Board of Directors

Caley Castelein, MD

Caley has served on Aerpio’s board of directors since March 2017. Dr. Castelein is the Founder and has been a Managing Director for Kearny Venture Partners since 2006. Dr. Castelein is also the Founder and has been the Managing Director for KVP Capital since 2013. He is a director for ViewRay, Alivecor, Boreal, Newbridge Pharmaceuticals, WellPartner, and Waterstone Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Castelein received his M.D. from University of California, San Francisco and his A.B. in Biology from Harvard University. 

Anupam Dalal, MD

Anupam has served on Aerpio’s board of directors since November 2011. Since August 1, 2016, Dr. Dalal has been working at Acuta Capital. From 2006 to 2016, Dr. Dalal was the Managing Director of Kearny Venture Partners. He was a Founder and Managing Member of KVP Capital. He served as a director of Akebia Therapeutics from 2008 to 2016. Dr. Dalal received an M.D. degree from the University of California in San Francisco with honors; an M.B.A., with distinction, from Harvard Business School; and a B.A. degree in Economics, Phi Beta Kappa and highest honors, from the University of California at Berkeley. 

Pravin Dugel, MD

Pravin has served as a member of our Board of Directors since March 2017. Since 1994, Dr. Dugel has served as the Managing Partner of Retinal Consultants of Arizona and is a Founding Member of the Spectra Eye Institute.  He is a Clinical Professor at the USC Roski Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. Dugel serves on the Advisory Board of Acucela, Inc. and as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at MacuSight, Inc., Alcon Surgical, Genentech and Novartis. He also serves as a Member of the Medical Advisory Board at TrueVision Systems, Inc. and a Member of the Clinical Advisory Board at Opthea Limited. Dr. Dugel received his M.D. from UCLA School of Medicine and his BA from Columbia University. 

Joseph Gardner, PhD - President and Founder

Dr. Gardner was the founding CEO of Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. in 2007, following twenty-three years of pharmaceutical discovery and development work at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. As CEO of Akebia, Joseph completed four rounds of private financing and moved the lead anemia drug, AKB-6548, successfully through Phase 2 studies in humans. In March of 2014, Akebia Therapeutics raised over $100M in a public offering and is now a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. Joseph founded Aerpio as a spin out from Akebia Therapeutics, Inc in December of 2011 bringing over the Tie2 and HIF-1 activator programs. Dr. Gardner successfully closed two series A financing rounds and Aerpio’s recent private placement and reverse merger, which are funding the lead Tie2 activator, AKB-9778, through human proof of concept studies in patients with diabetic eye disease.
While at P&G Joseph created, and managed a broad range of functions including medicinal chemistry, process chemistry, high throughput screening, computational modeling, and early clinical development. Dr. Gardner was Director of intellectual property management and managed the entire patent portfolio for the P&G Pharmaceutical business.
Dr. Gardner received his B.S. with honors in Biological Chemistry from Tulane University, earned his M.S. in Biochemistry from Utah State University and Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from University of Wisconsin.

Stephen Hoffman, MD, PhD – Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Hoffman joins Aerpio Pharmaceuticals from PDL BioPharma, an investment firm that manages a portfolio of investments in companies, products, royalty agreements and debt facilities in the biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device industries, where he served as a Senior Advisor since February 2014. Prior to that he served as a Managing Director at Skyline Ventures, a venture capital firm, from 2007 to 2014 and was general partner at TVM Capital from 2003 to 2007. Prior to TVM, he served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Allos Therapeutics from 1994 to 2002, where he remained as Chairman until its acquisition by Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2012. Dr. Hoffman currently serves on the board of directors of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRNA), AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACRX), Bicycle Therapeutics Ltd., and Palleon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Hoffman completed a fellowship in clinical oncology and a residency and fellowship in dermatology from 1990 to 1994, both at the University of Colorado, and holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University and an M.D. from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is also board-certified in Dermatology.
Chau Q. Khuong

Chau has served on Aerpio’s board of directors since April 2014. Since 2003, Mr. Khuong has been a Private Equity Partner at OrbiMed Advisors. He is currently on the boards of Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Synlogic, Cerapedics, Nabriva Therapeutics AG, and Inspire Medical Systems. Mr. Khuong holds a B.S. degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and a Master’s in Public Health from Yale University. 

Steve Prelack

Steve has served on Aerpio’s board of directors since March 2017. Mr. Prelack has been the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of VetCor since 2010. He is a director at Galectin Therapeutics and Pieris, Mr. Prelack holds a CPA and has a B.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Muneer A. Satter (Chairman)

Muneer has served as a member of Aerpio’s Board of Directors since October 2013. Mr. Satter has been Founder and Managing Partner of Satter Medical Technology Partners, L.P. since 2016, Chairman of Satter Investment Management LLC since 2012, and he also manages the Satter Foundation. Prior to Satter Investment Management, Mr. Satter was a partner at Goldman Sachs where he spent 24 years in various roles, most recently as the Global Co-Head of the Principal Debt Group and Global Head of the Mezzanine Group in the Merchant Banking Division, where he raised and managed over $30 billion of assets. Mr. Satter is co-chairman of the board of directors of Vital Therapies, Inc. and Linq3 Technologies LLC, chairman of the board of directors of Akebia Therapeutics and Restorsea Holdings, LLC and a director of Annexon Biosciences. He also serves as vice chairman of Goldman Sachs Foundation and GS Gives, is a director of World Business Chicago, is on the Board of Advisors of the American Enterprise Institute and is on the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University where he is Chairman of the Finance Committee. Mr. Satter received a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. 

Paul Weiss, PhD

Paul has served on Aerpio’s board of directors since November 2011.  Since 2006, Dr. Weiss has been Managing Director of Venture Investors.  From 2001 to 2006 Dr. Weiss served as the President at Gala Design, which was sold to Cardinal Health (now part of Catalent).  From 1997 to 2000, Dr. Weiss served as the VP of Business Development/VP of Technology and Product Licensing at 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals (IPO and subsequent sale to Johnson & Johnson).  Prior to that, Dr. Weiss worked as Director of Licensing for the pharmaceutical company Wyeth-Ayerst (now part of Pfizer).  Currently, he also serves as a director at Euthymics Bioscience, FluGen, Madison Vaccines, and Neurovance.  He served as a director of Akebia Therapeutics and Tissue Regeneration Systems.  Dr. Weiss holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Carleton University Institute of Biochemistry.