Scientific Advisory Board

Aharon Schwartz, Ph.D. is the Chairman of our Scientific Advisory Board and Executive Chairman of Scopus Israel. Since 2004, Dr. Schwartz has been the Chairman of the Board of BioLineRx Ltd. (Nasdaq: “BLRX”), and is also currently a director of Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: “PLX”). From 1975 to 2011, Dr. Schwartz served in various management positions at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: “TEVA”), most recently as Vice President — Head of Teva Innovative Ventures. Dr. Schwartz’s prior positions at Teva included Vice President — Strategic Business Planning and New Ventures; Vice President — Global Products Division; Vice President — Copaxone Division; Vice President — Business Development; and Head of the Pharmaceuticals Division.

Dr. Schwartz received his B.Sc. in Chemistry and Physics from Hebrew University, his M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from the Technion and his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Dr. Schwartz also holds an additional Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science from Hebrew University.

Morris C. Laster, M.D. is a member of our Scientific Advisory Board and a Senior Medical Advisor and director of Scopus Israel. Dr. Laster is a co-founder of the company. Dr. Laster has been a founder, founding senior officer, director and/or scientific advisor of numerous publicly-traded biotechnology and other medical technology companies. Since 2013, Dr. Laster has been a Medical Venture Partner of OurCrowd, a global equity investment and crowdfunding platform, a capacity in which he has led investments of approximately $80 million in 23 early-stage biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and other medical technology companies. Dr. Laster is also Co-Managing Partner of the OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Fund. Dr. Laster is currently a director of several OurCrowd healthcare portfolio companies, and is also Chairman of OncoHost, a private, clinical-stage precision oncology company. Dr. Laster was the founding chief executive officer of BioLineRx Ltd. (Nasdaq: “BLRX”) and a co-founder of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a public company on Nasdaq which completed a merger in December 2018 with Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: “AKBA”); and Kitov Pharma Ltd. (Nasdaq: “KTOV”). Dr. Laster was a practicing physician prior to beginning his career in biotechnology investing and entrepreneurship as a Vice President — Medical Venture Capital at Paramount Capital Investments LLC. 

Dr. Laster received his B.S., magna cum laude, in Biology from the University at Albany, New York and his M.D. from Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Hua E. Yu, Ph.D. is a member of our Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Yu is the Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Professor in Tumor Immunotherapy at City of Hope, Co-leader of the Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Associate Chair and Professor in the Department of Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope. Previously, Dr. Yu was Associate Professor, Immunology Program, at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute. 

Dr. Yu’s laboratory was the first to validate STAT3, a critical regulator of tumor cell survival and proliferation, as a molecular target for cancer therapy in animal models. Dr. Yu’s team also unraveled a critical role of STAT3 in tumor angiogenesis and tumor immune evasion. Prior to joining Moffitt, Dr. Yu was a postdoctoral research scientist in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Yu received her B.A. in Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Columbia University, New York, New York.

Marcin Kortylewski, Ph.D. is a member of our Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Kortylewski is Associate Professor in the Department of Immuno-Oncology at City of Hope. Dr. Kortylewski’s laboratory focuses on the development of novel oligonucleotide therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Kortylewski’s two-step immunotherapeutic strategy is first to disarm tumor defense systems and then to activate immune attack from within using a single oligonucleotide molecule. Previously, Dr. Kortylewski was a research scientist in the Immunology Program at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

Dr. Kortylewski received his M.S. in Biotechnology from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University School of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland.

Joseph (Yossi) Tam, D.M.D., Ph.D. has served on our Scientific Advisory Board since October 2018. Dr. Tam is director of Hebrew University’s Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research, one of the world’s leading institutes for conducting and coordinating research about cannabinoids. Dr. Tam is also head of the Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory at the Hebrew University’s Institute for Drug Research in the Faculty of Medicine, and serves as a senior lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology at the Hebrew University. Dr. Tam’s research projects over the past seventeen years has crossed subjects, disciplines and methodologies, yet the main research interests are focused on the different pathophysiological aspects of the endocannabinoid system. Dr. Tam received his B.Med.Sc., M.Sc., D.M.D. and Ph.D. from Hebrew University.

Robert Spiera, M.D. has served on our Scientific Advisory Board since October 2017. Dr. Spiera is the Director of the Vasculitis and Scleroderma Program at the Hospital for Special Surgery and is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is the principal investigator in several clinical trials and observational studies focusing on Scleroderma, Vasculitis, and Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Dr. Spiera specializes in the treatment of various rheumatologic conditions including Scleroderma, Vasculitis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and many other conditions. He has authored over 100 publications relating to Scleroderma, Vasculitis, and other rheumatic diseases. Dr. Spiera received his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine.

Yair Levy, M.D. has served on our Scientific Advisory Board since October 2017. Dr. Levy is the Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at Tel Aviv University — Sackler Faculty of Medicine. He has also served as the Head of the Department of Medicine at Meir Medical Center in Israel and in various positions at The Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel, most recently serving as the Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Levy has been a principal investigator for approximately 40 clinical trials in the area of rheumatologic diseases. Dr. Levy received his B.Sc. and M.D. from Technion Medical School in Haifa, Israel.

Tim Ahfeldt, Ph.D. has served on our Scientific Advisory Board since August 2019. Since September 2017, Dr. Ahfeldt has been an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he is also a member of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s disease, Friedman Brain Institute, and Black Family Stem Cell Institute. For more than 10 years prior thereto, Dr. Ahfeldt was affiliated with Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital as a Visiting Scholar, Research Associate, and Teaching Fellow. Dr. Ahfeldt has served as a Consultant to Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) since 2018 and Q-State Biosciences, Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts private biotechnology company, since 2016. Dr. Ahfeldt received his Bachelor’s degree from The Berlin School of Economics and his M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Joseph (Yossi) Tam, D.M.D., Ph.D. has served on our scientific advisory board since October 2018. Dr. Tam is director of Hebrew University’s Multidisciplinary Center on Cannabinoid Research, one of the world’s leading institutes for conducting and coordinating research about cannabinoids, endocannabinoids and medical cannabis. Dr. Tam is also head of the Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory at the Hebrew University’s Institute for Drug Research in the Faculty of Medicine, and serves as a senior lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology at the Hebrew University. Dr. Tam’s research projects over the past seventeen years has crossed subjects, disciplines and methodologies, yet the main research interests are focused on the different pathophysiological aspects of the endocannabinoid system. Dr. Tam received his Ph.D., D.M.D., M.Sc. and B.Med.Sc. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
Robert Spiera, M.D. has served on our scientific advisory board since October 2017. Dr. Spiera is the Director of the Vasculitis and Scleroderma Program at the Hospital for Special Surgery and is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is the principal investigator in several clinical trials and observational studies focusing on Scleroderma, Vasculitis, and Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Dr. Spiera specializes in the treatment of various rheumatologic conditions including Scleroderma, Vasculitis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and many other conditions. He has authored over 100 publications relating to Scleroderma, Vasculitis, and other rheumatic diseases. Dr. Spiera received his MD from Yale University School of Medicine, completed his residency in internal medicine at NY Hospital and his fellowship in rheumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Yair Levy, M.D. has served on our scientific advisory board since October 2017. Dr. Levy is the Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at Tel Aviv University — Sackler Faculty of Medicine. He has also served as the Head of the Department of Medicine at Meir Medical Center in Israel and in various positions at The Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel, most recently serving as the Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Levy has been a principal investigator for approximately 40 clinical trials in the area of rheumatologic diseases. Dr. Levy received his M.D. and B.Sc. from Technion Medical School in Haifa, Israel.
Tim Ahfeldt, Ph.D. has served on our Scientific Advisory Board since August 2019. Since September 2017, Dr. Ahfeldt has been an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he is also a member of the Ronald M. Loeb Center for Alzheimer’s disease, Friedman Brain Institute, and Black Family Stem Cell Institute. For more than 10 years prior thereto, Dr. Ahfeldt was affiliated with Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital as a Visiting Scholar, Research Associate, and Teaching Fellow. Dr. Ahfeldt has served as a Consultant to Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq:AMGN) since 2018 and Q-State Biosciences, Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts private biotechnology company, since 2016. Dr. Ahfeldt received his Bachelor’s degree from The Berlin School of Economics and his M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Hamburg, Germany.