We advance molecules
that embrace the complexity of disease.

We envision a world where data-driven drug discovery is the norm.

The Cyclica Way

Hear from fellow Cyclicans about what it’s like to work here.

Our mission is to get medicines to patients faster by:

  1. Leveraging polypharmacology to design advanceable molecules from the get-go
  2. Embracing the complexity of disease
  3. Upholding scientific integrity at all costs
  4. Creatively partnering at unprecedented scale

We believe that getting new medicines to the people who need them most depends less on a breakthrough in technology than it does breakthroughs in how we collaborate. We exist to model a radical new paradigm for all.

The biotech pipeline of the future isn’t owned or built by a single organization. It is instead the result of interdisciplinary, cross-organizational research, aligned from the molecular level on up, executed at significant scale.

HOW WE WORK

For us, business is personal

We work with our partners with a profound sense of empathy for their scientific and business goals.  Whenever possible, we partner or create a joint venture to align our interests for the long haul.

Learn more about partnering with Cyclica →

FROM CANADA WITH LOVE

The Cyclica way

We’re proud to be built and based in Toronto, Canada with offices in Boston and the UK, and  employees all over the globe. 

We hire good people first, last, and always. We are nice to work with and nice to be with — both in good times and bad.

Our team

We are biotech and pharma professionals, biologists, chemists, and computer scientists who live and labor at the intersection of our collective expertise.

Naheed Kurji

Naheed Kurji

Co-Founder, President and CEO

Naheed Kurji is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of Cyclica. Naheed is passionate about building AI-augmented technologies that enable researchers to make more strategic and informed decisions in Healthcare and the life sciences. He spends the majority of his time obsessing over Cyclica’s culture, defining its strategy to best effect change in the pharma industry to achieve the company’s vision, and exploring opportunities for continued innovation. He strives to foster an environment where the Cyclica team can debate, collaborate, problem-solve, and design solutions for some of the most difficult problems faced in improving human health. Naheed has been featured in the Globe and Mail, CBC, Forbes, Vanity Fair, StartUp Health Magazine, Venture Beat, and guest lectures at various universities on the topic of AI in drug discovery and entrepreneurship. Naheed is also a Co-founder and Director of Entheogenix Biosciences, a psychedelic inspired biotech company for mental health, a Co-founder, Board Member and Executive Officer of the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AAIH), and serves as a Member of the Life Sciences Advisory Group for Global Affairs Canada. Naheed has an MBA from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, a BSc from the University of Ottawa and a Certificate from MIT CSAIL in Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy.

Andreas Windemuth, Ph.D.

Chief Innovation Officer

Andreas is the Chief Science Officer, and guides Cyclica’s vision in creating a scientifically rigorous platform that’s integral in the drug discovery pipeline.

Prior to joining Cyclica, Andreas served as Chief Information Officer at Firefly BioWorks, a biotechnology company that started out of MIT, where he created all computational aspects of the company’s multiplexed assay technology. Andreas is a fellow of the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (Stuttgart, Germany), and has done post-doctoral research on biomolecular modeling at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Columbia University. Andreas has coauthored over 60 peer-reviewed publications and is named inventor on seven issued US patents.

Andreas will happily try any beer, so long as it’s a German Weiss.

Vern De Biasi, Ph.D.

Chief Partnership Officer

Vern is the Chief Partnership Officer and supports Cyclica’s growth by scaling Cyclica’s partnership efforts and global presence. Prior to joining Cyclica Vern served in multiple senior leadership roles with over 20+ years of experience in discovery and late stage development, working with the internationally recognized pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). In his most recent position as Head of Digital, Data and Analytics, Vern lead a team tasked with realising competitive advantage and value through digital, data and analytics, associated with a 3,000 employee global R&D Discovery and preclinical organisation. Prior to that, Vern held the role of Head of Emerging Platforms, where he led a team tasked with discovering and incubating new external platforms for GSK R&D, and Head of Platform Technology and Science at GSK R&D, Asia in Shanghai. In these roles, Vern oversaw the development of novel transformational platforms in areas of AI and deep learning, miniaturised biology with the application of scientific and computational power to the R&D process. Vern has global experience having worked in Italy, China, the UK, and the United States. Vern received his PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Hertfordshire, UK.

Pratik Shah

Chief Financial Officer

As the Chief Financial Officer of Cyclica, Pratik is responsible for translating the company’s business model and strategy into a compelling financial narrative as well as scaling up the company’s accounting and finance infrastructure to meet the needs of a high growth organization. Prior to this role, he held various corporate finance and financial reporting roles in publicly listed companies operating in the pharmaceutical, software and services, and cannabis sectors. Pratik obtained his Chartered Professional Accountant designation (CPA, CA) while working at PricewaterhouseCoopers and is also a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV). Pratik has a Master of Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology/Chartered Accounting from the University of Waterloo.

Stephen MacKinnon, Ph.D.

Chief Platform Officer

Stephen leads the research and development of new predictive technologies at Cyclica. He coordinates the integration of ML and biophysical tools to create effective AI solutions to complex problems in drug discovery. Stephen received a Ph.D. in Computational Biochemistry, where he developed biophysical abstractions and classifications schemas to describe 3D protein interactions.

Mike Palovich, Ph.D.

Chief Science Officer, Head of Drug Discovery

Shane Climie, Ph.D.

VP, Corporate Development

Shane is Cyclica’s Vice President of Corporate Development. Shane supports Cyclica’s growth by managing corporate relationships and ensures Cyclica continues to make sound and strategic business decisions.

Prior to joining Cyclica, Shane has more than 25 years of R&D and business development experience in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. He has led research teams involved in all aspects of drug discovery and technology development, and has designed, negotiated and managed many R&D collaborations. Shane has been a Principal at Popper and Company for 11 years where he has provided interim executive management services to early-stage biotechnology companies in the areas of diagnostics and drug discovery / drug development as well as support in the areas of business management, marketing strategy and technology or opportunity assessment. Prior to joining Popper and Company, Shane held several positions at Protana (formerly MDS Proteomics) including Senior Vice President of Science Strategy and Business Development, Senior Vice President of Research Collaborations, and Vice President of Proteomics and Business Development. Dr. Climie was also co-founder, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of MDS Ocata and was a Visiting Research Scientist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. Prior to that, Dr. Climie held several managerial positions at Allelix Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. including Principal Scientist. Dr. Climie completed postdoctoral work at the University of California at San Francisco and received a Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto.

Ted Gotlieb

Ted Gotlieb

General Counsel

Monica Grembowicz

Associate Director Of Legal

Jennifer Sacco

VP, Marketing and Communications

Chinmaya Sadangi, Ph.D.

Marketing and Communication Specialist

Miranda MacAskill

Scientific Marketing Designer

Vijay Shahani, Ph.D.

Vijay Shahani, Ph.D.

VP, Drug Discovery

Benjamin DiFrancesco, Ph.D.

Senior Drug Discovery Scientist

Julie Owen

Senior Drug Discovery Scientist

Ly Le, Ph.D.

Drug Discovery Scientist

Ganna Posternak

Drug Discovery Scientist

Linda Zhao, Ph.D.

Senior Partnerships Manager

Maurice Shen, Ph.D.

Senior Manager, Academic Partnerships

Elena Tsimakouridze, Ph.D.

Partner Success

Ali Madani, Ph.D.

Director, Machine Learning

Andrew Brereton, Ph.D.

Senior Computational Scientist

Farnoosh Khodakarami, Ph.D.

Computational Scientist

Nil Sahin, Ph.D.

Computational Scientist

Maria Elena Garcia-Ochagavia

Associate Computational Scientist

Daniella Lato

Computational Scientist

Federico Comitani

Computational Scientist

Estefania Ojeda

Computational Scientist

David Kuter, Ph.D.

Director, Digital Chemistry

Carles Corbi Verge, Ph.D.

Computational Scientist

Javi Zhang

Computational Scientist

Jay Huang, Ph.D.

Computational Scientist

Mohesan Sreekuladevan

Team Lead, Web and Data Platforms

Peter Vlasveld

Intermediate Software Developer

Devon Welch

Software Developer

Melissa Kennedy

Junior Software Developer

Steve Constable

Director, Software Development

Cindy Yang

Intermediate Software Developer

Jonathan McClare

Senior Software Developer

Bo Zhou

Intermediate Software Developer

Zohaib Latif

IT Generalist

Dennis Sarovski

Cyber Security Analyst

Holly McQuarrie

Manager, People and Operations

Gigi He

Finance Manager

Marcia Mendes

Executive Assistant

Board

team

Mostafa Analoui, Ph.D.

Co-Chairman of the Board

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Naheed Kurji

Co-Founder, President, & CEO

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Sastry Chilukuri

Board Member

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    Mostafa Analoui, Ph.D.

    Co-Chairman of the Board

    Dr. Mostafa Analoui, Ph.D. joined Cyclica’s Board of Directors in October 2016. Dr. Analoui brings to Cyclica deep expertise in the pharmaceutical industry, venture capital, and investment. Currently, he is the Executive Director of UConn Ventures at the University of Connecticut.

    Prior to joining Cyclica, Dr. Analoui served as Head of Healthcare and Life Science at The Livingston Securities. He also served as the Senior Director and the Groton/New London Site Head for Global Clinical Technology of Pfizer Inc. Global Research and Development from 2001 to February 2008, where he led the platform technology mission for the clinical development and commercial division in areas including computational medicine. He is also an Adjunct Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Entrepreneurship at the University of Connecticut, Brown University and Northeastern University. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Calando Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (known as Insert Therapeutics, Inc.), BPT Pharma, BEACON (Biomedical Engineering Alliance and CONsortium), and NanoBusiness Alliance. Providing industry leadership in the biomedical and technology fields, Dr. Analoui is actively involved in investment, management, and scientific/business development of nanotechnology, drug discovery/development, diagnostic imaging, and global strategies. Dr. Analoui has authored over 130 publications, including journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports. He holds two patents in quantitative and clinical imaging. He has received his Ph.D. from Purdue University, followed by Post-Doctoral Fellowship at IBM TJ Watson Research Center in NY.

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      Naheed Kurji

      Co-Founder, President, & CEO

      Naheed Kurji is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of Cyclica. Naheed is passionate about building AI-augmented technologies that enable researchers to make more strategic and informed decisions in Healthcare and the life sciences. He is dedicated to advancing the responsible application of AI. He spends the majority of his time obsessing over Cyclica’s culture, defining its strategy to best effect change in the pharma industry to achieve the company’s vision, and exploring opportunities for continued innovation. He strives to foster an environment where the Cyclica team can debate, collaborate, problem-solve, and design solutions for some of the hardest problems we face in improving human health. He has been featured in the Globe and Mail, CBC, Forbes, Vanity Fair, StartUp Health Magazine, Venture Beat, and guest lectures at various universities on the topic of AI in drug discovery and entrepreneurship. He is also a founder and Secretary of the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Health (AAIH). Naheed has an MBA from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management, and has a Certificate from MIT CSAIL in Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy.

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        Michael T.R. List, J.D.

        Board Director

        Michael is both a partner and practicing lawyer at Ormston List Frawley LLP, where he focuses on providing corporate, commercial and transactional advice, and a partner at GreenSky Capital, who have invested in Cyclica through the GreenSky President’s Club and GreenSky Accelerator Fund I.

        In the early 2000s, Michael co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer of a multi-national computer hardware distributor. In the late 2000s, he was a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of a private Canadian currency exchange brokerage which was sold two and a half years after its inception. Michael is also currently a director and General Counsel of Smart Energy Instruments, an international fabless semi-conductor company. Michael has a B.A.H. from Queen’s University and an LL.B. from Queen’s University. Michael was called to the bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2000.

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          Sastry Chilukuri

          Board Member

          Sastry Chilukuri is the Executive Vice President of Digital and AI Solutions of Medidata and is responsible for accelerating the development, go-to-market, and delivery of capabilities that help life science clients accelerate their innovation. Chilukuri brings 19 years of experience in healthcare technology. He most recently was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he worked for 12 years advising bio-pharma, medical device, technology, public sector and regulatory clients around the world. Sastry holds a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; a Master of Science from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi, India.

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            Molly Bonakdarpour

            Board Member

            Molly Bonakdarpour is a Partner at the venture capital firm Drive Capital and leads the firm's healthcare strategy. Prior to joining Drive, Molly was an early employee at Livongo (LVGO) and investor with 7Wire Ventures in Chicago. Molly graduated from MIT with degrees in applied math and economics.

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            Scientific Advisory Board

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            John F. Conway

            Scientific Advisor

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            Rick Panicucci, Ph.D.

            Scientific Advisor

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            Shoshana Wodak, Ph.D.

            Scientific Advisor

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              John F. Conway

              Scientific Advisor

              John brings to Cyclica his deep expertise in computational drug discovery and cheminformatics, as well as his extensive 25+ years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, John serves as Global Director of R&D Data Science and Informatics Strategy at LabAnswer, where he specializes in R&D Data and Cloud Strategies in the life sciences and related industries. Prior to this role, John held leadership roles at Schrödinger and Accelrys (now BIOVIA), as well as Director of Cheminformatics and Structural Biology at GlaxoSmithKline, and Sr. Scientific Programmer and Informatics at Merck and Co. Inc. He attended Penn State University for Biochemistry and then Lehigh University for Molecular and Cellular Biology, and has spent his career becoming an expert in scientific informatics, computational approaches and analytics.

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                Rick Panicucci, Ph.D.

                Scientific Advisor

                Dr. Panicucci is the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development at WuXi AppTec and Adjunct Professor at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. Drawing from his years of experience in the space, Dr. Panicucci advises Cyclica’s development, both scientifically and commercially.

                Dr. Panicucci is currently the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development at WuXi AppTec responsible for providing scientific leadership in the areas of Developability, Formulation Development and GMP Manufacturing. Prior to WuXi he held the position of Global Head of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Profiling (CPP) at Novartis from 2004 to 2015, where he led the development and implementation of innovative dosage form designs and continuous manufacturing paradigms. He worked closely with Novartis BD&L and Venture Fund on many external deals such as Proteus Digital Health, MicroChips, 7th Sense Bio, West Pharma, Unilife, MIT and University of Toronto to mention a few. Dr. Panicucci currently holds the position of Adjunct Professor at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. His education includes two post-doctoral fellowships at University of California at Santa Barbara and the Ontario Cancer Institute. Dr. Panicucci received his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of Toronto.

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                  Shoshana Wodak, Ph.D.

                  Scientific Advisor

                  Dr. Shoshana Wodak is a university professor, a leading researcher in structural bioinformatics, and an expert in representing and analyzing biological networks and pathways. Dr. Wodak led several research groups in Europe and Canada and advises the Research and Development operations at Cyclica. Dr. Wodak obtained her Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York. She was a professor at the Free University of Brussels for over 20 years, where she founded and co-directed the Center of Structural Biology and Bioinformatics and started a Master’s program in Bioinformatics. She was also the Group Leader at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) between 1996 and 2001, and has been a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) since 1992. Dr. Wodak served as the Scientific Director of the Centre for Computational Biology at SickKids from 2004-10. She held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics from 2005 to 2012 and was a board member at the Centre for Applied Genomics. Dr. Wodak developed one of the first docking algorithms for the prediction of protein-protein interactions from the structure of the independent components and is considered a founder of the field of Structural Bioinformatics. She also developed one of the first procedures for defining structural domains from the atomic coordinates of proteins, and wrote a number of key papers on the role of local interactions in stabilizing the native state, protein structure prediction, protein folding, and fold recognition. Shoshana has contributed research to assessing the quality of protein X-ray structures, the analysis of dynamic and thermodynamic properties of proteins, and protein-solvent interactions. More recently, Dr. Wodak and her team have developed efficient procedures for automatic protein design, for simulating protein interactions and conformational changes, and for analyzing protein interactions networks and cellular pathways. Shoshana serves on the management committee of the annual CAPRI (Critical Assessment of Predicted Interactions) competition and sits on a number of editorial boards.

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                  Careers at Cyclica

                  If you’re interested in working at the intersection of humanity and biotech, we’d love to meet.