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Board of Directors

Sandra Shotwell, Ph.D. Board of Directors Chair, Founder. Sandra has over 25 years experience in early stage technology commercialization. She has done biotech and pharmaceutical licensing deals for Stanford University, Oregon Health Sciences University, and the National Institutes of Health, where she founded and led the technology licensing program. Sandra is CEO  of DesignMedix, Inc., a firm developing drugs targeted to drug-resistant diseases, and Managing Partner of Alta Biomedical Group, a consulting firm that handles projects in the commercialization of innovative technology. Sandra  did her undergraduate work at Princeton University, earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology, and did postdoctoral research at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Jonathan Abramson, Ph.D. Board of Directors, Founder, Biophysicist. Jonathan is a Professor in the Physics Department at Portland State University, where he has been since 1979. His research has focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying the release of Ca2+ from the Sarcoplasmic Reticulum in both skeletal and cardiac muscle. He was instrumental in developing a model of channel gating in which redox reactions control Ca2+ channel function along with his longtime collaborator Guy Salama. He was also instrumental is developing the idea that drugs with enhanced electron donor properties decrease the Ca2+ leak associated with ventricular arrhythmias. Jon received his Bachelors degree from City College of New York, and he did his Ph.D. and his Postdoctoral work at the University of Rochester.


Xander Wehrens, MD, PhD, Board of Directors, Founder. Xander is a Professor of Integrative Physiology and Medicine (in Cardiology), with secondary appointments in Neuroscience, Pediatrics (in Cardiology), and Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. His research focuses the role of abnormal calcium handling and electrical remodeling in cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure. His lab works to elucidate the mechanism underlying arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy phenotypes using a wide range of assay in mice, isolated hearts, and single cardiac myocytes.  He directs the Cardiovascular Research Institute at BCM, an institute that brings together over 200 faculty members with interests in cardiovascular research and medicine. Since 2009, Dr. Wehrens has served as an Associate Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Baylor.

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