LEADERSHIP

Eric Zeece, MBA, has spent over ten years working with technology-based startups. Former roles include innovation manager at a venture capital fund, commercialization specialist at a national accelerator, and manager of innovation and venture capital programs at a state agency. Eric has served as director of technical training at a Berkshire Hathaway owned utility, vice president of operations at a midwestern utility, and deputy director and interim director of a state economic development agency. In addition to his start-up consulting experience, Eric has over ten years of experience working for Fortune 500 companies in a breadth of executive, technical, and financial management positions ranging from operations to asset management and investment delivery.

Eric Zeece, Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Ekaterina Heldwein, Co-Founder

Ekaterina (Katya) Heldwein, PhD, is an American Cancer Society (Massachusetts Division) Professor of Molecular Biology and HHMI Faculty Scholar in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at the Tufts University School of Medicine. She received a PhD in Biochemistry at the Oregon Health & Sciences University and completed postdoctoral training in structural biology at the Harvard Medical School. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and her achievements in the field of herpesviruses have been recognized with a number of awards including the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the Pew Biomedical Scholar Award, the Burroughs Welcome Foundation Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award, and the HHMI Faculty Scholar Award. Her expertise includes virus-host interactions and viral protein structures.

Dr. Gary Pickard, Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder

Gary Pickard, PhD, is a Professor of Neuroscience in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. He received a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin and served on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and Colorado State University, where he was Director of the Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Neuroscience Program. In 2016 he was elected as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to neuroscience, including using viral probes to trace neuroanatomical circuitry in the mammalian brain. In 2019 he received the Breakthrough Innovation Award from University of Nebraska for his work in developing herpesvirus vaccines.

Dr. Gregory Smith, President and Co-Founder

Gregory Smith, PhD, is a Professor of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He received a PhD in Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania and pursued his post-doctoral studies in herpes virology at Princeton University. His advances to our understanding of herpesvirus neurotropism have been recognized with awards from the Markey Foundation, Life Science Research Foundation, Schweppe Foundation, and the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation. His expertise includes virus-neuron interactions and genetic alteration of herpesviruses, and he has produced genetic tools that are under license by several pharmaceutical companies.