Leadership

Jonathan Kil, MD

President & CEO

Dr. Kil has lead the R&D strategy and financings for SPI. He has served as the principal investigator on several NIH and Dept. of Defense (DoD) awards, and serves as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Kil studied auditory neuroscience at UC Irvine where he graduated with honors and received the Ralph W Gerard Award for outstanding research. He began his MD/PhD studies at Georgetown University where he was an ARCS Scholar and received a Clinical Prize for his work on traumatic injury to the cochlea. He continued his graduate studies in Neuroscience and Medicine at UVA, where he received the Winn Scholarship in Otolaryngology.

Dr. Kil completed his NIH funded post-doctoral research on ototoxicity at the University of Washington, and in 1998, he co-founded Otogene, the first inner ear biotechnology company. As President and CEO, he transitioned its basic research involving p27Kip1 technology into a pre-clinical regeneration platform. In 2002, he co-founded SPI to translate some of his discoveries in to investigational products for the treatment of inner ear disease. He is a recognized leader in inner ear drug development and has served as an advisor to the DoD’s Hearing Center of Excellence since 2012.

Eric Lynch, PhD

Vice-President & CSO

Dr. Lynch has led the discovery and scientific programs at SPI and serves as our Chief Science Officer. He completed his BS in Genetics at UC Davis and his PhD at UC Berkeley, where he mapped the first human gene for non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss, DFNA1. During his post-doctoral studies at the University of Washington, he worked collaboratively to clone and characterize DFNA1 and DFNA15, and the cancer genes BRCA1 and PTEN. As an Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Genetics at the UW, he served on the 1999 Strategic Planning Committee of the NIH, Division of Deafness and Communication Disorders. In 2001, Dr. Lynch was the CSO of Otogene and lead their pre-clinical research efforts involving auditory hair cell regeneration. In 2002, he co-founded SPI to further discover novel drug targets within the mammalian inner ear that are responsible for acute and chronic sensorineural disease.

Paul Rickey

Vice-President & CFO

Mr. Paul Rickey is an experienced executive who has spent nearly 15 years guiding financial strategy in the life sciences and technology industries and serves as our Chief Financial Officer.  From 2009 – 2015, Paul served as Vice President of Finance and Administration of Immune Design Corp., a publicly traded biotechnology company where he helped complete the company’s private offerings, initial public offering, and follow-on financing. In addition, he oversaw the corporate development, accounting and human resource functions. Before joining Immune Design in 2009, Paul was Corporate Controller of Northstar Neuroscience, a publicly traded medical device company, where he managed the company’s finance and accounting groups following their IPO. Prior to his role at Northstar Neuroscience, he was the accounting manager for Mobliss, Inc., a mobile technology company that was sold to Index Corp., of Japan. Paul started his finance career at Ernst & Young LLP. He graduated from the University of Washington with a BA and Masters in Professional Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Board of Directors

Joseph Ashley

Mr. Ashley has held key management positions in several biotechnology and medical device companies. He was the President of Beckman Instruments’ Clinical Division, which was acquired by Smith Kline in 1983. From 1983-1985, he was the President of Genetic Systems, one of Seattle’s first biotechnology companies, that was acquired by Bristol-Myers in 1984. He is currently the Chairman of Copernicus Therapeutics, a DNA-based drug delivery company in Cleveland, Ohio.

Glenn H. Kawasaki, PhD, MBA, JD

Dr. Kawasaki is the Founder, President and CEO of Accium Biosciences, a Seattle company focused on atomic mass spectroscopy. From 1981-1985, he was the first scientist and the Chair of the Science Board at ZymoGenetics, Inc. From 1989-1998, he was the Founder, President, and CEO of Aptein, Inc., which was acquired by Cambridge Antibody Technology. He was previously the Founder, President and CEO at Catch, Inc., which sold its homocysteine assay to Axis-Shield.

Jonathan Kil, MD

Dr. Kil was appointed by King County Executive Dow Constantine to serve on the Board of Trustees at Harborview Medical Center/UW. He serves as the Board President of the Academy for Precision Learning, an independent K-12 autism inclusion school in Seattle. He also serves as a Trustee of the Bertschi School, an independent elementary school in Seattle.

Eric Lynch, PhD

Dr. Lynch serves as Board member and Secretary of Chance Fashion, a charitable organization for the fashion industry. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Lake Forest Park Civic Club.

Advisors

Bruce A. Beutler, MD

Dr. Beutler, a recipient of several major honors including the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 2011, discovered some of the key molecules and pathways involved in Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) mediated inflammation. This work led to development of several TNF-alpha inhibitors, including Enbrel, the leading biologic drug for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Dr. Beutler is currently a Regental Professor and Director of the Center for Genetics of Host Defense at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and is member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

James M. Roberts, MD, PhD

Dr. Roberts is the former Director of the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is an expert in cell growth and division, and a past collaborator on SPI’s regenerative technology involving p27Kip1. Dr. Roberts is currently the Founder and CSO for MatrixGenetics, a Seattle biotechnology company focused on biofuels.

Philip S. Schein, MD

Dr. Schein founded U.S. Bioscience, a pharmaceutical company focused on cancer and AIDS. While serving as Chairman and CEO he brought three products, Ethyol, Hexalen and Neutrexin, through regulatory approval in the US and Europe.. Dr Schein has served as President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Chaired the Food and Drug Administration’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee. He is a recipient of numerous scientific and medical awards including the Harvey W. Wiley Medal from the FDA and the Wainwright Award for Excellence in Medical Education.

Albrecht Wendel, PhD

Dr. Wendel is a retired Chairman of Biochemical Pharmacology for the University of Constance in Germany. He characterized the enzymatic activity of ebselen and published the first crystal structure of glutathione peroxidase. He is an expert in glutathione metabolism, inflammation, and cell death mechanisms. Dr. Wendel is currently working to help the EMA develop and adopt standardized in vitro tests for the toxicological evaluation of substances for therapeutic purposes.