Karl Beutner, MD, PhD
Chief Executive Officer, Chief Medical Officer & Co-founder

Karl Beutner, MD, PhD, is DermBiont’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer leading drug development efforts.

Karl brings more than 30 years of experience in various leadership and executive roles, most recently as Chief Medical Officer at Anacor Pharmaceuticals (acquired for $5.2B in 2016 by Pfizer).

Karl has had a major leadership role in the development of over a dozen approved drugs, has helped create the clinical development plan for well over twenty new molecular entities, and has participated in or managed hundreds of clinical trials through the FDA process. He brings a track-record of unparalleled leadership and success in topical drug development.

Karl is a practicing dermatologist and a member of the clinical faculty of the Department of Dermatology at UCSF.

Robert M. Brucker, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer & Co-founder

Dr. Robert Brucker leads research efforts at DermBiont and received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Mount Union in 2007 and earned a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Vanderbilt University in 2013.

Since 2014 he has been a Rowland Junior Fellow at Harvard University where he runs a research program on applied microbiomes, host-microbe coevolution, and ecotoxicology.

Robert has helped design and conduct seven clinical microbiome studies. Dr. Brucker has 32 publications related to host-microbe associations (published in journals Nature ISME, Science, and Nature Communications), including experimental probiotic trials for antifungal activity.

He has over twelve years of genetics, microbiology, microbial ecology, and applied microbiota experience.

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Max N. Dawson
Chief Financial Officer

Max Dawson has 20 years of industry experience, most recently as Vice President of Finance and Operations at Pellepharm; responsible for finance, operations, and human resources.

Over his career, he has lead and participated in over 50 licensing transactions and over $125m in debt and equity financings.

Max was formerly Vice President and Head of Business Development and Global Licensing at Adagene; previously, he was was a member of the business development team at Dyax Corp, and the finance team at Vertex and Merck Serono (formerly Merck KGaA).

He started his career as a bench scientist in the biochemistry group at Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Mr. Dawson holds an MBA from the F.W. Olin school of business, where he has also guest lectured.  He earned his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Bates College in Lewiston Maine.


Nichola Eliovits
Chief Business Officer & Co-Founder

Nick's investment expertise spans across asset classes with an extensive focus on microbiome oriented companies across all stages of venture capital.

Nick is a Managing Partner at Olive Tree Capital; he led his last company through acquisition and has successfully seeded and structured companies across multiple industries.

His passion for the Microbiome originates from personal experiences with fungal skin infections and c-diff.

Nick graduated with honors from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and started his career in commodity markets at CPM Group in New York.

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Sanjay Jain, PhD
VP, Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls

Sanjay Jain, PhD. leads CMC operations at DermBiont. He has more than 25 years of experience in protein expression, process development and scale-up for GMP production of protein therapeutics and human vaccines using variety of production systems.

He has worked for several Biotechnology/ Pharmaceutical companies, academic and non-profit organizations, in the areas of product development, project management, and business development. Most recently, he was technical program advisor for vaccine development at the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI). His focus was on CMC activities related to malaria vaccine candidates, and he served as technical lead for process development, formulation development, and GMP manufacturing of recombinant protein vaccines.

Sanjay led multiple global cross-functional project teams at different stages of product development, coordinated manufacturing activities with CMO companies, and supported several IND applications for human clinical testing of recombinant protein products. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, France.

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Tina Landess
VP, Clinical Operations

Tina brings more than 15 years of clinical research experience for the medical device and pharmaceutical industry.  Most recently, Tina has served as the Landrich Group Managing Director providing clinical research expertise to biotechnology companies in varied therapeutic areas, including transfusion medicine, infectious disease, ophthalmology, cardiology, and oncology.

Tina is a quality-driven clinical research professional with a proven track record of successfully leading programs from early development through regulatory approval.

Tina has a Bachelor degree in Chemistry and started her career as a Research Scientist in the Molecular Biology group with Roche Molecular Systems. After several years in the lab, she transitioned within Roche to a clinical research role attaining ACRP accreditation in 2002.

Tina will apply her extensive expertise in Clinical Operations, Regulatory and Good Clinical Practices (GCP) to establish a solid foundation for DermBiont's clinical research program.

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Xuecheng Zhang, PhD
Director of Research

Dr. Xuecheng Zhang coordinate research efforts at DermBiont, working closely with DermBiont’s Chief Scientific Officer to develop a unparalleled live biotherapeutics product platform and a human skin diagnostic platform.

Xuecheng has extensive experience in the early development of microbial products in laboratory and trials stages including bioprospecting, microbial culture collection, high throughout screening pipelines, trial management, and external alliance management.

Dr. Zhang earned a PhD in Plant Microbiology and Pathology from the University of Missouri and completed post Doctoral training at both Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.


Bhanu Prakash Sakhamuri

Bhanu completed his Masters degree in the field of bioinformatics at Northeastern University. He began his career as a bioinformatics intern at DermBiont for seven months. During his internship, he developed drafts for various bioinformatics pipelines and endeavored to establish prominent genetical evidence from experimental data. Bhanu has also contributed in generation of sequencing analysis data and in setting up DermBiont’s lab at its initial stages.

Bhanu holds an undergraduate degree in Doctor of Pharmacy from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in India and interned for a year as clinical pharmacist. He moved to United States in 2016 to pursue his Masters degree.

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Taylor Chang
Lab Scientist

Taylor received her B.S. with honors in Biology from Skidmore College in 2012.

She became interested in the human microbiome after working at the The Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, MA characterizing oral microbes and identifying uncultivated species.

She assisted in the identification of over 700 species and phylotypes of human oral bacteria that are described in the Human Oral Microbiome Database.

Prior to joining the company, she managed the daily operations of a large microbiology lab at Tufts University School of Medicine, ensuring that all lab activities ran smoothly.


Gerardo Toledo, PhD
Scientific Advisor, Microbial Discovery

Gerardo leads microbial discovery at DermBiont.

Prior to joining the company, he served as VP of Discovery at Indigo Agriculture, Inc. alongside David Perry and Geoff von Maltzahn, building lab infrastructure, IP, and experimental validations.

Enabled Indigo’s growth from seed stage to commercial launch of agriculture products based on the plant microbiome and a $100M Series C round of funding.

Before Indigo, Gerardo spent eight years as Sr. Director with J. Craig Venter at Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), where he established the microbial discovery platform.

He came to SGI from 6 years as a scientist at Diversa Corp. (now Verenium-BASF). Gerardo holds a PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD) in La Jolla, CA.


Reid N. Harris, PhD
Scientific Advisor, Microbiome

Professor Reid Harris received his B.S. with honors in Zoology at Duke University, a Masters of Science in Zoology from the University of Maryland and a PhD in Zoology and Mathematics from Duke University.

He is a Full Professor at James Madison University, a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and Director of the International Disease Mitigation for the Amphibian Survival Alliance.

Reid’s research focus involves microbial ecology of amphibian skin, especially in the context of bacterial interactions with lethal skin fungus.

He was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has 40 publications on fungal skin diseases and probiotic mitigation.

Kevin P.C. Minbiole, PhD
Scientific Advisor, Chemistry

Professor Kevin Minbiole received his B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame (summa cum laude) in 1996 and his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. 

He was an American Cancer Society-funded postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University for 2 years before joining the Department of Chemistry at James Madison University. 

He moved to Villanova University in 2011, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry. 

Professor Minbiole has spent several semesters as a Visiting Professor at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania.