Jay B. Lichter, Ph.D.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Jay B. Lichter serves as Avelas Biosciences’ Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Lichter is an entrepreneur and seasoned investor in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical arena with over 25 years of expertise in management, scientific research, and business development. Dr. Lichter is the inventor on over 260 patents and patent applications. Dr. Lichter has been either directly responsible for, or participated in, licensing or merger and acquisition deals valued in excess of $3 billion. Dr. Lichter currently serves as a member of the board of directors for 14 companies, including AristaMD, SynthoRx, COI Pharmaceuticals, Otonomy, Fortis Therapeutics, Adanate, PDI and Janux. Dr. Lichter held postdoctoral positions in Human Genetics at Yale University and pharmacogenetics at DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. He obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a B.S. from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jesus “Tito” Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Tito Gonzalez serves as Avelas Biosciences’ Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Gonzalez joined Avelas Biosciences as a founding member in 2009 as Vice President of Research and Development. A leader with a successful record of applying chemistry, biology and instrumentation to develop leading technologies, products, and pharmaceuticals; Dr. Gonzalez has over 20 years of biotechnology, drug discovery, drug development, and management experience. Previously, Dr. Gonzalez held the position of Sr. Director, Biology at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he led both drug discovery project teams and a biology team to support discovery projects targeting pain, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis. Prior to Vertex, Dr. Gonzalez was the Director of Ion Channels at Aurora Biosciences, leading a multidisciplinary group that developed high-throughput ion channel drug screening technologies and provided assay development services to the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Gonzalez earned a B.A. in chemistry cum laude from Rice University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton University. He also held a postdoctoral fellow position at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute working with Professor Roger Y. Tsien at University of California at San Diego.
Steven Chen, M.D., MBA
Chief Medical Officer
Steven Chen serves as Avelas Biosciences’ Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Chen joined Avelas Biosciences in 2014 as the Vice President, Clinical Affairs. Previously, Dr. Chen served as the Chief of breast surgery at UC Davis Medical Center, followed by a position as an Associate Professor of Surgery and as the associate program director of the surgical oncology training program at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. Dr. Chen is the immediate past President of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Dr. Chen serves on committees for a number of professional societies including the American Medical Association, the Society of Surgical Oncology, and the American College of Surgeons. He is also a practicing surgeon in San Diego, California and the Director of Surgical Oncology at OasisMD. Dr. Chen received his medical degree and completed general surgery and critical care residencies at the University of Michigan, followed by a surgical oncology fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Dr. Chen also obtained his MBA at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Chief Financial Officer
Jennifer Arthur serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Avelas Biosciences. Ms. Arthur has over 25 years of experience in accounting and finance, including more than 20 years in leadership roles in the life science industry ranging from private start-ups to public commercial organizations. Ms. Arthur also serves as VP of Finance for COI Pharmaceuticals, a role in which she currently supports early-stage life science portfolio companies of Avalon Ventures including Janux Therapeutics, Fortis, Enlaza, and Adanate. In this capacity, Ms. Arthur successfully led the accounting from company inception to IPO for Synthorx (THOR), sale of Sitari Pharmaceuticals to GSK, and sale of Calporta to Merck. Previously, Ms. Arthur was the Sr. Director of Accounting/Controller for Cadence Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Arthur received a B.A. in Economics from UCLA.
William Stratton, MBA
Vice President, Business Development
William Stratton serves as Avelas Biosciences’ Head of Business Development. Mr. Stratton has worked extensively in oncology business development, recently holding positions in business development and corporate strategy at Rakuten Medical and NAVICAN Genomics. Mr. Stratton started his career working in consulting, advising clients in the life sciences and healthcare technology sectors while at The Amundsen Group (a division of IQVIA) and The Exeter Group. Mr. Stratton holds a B.S. in chemistry from Yale University and an MBA with concentrations in Healthcare Management and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.