Panna Sharma

Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Mr. Sharma has served as our Chief Executive Officer, and President since July 2018 and a Director since August 2018.  As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sharma oversees our use of AI and genomics in developing our therapy product pipeline to innovate the rescue, revitalization and development of precision therapeutics in oncology.  From May 2010 to February 2018, Mr. Sharma served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Cancer Genetics, a Nasdaq company and provider of DNA-based cancer diagnostics and services to medical institutions throughout the world.  In 2001, Mr. Sharma 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.

Mr. Sharma holds a Bachelor of Science in the Philosophy of Science, Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence from Boston University.  Based on the above qualifications, the Company believes Mr. Sharma is qualified to be on the Board.



David R. Margrave

Chief Financial Officer and Secretary

Mr. Margrave has served as our Chief Financial Officer since November 2019 and as our Secretary since June 2018.  Since January 2016, Mr. Margrave has served as a life science consultant, providing strategic advisory and legal services to growing life science companies.

​David R. Margrave

Chief Financial Officer and Secretary

Mr. Margrave has served as our Chief Financial Officer since November 2019 and as our Secretary since June 2018.  Since January 2016, Mr. Margrave has served as a life science consultant, providing strategic advisory and legal services to growing life science companies.  From January 1995 to December 2015, he served as an executive officer at BioNumerik Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a life science company focused on advancing innovative cancer therapies.  During his time at BioNumerik Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mr. Margrave served in various positions including service as President and as Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel.  Mr. Margrave has served as a consultant to BioNumerik Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since January 2016.  From April 2015 to December 2016, he also served as Senior Legal Advisor to MedCare Investment Corporation, a private investment firm investing in the medical and healthcare services industries.  Prior to joining BioNumerik Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mr. Margrave was a partner at Andrews & Kurth LLP, a national law firm.  Mr. Margrave serves as Chairman and a board member of the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute and as Chairman and a board member of the State of Texas Product Development & Small Business Incubator Board.  He is a past board member of the Texas Technology Transfer Association.  Mr. Margrave received a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Economics and in Petroleum Engineering from Stanford University, and a J.D. degree from The University of Texas School of Law.



Harry Kochat, PhD

Advisor, CMC & Manufacturing Solutions

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.

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

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.

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.



Kishor G. Bhatia, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Bhatia has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since December 2019, and as our scientific consultant since January 2019.  Dr. Bhatia also serves as a scientific consultant to Reprocell, one of our collaborators, since December 2016, and served as a scientific consultant to Cancer Genetics, Inc. from December 2016 until November 2019.  

Kishor G. Bhatia, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Bhatia has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since December 2019, and as our scientific consultant since January 2019.  Dr. Bhatia also serves as a scientific consultant to Reprocell, one of our collaborators, since December 2016, and served as a scientific consultant to Cancer Genetics, Inc. from December 2016 until November 2019.  Since 2006, he has been employed as an Adjunct Investigator with the National Cancer Institute-Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.  From January 2007 until July 2016, Dr. Bhatia also served as a Director-AIDS Malignancy Program at the National Cancer Institute-Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy, and from January 2004 through January 2007, he served as a Program Director and the Director of the National Cancer Institute-Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis.  Dr. Bhatia received a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from the University of Pune and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Mumbai and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology in the United Kingdom and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and a Research Assistant Professor at Georgetown University from 1985 to 1989.



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.

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.



Shiv Srivastava, PhD

Advisor

Dr. Shiv Srivastava is an accomplished cancer researcher, a leader and a mentor who has dedicated his professional career focused on cancer science for the benefit of patients. Currently, he contributes to the basic science/translational cancer research in an advisory role.

Shiv Srivastava, PhD

Advisor

Dr. Shiv Srivastava is an accomplished cancer researcher, a leader and a mentor who has dedicated his professional career focused on cancer science for the benefit of patients. Currently, he contributes to the basic science/translational cancer research in an advisory role. Dr. Shiv Srivastava was a Professor 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 200 papers on cancer biology, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics and computational biology, and other oncology research approaches.



Board of Directors

Panna Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Panna Sharma

Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Mr. Sharma has served as our Chief Executive Officer, and President since July 2018 and a director since August 2018.  As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sharma oversees our use of AI and genomics in developing our therapy product pipeline to innovate the rescue, revitalization and development of precision therapeutics in oncology.  From May 2010 to February 2018, Mr. Sharma served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Cancer Genetics, a Nasdaq company and provider of DNA-based cancer diagnostics and services to medical institutions throughout the world.  In 2001, Mr. Sharma 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.  Mr. Sharma holds a Bachelor of Science in the Philosophy of Science, Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence from Boston University.

Based on the above qualifications, the Company believes Mr. Sharma is qualified to be on the Board.



Jeff Keyser, JD, MPH, PhD, Chairman

Jeff Keyser, JD, MPH, PhD, Chairman

Board Member

Dr. Keyser has served as a director since January 2018 and Chairman since November 2019. Dr. Keyser founded and has served from 2017 as director, president and chief operating officer of Renibus Therapeutics, a company developing novel therapies for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of kidney disease.  Dr. Keyser also founded ZS Pharma and served since 2008 as a director and chief operating officer of that company until December 2015 when it was acquired by Astra Zeneca for $2.7 Billion.  Dr. Keyser was the inventor of the Mucinex product line for Adams Respiratory Therapeutics.  Dr. Keyser developed and executed the R&D and Regulatory strategy for Adams Respiratory Therapeutics as Vice President of Development and Regulatory Affairs during his period there from 1998 to 2004.  Adams Respiratory Therapeutics 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.  Based on the above qualifications, the Company believes Dr. Keyser is qualified to be on the Board.



David Silberstein, PhD, Director

David Silberstein, PhD, Director

Board Member

Dr. Silberstein has served as a director since June 2018.  Dr. Silberstein has served as chief operating officer of BioMimetix Pharmaceutical, Inc. since 2013.  Dr. Silberstein has served as a director of BMI since 2016.  Dr. Silberstein received his PhD in Immunology at Columbia University and Postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women’s Hospital.  Dr. Silberstein continued for seven years at Harvard, leading a research team studying the biochemistry of inflammation.  This was followed by 20 years at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals where Dr. Silberstein had leadership roles in genomics, translational science, company-wide portfolio management, and science support for two products through launch to aggregate sales of greater than $30 billion.  Since 2013, Dr. Silberstein 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.

Based on the above qualifications, the Company believes Dr. Silberstein is qualified to be on the Board.



​Vijay Chandru, Ph.D., Director

​Vijay Chandru, Ph.D., Director

Board Member

Dr. Chandru has served as a director since October 2019.  Currently, Dr. Chandru is a co-founder of OPFORD Foundation, a non-profit in India with an open platform for orphan diseases and with a mission to support development of affordable and accessible therapeutics for orphan diseases of which many are rare genetic disorders. He was also a co-founder of Strand Life Sciences, India’s leading precision medicine solutions company, an offshoot of the Indian Institute of Science, which now has over 20 diagnostic laboratories and over 800 employees spread across India.  He served as Executive Chairman of Strand Life Sciences from 2000 to 2018.  A technology pioneer of the World Economic Forum since 2006, he was elected President (2009-2012) of the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises (ABLE), the apex trade body that represents the Indian biotech industry.  Dr. Chandru is an academic entrepreneur whose academic career has spanned almost four decades.  After his doctoral work at MIT he was a tenured professor at Purdue University for a decade in the 1980s and at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore since then.  A fellow of both the academy of science and engineering, he is currently an Indian National Academy of Engineering’s Distinguished Technologist in Bio-Engineering.

Based on the above qualifications, the Company believes Dr. Chandru is qualified to be on the Board.



​Leslie W. Kreis, Jr., Director

Leslie W. Kreis, Jr., Director

Board Member

Mr. Kreis has served as a director since November 2019.  Since 2008, Mr. Kreis has served as the Managing Principal at Steelhead Capital Management, LLC, a Texas-based family office investment firm.  In addition, since June 2015, Mr. Kreis has served as managing partner and co-founder of Bios Equity Partners, LP and Bios Equity Partners II, LP, Texas-based venture capital investment firms seeking investment in life science technologies.  Over the past 10 years, Mr. Kreis started several early stage companies, occasionally served as chief operator, served on many boards of directors, and invested in over 45 ventures in both active and passive capacities.  Currently, Mr. Kreis serves on the board of five private, active portfolio companies.  Mr. Kreis is also a founding member of Cowtown Angels, a Fort Worth-based angel investment network.  Prior to this, Mr. Kreis was a Vice President at HBK Investments, a multi-strategy global hedge fund based in Dallas, Texas.  Mr. Kreis received a BBA in Finance from Texas Christian University in 1994.

Based on the above qualifications, the Company believes Mr. Kreis is qualified to be on the Board.



Franklyn Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D., Director

Franklyn Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D., Director

Board Member

Dr. Prendergast has served as a director since October 2019.  Prior to his retirement on December 31, 2014, Dr. Prendergast was the Emeritus Edmond and Marion Guggenheim Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Emeritus Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Mayo Medical School and the director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. From 1994 to 2006, he served as a director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. He also previously held several other teaching positions at the Mayo Medical School from 1975 through 2014. Dr. Prendergast has served for the National Institute of Health on numerous study section review groups; as a charter member of the Board of Advisors for the Division of Research Grants, now the Center for Scientific Review; the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council; and the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. He held a Presidential Commission for service on the National Cancer Advisory Board. Dr. Prendergast also has served in numerous other advisory roles for the National Institute of Health and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a member of the board of directors of the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI). Dr. Prendergast has served on the board of directors of Eli Lilly & Co. since 1995 until his retirement in 2017. He also served as a director of Cancer Genetics from 2014 to 2018.  He also currently serves on the board of directors for Novosteo, Inc. and Neubase Therapeutics, both private biotechnology drug development companies. Dr. Prendergast obtained his medical degree with honors from the University of West Indies and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, earning an M.A. degree in physiology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota.

Based on the above qualifications, the Company believes Dr. Prendergast is qualified to be on the Board.