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Empyrean Neuroscience Forms Scientific Advisory Board

—Company adds leading neuroscience experts with decades of experience in industry, at the National Institute of Mental Health, and in clinical practice—

—Board to advise on company’s R&D of genetically engineered neuroactive therapeutics derived from fungi and plants—

NEW YORK & CAMBRIDGE, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Empyrean Neuroscience, Inc., a genetic engineering company dedicated to developing neuroactive compounds to treat neuropsychiatric and neurologic disorders, today announced its scientific advisory board. The board is composed of neuroscience experts with decades of experience developing therapies at some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, in leadership positions at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and at leading academic institutions and hospitals. Their deep expertise will help guide Empyrean as the first company with a genetic engineering platform for developing small molecule therapeutics from fungi and plants.

"We are proud to be joined by three physician-scientists who have led decades of important research and development across academia, industry, government, and clinical practice in neuroscience,” said Fred Grossman, D.O., FAPA, Empyrean’s chief medical officer. “Our SAB understands the potential of Empyrean’s first-in-class genetic engineering approach to developing therapeutics in areas of severe unmet medical need. I am honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with them as we contribute to scientific and clinical understanding of neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders and advance our programs.”

The founding members of Empyrean’s scientific advisory board are:

  • William Z. Potter, M.D., Ph.D., is emeritus co-chair of the neuroscience steering committee at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. He was previously senior advisor at NIMH and vice president, franchise integrator in neuroscience at Merck Research Laboratories. Before joining Merck, he was executive director and Lilly clinical research fellow of the neuroscience therapeutic area at Lilly Research Laboratories. Before Lilly, he held the position of chief, section on clinical pharmacology, intramural research program, at NIMH. Dr. Potter has authored more than 300 publications in the field of preclinical and clinical pharmacology, mostly focused on drugs used in affective illnesses and methods for evaluating drug effects in humans. He has received many honors during his career, including the 1975–1977 Falk Fellowship from the American Psychiatric Association, the 1986 Meritorious Service Medal from the U.S. Public Health Service, the 1990 St. Elizabeth’s Residency Program Alumnus of the Year Award, and the 2018 Andrew C. Leon Distinguished Career Award of the International Society for CNS Clinical Trials and Methodology. Dr. Potter received his medical degree and doctorate in pharmacology from Indiana University and board certification in psychiatry in 1978.
  • Husseini K. Manji, M.D., was most recently global head of science for minds at Johnson & Johnson and was previously global therapeutic head of neuroscience at Janssen Research & Development, where he led the neuroscience therapeutic area and oversaw the development of Spravato (esketamine), which was granted fast track and breakthrough therapy designations by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and was approved for treatment-resistant depression. Dr. Manji spent more than a decade at the National Institutes of Health and the NIMH, where he helped develop the mood and anxiety disorders program and served as its director. He is a visiting professor at the University of Oxford and a visiting professor in the department of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Manji received his medical degree from the University of British Columbia, is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and sits on the board of trustees of McLean Hospital.
  • Francis S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., is the chairman of the department of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine and psychiatrist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where he oversees one of the largest academic psychiatric programs in the United States. At Weill Cornell, Dr. Lee runs a lab that focuses on connecting molecular neuroscience with psychiatry through studies of how factors such as brain-derived neurotropic factor and endocannabinoids contribute to the pathophysiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. He received his medical degree and doctorate from the University of Michigan, followed by psychiatry residency training at the Payne Whitney Clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He completed postdoctoral training in molecular neuroscience at the Skirball Institute at New York University and the University of California, San Francisco.

About Empyrean Neuroscience

Empyrean Neuroscience is a genetic engineering company developing a pipeline of neuroactive therapeutics to treat a range of neuropsychiatric and neurologic disorders. Through precision genetic modification, transformation, and regeneration of fungi and plants, the company’s platform allows for the creation of small molecule therapeutics. In addition, the platform enables the discovery of novel small molecules that may exhibit therapeutic properties. The company is based in New York City and Cambridge, UK.


Matthew Corcoran
Anemone Media
(617) 866-7350

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Last Updated: 13-Dec-2022