About Us
Our Team

Our Team

A world-class team with extensive neuropsychiatric drug development expertise and experience

Steve Kanes, MD, PhD
CEO
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Steve Kanes, MD, PhD
CEO
CEO

Steve is the Chief Executive Officer at EmbarkNeuro. Steve is a Neuropsychiatrist with a career in basic neuroscience, clinical psychiatry, and neuroscience drug development spanning more than 30 years. Prior to joining Ancora he was Chief Medical Officer of Sage Therapeutics, where he led the successful clinical development of ZULRESSO® (brexanolone), the first-ever treatment approved for Postpartum Depression (PPD), along with the buildout of the development organization and Sage Therapeutics’ broad neuroscience portfolio. Earlier in his career, Steve was Executive Director in Clinical Development in the Inflammation, Neuroscience and Respiratory therapeutic areas at AstraZeneca, and a faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania Department of Psychiatry. In addition to his role at EmbarkNeuro, Steve is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Verge Genomics.

Steve received both his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology and his MD from the Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine and completed his residency training in the Yale University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

Phil Perera, MD
Chief Medical Officer
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Phil Perera, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Perera has over 25 years clinical research experience. He has been responsible for the development and approval of small molecule drugs for a variety of CNS and pain disorders. Prior to joining EmbarkNeuro Dr. Perera held senior level clinical, scientific, management and business development positions at GlaxoSmithKline, Pharmacia Upjohn, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, the Parkinson’s Institute and Longboard Pharmaceuticals. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and a board-certified Psychiatrist. He also holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University. Prior to working in the pharmaceutical industry Dr. Perera was on the faculty of New York Hospital, Cornell Medical College as Chief of Inpatient and Day Treatment Psychiatric Services at North Shore University Hospital, and he was a practicing adult and geriatric psychiatrist. Dr. Perera has published numerous clinical research papers and is a former Board member of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics.

Noel Kelly
Vice President, Project Management & Operations
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Noel Kelly
Vice President, Project Management & Operations
Vice President, Project Management & Operations

Noel Kelly serves as the Vice President of Project Management & Operations at EmbarkNeuro. Noel brings over 25 years of drug development experience across big pharma, as well as small biotech startups. He has supported the development of medicines and vaccines, in various therapeutic areas including several global filings. Noel has held strategic planning, operations and financial roles contributing to the overall success of many molecules. Throughout his career, Noel has supported individual asset development as well as large complex portfolios across the industry. He has a business degree from Wharton as well as a masters in Bio-Ethics from the School of Medicine both from the University of Pennsylvania.

Vikram Dev, MD
Head of Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance
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Vikram Dev, MD
Head of Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance
Head of Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance

Vikram has over 30 year of pharmacovigilance experience that started with an MD degree from Pune University that led to 11 years practicing Anesthesiology followed by Infectious Disease and Epidemiology.  During his time in UK, he received a post graduate degree from Edinburgh University in Community Medicine.  Vikram’s first industry job was at Sandoz in 1991 which became Novartis in Basel Switzerland.  In 1998 he moved to the US to Zeneca Pharmaceuticals where he led mainly CNS drugs (Seroquel) and later was involved with all therapeutic areas.  After leaving AZ, Vikram served as the Global head of safety at Jazz pharmaceuticals for a short period of 10 months and then moved on to Daiichi Sankyo as Head of US Safety from 2016 to 2020.

Kathleen Daggett
Executive Assistant
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Kathleen Daggett
Executive Assistant
Executive Assistant

Kathleen Daggett is the Executive Assistant to the CEO of EmbarkNeuro, Dr. Stephen J. Kanes.  Prior work included 27 years supporting Senior Leaders at Merck and most recently 4 years at Icon Clinical Research.  While at Icon, she was part of the team that handled the clinical trials for the Pfizer COVID vaccine.

Kathleen graduated with an Associate in Applied Science degree from Montgomery County Community College.

Erica Hong, RN, MPH
Strategy and Operations Lead
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Erica Hong, RN, MPH
Strategy and Operations Lead
Strategy and Operations Lead

Erica Hong is the Strategy and Operations Lead at EmbarkNeuro. Erica has extensive experience in drug development from project and program management to designing and building functions and structures. Erica has a proven track record of success in managing large scale corporate-wide initiatives and compounds across the development continuum.

Prior to joining EmbarkNeuro, Erica was a Program Management Consultant at Sage Therapeutics where she drove various program management initiatives and business operations needs including infrastructure development and long-range planning. Prior to that, Erica was at Cubist Pharmaceuticals where she led cross-functional development programs and was a key leadership team member of numerous functional areas.

Erica holds a Master of Public Health Degree from Boston University and attained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northeastern University.

Shyanne Ali
Vice President, Quality
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Shyanne Ali
Vice President, Quality
Vice President, Quality
Suzy Benedict
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
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Suzy Benedict
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
Jeff Blumenstein, PhD
Vice President CMC
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Jeff Blumenstein, PhD
Vice President CMC
Vice President CMC
Matt Fitzpatrick
Regulatory Project Manager
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Matt Fitzpatrick
Regulatory Project Manager
Regulatory Project Manager
Josh Gertsman
Principal, Business Development
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Josh Gertsman
Principal, Business Development
Principal, Business Development
Neel Rane
Head of Legal
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Neel Rane
Head of Legal
Head of Legal
Vicki Sung, PhD
VP, Nonclinical Development
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Vicki Sung, PhD
VP, Nonclinical Development
VP, Nonclinical Development