Dignify Therapeutics

Senior Management

Karl Thor, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer
Karl Thor, PhD  is Chief Scientific Officer 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.

President and CEO
Ed Burgard, PhD  is President and CEO.  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.

Lesley Marson, Ph.D.

Head, Preclinical Research and Development
Lesley Marson, PhD is Head, Preclinical Research and Development of Dignify Therapeutics. Lesley was most recently Director of Sexual Health Research at Urogenix Inc. Prior to that she held the position of Professor in the Urology Division of the Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Here she directed a successful NIH­funded a preclinical research program and served as Study Coordinator for several clinical trials. Prior to that Dr Marson was Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, Chicago and completed postdoctoral training at Washington University St Louis and University of Kentucky, Lexington. She is an internationally­ recognized expert in pelvic and sexual function.

Nadia MJ Rupniak, Ph.D.

Executive VP of Drug Development

Nadia MJ Rupniak, Ph.D. is the Executive Vice President of Drug Development for Dignify Therapeutics. She was most recently Vice President of Research and Development at CoLucid Pharmaceuticals where she played a key role in the development of lasmiditan for migraine. Prior to that, she was a Distinguished Senior Investigator with Merck where she supported the development of numerous clinical candidates, including Emend® for emesis and Vioxx® for pain. Dr. Rupniak is an internationally recognized neuroscientist and drug developer, with experience in efficacy and safety pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacokinetics and metabolism, regulatory interactions, and the design of clinical studies.