Scientific Advisory Board

Brian is the Chair of Disc Medicine’s Scientific Advisory Board after previously serving as Chief Innovation Officer and founding CEO of Disc Medicine. Prior to Disc he was the Founder and CEO of Merganser Biotech, where he worked on minihepcidin peptides. He has 25 years of drug development and executive management experience in a range of different therapeutic areas at companies that include Zelos Therapeutics, 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline. He is a research physician with an academic and clinical background in musculoskeletal biology and rheumatology. He received his MB, ChB and PhD from the University of Sheffield and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians.

Dr. Fleming is a hematological pathologist, who has been involved in iron metabolism research for >25 years. His research focuses on the area of iron and hematology. He has lead or has been involved in multiple discoveries in this domain, including the description of the transmembrane iron transporter DMT1/SLC11A2, the identification of the transferrin cycle endosomal ferrireductase STEAP3, the detection of mutations in TMPRSS6 in individuals with iron refractory iron deficiency anemia (IRIDA), as well as finding multiple genes responsible for novel forms of congenital sideroblastic anemia.

Tomas Ganz is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research focus is on the biological role of peptide mediators in innate immunity and iron metabolism. He investigated the pathogenesis of anemia of inflammation and iron overload states, and discovered and characterized hepcidin and erythroferrone, the principal hormones of iron homeostasis. He has helped start three biotechnology enterprises, Intrinsic LifeSciences, Merganser Biotech, and Silarus Therapeutics, focused on the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of hepcidin and erythroferrone. Tomas has also been a scientific advisor to the leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Elizabeta Nemeth is a Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Director of the UCLA Center for Iron Disorders. She has made major contributions to the understanding of iron homeostasis and of its dysregulation in many diseases. She has described the role of hepcidin in various iron disorders including hereditary hemochromatosis, iron-loading anemias (e.g. β-thalassemia), and iron-restricted anemias associated with inflammation and chronic kidney disease. Elizabeta is currently serving as a standing member of the Molecular and Cellular Hematology Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Bioiron Society and a member of the Editorial Board of Blood. Elizabetha has helped start three biotechnology companies: Intrinsic LifeSciences, focused on developing iron diagnostics, Merganser Biotech, focused on developing hepcidin peptide therapeutics, and Silarus Therapeutics, focused on developing erythroferrone-targeted therapeutics.

Dr. Rivella has a long-term expertise in the pathophysiology and genetics of several disease of hematopoiesis-, inflammation-, and iron-related disorders as well as in the use of new drugs for for the cure of hemoglobinopathies. He characterized the role of seminal factors contributing to the morbidity and mortality in ß-thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, Polycythemia vera, hemochromatosis and in anemia of inflammation, such as such hepcidin, intereleukin-2 and ferroportin, the phosphokinase Jak2 and macrophages. For his research, Dr. Rivella has been awarded the New Investigator Award at the International Society of Experimental Hematology, the Sultan bin Khalifa International Thalassemia Federation Award, the Marcel Simon Award from the International BioIron Society (IBIS), numerous travel and fellowship awards from several international scientific societies, grants from the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, Roche Foundation for Anemia Research (RoFAR) and 8 grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a PI.

Uma has served as Chief Scientific Officer of BridgeBio Pharma since April 2016. Previously, Uma served as CSO of Global Blood Therapeutics. She has extensive experience in discovery and preclinical development of agents involved in treatment of hematologic, cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. At GBT, she supervised activities related to development of Voxelotor for sickle cell disease. Uma and her team were responsible for initiation and progression of programs leading to development of Bevyxxa and Andexxa at Portola Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Verstovsek is a distinguished hematologist-oncologist and global leader in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). He is the founder and Director of the largest MPN Clinical Research Center worldwide, and has led over 60 clinical trials. He achieved international acclaim for his leadership in developing landmark therapeutics for MPN, which had a paucity of treatments prior to his era. He has published more than 500 articles in prominent medical journals. His profound contributions have been globally recognized with distinguished awards and numerous invitations as an expert speaker.