The Woodland Biosciences Team
Michael R. Briggs, Ph.D.
Founder, President & CSO
Mike Briggs has a long career in small molecule discovery and development. In the past ten years, Mike was pivotal in establishing the early primary human tumor banks in China, and his thoughts on the discrepancy between tumors that kill and tumors that find their way into standard tumor banks evolved into the concepts of Woodland, where human disease relevance matters. It's not about numbers of models but models that represent human biology as faithfully as possible in an animal. Mike spent 8 years as the Senior Director of Biology at Vertex, and before that he was a Director and Head of Functional Genomics at the Pfizer/Pharmacia St. Louis site and also directed discovery projects and led matrixed teams at SmithKline Beecham and Ligand Pharmaceuticals.
Mike did his postdoctoral fellowship with the Nobel Laureates Drs. Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where he and a team co-led by Dr. Xiaodong Wang discovered the sterol regulatory element binding proteins that control LDL receptor modulation of cholesterol in animals and man. Mike was an EMBO Fellow in Switzerland in the Hafen Lab, a PhD student with Dr. Robert Tjian, Professor of Biochemistry at UC Berkeley and obtained his BA in Biology from the University of Delaware. He has more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and 4 US patents.
Raphael Nir, Ph.D.
Co-founder of Woodland, VP In Vitro Biology
Dr. Nir is an entrepreneur and scientist with over 25 years of experience commercializing biological production, cell-based assays and biomarkers analysis. He received his BS (Chemistry; 1982), MS (Biochemistry ; 1984) and PhD from Tel-Aviv University (Biotechnology; 1990) and Master in Management (1997; NJIT). Raphael spent 7 years at Schering-Plough in the biotechnology process development group. Since 1997, Dr. Nir has served as the president and CSO of SBH Sciences where he manages all of the company’s R&D activities. Dr. Nir is also the Co-Founder of another 4 biotech companies including Karyopharm Therapeutics, Galectin Sciences, SBH Diagnostics, and Alma Bio Therapeutics and of course, Woodland.
Nikole Siegmund B.S., LAT
Vice President of Operations
Nikole Siegmund is our lab point person managing the day-to-day activities of our busy lab with more than 10 studies ongoing at any given time. She is LAT-certified by AALAS and has over 12 years experience at Charles River Laboratories with her last position being a Team Leader for research. Along with her team of key lab people, there is over 100 years of CRO and pharmaceutical company experience in our laboratory staff. While almost all of our studies are in mice and rats, the team has extensive experience in large animal studies including dog and monkey. We are proud to promote her to VP Operations as she continues to expand her role at Woodland.
Daniel A. Pearson, Ph.D.
Consulting Vice President, Discovery Chemistry & Formulations
Dan worked with Mike Briggs at Vertex Pharmaceuticals on several projects and has both chemistry expertise and a deep understanding of the biological complexities in drug discovery. He is our primary formulations expert and is available to assist with medicinal chemistry questions for our collaboration partners. In addition, he is an experienced patent agent.
Gareth Morris-Stiff, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Consultant for Oncology and Metabolic Diseases
Dr. Morris-Stiff is a hepato-pancreato-biliary surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, Associate Staff at the Lerner Research Institute, and Professor at Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western. His goal is to develop an effective therapy for pancreatic cancer, a disease without treatment at this time. He will contribute his expertise into building more relevant and translational models of pancreatic cancer in association with Drs. Briggs and Pearson at Woodland. His ongoing basic science and translational research interests led to a co-ordinated pancreatic research within the Lerner Research Institute, which have now expanded to a city-wide effort in Cleveland. His primary theme is the relationship between oxidative stress and the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer particularly interested in the role those aberrations of lipid metabolism play in the pathogenesis of the disease, and the impact that different treatment modalities have in the management of pancreatic cancer. He will contribute to the understanding of how the metabolic disturbances play a role in pancreatic cancer employing the KPC mouse model of spontaneous pancreatic cancer and in orthotopic models implanting patient-derived xenografts into mice pancreas.
Dr. Moriss-Stiff graduated from the University of Wales College of Medicine (MB BCh) then completed a MD, MCh, and PhD research degrees. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) of England and of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). He selected the specialty of hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgery as his area of interest training in Cardiff, Birmingham and Leeds and was being awarded a prestigious American HPB Association Clinical Fellowship in HPB Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.
We are located at the AAALAC-accredited laboratories at Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, MA.
Woodland Biosciences is a leading provider of preclinical cutting-edge technologies and services, offering scalable solutions for companies of all sizes. Founded by pharmaceutical company executives with colleagues from top contract research labs, today we offer smart, innovative services to approaching 100 clients worldwide.
We build our solutions by listening to our client's needs and their expectations for our services. We analyze this information and offer ideas and expertise to meet the client's experimental needs. Why not join our fast growing customer base? Get in touch today to learn more about the Woodland Biosciences story.
We are an experienced and talented group of scientists with a groundbreaking idea designed to contribute towards a cancer-free and metabolically-balanced tomorrow. We provide smart solutions for companies of all sizes and pride ourselves on our unparalleled, dedicated service.
At Woodland Biosciences, we believe that the right understanding and technological edge can help us lead companies towards a successful future. Contact us today to set up a meeting to explore your next study.
C-level commitment to proactive partnering with Woodland under confidentiality
No company is an island. At Woodland we embrace what we are good at and acknowledge that we cannot effectively do it all. So we have met and discussed with a number of companies, many in the Northeast, who are able to complement our in vivo studies with support functions and discovery activities of their own. We are thus able to offer much deeper and thorough research to enrich your project data and provide you with more information for your animal research expenditure. We are continuously looking to expand our capabilities and to be part of your total solution for drug discovery. Stay tuned for some more potentially exciting news in the coming months. Interested in partnering with Woodland? Send us an email to get the conversation started.
Our collaborators since our founding in 2013, SBH Sciences is a world-class in vitro biology and assay CRO specializing in oncology and inflammation as well as protein and antibody production.
SBH Diagnostics has over 10 platform technologies focused on biomarker discovery and validation right through to the clinic.
Flow cytometry enabling immuno-oncology studies and others, ELISA and protein western blot expertise.
Woodland Biosciences PDX Cancer Models are part of the Repositive database. Bioinformatics firm Repositive has kicked off a collaboration with AstraZeneca to put together a pre-competitive resource that will provide pharmaceutical companies and drug discovery organizations with access to patient-derived xenographs (PDX) with standardized data sets to enable comparison between models.
Other affiliated companies / organizations
Centre Nationale Biologique Experimental (CNBE, Montreal Canada). The CNBE is a CRO specialized in exploratory non-GLP studies in toxicity, PK and drug-efficacy in numerous animal species.
NovaBioAssays - analytical / bioanalytical LC/MS
Creagen Bioscience a chemistry-based drug discovery company and incubator.
Xtal BioStructures specializes in X-ray crystallography and biophysical characterization.
CuriRx, Inc. is a CRO specialized in formulation solutions including nanoformulation.