Rich Horgan is the Founder and President of Cure Rare Disease. Rich is also a Blavatnik Fellow at Harvard Business School with a deep passion for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other rare diseases. With a younger brother impacted by the disease, Rich has a strong interest in accelerating promising treatments for the disease. He formed a collaboration with world-class researchers and clinicians to pioneer the development of customized therapies for Duchenne and other rare diseases. He also launched a company, Myofinity Biosciences, to focus on the commercialization of effective therapies for DMD and is working in collaboration with leading scientists in the field. Prior to making his foray into biotech, Rich had extensive experience working in new business development at Corning Incorporated where he led the successful launch of a new Willow® Glass product. He also launched a successful car washing business in upstate New York. He holds a BS from Cornell University where he graduated as summa cum laude and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Melissa Hunter-Ensor
Dr. Melissa Hunter-Ensor is a board member of Cure Rare Disease. She is also Greenberg Traurig’s Global Patent Prosecution Group. Melissa focuses her practice on the intellectual property and commercial needs of clients in the life science industry, encompassing pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical agricultural, diagnostics and medical device companies. Melissa has experience representing clients throughout the business cycle, from start-ups and universities to global pharmaceutical companies, with patent portfolio management and strategic alliances, as well as litigation and pre-litigation strategy. She also assists venture capital firms and other investors in assessing the IP risks of target investments and conducts IP patent and licensing due diligence in connection with life science technology transactions.
Before becoming a lawyer, Melissa earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania and her thesis research resulted in a first author paper in Cell. She followed this accomplishment with a four-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology laboratory of Nobel laureate H. Robert Horvitz where she was a Jane Coffin Childs fellow.
Kwesi Acquay is an associate at J.P. Morgan in the Technology Investment Banking Group. He is the founder of the J.P. Morgan Digital Initiative: the first initiative dedicated to digital ecosystems and startup engagement across NY & Boston Investment Banking practices.
In addition to Cure Rare Disease, Kwesi serves on the Board of StEP, an education technology startup in Worcester, MA.
Kwesi graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University in 2014. He is the recipient of the Richard A. Church ’64 Senior Service Award, awarded by the CALS Alumni Association in recognition of leadership and service to Cornell University. He serves on the Advisory Council for Entrepreneurship at Cornell.
Kwesi remains passionate about innovation and how it can make a difference in the community.
Sara Cole currently serves as a board member for Cure Rare Disease. She is a second-year full-time MBA student in the Health Sector Management Program. Before coming to Questrom, she worked as a Process Technician in research and development for Corning Incorporated. There, she focused on process improvement and new process development for the Chemical Analysis Department. She also spent time on research focused on increasing the fundamental understanding of Corning materials. Sara is originally from Corning, NY and attended University at Buffalo, earning a BS in Medicinal Chemistry. She spent her summer working in an operations and finance role within the research and development team at Tesaro.
Carolina Alarco currently serves as a board member for Cure Rare Disease. She has more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Carolina is currently serving as President of Global Marketing and International Markets at Novelion Therapeutics (formerly Aegerion Pharmaceuticals). She leads the marketing function globally and is managing different aspects of the transition from Aegerion to Novelion. She has a keen business acumen and relentless focus on execution, consistently delivering results.
Prior to Novelion, she spent 15 years in of progressive P&L leadership roles at Genzyme Corporation. In her tenure at Genzyme, Carolina played a pivotal role in several product launches globally, new market development and geographical expansion. She occupied positions of top-tier importance including vice-president of the renal and endocrinology business units, senior director of international marketing and head of global marketing services for the rare diseases business (the primary profit driver of the company).
Carolina’s passion is to bring innovative therapies for rare diseases to patients in need around the world. Having spent most of her career working in the Rare Genetic Disorders/Orphan Drugs area, Carolina’s global capabilities include experience in the US, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Canada and the Middle East. Throughout her career, she has acquired extensive knowledge and experience in General Management, Commercial Operations, Global Marketing, Business Development, Corporate Strategy, Alliance Management and Market Development.
Carolina also has a strong philanthropic focus on causes such as children in need, women in science and Latino affairs. In additional to her role at Terry’s Foundation, she has recently been appointed by Governor Baker to the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. She currently serves as a Founding Member and Past-Chair of the Latino Council at Boston Children’s Hospital Trust. She has been past-chair and Board Member of the New-England Latin America Business Council, as well as, other organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Lima (Lima, Peru) and a Graduate Degree in Business and Management from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, USA).
Stephanie Herzog currently serves as a board member for Cure Rare Disease. Stephanie is the CEO/Founder/Owner of a boutique Home & Commercial Interior Design Firm in Connecticut with proven specialties ranging from interior furnishings to complete custom space builds.
Stephanie has over 15 years experience in designing, team leading, project execution, and completion in the robust space she serves.
Stephanie’s passion for Cure Rare Disease and the research strategies for curing Genetic Disorders was born from the recent DMD diagnosis of her four year old son, Max. Throughout Stephanie’s journey she was fortunate enough to meet Rich Horgan and be introduced to the amazing ground-breaking research and work his team is doing for Muscular Dystrophy and similar rare genetic diseases.
Stephanie also serves on the Branford Arts and Culture Alliance Board in Branford, CT as well as the Board of Governors for the Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club, chairing the Entertainment Committee.
Donna Atchison Izzo
Donna Atchison Izzo has been in the Investment business for over 40 years. With her past experience at many large Money managers as a Trader in Science and Technology space she knows the metrics of Life Sciences, and drug advancements in addition to AI and software development within Fintech. Gene Therapy has been a focus with many Early stage investment ideas. Giving back was a major focus within her Wall Street community and charities were always a part of it. Wings over Wall Street, Robin Hood, Breast Cancer Awareness, Efforts for Hurricane Sandy, St Jude, Charities for MD and now Cure Rare Disease. Her tenacious approaches for donations from Corporations, Institutions and Philanthropies have made her nomination to Cure Rare Disease Foundation fitting. We are pleased to have her engage with us.