Management Team

José Trevejo, MD, PhD
José Trevejo, MD, PhDCEO and President

José has extensive experience in viral and non-viral gene therapy as a scientist and translational advisor to non-viral gene therapy company. His development experience includes team leadership of four INDs and one drug approval. Before joining SmartPharm as CEO, Dr. Trevejo served as Vice President, Clinical Development at Cyclerion Therapeutics, which spun out of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, where he helped to advance a diverse clinical pipeline in rare diseases such as sickle cell anemia. Dr. Trevejo joined Ironwood from Visterra, where he was a member of the Executive Team and oversaw pre-clinical and clinical development including operations, and regulatory science. At Visterra, he successfully secured a $215 million DHHS award to support development of synthetically-designed monoclonal antibody drugs for infectious diseases. Prior to Visterra, he held clinical development leadership positions at Genentech and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He led the clinical and biomarker strategy at Genzyme for development of an influenza biological therapy that rapidly progressed from preclinical to phase 2 clinical trials. At Vertex, where he led the clinical development of an influenza small molecule therapy and participated in the filing of telaprevir, one of the first approved direct acting antivirals for hepatitis C. Before entering the biotechnology industry, Dr. Trevejo served as Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and was Principal Biomedical Scientist at the Draper Laboratory. He began his medical career as a Clinical Fellow in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and then as a Clinical Fellow in Infectious Disease at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Trevejo earned both an MD in Medicine and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Weil Cornell Medical and Graduate School.

Jon Mogford, Ph.D.
Jon Mogford, Ph.D.Head of Business Development and Alliances

Dr. Mogford has a proven track record in fostering and managing complex life science development. He most recently served as the Vice Chancellor for Research for The Texas A&M University System, where he provided research and development leadership to the System’s eleven universities and seven state agencies encompassing 30,000 faculty and staff, 135,000 students, a budget of more than $4 billion and research expenditures of more than $945 million annually. As the leader of the A&M System Office of Research, Dr. Mogford developed strategic partnerships with external agencies, foundations, academic institutions, and commercial corporations to enhance the system’s mission of research, teaching, service, and economic development for the state of Texas. Prior to joining the Texas A&M University System in 2011, Dr. Mogford served as a program manager and then Deputy Director of the Defense Sciences Office (DSO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the U.S. Department of Defense. As DSO Deputy Director, he provided strategic planning and implementation of $400M/year in R&D in the physical, biomedical and material sciences. He provided leadership to 20 Program Managers in the development and management of office investments ranging from the fundamental sciences to commercial transition efforts for both defense and non-defense applications. Dr. Mogford led expansion of formal working relationship between DARPA and the FDA to improve the ability of each organization to meet mission goals, which was highlighted as a DARPA-FDA-NIH partnership by the White House. Dr. Mogford is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Dr. Mogford obtained his bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Texas A&M University and doctorate in Medical Physiology from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station, Texas. His research in vascular physiology continued at the University of Chicago as a Postdoctoral fellow from 1997-98. Dr. Mogford transitioned his research focus to the field of wound healing at Northwestern University, both as a Research Associate and also as a Research Assistant Professor from 1998-2003.

Susan Best
Susan BestDirector of People Resources/Operations

Ms. Best is a Human Resources and Operations leader with 20 years of progressive experience within the Biotech, Construction, Finance and Professional Services Sectors with key experience in startups and SMEs. Her work with life science companies include Cambria Pharmaceuticals and Antigenics LLC (now Agenus) where she helped both companies transition out of university settings. Ms. Best is well-versed in identifying, defining, and driving strategic HR initiatives, developing and aligning HR policy and procedures, and orchestrating effective talent management solutions. She specializes in company culture and has collaborated with Education First (EF) on a speaker series about building company culture. She has also previously served as a judge in the HULT prize/Clinton Global Initiative. Ms. Best obtained a BS in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

Timothy Brauns, MBA
Timothy Brauns, MBAChief Operating Officer

Mr. Brauns brings tested and diverse operational experience in the life sciences field over the last 25 years gained in the academic hospital environment and in biotech and medical device companies and medical philanthropies. Prior to joining SmartPharm, Mr. Brauns was the Associate Director of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where over a five-year period he helped to double the funding of the Center, including landing key STTR grants and other contracts for support of preclinical life science technologies and guiding four preclinical technologies toward development partnerships. Before his work with VIC, he held positions as Vice President of Strategic Planning for Boston BioCom, a biotechnology company, Vice President of Marketing and Communication for BL Healthcare, a home health monitoring technology company, Assistant Director of the International Program in the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) at MGH, and Director of Program Development at the Adelson Medical Research Foundation. Mr. Brauns bring special skills in the development and management of “distributed development” of new life science technologies through cross-disciplinary, inter-institutional, industry-academic teams and in sponsored program developing, assisting organizations he was part of in securing over $60 million in grants and contracts from a broad range of Federal and private funding organizations.

Leon F. Hebert Jr, Ph.D., JD, MBA
Leon F. Hebert Jr, Ph.D., JD, MBADirector of Business Development

Prior to joining SmartPharm, Dr. Hebert served as Associate Director of Innovation for Partners HealthCare where he utilized his business development, legal, and scientific experience to launch biotechnology start-up companies based upon research conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  Dr. Hebert first developed his skills as a patent attorney with Pennie & Edmonds LLP in New York City and, since then, worked for a number of biotechnology companies to create, license, and commercialize new technologies.

Dr. Hebert obtained his B.S. in biology from the University of Notre Dame, Ph.D. in cellular biology from the University of Alabama Birmingham, J.D. from Seton Hall University, and M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut.

John C. Thomas, Jr., CPA
John C. Thomas, Jr., CPAChief Financial Officer

Mr. Thomas has more than 40 years of experience in a variety of financial and accounting positions, with the last 33 years spent in the medical, pharmaceutical and device fields. From 2001 until 2018, Mr. Thomas served as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of CorMatrix Cardiovascular, a privately held medical device company and a director from 2001 until 2016. Since 1991, Mr. Thomas has served as Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Director of Motion Reality, Inc., a privately held motion capture and simulation company. Since 2012, Mr. Thomas has served as a Director of Novelion Therapeutics, Inc., formerly QLT, Inc., a public biotechnology company and Medovex, Inc., a public medical device company. Since 2014, Mr. Thomas has served as a Director of NantKwest, Inc., a public biotechnology company. During the past 10 years, Mr. Thomas served as acting Chief Financial Officer for DemeRx, Inc., MRI Interventions, Inc., MiMedx Group, Inc. and DARA BioSciences, and as a director of MRI Interventions, Inc. From 1999 and 2012, Mr. Thomas also served as a Trustee and subsequently the Chairman of the Finance Committee of The Walker School, a private Pre-K through 12 grade school. Mr. Thomas is a Certified Public Accountant and graduated from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce.

Kristy Szretter, Ph.D.
Kristy Szretter, Ph.D.Director, Nonclinical Development

Dr. Kristy Szretter has broad expertise in preclinical research and development of vaccines, biologics and gene therapy in academic, government and industry settings. Dr. Szretter’s experience includes discovery/lead candidate identification, safety assessment, and translation into the clinic with a successful track record of regulatory submissions in the US and globally. Prior to joining SmartPharm, Dr. Szretter was the Associate Director of Nonclinical Safety Assessment at Axovant Sciences, leading the toxicology program and nonclinical development of gene therapy products for neurological and rare diseases. Before that, Dr. Szretter was at Visterra where she held various positions of increasing responsibility developing biologics to treat infectious disease and autoimmune disorders. Dr. Szretter received her BS in Animal Science from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst and her PhD in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory University. She completed postdoctoral work in the Infectious Disease department at Washington University in St. Louis – School of Medicine.