Our Mission

We are dedicated to discovering novel biological targets and developing drugs that profoundly improve the lives of people born with rare metabolic defects who are unable to sustain basic biochemical processes necessary for life.

Our proprietary human disease models enable us to discover potential new drugs like HST5040 by recreating and interpreting complex human biology. We believe that no other company can match our ability to understand hepatic and vascular diseases, and we value partnerships with other companies dedicated to accelerating novel therapies for challenging diseases.

Our Culture

HemoShear is more than our science and platform. We are a team of dedicated, innovative, and enthusiastic professionals that are passionate about our mission. Our values foster an environment in which we ask the tough questions and work collaboratively with urgency to discover breakthrough drugs to improve lives.


James Powers Chairman and CEO

Prior to joining HemoShear in August 2008, Mr. Powers was a member of the executive team that took PRA International (now PRA Health Sciences) public in 2004. He transitioned PRA from a clinical data management company to a global clinical trials management organization, recruited its first operations leaders and led PRA’s business development activities. Mr. Powers served as an advisor to the UVA-Coulter Translational Research Partnership, which was funded by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. Mr. Powers was on the boards of CellzDirect and Averion during the time that both companies were successfully sold to larger R&D businesses. In 2014, Mr. Powers was selected to join PharmaVoice’s Top 100 most inspiring leaders in pharma. He currently serves on the board of Virginia BIO and is chairman of the Virginia BIO Foundation. Mr. Powers received a B.S. in administration and management science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Brian Wamhoff, PhD Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Wamhoff co-invented the HemoShear technology and directed the successful development of human models of the vascular system, liver diseases and the tumor microenvironment. His efforts led to the launch of HemoShear’s proprietary drug discovery programs in rare metabolic diseases. Advancement of HemoShear’s REVEAL-TXTM platform has been achieved in part by Dr. Wamhoff’s role in securing significant NIH Small Business Innovation Research funding from five different NIH institutes. His passion and scientific vision have fueled the formation of productive partnerships with Takeda, Horizon and Carnot Biosciences. Dr. Wamhoff, former Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, has co-founded multiple medical device and therapeutics companies. He has authored or co-authored more than 70 papers and has been issued more than 10 patents. Dr. Wamhoff obtained a B.S. in biology with a minor in business administration from Rhodes College, where he was the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus; he received his Ph.D. in medical physiology from the University of Missouri.

Gerald F. Cox, M.D., Ph.D. Acting Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Gerry Cox is a board-certified clinical geneticist and pediatrician with two decades of industry experience in leading clinical development programs for rare diseases. Since 2018, Dr. Cox has been consulting for companies developing treatments for rare genetic diseases. From 2016-2018, Dr. Cox was Chief Medical Officer at Editas Medicine, where he was a major contributor to the acceptance of the first IND for a CRISPR-based medicine delivered in vivo for a common cause of genetic blindness. Previously, he was Vice President of Rare Disease at Sanofi Genzyme, leading clinical development programs for several lysosomal storage disorders that resulted in approvals of therapies for mucopolysaccharidosis type I and II and Gaucher disease. In 2019, Dr. Cox joined the Board of Directors for the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases patient advocacy organization. He still sees patients at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he was previously on the full-time staff and completed his pediatrics and genetics training.  He also is an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cox received his MD, PhD from the University of California at San Diego and a BA in biology from Harvard College.  He has over 80 peer-reviewed publications.

Mavis Waller Vice President, Clinical Operations

Mavis Waller is a clinical research professional with 34 years of biopharmaceutical and contract research organization experience.  She joins HemoShear to provide expertise, strategy and oversight to the company’s clinical trial program. She has managed complex global studies involving up to 35 countries and 500 sites. Ms. Waller has held various positions within data management, clinical monitoring and project management. Prior to joining HemoShear, she served as a member of a governance team at Syneos Health directing a large portfolio of rare disease studies. On the portfolio, she was also responsible for directing a team that achieved a challenging milestone of first patient enrolled three months from protocol finalization. In addition to rare diseases, Ms. Waller has been involved in a range of therapeutic areas including gastrointestinal diseases, oncology and vaccines. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. 

Michael Innes Chief Business Officer

Mr. Innes brings more than 20 years of healthcare investment banking and corporate finance experience to HemoShear. He has completed more than 40 transactions in healthcare and the life sciences, including strategic partnerships, mergers & acquisitions and capital raises. His capital raising transactions have included venture capital, private and public equity, senior/subordinated debt and royalty monetizations. In 2016, Mr. Innes formed Pilot Health Advisors to provide advisory services to corporate and institutional clients in the life sciences. Prior to PHA, Mr. Innes served as Managing Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Morgan Joseph TriArtisan, LLC. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the Healthcare Investment Banking groups at Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo Securities) and Raymond James & Associates. Mr. Innes earned a BSE in civil engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.

Brian A. Johns, PhD Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Brian A. Johns joined HemoShear following a prolific 20-year career with GSK, where he co-invented Tivicay® (dolutegravir), one of the most widely prescribed antivirals on the market for HIV, currently being used by millions of patients worldwide. Dr. Johns is also co-inventor of the long acting injectable integrase inhibitor cabotegravir, currently under FDA review as a monthly HIV treatment. Dr. Johns spent the past four years working closely with Professor David Margolis as co-director of the UNC HIV Cure Center and Qura Therapeutics, a biotech partnership between ViiV Healthcare and UNC with the mission to find a cure for HIV.  Along with his extensive experience from early discovery though phase 2 clinical development, Dr. Johns has authored or co-authored 50 peer reviewed journal articles and is an inventor on approximately 70 patent applications. He received a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Wayne State University and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia.

Aric Holsinger, CPA Chief Financial Officer

Prior to joining HemoShear, Mr. Holsinger was Chief Financial Officer of education technology company Cricket Media, where he led the company through a public offering and ultimately returned to private status. Previously Mr. Holsinger held CFO and VP Finance positions with MCT, a cellular telecommunications provider in Russia and Central Asia; the Baltimore Stallions, a franchise in the Canadian Football League; and the Baltimore Orioles.  Mr. Holsinger began his career with Arthur Andersen in Washington, DC and received his B.S. degree in accounting and management information systems from the University of Virginia.

Mark Hayes, PhD Acting Chief Regulatory Officer

Dr. Hayes has more than 25 years of experience in research and development of innovative therapeutics for rare diseases and cancer. Through 2015, he was Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance at Synageva Biopharma prior to their acquisition by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he led efforts to support the approval of Kanuma for lysosomal acid lipase deficiency, and provided strategic regulatory leadership for additional rare disease pipeline products. Prior to Synageva, Dr. Hayes was Group Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Genzyme, where over 11 years he led the regulatory function for oncology and biosurgery as well as CMC regulatory organization for all therapies. Prior to joining industry, Dr. Hayes served at FDA for over 9 years at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, where he conducted independent research in cytokine biology and managed the review of numerous recombinant proteins. Dr. Hayes received a B.S. from Davidson College and holds a Ph.D. in immunology and experimental pathology from the University of Florida.

Mike Simmers, PhD Vice President, Operations

Dr. Simmers brings over 17 years of scientific expertise developing tools and in vitro organ systems for the HemoShear technology.  During this time, he co-developed novel systems of the human vasculature, liver, and tumor microenvironment.  Dr. Simmers held various roles within the organization, including leading commercial scientific studies, developing new technologies, overseeing laboratory operations and managing HemoShear’s intellectual property portfolio.  He authored several scientific publications and was issued multiple patents related to in vitro human organ systems. Dr. Simmers earned a B.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Susan Klees Vice President, Communications

Susan Klees joins HemoShear with more than 20 years of experience managing communications strategy for the biotech and device industry, patient advocacy groups and professional societies. She has launched and supported therapies in oncology, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, metabolic disease, women’s health, and CNS disorders.  Most recently she served as Director of Communications for the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, managing global communications to position the benefits of this disruptive medical technology for a range of diseases. She is a co-founder of the CvilleBioHub and has served on several patient support and community organization boards. Ms. Klees graduated with a B.A. in communications studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

James Powers Chairman and CEO

Prior to joining HemoShear in August 2008, Mr. Powers was a member of the executive team that took PRA International (now PRA Health Sciences) public in 2004. He transitioned PRA from a clinical data management company to a global clinical trials management organization, recruited its first operations leaders and led PRA’s business development activities. Mr. Powers served as an advisor to the UVA-Coulter Translational Research Partnership, which was funded by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. Mr. Powers was on the boards of CellzDirect and Averion during the time that both companies were successfully sold to larger R&D businesses. In 2014, Mr. Powers was selected to join PharmaVoice’s Top 100 most inspiring leaders in pharma. He currently serves on the board of Virginia BIO and is chairman of the Virginia BIO Foundation . Mr. Powers received a B.S. in administration and management science from Carnegie Mellon University.

John L. Brooks III, MSBA, CPA Board Member

Mr. Brooks is the Managing Director of Healthcare Capital LLC, which specializes in advising innovative, early-stage life sciences companies. Mr. Brooks is on the board of a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including Thermalin Diabetes (chair), Noxilizer, Hygieia, College Diabetes Network (chair) and Suffolk University. Mr. Brooks is the former CEO and President of NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NRBO) and the former President and CEO of the Joslin Diabetes Center.  Mr. Brooks has co-founded seven life sciences companies and was a co-founder of Prism Venture Partners, a $1.25B venture capital firm. Prior to that, Mr. Brooks was a senior executive at Pfizer and Arthur Andersen. He holds an M.S. in Business Administration and a B.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

David Friedman, MD Board Member

Dr. Friedman is a Managing Director and Senior Analyst for the Averill Strategy at Suvretta Capital Management, LLC. Prior to joining Suvretta Capital, Dr. Friedman was a Healthcare Analyst at Scopia Capital Management where he focused on biotechnology/specialty pharmaceutical companies and led the healthcare capital markets efforts. Prior to Scopia, Dr. Friedman worked in biotechnology equity research at Morgan Stanley. Dr. Friedman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Duke University, received an MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, performed general surgery residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Robert J. Gould, PhD Board Member

Dr. Gould is President and CEO of Fulcrum Therapeutics, Inc., a privately financed drug discovery and development company with a focus on genetically defined diseases. Prior to Fulcrum, Dr. Gould was President and CEO of Epizyme, Inc., where he led the company through a successful public offering.  From November 2006 to March 2010, Dr. Gould served as Director of Novel Therapeutics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Previously, Dr. Gould was Vice President, Licensing and External Research at Merck Research Laboratories, where he held a variety of leadership positions during his 23-year tenure. Dr. Gould received a B.A. in chemistry from Spring Arbor College, a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Iowa, and completed postdoctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gould also serves on the boards of Fulcrum, Turnstone Biologics and Spring Arbor University.

Kathleen M. Metters, PhD Board Member

Dr. Metters was previously president and CEO of Lycera Corp. and held a number of leadership positions over more than two decades at Merck & Co. Under her leadership Lycera developed a pipeline of immune modulator programs which led to an exclusive global collaboration with Celgene in 2015. Dr. Metters began her tenure at Merck & Co as a research scientist and progressed to become head of Worldwide Basic Research. During this time Dr Metters was integral to the discovery of the asthma drug Singulair® and subsequently chaired the Worldwide Business Strategy team for the respiratory business. Dr. Metters graduated with a BS in biochemistry from the University of Manchester Institute for Science and Technology and obtained her PhD from the Imperial College of Science and Technology. She is an author on more than 70 publications and has been listed on 29 patents. She also serves on the board of directors of Pharmaxis and scientific advisory boards of Bridge Medicines and Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute.

W. M. Thompson, Jr. Secretary & General Counsel

W. McIlwaine (Mac) Thompson, Jr. is a founding investor and a founding board member of HemoShear. He is of counsel to the law firm of Woods Rogers PLC and has represented companies in diverse fields including biotechnology, information technology, education and manufacturing. Mr. Thompson is on the board of directors and past chair of the UVA Curry School of Education Foundation and a member of the board of directors of Virginia Humanities. He has been on the board and past chair of the Community Investment Collaborate, a Charlottesville-based education and micro-finance organization.  He is also a board member of a number of privately-held companies.  Mr. Thompson graduated from Yale College in 1969 and the UVA Law School in 1972.

John Tilton Board Member

Mr. Tilton is the Chief Commercial Officer and one of the founding management members of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals.  He has over 25 years of experience successfully commercializing bio-pharmaceutical products, launching start-up biotech companies as well as raising capital in private and public markets. He joined Biohaven from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was an Executive Director and one of the founding commercial leaders responsible for the commercialization of multiple orphan drug indications. Mr. Tilton played a central role in the successful global launches of Soliris, as well as building operational infrastructure for 4 orphan indication launches in over 30 countries for Alexion. Previously, Mr. Tilton held leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Pfizer, Agouron and Sanofi with therapeutic focus in the orphan, oncology and specialty markets. Mr. Tilton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina — Darla Moore School of Business.

H. Thomas Watkins III Board Member

Mr. Watkins was President, CEO and a Director of Human Genome Sciences (HGS) from 2004 until the company was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012. During his tenure, HGS successfully developed and brought Benlysta to market, the first new lupus drug to be introduced in over 50 years. Prior to HGS, Mr. Watkins spent more than 20 years in senior roles at Abbott and its affiliates in the U.S. and Asia. During that time, he was President of TAP Pharmaceutical Products, Inc., where he led the growth from approximately $2 billion to over $4 billion in annual revenue. Previously, Mr. Watkins was a consultant with McKinsey and began his career with Arthur Andersen. He is former Chairman of the Biotechnology Industry Organization and continues to serve on its board. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and on the board of Horizon Pharma plc. He also serves on the board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary and the board of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Mr. Watkins received his B.B.A. in accounting from William & Mary and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, now the Booth School of Business.

Propionic Acidemia and Methylmalonic Acidemia Clinical Advisory Board
  • Marshall Summar, M.D.

    Children's National Medical Center, Director Rare Disease Institute; Chief of Genetics and Metabolism; Margaret O’Malley Professor of Genetic Medicine; National Organization of Rare Diseases (NORD, Chairman of the Board)

  • Moeen Al-Sayed, M.D.

    King Faisal Specialist Hospital (KSA), Chairman of Medical Genetics

  • Mattias Baumgartner, M.D.

    University of Zurich, Head of the Division of Metabolic Diseases at the Children's Hospital Zurich

  • Gregory Enns, M.D.

    Stanford University, Professor of Pediatrics (Genetics) at the Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital

  • Nicola Longo, M.D., Ph.D.

    University of Utah, Chief of the Division of Medical Genetics; Professor of Pediatrics at Primary Children’s Medical Center

NASH Advisor
  • Arun Sanyal, M.D.

    Professor and Chair, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, VCU; Chairman, NIH NASH Research Network.

  • Tony Bower, Ph.D., Reimbursement Consultant

    President, BRG LLC; former VP Global Pricing, Reimbursement and Health Economics, Synageva BioPharma; Head of Pricing, Amgen; Senior Economist, RAND.

  • Gerald Cox, MD, PhD, Clinical Advisor

    Former CMO, Editas; VP Clinical Development, Rare Diseases, Sanofi Genzyme

  • John Dillberger, DVM, Ph.D. Diplomate ACVP and ABT, Fellow IATP. Toxicology Consultant

    J Dillberger LLC; former Charles River Labs; Triangle Pharmaceuticals; Glaxo Wellcome

  • Mark Hayes, Ph.D., Regulatory Affairs Consultant

    HayesWays LLC; former SVP Regulatory Affairs, Synageva BioPharma; Genzyme; FDA

  • Brad Henke, Ph.D., Chemistry Consultant

    President, Opti-Mol Consulting LLC; former Director of Chemistry, GSK

  • Mehmood Khan, M.D., Medical Advisor

    CEO of Life Biosciences; former Vice Chairman of PepsiCo, Inc.; President, Takeda Global Research and Development Center; Royal College of Physicians, London; American College of Endocrinology

  • John LaMattina, Ph.D., Business Strategy Advisor

    Board Director, PureTech Health; former President, Pfizer R&D

  • John E. Reardon, Ph.D., R&D Advisor

    Chief Scientific Officer at Ribometrix; former Head of R&D at HemoShear; CSO Cardioxyl; SVP Discovery Biology, GSK




HemoShear Therapeutics, Inc.
501 Locust Avenue
Suite 301
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902