Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc. Founder, Board member, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ekins graduated from the University of Aberdeen; receiving his M.Sc., Ph.D. and D.Sc in Clinical Pharmacology. Sean was a postdoctoral fellow at Lilly Research Laboratories. He has worked as a senior scientist at Pfizer and Lilly Research Laboratories, respectively and as Associate Director of Computational Drug Discovery at Concurrent Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vice President of Computational Biology at GeneGo, CSO at Collaborative Drug Discovery and CEO and Co-Founder at Phoenix Nest. He is an Entrepreneur-in-residence at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC Chapel Hill. Sean has co-authored >300 peer reviewed scientific papers, book chapters and patents as well as edited/ co-edited five books. He has received extensive funding from NIH, DOD and DTRA.

Maggie A.Z. Hupcey, Ph.D., CHIEF Operating OFFICER

Dr. Hupcey graduated from Cornell University with a PhD in Chemistry and has since had positions in strategy and project management at companies across medical devices, drug discovery, and vaccines.  She was most recently was Senior Manager, Exploratory Development at GSK where she was accountable for the technical development of three Phase 1 programs.  Dr. Hupcey brings nearly 20 years of strategic and operational experience to the company, has several patents as well as contributed to editing a book on collaborations. 


Ana PUhl Rubio, Ph.D., Senior SCIENTIST

Dr. Puhl graduated from University of Sao Paulo, receiving a Ph.D. in Biomolecular Physics. She graduated with her M.Sc. in Biotechnology and Bachelors in Pharmacy from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Ana was a postdoctoral fellow at GlaxoSmithKline, working on drug discovery and crystallography. She also did a postdoc at University of North Carolina, performing high-throughput screening assays, development of chemical probes for cancer targets and crystallography of protein-peptide, protein-small molecule and protein-antibody complexes. Ana was an intern from IMPACT program (UNC) in the summer of 2018.


THOMAS LANE, M.S., Ph.D., Senior Scientist

Tom recently graduated with a Ph.D.  in molecular and cellular biophysics at UNC Chapel Hill after studying the function and structure of microtubule-actin cross-linking proteins, spectraplakins. His research focused on using many different biophysical techniques, with a central focus on X-ray crystallography, to develop a structural model of a module of the spectraplakin ACF7. He obtained a M.S. in biochemistry from UNCG, where he characterized a recently deorphanized GPCR, GPR35, in silico.  Tom was an ImPACT intern from UNC in the summer of 2017.



Kim graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology, and soon after joined the Infectious Diseases Department at LabCorp quantifying HIV, HBC, and HCV RNA in human samples. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro again in 2016 with an M.S. in Biochemistry; her thesis focused on constructing an in silico model mimicking a synaptic plasma membrane in lipid composition.

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Jennifer J. Klein., M.S. Scientist

Jenny graduated from North Carolina State University in 2015 with a B.S. in human biology and B. A. in psychology. Following graduation she pursued her Masters in Physiology where she focused on disease pathology and metabolism and once again graduated from North Carolina State University in 2018. She is a rare disease patient advocate and currently serves on the Adult Resource Committee for the National MPS Society and Board of Directors for the UNC Patient and Family Advisory Board.  



Eni Minerali graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2017 with a B.S. in Biochemistry. She continued to pursue her Masters at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and graduated in 2019 with a M.S. in Chemistry. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate experience she worked as a synthetic organic chemist in asymmetric methodology projects. Her thesis work focused on the synthesis of enantioenriched spirocycles through chiral Brønsted acid catalyzed desymmetrizations. 


Daniel Foil, B.S. Scientist

Daniel graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro with a BS in Chemistry and a BA in German in 2016. At UNCG Daniel performed his undergraduate research in the analytical chemistry in the lab of Dr. Nadja Cech and he was subsequently hired by the UNCG Department of Chemistry as a Research Technician to support the Triad Mass Spectrometry Core Facility, as well as the Cech and Oberlies research groups. Thereafter he recieved a fellowship to investigate the antibiotic potential of deep-sea microbes at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany. Daniel's research interests include natural products chemistry, drug discovery, machine learning, and data science.