Benny WardChief Executive Officer
Benny Ward is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dignify Therapeutics. Mr. Ward has extensive experience serving as an executive in several life science companies. Mr. Ward spent almost 10 years as a member of the executive team of Closure Medical Corp. (Nasdaq: CLSR), a biomaterials company that was acquired by Johnson and Johnson in 2005. Mr. Ward joined Closure prior to its initial public offering and was V.P. of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at the time of the acquisition. From 2006 through 2008, Mr. Ward was a member of the senior management team, serving as V.P. of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, of InnerPulse, Inc., a development stage, venture capital funded, cardiac rhythm management company. Most recently, Mr. Ward served as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, of BioDelivery Sciences International (Nasdaq: BDSI), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on pain and addiction medicine. Mr. Ward also serves as a member of the Board of Director of Chesson Labs, Inc., a developer of polymer-based medical devices.
Karl Thor, Ph.D.President
Karl Thor, PhD is President of Dignify Therapeutics. He was most recently Co-founder and VP of Research of Urogenix Inc., a subsidiary of Astellas Pharma. Prior to that, he was Founder and CSO of Dynogen Pharmaceuticals, Founder and CSO of PPD GenuPro, Co-Director of the Laboratory of NeuroUrology at Duke University Medical Center, and Research Scientist at Eli Lilly. Dr. Thor has served as a member of the FDA-PhRMA Industry Guidelines for Urinary Incontinence Trials, the NIH Urology Special Emphasis Study Section, and serves on the WHO’s International Consultation on Incontinence.
Ed Burgard, Ph.D.VP of Operations
Ed Burgard, PhD is VP of Operations. He was Co-founder and Director of Cellular Pharmacology at Urogenix Inc. Prior to that he held positions of Director of In vitro Pharmacology at Dynogen Pharmaceuticals, and Research Investigator at Abbott Laboratories. Dr. Burgard received his PhD in Pharmacology from the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and the University of Michigan.
Dan Ricca, Ph.D.VP of Chemistry
Dan Ricca, PhD is VP of Chemistry. He began his professional career in medicinal chemistry at Glaxo. He subsequently co-founded SARCO, a combinatorial chemistry company, where he served as VP of Chemistry. Following a successful acquisition and exit, Dan assumed the role of VP of Chemistry for two small venture-backed drug discovery companies, Cogent Neuroscience and Dynogen Pharmaceuticals. Dan holds a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Michigan and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Irvine.