Marcelo Bigal, MD, PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer
Marcelo Bigal, MD, PhD

Dr. Bigal is the President and CEO of Ventus Therapeutics. He is also a Venture Partner at Versant Ventures. He brings over 15 years of pharmaceutical experience spanning R&D, medical and scientific affairs. Marcelo held multiple leadership roles in industry including Head of R&D, CSO and CMO at TEVA. Before joining Teva, Marcelo was CMO at Labrys, where he led the team that developed fremanezumab and other medicines in neurology, psychiatry, pain and respiratory diseases approved in the US, Canada and EU. Prior to Labrys, Marcelo worked at Merck.

Prior to his work in the pharmaceutical industry, Marcelo was a faculty member at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Neurology, as well as the Director of Research at New England Center for Headache and Director of Research at Montefiore Headache Center. He has authored around 335 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and is the recipient of multiple recognitions including the prestigious American Academy of Neurology Harold-Wolff John Graham Award for outstanding achievements in neurology research.

He holds a Medical Doctorate degree from the College of Medicine at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where he also obtained a Masters in Science and a PhD in Neurosciences. He completed his post-doctoral research at the New England Center for Headache in CT.

Zack McNealy

Chief Financial Officer
Zack McNealy

Mr. McNealy is Chief Financial Officer of Ventus Therapeutics. Previously, Zack was Chief Financial Officer at Inception Sciences Canada. Before joining Inception, Zack held financial leadership roles at Versant Ventures and Biotie Therapies. Prior to this, Zack worked at Johnson & Johnson. Zack has significant experience in supporting small biotech companies, including mergers & acquisitions and international structures.

He received a BS in finance and accounting from Miami University (Ohio) and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Daniel Koerwer

Chief Business Officer
Daniel Koerwer

Mr. Koerwer is Chief Business Officer of Ventus Therapeutics. Previously, Daniel was Chief Business Officer at Arrakis Therapeutics and BIND Therapeutics and held positions at Biogen in Corporate Development, Discovery Research, and Commercial Operations. He founded and served as President of Biogen’s biosimilars business. Daniel is deeply experienced in building high-growth organizations in the US and abroad, designing and implementing creative strategies to build corporate value, financing innovative companies from inception through IPO, negotiating and managing corporate collaborations, and leading groups of diverse functional experts.

He received a BS in Biochemistry from Boston College and an MBA from Harvard University.

Michael Crackower, PhD

Head of Research and Development
Michael Crackower, PhD

Dr. Crackower is the head of Research and Development at Ventus Therapeutics. He brings to Ventus more than 18 years of drug discovery leadership experience, which includes deep expertise in the fields of respiratory, immunology and fibrotic disease drug discovery.

Prior to Ventus, Michael was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Versant Ventures where he played an instrumental role in the formation of Ventus. Prior to joining Versant, Michael held the position of Executive Director and head of late immunology drug discovery and fibrosis research at Celgene where he led preclinical drug discovery in Immunology and Inflammation. Prior to Celgene, Michael was Director of research for tissue injury and fibrosis at Biogen. Michael spent much of his early career working at Merck & Co as a Director in the respiratory and immunology department.

Michael has a BSc in biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD in molecular and medical genetics from the University of Toronto, working in the lab of Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui and the Hospital for Sick Children. Michael conducted his postdoctoral studies at the Amgen Institute (PMH), where he made seminal discoveries in cardiovascular and reproductive biology.

Michael Turner, PhD

Head of Translational Sciences
Michael Turner, PhD

Dr. Turner is the Head of Translational Sciences at Ventus Therapeutics and site lead for the greater Boston Ventus site. Mike has over 15 years of experience as an immunologist, working previously with Genzyme/Sanofi, and Alkermes Inc.. Mike has led groups from early discovery through development in various areas of immunology including multiple sclerosis, neuroinflammation/degeneration, immuno-oncology and fibrosis. As part of this work Mike has contributed to the submission and approval of Lemtrada™ and Vumerity™ for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Mike earned his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Rochester and was an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein postdoctoral fellow investigating immune tolerance of memory T cells within mucosal tissues with Dr. Leo Lefrançois at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

Jason Burch, PhD

Head of Chemistry
Jason Burch, PhD

Dr. Burch is the Head of Chemistry of Ventus Therapeutics and the site lead for the Montreal site. Jason has over 15 years of experience as a medicinal chemist, previously with Merck Frosst, Genentech and most recently Inception Sciences where he served as the Head of Chemistry for the Montreal site. Jason is co-inventor of 7 development candidates, including doravirine (Pifeltro®) which was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of HIV. He is co-author of over 25 scientific publications, and co-inventor of over 20 patent applications and granted patents.

Jason received a BS in Chemistry from McGill University and his PhD from Harvard University.