Management Team

 

Artem Zykovich, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, azykovich@dnacheckup.org
For the last three years, Dr. Zykovich had worked for Raptor Pharmaceuticals as a Bioinformatics Scientist. He oversaw the genetic screening of over 4,000 human samples for identification of late-onset cases of a rare autosomal recessive disorder called cystinosis. Dr. Zykovich is highly passionate about genetic diagnostics and preventive medicine. While at Raptor, he developed a program of genetic testing of the CTNS gene mutations in families with history of cystinosis. Dr. Zykovich was a postdoctoral fellow at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California. Dr. Zykovich earned M.S. from Novosibirsk State University, Russia, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of California, Davis.

 

Kim R. Tsuchimoto, Chief Financial Officer, ktsuchimoto@dnacheckup.org
Ms. Tsuchimoto currently consults as a finance executive to start-up biopharmaceutical companies, including functioning as Acting Chief Financial Officer at Monopar  Therapeutics, co-founded by Christopher M. Starr, Ph.D. Prior to that, Ms. Tsuchimoto has spent over nine years at Raptor Pharmaceuticals, as its Chief Financial Officer from Raptor’s inception in May 2006 until August 2012, as Raptor’s Vice President of International Finance, Tax & Treasury from September 2012 to February 2015, and lastly served as Raptor’s Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis and Internal Controls from February to May 2015. Prior to Raptor, Ms. Tsuchimoto spent eight years at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. and its predecessor, Glyko, Inc., where she held the positions of Vice President- Treasurer, Vice President-Controller and Controller. Prior to Glyko, she served as Controller at a few companies outside the biopharmaceutical industry. She began her career as a staff accountant in a local certified public accounting firm. Ms. Tsuchimoto is co-chair of the board of Center for Domestic Peace, formerly known as Marin Abused Women Service and is actively involved in two other local non-profits. Ms. Tsuchimoto founded and facilitates the Women in Bio North Bay Mentoring group providing leadership skills to women at all levels in the biopharmaceutical and other industries in Marin and Sonoma counties. Ms. Tsuchimoto received a B.S. in Business Administration from San Francisco State University. She holds an inactive California Certified Public Accountant license.

 

Board of Directors

 

Artem Zykovich, Ph.D.

Christopher M. Starr, Ph.D. 
Dr. Starr has helped bring six drugs to market, the majority of which treat rare genetic diseases. As Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Starr oversaw the approval, launch, and successful commercialization of PROCYSBI®. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and Director at Raptor since its inception in 2006 through 2014 and continues to serve as a member of its Board. Dr. Starr co-founded BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. in 1997 where he last served as Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer until starting Raptor in 2006. From 1991 to 1998, Dr. Starr supervised research and commercial programs at BioMarin’s predecessor company, Glyko, Inc., where he served as Vice President of Research and Development. Prior to his tenure at Glyko, Inc., Dr. Starr was a National Research Council Associate at the National Institutes of Health. Along with serving on the board of Raptor, Dr. Starr serves as the Executive Chairman of Monopar Therapeutics, a start-up company focused on orphan oncology indications, an executive advisor to Glycomine, a start-up company developing nanomedicines for rare genetic disorders, and as President and board member of Sonoma Ecology Center, whose goal is to enhance and sustain ecological health in the Sonoma Valley. Dr. Starr earned a B.S. from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the State University of New York Health Science Center, in Syracuse, New York.

Todd C. Zankel, Ph.D. 
Dr. Zankel co-founded Mercaptor Discoveries Inc. and serves as its Chief Scientific Officer. From 1997 to 2005, Dr. Zankel served as a Senior Director of Research at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. Dr. Zankel was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at both the Plant Gene Expression Center in Berkeley, California, and the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Zankel has authored a number of peer-reviewed articles covering various scientific areas. Dr. Zankel supports various non-profits including Animal Friends Connection Humane Society. He earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University, New York.

 

 

Medical and Scientific Advisory Board

 

Patrice Rioux, M.D., Ph.D. 
Dr. Rioux has been deeply involved in development of drugs for rare diseases for the last 20 years. He is presently Senior Vice President of Global Clinical Development at ArmaGen (Lysosomal Storage Diseases). His background includes development of drugs and biologic products for various indications across neurodegenerative diseases, immunology, pain management, oncology and metabolic diseases. He was most recently Chief Medical Officer at Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was responsible for securing regulatory approval of a delayed-release cysteamine for the treatment of a lysosomal storage disease, nephropathic cystinosis, in both the U.S. and Europe. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer at Edison Pharmaceuticals, and as Vice President Clinical at Repligen, where he gained significant orphan disease experience in mitochondrial diseases as well as in autism, and auto-immune diseases. After several years as a clinical researcher at INSERM (France), he started his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Biogen, working on multiple sclerosis, before joining Variagenics, Inc., one of the first pharmacogenomic companies. Dr. Rioux received his Medical Education at Faculte de Medecine Pitie-Salpetriere, his Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics at Faculte des Sciences, and his Degree of Pharmacology (pharmacokinetics and clinical pharmacology) at Faculte de Medecine Pitie-Salpetriere.

 

Bruce A. Barshop, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Barshop is co-director of the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory at UCSD. He is a board certified pediatrician and board certified clinical biochemical and molecular geneticist. He received his A.B. degree from Brandeis University, where he graduated with high honors in the very first class of undergraduates majoring in that Department of Biochemistry. He completed his medical and graduate training at Washington University in St. Louis. His thesis research was with Dr. Carl Frieden, centering on physical biochemistry, pre-steady state enzyme kinetics and computer simulation of chemical kinetics. His pediatric residency training was at UCSD, and he remained for fellowship training under Dr. William Nyhan in the Division of Biochemical Genetics. His research activities include disorders of mitochondrial metabolism, and specifically kinetic studies with stable isotope tracers. He has been a practicing physician since 1984.

 

David Viskochil, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Viskochil is professor of pediatrics and one of the clinical geneticists in the Division of Medical Genetics. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Arizona, and his doctorate in biochemistry and medical degree from the University of North Carolina 1985. He completed his pediatric residency and clinical genetics fellowship at the University of Utah Affiliated Hospitals. His research has focused on the molecular genetics of the neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene, and bone health and cancer malignancy in patients with NF1. He performs translational research in NF1-related manifestations, and is the local principal investigator for the NF Clinical Trials Consortium. He is involved in clinical trials for NF1 and lysosomal storage disorders. He was the recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation (NNFF) and a K-08 award for NF1-related research.