Our Movers, Thinkers & Doers

Leadership Team
Joseph DeSimone, Ph.D.
Inventor and Science Lead
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Joseph DeSimone, Ph.D

Joe is our Technology Guru.  He has served as the director of the UIC comprehensive sickle cell center and professor of medicine at University of Illinois.  In addition, he also served as the Associate Chief of Staff, Veterans Administration Chicago Health Care System and VA Representative to National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Sickle Cell Advisory Committee.  

In the last 40 years, Joe has led key clinical research studies that led to our understanding of the mechanism of Fetal Hemoglobin regulation by pharmacologic agents including hydroxyurea, erythropoietin, stem cell factor and LSD1 inhibitors in Sickle Cell Anemia and Thalassemia.

Joe received his Ph.D. degree in Human Genetics from University of Michigan.

Santhosh Vadivelu, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
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Santhosh Vadivelu, Ph.D

Santhosh is a patient advocate at heart with a passion to translate science into meaningful clinical products.

He has held several cross-functional senior leadership roles during the start-up formation, corporate development, business strategy of several portfolio companies at Canaan Partners, and in transformative drug development programs at Cleveland Clinic and NHLBI/NCAI center.  

Santhosh received his M.Sc in Lifesciences from the Bharathidasan University, India and completed his Ph.D at Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna, Austria and Post Doctoral research with Dr. Bruce Stillman at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY.

Henry Lau, Ph.D.
Vice President, Research & Development
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Henry Lau, Ph.D

Henry is our Research and Development leader with over 30 years of pharmaceutical R&D experience.  Prior to joining EpiDestiny, he served as the Executive Director of Clinical R&D at Watson Pharmaceuticals (now Teva Pharmaceuticals).

Prior to Teva Pharmaceuticals, he was also responsible for Phase 1 clinical pharmacology and pharmacokinetics at Celgene, PRD Johnson and Johnson, and Ciba-Geigy/Novartis. Henry has written 20 publications and 36 abstracts on pharmacokinetics and clinical pharmacology.

Henry received his Ph.D. in pharmaceutics from the University of Michigan and an undergraduate degree in pharmacy from Northeastern University.

Harish Vasudevan, Ph.D.
Project Manager
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Harish Vasudevan Ph.D.

Harish is our Project Manager at EpiDestiny.  He has over 10 years of experience in chemistry and pharmacology and brings a multi-dimensional understanding to managing drug development programs transition into the clinic.

Prior to joining EpiDestiny, Harish served in managerial roles at Therapure Biopharma Inc., HIECO and Tait Laboratories. In addition, Harish served as a Technology Analyst at the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada and as a Senior Chemist at Dr. Reddy Research Foundation.  

Harish holds a Master’s degree in Pharmacy and received his Ph. D in Pharmacology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Vani Velamoor, Ph.D.
Patent Strategy
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Vani Velamoor Ph.D.

Vani is our IP/Innovations Manager.  She devises patent strategy and oversees prosecution of patent applications in US and PCT countries.  She has worked closely with investors (Private Equity and Angel Investors), entrepreneurs, attorneys, and senior management of companies in drafting and prosecuting patent applications in US and PCT.

Prior to Epidestiny, she worked in the 3iP Group of Benesch Friedlander Coplan Aranoff, LLC in Cleveland and as Head of Patent Search in MaxVal Group, Inc. a patent lifecycle management firm in Silicon Valley.  She conducted scientific research in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in New York, Max Perutz Laboratories (MPL) in Vienna, and Entomology Research Institute in Czech Republic.  

Vani received her Masters and PhD in Life Sciences from Bharathidasan University, India.

Ty, C.F.O.
Chief Furry Officer
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Vani Velamoor Ph.D.

Ty is our Chief Furry Officer.  He can be found hanging out as close to our CEO as possible. All his creative thinking is done with his eyes closed.  Ty’s main job is lying around and looking cute.

His core competences include alerting the office to squirrels, and trash clean up.  He is an excellent listener and has never taken a vacation.  

He loves to inspire the team through unwavering dedication to napping.  Ty was born near a Jail at Youngstown, Ohio and escaped twice from the dog pen inside the jail.  We were lucky to discover Ty at the dog pound and fell in love instantly.

Ty’s symbolic coolness and perseverance inspires us to believe, dream, work, and focus on helping patients (including our animal friends).

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