Tauseef R Butt, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Butt has a PhD from the University of Glasgow, UK, and trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and a Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, before joining SmithKline Beckman (now GSK) Pharmaceuticals in 1982. He worked in several therapeutic areas during his 14 years in the SmithKline organization, where he led one of the first ubiquitin drug discovery efforts in the industry. Dr. Butt has an appointment as Adjunct Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University, Philadelphia and is active in a number of national and regional biotechnology organizations. He is a co-founder of Progenra, Inc.

Michael R Mattern, Ph.D.
Vice President of Corporate Affairs

Dr. Mattern has a PhD from Princeton University and received postdoctoral training as an NCI Fellow at the University of California San Francisco and subsequently worked at the NCI/NIH and at SB/GSK Pharmaceuticals in Oncology before joining Dr. Butt to establish Progenra Inc in November 2002. He was a member of the SB team that developed the anticancer drug Hycamtin/topotecan and, while at GSK, managed high throughput screening programs in several therapeutic areas. Dr. Mattern is a charter member of the DMP (drugs and molecular pharmacology) Study Section for the NCI and serves as an ad hoc reviewer on other study sections for academic and small business grants.

Joseph Weinstock, Ph.D.
Vice President of Medicinal Chemistry

Dr. Weinstock pursued a distinguished and highly productive career as a director of medicinal chemistry at SmithKline & French (later SmithKline Beecham, and now GlaxoSmithKline) Pharmaceuticals. He directed a medicinal chemistry group that was responsible for the synthesis of several compounds that have become marketed drugs, including the antihypertensive agent Dyazide, the angiotensin II antagonist Tevetan, and the renal vasodilator Fenoldopam. In addition to his contributions to the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, Dr. Weinstock was a leader and/or integral member of many preclinical development teams in the SmithKline organization, and is the author of >140 publications and 110 issued U.S.patents. Dr. Weinstock runs Progenra’s medicinal chemistry department, overseeing preclinical compound development. He has published and patented on notable structures being synthesized at Progenra.

Advisory Board

Wayne W. Hancock, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Division of Transplant Immunology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Dr. Hancock is a world-renowned expert in immunology, inflammation, and mechanisms of disease pathologies. His research is focused on mechanisms of regulatory T-cell activation in the rapidly expanding field of immune oncology. After receiving medical and Ph.D. degrees from Monash University in Australia, he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard University School of Medicine in Experimental Pathology. He then served in various academic positions and the biotech industry in Boston before coming to the University of Pennsylvania. Currently he is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. He is also the Chief, Division of Transplantation Immunology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Member, Penn Center for Clinical Immunology and Abramson Cancer Center at University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hancock made the observation several years ago that the ubiquitin pathway plays a critical role in Treg cell generated tolerance of tumors. He has served as an advisor and collaborator to Progenra. As an advisor, Dr. Hancock guides Progenra’s immune-oncology programs.


Wafik S El-Deiry, M.D., Ph.D.
American Cancer Society Research Professor
Deputy Director for Translational Research
Co-Program Leader in Developmental Therapeutics
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
Dr. El-Deiry has received many honors and awards and is recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a Highly Cited Researcher in Molecular Biology and Genetics. He serves as Editor-in- Chief of the peer-reviewed medical journal Cancer Biology and Therapy and has been an active member of the American Association of Cancer Research’s Science Policy and Legislative Affairs Committee. Dr. El-Deiry completed medical residency and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. He has published more than 200 scientific manuscripts and reviews and has edited several books on cancer. He serves on numerous national science review panels, is a popular invited speaker, and has trained and mentored several dozen post-doctoral scientists and graduate students. As a practicing physician he specializes in oncology and as a researcher he seeks new treatments to fight aggressive resistant cancers.


Arthur L Haas, Ph.D.
Professor Biochemistry
Department of Biochemistry, Louisiana State University School of Medicine
Dr. Haas is a recognized authority on the biochemistry and enzymology of ubiquitin pathway enzymes. He earned a PhD degree in Biochemistry from Northwestern University and received training as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Irwin Rose, one of three scientists awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery and elaboration of the ubiquitin pathway. Dr Haas published the first biochemical kinetics studies of the three enzymes (E1, E2, and E3) responsible for attaching ubiquitin to its target protein, and has long been regarded as a pioneer in the field of ubiquitin biochemistry.


Mark Hochstrasser, Ph.D.
Professor Department of Molecular Biology & Biophysics
Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, Yale University
Dr. Hochstrasser has a PhD from the University of California, San Francisco and received postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the laboratory of Dr Alex Varshavsky, one of the pioneers in the field of ubiquitin research, and the developer of the “N-end rule” of protein degradation in cells. Dr Hochstrasser is one of several outstanding young scientists mentored by Prof. Varshavsky who are now leaders in today’s rapidly growing ubiquitin field. He is well known as an expert in (1) protein turnover occurring in cells via the ubiquitin-proteasome system; and (2) the function and dynamics of protein modification by other proteins. Using yeast genetics and cellular biology/biochemistry tools, he has contributed much toward current knowledge of protein turnover and modification by ubiquitin and “ubiquitin-like proteins”, describing, for example, the SUMO proteases of yeast (Ulp1,2). Dr Hochstrasser is the author of numerous articles, including seminal research papers as well as extensive reviews of the field.


Keith D Wilkinson, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry
Director of the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, Emory University
Dr Wilkinson, a world renowned biochemist and enzymologist, holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan, and, like Dr Haas, trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in the laboratory of 2004 Nobel Laureate Dr. Irwin Rose at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia. Dr. Wilkinson was invited as an honorary guest to the Nobel ceremonies held in Stockholm on December 10, 2004. His Nobel essay, entitled “Ubiquitin: A Nobel Protein,” appears in the December 17 issue of the journal Cell. It traces the history of the groundbreaking research on ubiquitin over the past 25 years. Dr Wilkinson’s own contributiuons to the ubiquitin field are many and span several decades. He discovered UCHL1, the first ubiquitin isopeptidase to be described, and showed that it was a target of therapeutic interest. He was, thus, one of the first to recognize the therapeutic importance of this class of enzyme. Dr. Wilkinson’s laboratory has been a pioneer in the development of assays for isopeptidases that work on the ubiquitin family of proteins.