DDI Team

The Drug Development Institute is led by a team of highly experienced research and drug development scientists with:

  • Diversified industrial experience along the drug development value chain
  • Proven track records of delivering novel compounds and technologies for clinical development
  • Experience in managing projects using data-driven, milestone-based project management
Jeff Patrick

Jeffrey Patrick, PharmD – Institute Director and Clinical Pharmacist 

Email: jeffrey.patrick@osumc.edu | Phone: 614-688-7329

Dr. Patrick is a residency-trained clinical pharmacist with nearly 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience. He brings expertise in executive leadership, scientific and medical strategy and program building.


Erandi De Silva, PhD – Director of Biology

Email: erandi.desilva@osumc.edu | Phone: 614-685-8869

Dr. De Silva is a molecular biologist with experience in genomics, genetics and target discovery. Previously at Genentech, she brings preclinical development and project management experience to the DDI.


Chad Bennett, PhD – Director of Chemistry

Email: chad.bennett@osumc.edu | Phone: 614-685-9230

Dr. Bennett earned his PhD at Indiana University and has over 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry at Merck and Schering-Plough, working in both the discovery and early-development phases.


Larry Schaaf, PhD – Director of Clinical Pharmacology and Strategic Alliances

Email: larry.schaaf@osumc.edu | Phone: 614-293-6851

Dr. Schaaf earned his PhD at the University of Arizona and has more than 25 years of experience performing clinical pharmacology assessments in the pharmaceutical industry and academia. He has held positions with Upjohn, Pharmacia and Pfizer, and he was director of the Phase I Unit at the OSUCCC – James for 11 years.

Soun Khountham, MS, CCRP – Project Manager

Email: soun.khountham@osumc.edu | Phone: 614-685-5668

Soun is an experienced clinical research management professional. She brings six years of project management expertise in high-accruing phase I-IV clinical trials that have led to FDA approvals.

Reena Shakya

Reena Shakya, PhD – DDI Cancer Biologist

Email: reena.shakya@osumc.edu | Phone: 614-293-1675


Christopher Coss

Christopher Coss, PhD – DDI Preclinical Pharmacologist

Email: christopher.coss@osumc.edu | Phone: 614-688-1309



Cindy Evans – Administrative Assistant

Email: ddi@osumc.edu | Phone: 614-685-6957

For more information, contact the DDI team members individually or at ddi@osumc.edu.

Advisory Board

The DDI Advisory Board, which bolsters our strategic direction, consists of internationally recognized experts with proven track records in pharmaceutical drug discovery, development and commercialization.

The board:

  • Holds quarterly and ad hoc meetings as needed
  • Engages and interacts frequently with the DDI team
  • Conducts scientific reviews of proposed and ongoing projects
  • Manages portfolios
  • Offers guidance for business development and licensing

Timothy R. Wright, BS – Chair of Advisory Board

Mr. Wright founded the DDI in 2011. He is currently CEO of M2Gen, a Moffitt Cancer Center subsidiary. Mr. Wright has more than 30 years of experience in the pharma and biotech industries. He was previously executive vice president (VP) of Business Development, Strategy and Innovation at Teva Pharmaceuticals, president of Covidien Pharmaceuticals, president of Global Operations of Elan Pharmaceuticals, and senior VP (SVP) at DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical.

John Byrd, MD

Dr. Byrd is Distinguished University Professor of Medicine. He is the co-leader of the leukemia research program and manages the Experimental Hematology Laboratory. He holds the D. Warren Brown Endowed Chair of Leukemia Research at the at The Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). He is a physician scientist focused on immune and molecular pharmacology and clinically on developing new treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). He has more than 400 publications related to his work. Dr. Byrd has participated in the comprehensive development of five drugs that ultimately have been FDA approved for CLL and AML.

David Carbone, MD, PhD

Dr. Carbone is professor of Internal Medicine, director of the OSUCCC – James Thoracic Oncology Center and the Barbara J. Bonner Chair in Lung Cancer Research. He is a world-renowned lung cancer expert with over 200 peer-reviewed publications.

Pat Confalone, PhD

Dr. Confalone is R&D consultant at Confalone Consulting, LLC. He has over 46 years of R&D experience and is an expert in medicinal chemistry, process R&D, and preclinical development. He was previously VP at DuPont, VP at Bristol-Myers Squibb, SVP at DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals and Chairman of the Board of the American Chemical Society.

Arthur Morelli, BA

Mr. Morelli is CEO of Arthur F. Morelli and Associates Consulting. He is a pharmaceutical industry professional with over 35 years of leadership experience as senior director at DuPont Pharma; VP, Elan Biopharmaceuticals; VP, Cardinal Health; EVP, Solstice Neurosciences Inc.; and VP, Covidien/Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Art is currently the Chief Business Officer of Enlyton, Ltd, a nascent oncology company based in Columbus, OH.

Briggs Morrison, MD

Dr. Morrison is CEO of Syndax Pharmaceuticals and a Managing Director at MPM Capital. He brings over 30 years of pharmaceutical research and development experience. Prior to joining Syndax and MPM, he served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive VP for Global Medicines Development at AstraZeneca and head of clinical development at Pfizer. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Transcelerate, and industry-funded company charged with improving operational aspects of clinical trials.

Herbert Neuman, MD, MBA

Dr. Neuman is president, R3xperts Consulting, a boutique pharmaceutical industry consultancy. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and has over 15 years of experience in the Pharma industry. He was previously VP of global regulatory affairs at Mallinckrodt and chief medical officer and VP medical affairs at Covidien Pharma.

Bobby Sandage, PhD

Dr. Sandage is President and CEO of Euclises, General Partner in Cultivation Capital Life Sciences Fund II. He brings over 35 years of pharmaceutical research and development experience. He was formerly President and CEO of Coronado Biosciences, head of oncology program at Covidien Pharmaceuticals, EVP and chief scientific officer at Indevus Pharmaceuticals, and has held senior drug development positions at DuPont Merck. Additionally, he remains an active board member of Mateon (MATN), Immunophotonics and Tensive Controls.

Robert Stein, MD, PhD

Dr. Stein is Senior Advisor and former president, R&D at Agenus Inc. He brings over 35 years of experience in innovation and leadership in the Pharma and Biotech industries. Previously, he was executive vice president (EVP) of research & development for DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals, president of R&D and chief scientific officer (CSO) for Incyte Pharmaceuticals, president of Roche Palo Alto, and CEO of KineMed.

For more information, contact the DDI at ddi@osumc.edu.

Contact the DDI

Email: ddi@osumc.edu
Phone: 614-685-6957 

Meet Us

The DDI Team will be at the following conferences.

Health Sciences Technology Showcase

Columbus, OH
March 2018

AACR Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL
April 2018

ASCO Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL
June 2018

Immuno-Oncology Summit

Boston, MA
August 2018

Schedule a Meeting

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