About


our team

Senior Management Team

John L. Kulp III, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. John L. Kulp III has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from New York University. Dr. Kulp’s background is in the field of bioorganic chemistry with specialization in (i) protein nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structure determination, (ii) computational methods for studying protein structure, (iii) synthetic peptide chemistry, and (iv), most recently, computational fragment-based drug design. His Ph.D. work, in part, focused on stabilizing α-helical peptides for development as a new class of drug molecules and the study of peptide/protein structure by NMR. During his postdoctoral training at the Naval Research Laboratory, he developed peptide nanopores as stochastic sensing elements and patented a new class of β-helical peptide architectures. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship, he was hired as a federal staff scientist where he helped develop a program to study biointerfaces. Dr. Kulp chose to leave the Navy and follow his research interests in therapeutic discovery. In 2010, Dr. Kulp joined BioLeap, a small business that specializes in protein-protein interactions and that has a proprietary fragment-based computational chemistry software platform. He has participated in development of novel inhibitors for DHFR, PCSK9, 11β-HSD, and recA. Dr. Kulp integrated molecular dynamics and docking software into BioLeap’s proprietary fragment-based discovery platform. He has been a PI on an NIH grant, has 1 issued patent, has 2 other patent applications, and has 19 publications. Dr. Kulp created Conifer Point in December of 2014 to pursue a comp. chem. services business and to progress assets started by BioLeap.


John L. Kulp Jr., Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer

John has a broad background including senior management positions with responsibility for product development, research, operations, business development, and strategic planning. He has a 15-year background in Conifer Point’s core technologies, achieving several innovations in fragment-protein simulations and fragment-based design tools.

He founded the large-scale biophysical simulation team at Sarnoff Corp., where he was Vice President, and has played a leading role in a number of successful business launches, including Symbolics and Locus Pharmaceuticals.

John’s Ph.D. is in Electrical Science (statistical physics) from MIT.


William Kinney, Ph.D.

VP Drug Development

As Director of the Natural Products Discovery Institute (NPDI), Dr. Kinney leads scientific and business development projects with Clients to discover new natural products for use as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, cosmetics, nutritionals and flavor enhancers.

He founded IteraMed Consulting, offering industry standard drug discovery by providing medicinal chemistry due diligence, drug design, proposal writing, project management, and outsourcing.

At Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Kinney directed a postdoctoral project on self-assembly of collagen mimetic polymeric peptides that resulted in important contributions to scientific knowledge.

Led project that converted an unexpected by-product into a lead candidate, JNJ-26076713, that was the first orally effective integrin antagonist for eye diseases of age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.

At Magainin, without any experience in steroid synthesis or process development, a practical stereoselective synthesis of the natural product Squalamine was discovered, optimized, and and outsourced under cGMP synthesis to multiple vendors in the US and Europe.

At Wyeth-Ayerst, the first non-amino acid containing competitive NMDA antagonist was achieved by incorporating a squaric acid amide dipole as the amino acid isostere. This led to the discovery of Phase II compound Perzinfotel for stroke and pain.

As a graduate student at Ohio State University, a novel approach was proposed and executed to the synthesis of eight membered rings by Claisen Rearrangement.

Author of 41 issued U.S. Patents and 50 publications.


Ian S. Cloudsdale, Ph.D.

VP Chemistry

Ian has wide-ranging experience including senior management positions within the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and biotechnology industries. He has over 20 years of experience with Syngenta, Novartis and Sandoz. Ian’s PhD is from Cambridge University in Natural Products Synthesis and he has over 10 years’ experience with computational fragment-based drug design.


Frank Guarnieri

Director, Scientific Development

Frank Guarnieri is the inventor of our technology. Trained in mathematics, physics and chemistry, Frank has worked on innovative methods of drug discovery for the past ten years. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Physiology and Biophysics. Previously, he was Chief Scientific Officer at SolMap, a drug discovery spin-out from Mercury Computer that was acquired by Forma Therapeutics in 2008. Prior to Mercury, Frank was Principal Founding Scientist at Locus Pharmaceuticals. Frank invented the computational technology on which Locus was founded, while working as Group Head of Biophysics and Bioinformatics at Sarnoff Corporation. From 1996-2000, Frank was an Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He received a B.S. in Mathematics and Chemistry from Long Island University, and his M.S. in Quantum Mechanics and Ph.D. in Chemistry from New York University.


Scientific Advisory Board Members

Timothy M. Block, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Block entered college at age 14 to study physics at the State University of New York. He entered the life sciences as a graduate and postdoctoral student at the State University of New York and Princeton Universities, respectively. As a Sabbatical Fellow at the University of Oxford, he worked with Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg (Nobel Laureate) and Dr. Raymond Dwek (Fellow of the Royal Society) and discovered that a plant sugar, called “NBDNJ” prevented the secretion of HBV from liver cells without killing the cells.

Further studies into the mechanism of action of NBDNJ have led to important findings regarding how the virus moves in the cell. NBDNJ has now received the trade name “glycovir” and, in an improved form, is being tested for its therapeutic potential in animals. It may open the door to a new family of anti-hepatitis B agents and provide a valuable tool in the fight against hepatitis B.

His other major discovery in antiviral research is the development of a novel microorganism based assay for antiviral drugs called “MOBA.” In 1990, Dr. Block received the WW Smith award for MOBA, which is patented and currently used, or in development to search for many antiviral agents. In 1979, he also discovered with others the phenomenon called “co-transformation” of mammalian cells, which has served as the basis for introducing foreign DNA into cultured cells and is universally used in research.

Dr. Block has numerous patents for his discoveries and publications that have contributed significantly to advancing the field. His awards include “Scientist of the Year” by the American Liver Foundation; “Visiting Distinguished Professor” at South Korea’s Dongook University; an Honorary Degree from The Romanian Academy of Sciences for basic science advances in viral hepatitis; induction into the Bulgarian National Academy of Medicine and Sciences for his contributions to hepatitis B research; named “One of the 100 most important people in Bucks County of the last century” by The Intelligencer; honored as Judge’s Choice, CEO of the Year, by Philadelphia Business Journal’s Inaugural Life Science Award; and elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dr. Block serves on the Board of Directors of the Hepatitis B Foundation, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute (formerly the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research), and numerous other editorial and professional boards. He serves on NIH study sections; has been coordinator of many national and international meetings focusing on hepatitis; elected Fellow, International Union Against Cancer; elected Fellow, The Glycobiology Institute of the University of Oxford; and has received many grant awards to perform research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health.


Patrick Lam, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisory Board

Patrick is a medicinal chemistry and drug discovery expert with extensive experience in innovation in structure-based drug design, ADME, focused libraries, molecular recognition and nucleic acid therapeutics to deliver biopharma clinical candidates with novel profiles. He has over 30 years of research experience, and successfully discovered a total of eight clinical candidates by leading groups or by personal effort.

In BMS, Patrick was the group leader/co-inventor responsible for the discovery of Eliquis®/Apixaban, a novel FXa inhibitor as a new anticoagulant. Eliquis® is projected by analysts to have “blockbuster” sales potential. Eliquis® was awarded the title of "Best New Medicine of 2012" by Med Ad News.

Patrick is the co-discoverer of the powerful Chan-Lam Coupling Reaction, a complementary reaction to Nobel Price Suzuki-Miyaura Coupling Reaction. He has authored 85 papers/reviews/book chapters, has 36 patents/patent applications and presented 90 invited seminars worldwide. Patrick has numerous awards including BMS Ondetti-Cushman Innovation Award for FXa inhibitor research in 2003; DuPont-Merck Summit Award for discovery of cyclic ureas as HIV protease inhibitor capable of displacing the structural water molecule in 1993.

Patrick was recently VP of medicinal chemistry at Enantigen Therapeutics, a company specialized in Hep B drug discovery. In March 2015 Enantigen was purchased by Oncore Biopharma, which in turn, merged with Tekmira to form Tekmira Oncore.


Scientists

Chuck Reynolds

Consultant

Dr. Reynolds has more than 25 years of experience in drug discovery, and is widely recognized for his expertise in computational chemistry and structure-based drug design. He is currently President of Gfree Bio and an Adjunct Professor at the Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute. Previously he was Senior Director of Discovery Technologies at Ansaris, where he was responsible for the company’s proprietary fragment-based design technology platform. Prior to joining Ansaris in 2010, he led modeling groups at the Springhouse, PA and La Jolla, CA research sites of Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Reynolds has held a variety of leadership positions in the American Chemical Society (ACS), and was named a Fellow of the ACS in 2010.

Dr. Reynolds received his BA from Austin College and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and supervised joint graduate and postdoctoral students at the Pennsylvania State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published nearly 100 papers, patents, and book chapters, and is a co-editor of two books. His views on drug discovery have been sought by news organizations ranging from C&E News to the Wall Street Journal.


Amanita Setari

Research Assistant


Johnny Chen

Research Assistant


Daniel Bryan

Software Developer


Brandon McDonnell

Software Technician