Professional Profiles

Daniel S. Lichtman Managing Partner

Dan Lichtman became Biomodels’ Managing Partner in 2012. Following sales and marketing positions at Abbott, J+J and Bayer, Mr. Lichtman recognized the opportunities presented by advances in medical technology and founded an in-vitro diagnostic instrumentation company at a time when diagnostics was in its infancy and its distribution was an unsophisticated part of hospital supply. Additionally, Mr. Lichtman saw drug discovery as synergistic with diagnostics and founded a contract research organization. The success of both companies reflects Mr. Lichtman’s commitment to innovation and excellence. He brings his management skills as a CEO and his commitment to translational research to Biomodels to amplify the corporate philosophy of an employee centric culture.

Stephen T. Sonis, D.M.D., D.M.Sc.Founder, Partner, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Sonis is a world-renowned expert in epithelial injury associated with cancer therapy. His development of predictive animal models has enabled the investigation of the biological basis of mucositis and has assisted in the development of potential therapies. The results of his studies on the molecular and cellular pathogenesis of mucositis have established the basis of the mechanistic paradigm for mucosal injury. Dr. Sonis’ interest in the genomic basis for toxicity risk and its pathology has led to innovative genomics-based analytical approaches to clinically actionable outcomes to personalize disease therapy. Dr. Sonis has published extensively on the clinical, biological, and health economic aspects of cancer and complications associated with its treatment. He is the author of over 200 original publications, reviews and chapters, 9 books, and 5 patents. Dr. Sonis has obtained degrees from Tufts University and Harvard University and completed his post-doctoral education (tumor immunology) at Oxford University. He holds appointments at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (Clinical Professor of Oral Medicine, Department of Oral Medicine, Infection and Immunity), the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he is Division Chief and Senior Surgeon.

Gregory D. Lyng, Ph.D.Partner, Chief Operating Officer

As Director of Research, Dr. Lyng is responsible for the oversight of all of Biomodels’ preclinical research programs. Additionally, he works closely with Biomodels’ clients to ensure proper study design and utilization of the most appropriate and clinically relevant models of disease in which to test potential therapeutics. Dr. Lyng’s scientific expertise lies in the areas of inflammatory disease, cancer supportive care, and diseases of the central nervous system. Since joining Biomodels in 2007, he has been instrumental in the expansion of both the number and clinical translatability of the disease models offered by Biomodels. Dr. Lyng received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University at Albany School of Public Health and his B.S. in Neuroscience from St. Lawrence University.

Benjamin G. Cuiffo, Ph.D.Scientist

Dr. Cuiffo joined Biomodels in 2015 after completing his postdoctoral studies at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, where he was an American Cancer Society Fellow. His postdoctoral work centered upon elucidating the molecular mechanisms of tumor metastasis in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models. Dr. Cuiffo brings additional expertise in the biology of tumor- initiating (cancer stem cells) and invasive phenotypes, oncogenic signaling pathways, and noncoding RNAs in cancer. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from Brandeis University in 2010, where he developed novel strategies to target the RAS oncogene in animal models of leukemia. As the Lead Oncology Scientist at Biomodels, Dr Cuiffo will collaborate with clients to design and execute clinically translational preclinical Oncology studies.

Jesus D. Mena, Ph.D.Scientist

Dr. Mena joined Biomodels in 2013 as a Scientific Administrator and collaborates with the Director of Research and Principal Investigators on the preparation of written reports for sponsor clients and for publication in all areas of pre-clinical research models. Dr. Mena received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Tufts University (cum laude). His doctoral work centered on elucidating the role of prefrontal cortical opioids in the regulation of feeding. Prior to joining Biomodels, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Tufts New England Medical Center. Dr. Mena has received numerous accolades, including a Gates Millennium Scholarship, a Helen R. Kirchstein National Research Service Award (NIH-NIDA, pre-doctoral), a National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Minority Supplement (post-doctoral), and multiple travel awards to scientific conferences.

Paulette Wright Andreotta, Ph.D.Scientist

Dr. Wright (Andreotta) received her PhD in Pharmacology from Yale University in 2008 in the laboratory of Dr. William Sessa. Her doctoral work focused on elucidating the role of a novel protein in asthma pathogenesis and involved a significant collaboration with the laboratories of Dr. Jack Elias and Dr. Lauren Cohn (Pulmonary Department, Yale University). Her training encompassed not only asthma pathogenesis using genetically modified and transgenic animals with heavy emphasis on immunology and mechanism but also aspects of vascular remodeling and pharmacology. Directly from Yale, Dr. Wright went to industry where she continued in the respiratory field, developing in vivo and in vitro methodologies and researching areas of asthma as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), acute lung injury, bacterial and viral infections, looking at mechanisms of action as well as proof of concept studies for dry powder inhalation therapeutics. At Biomodels, Dr. Wright will apply her expertise as the Lead Pulmonary Scientist towards the testing of therapeutics in both in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies and help to expand the capabilities of research at the company.

Dominic R. Beal, Ph.D.Scientist

Dr. Beal joined Biomodels in 2013 as an associate scientist after completing his doctoral studies at Boston University School of Medicine, where he studied the role of macrophage phenotypes in the immuno-pathology of asthma. He previously lived in England where he received his MSc in the immunology of infectious disease from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, studying the effects of malaria-schistosomiasis co-infections on dendritic cell function, and his MA from Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge. Dr. Beal’s main areas of interest are immune cell interactions and the mechanisms underlying the generation and manipulation of immune responses by pathogens and disease states. At Biomodels he will apply his knowledge of cellular immunology to support the current research into the development of effective therapies for inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

Caitlin SL Parello, Ph.D.Associate Scientist

Dr. Parello joined Biomodels in 2016 as an Associate Scientist after completing her post-doctoral studies in the Department of Pathology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her post-doctoral work focused on identifying myelin protein-derived peptides to which human or murine HLA-DR15.01 or HLA-DR04.01 restricted T cells are reactive, with the downstream goal of developing a clinically relevant, humanized murine model of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) as a model for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Dr. Parello received her PhD from Boston University School of Medicine  in 2014, where she adapted two murine models of Shiga Toxin 2- induced kidney injury, and was an NIH- funded pre-doctoral fellow and Russek award winner. Her recent research interests combine her background in adaptive immunity and murine model development, and are largely related to translational microbiome research. These interests include the interaction of the microbiome and immune system, the potential dysbiosis mediating inflammatory/autoimmune disorders, determining if restoration of eubiosis can be therapeutic for such disorders, and the development of clinically relevant animal models with which to probe these exciting questions. At Biomodels, Dr. Parello has established the Germ-Free/Gnotobiotic murine isolator facility, and serves as a the lead scientist on microbiome-related studies.

Catherine Trewin, CPA, CAChief Financial Officer

Cathy Trewin joined Biomodels in 2012 as its Chief Financial Officer bringing with her extensive experience with pre-clinical research and medical diagnostic instrumentation companies including Inter-Medico, NoAb BioDiscoveries, and LabOne. In addition, she has held public accounting and other industry positions at KPMG, Ernst Young and Avery Dennison. Ms. Trewin holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and is a member of Canadian Institute of Chartered Accounts and holds a CPA, CA designation.

Collaborators and Consultants

Edward G. Fey, Ph.D.Founder, Partner, Consultant

Dr. Fey is one of the founders of Biomodels, and provides expertise in the areas of intellectual property, study design, and evaluation. Dr. Fey was one of the scientific founders of Matritech, Inc., a publicly-traded, cancer diagnostic company. Prior to co-founding Biomodels, Dr. Fey also worked for Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Office of Technology Transfer, assisting researchers in the area of sponsored research and licensing.
A former faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Dr. Fey received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University College London, England and completed his Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Biology. He is the author of a number of scientific publications and an inventor with patents in the areas of diagnostics and therapeutics.

Michele CunneenAnimal Health and Regulatory Consultant

Ms. Cunneen has been instrumental in assisting with laboratory space design as Biomodels has grown. She and her colleagues ensure regulatory compliance (USDA, OLAW, and AAALAC) and animal welfare. Ms. Cunneen plays an active role in training technical staff, oversight of facilities, and coordination of Biomodels’ IACUC. Ms. Cunneen operates Animal Research Consulting LLC and has over twenty five years of experience in the field of animal facilities and animal care programs.

Gil Alterovitz, Ph.D. Genomics Collaborator

Dr. Alterovitz acts as a consultant for analysis of genomic data. His interest in bridging the fields of engineering and medicine led him to develop a Bayesian and information theoretic framework for genomics research. The outcome is the ability to discover hidden relationships in networks which expose global connectivity patterns. This method is widely applicable to areas of personalized genomics and pharmacogenomics. Dr. Alterovitz is currently an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in electrical and biomedical engineering and masters in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Juan Luis Fernàndez-Martìnez, Ph.D. Genomics Collaborator

Dr. Fernàndez-Martìnez acts as a consultant for the analysis of genomic data, machine learning, and optimization. Dr. Fernàndez-Martìnez received his Ph.D. in mining engineering from the University of Oviedo (Spain) in 1994, and was previously trained as a petroleum engineer in France (Ècole Nationale du Pètrole et des Moteurs, Paris, 1988) and England (Imperial College, Royal School of Mines, London, 1989). After years of working as a computing software engineer in France, he joined the Mathematics Department of Oviedo University in 1994 and has since held the position as a professor in applied mathematics. During 2008-2010 he was a visiting and research professor at UC Berkeley-Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories and Stanford University. His areas of expertise include inverse problems, uncertainty analysis of very complex systems, feature selection and model reduction techniques, cooperative global optimization methods, with application in oil and gas, biometry, biomedicine and finance. In the area of biomedicine, Dr. Fernàndez-Martìnez is interested in designing biomedical robots in translational medicine for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment optimization of different illnesses. Dr. Fernàndez-Martìnez is also CEO of Blue Prism Technologies.

Timothy J. Maher, Ph.D. Pharmacology Consultant

Dr. Maher has acted as a Biomodels consultant for over a decade. He provides expertise in the areas of drug formulation, toxicology, study design, and several pharmacology and neuroscience animal models. He is currently the Dean of Graduate Studies, Sawyer Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Professor of Pharmacology at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Dr. Maher received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and holds a B.S. from Boston State College.

Adam S. Cheifetz, MD, AGAF, FACG Medical Consultant

Dr. Cheifetz acts as a consultant for projects focusing on diseases of the gastrointerstinal tract and, particularly, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). His input is consistent with Biomodels’ philosophy of developmental continuity from animals to humans. He is involved in multiple research projects relating to IBD and has published over 50 articles and chapters on the subject. Dr. Cheifetz is currently the Director of the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. He graduated from Brown University before earning his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Cheifetz completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital and his fellowship in Gastroenterology at Yale University before serving as the Present-Levinson Fellow in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Michael L. Hawes, DVM, DACVP Pathology Collaborator

Dr. Hawes assists Biomodels in model development and analysis of histological samples. He has over 15 years experience as a board-certified veterinary pathologist. Dr. Hawes is currently the President of Charter Preclinical Services, a GLP-compliant research and development organization specializing in analysis of histological samples from preclinical safety and efficacy studies. He earned his DVM at the Rufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and then did his residency in veterinary pathology at the University of California-Davis. Charter Preclinical Services employs two other board-certified veterinary pathologists.