Joseph Hernandez, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since inception, is an entrepreneurial leader with over 25 years of experience in the healthcare field. He has a background in company creation, early stage technology development, as well as private and public market financing. He brings leadership to the team, backed by a strong educational foundation in biology, medicine, molecular genetics, microbiology, epidemiology, marketing, and finance. Over the course of his career, he has founded or led eight entrepreneurial companies in cutting edge areas of healthcare and pharmaceuticals. After years of building his career at Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) from to December 1998 to January 2001 and Digene (acquired by Qiagen (NYSE:QGEN)) from 2005 to 2009, Mr. Hernandez founded and became the President and CEO of Innovative Biosensors from 2004 to 2009. Later, Mr. Hernandez served as the Founder and Chairman of Microlin Bio Inc. from August 2013 to January 2017 and as Chairman of the Board of Ember Therapeutics (OTCMKTS:EMBT) from April 2014 to January 2019. He was also the Chairman of Sydys Corporation from May 2016 to January 2019. In 2018, Mr. Hernandez founded Blue Water Vaccines Inc., an early stage biotechnology company focused on manufacturing a universal influenza vaccine in partnership with the University of Oxford in England. He has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Water Vaccines, Inc. since January 2019. Most recently, in January 2020, he founded and in May 2020 sold Noachis Terra, Inc. (acquired by Oragenics (NYSE:OGEN)) a company developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Additionally, Mr. Hernandez was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Water I, a special purpose acquisition company, from May 2020 to September 2021. On September 9, 2021, Blue Water I consummated a business combination with Clarus. Mr. Hernandez currently serves as a director of the post-combination entity, Clarus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:CRXT), where he serves as a member of the Audit and Compensation Committees. Mr. Hernandez brings experience in managing and interacting with diverse cultures, high level executives, and elected officials, to the team. Mr. Hernandez received a B.S. in Neuroscience, M.S. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Florida and a MBA from the University of Florida, and is currently pursuing a MSc in Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Yale University. He is well qualified to serve on our Board due to his extensive biotech entrepreneurship and early stage technology development experience in the healthcare industry.
Jon Garfield our Chief Financial Officer and Director , has over 20 years of financial leadership experience, specifically with healthcare companies. Mr. Garfield regularly provides consulting services to private equity funds and privately held companies. Mr. Garfield has served as the CEO of Unity MSK since February 2021, and he has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer of Blue Water Vaccines, Inc. since September 2021. He has also served as a consultant of Bay State Physical Therapy from June 2018 to February 2019 and also as a director beginning in February 2019. Since June 2008, he has served as the chairman of the audit committee of Xnrgi, Inc. From April 2016 to June 2017, Mr. Garfield was the CFO of Pyramid Healthcare, also a private equity backed healthcare company. Prior to Pyramid Healthcare, Mr. Garfield served as the CFO of Monte Nido in January 2012 until January 2016. Before Monte Nido, he served as CFO of Clearant, Inc., (OTCBB:CLRI) a publicly-traded medical device company, and Network IP and Simplified Development, where he oversaw the finance and treasury functions, implemented systems upgrades, and pursued a number of growth initiatives. Mr. Garfield was previously a Co-Founder and Vice President of Acquisitions for Coach USA, a consolidator of ground transportation entities throughout North America, and was heavily involved in over 50 acquisitions and the eventual IPO of the company. Earlier in his career, he held positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Arthur Andersen. Mr. Garfield was the Chief Financial Officer of Blue Water I from December 2020 until it completed a business combination with Clarus in September 2021. Mr. Garfield received a B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Texas.
Kimberly Murphy will serve as one of our directors following the completion of this offering. Ms. Murphy has more than 25 years of experience at leading pharmaceutical companies including Novartis (NYSE:NVS) and Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK). In her distinguished career at Merck, she rose through various public affairs and business roles to leadership positions as Region Marketer for U.S. Commercial Operations, U.S. Marketing Leader for Adult Vaccines and Director of the HPV/Gardasil Franchise. Most recently, Ms. Murphy served as currently the Vice President of Global Vaccines Commercialization Leader, Influenza Franchise, at GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK). Ms. Murphy has been with GSK since 2011, initially serving as VP of US Vaccines Customer Strategy from October 2012 to June 2014, then VP of the North America Vaccines Integration Planning from June 2014 to May 2015, followed by VP and Global Marketing Head for the Shingles Vaccines from May 2015 to February 2016, before transitioning to the Global Vaccines Commercialization Leader for the Influenza Franchise. Kim has Board and Advisory experience that includes serving on the boards of Oragenics, Inc. (NYSE: OGEN) and Blue Water Vaccines, Inc., as well as the GSK Representative to the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s Biodefense Advisory Council, and on the St. Joseph’s University Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing MBA Program’s Advisory Board. Additionally, Ms. Murphy was a director of Blue Water I from December 2020 to September 2021, and since Blue Water I’s business combination with Clarus continues has continued to serve as a director of the post-combination entity, Clarus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRXT), where she serves as a member of the Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees. Ms. Murphy received a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University, a M.B.A. in Marketing from St. Joseph’s University, and the Marketing Excellence Program from the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania. She is well qualified to serve on our Board due to her extensive experience in the healthcare industry.
James Sapirstein, who will serve as one of our directors following the completion of this offering, has over 35 years of experience leading, founding, growing, and selling healthcare companies, specifically in the pharmaceutical space. Mr. Sapirstein is currently the President and CEO of AzurRx BioPharma (NASDAQ:AZRX), where he has been since October 2019. His career began in sales at Eli Lilly, eventually rising to Director of International Marketing at Bristol Myers Squibb from July 1996 to June 2000, and later led the launch of Viread (tenofovir) at Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), where he served as Global Marketing Lead from June 2020 to June 2002. From November 2006 to January 2011, he served as founding CEO of Tobira Therapeutics (NASDAQ:TBRA), then a private company, and later acquired by Allergan (NYSE:AGN). Since then, he has served as CEO of Alliqua Biomedical (NASDAQ:ALQA) from September 2012 to February 2014 and CEO of Contravir Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CTRV from March 2014 to October 2018. He has been part of almost two dozen drug product launches and specifically either led or has been a key member of several HIV product launches into different new classes of therapeutics at the time. Additionally, Mr. Sapirstein holds board positions on Marizyme (OTCMKTS:MRZM) (Executive Chairman) since December 2018 Enochian Biosciences (NASDAQ:ENOB) since April 2018, and Leading Biosciences since March 2016, and he was a director of Blue Water I from December 2020 until it completed a business combination with Clarus in September 2021. He previously served as a director of BioNJ from February 2017 to February 2019, an association of biopharma industries in New Jersey, from February 2017 to February 2019, RespireRX (OTCBB:RSPI) from April 2014 to January 2020, and NanoViricides Inc. (NYSE: NNVC) from November 2018 to January 2020. He is also a Board Director for BIO, the leading Biopharma Industries Organization promoting public policy and networking in the healthcare space, where he sits on both the Health Section and Emerging Companies Section Governing Boards. Mr. Sapirstein received a B.S. in Pharmacy from Rutgers University and his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is well qualified to serve on our Board due to his extensive network from decades in the healthcare industry.
Yvonne McBurney, who will serve as one of our directors following the completion of this offering, has over 30 years of business leadership experience in the healthcare field. Ms. McBurney has successfully developed and executed strategic business plans to drive consistent above-plan performance by optimizing group synergies, building high-performing diverse teams, and driving cultural change. During her career, she has acquired a reputation for working with the highest level of integrity. Since March 2020, Ms. McBurney has been VP of Operations at Alivia Specialty Pharmacy, where she leads the operations of a $250 million specialty pharmacy including a staff of over 100 and overseeing operations and clinical teams. That position followed ten years at GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), beginning in January 2010 where she was ultimately appointed to lead the US Commercial and Medical Affairs integration of TESARO, an oncology focused biopharmaceutical acquisition of $5.1 billion by GSK. She also held the Puerto Rico General Manager role for six years and delivered significant revenue and margin growth. Prior to GSK, Ms. McBurney was the General Manager of Wyeth Puerto Rico from April 2006 to November 2009 where she managed an $80 million operation returning the unit to growth. She also spent 15 years at Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) where she advanced rapidly into key commercial roles of local, regional and international scope and gained broad general management experience across all commercial functions. Throughout her professional career, Ms. McBurney has built respect and industry credibility by forging meaningful alliances with key customers and major stakeholders in government, nonprofit organizations, healthcare practitioners, and pharma industry associations. Ms. McBurney was a director of Blue Water I from December 2020 until it completed a business combination with Clarus in September 2021. She has been a past Board member of the Puerto Rico Pharmaceutical Industry Association holding Vice President and Secretary roles. Ms. McBurney received an MBA and B.A. from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and is fluent in Spanish and English. She is well qualified to serve on our Board due to her extensive expertise in leadership roles in the life science and healthcare industry.
Michael Lerner has over 30 years of experience providing strategic judgment and practical advice regarding diverse matters for pharmaceutical, life sciences, and health care companies. Mr. Lerner has a background in product acquisitions and divestitures, technology licensing, sales and marketing practices, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, corporate compliance, employment law, and regulatory matters. Mr. Lerner is currently a partner at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, where he chairs the Life Sciences Group. Prior to joining Lowenstein Sandler, from August 2008 to December 2010 Mr. Lerner was a Senior Vice President and General Counsel of EKR Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on acute care hospital products. That position followed six years (from September 2000 to August 2006) as Vice President and General Counsel at Reliant Pharmaceuticals Inc., which Mr. Lerner helped grow into one of the nation’s largest privately held pharmaceutical companies before it was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007. As part of Reliant’s senior management team, he was named lead inside lawyer on product acquisitions and dispositions. He served on the board of directors of Blue Water I from December 2020 until it completed a business combination with Clarus in September 2021. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for the study of Pharmaceutical Management Issues at Rutgers Business School. Mr. Lerner brings valuable expertise in legal considerations of the life science industry, as well as a documented track record of public speaking and professional presentations to the team. Mr. Lerner received a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law in and a B.A. from Boston University. He is well qualified to serve on our Board due to his extensive expertise in a range of legal considerations within the life science and healthcare industry.