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Leadership

  • Rukiye Nazan Eraslan
  • Chiayu Huang
  • James Beasely
  • Prabal Banerjee
  • Olesia Buiakova

Rukiye Nazan Eraslan, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Invivotek

Dr. Eraslan rejoined the GBG team in 2019. As the Managing Director of Invivotek, she leads a cross-functional team of scientists who conduct pre-clinical studies that enable interrogation of immunotoxicity, mechanisms of action, diagnostic hypotheses and ensure target engagement and pathway analysis activities to support target identification and immunotherapy in autoimmune diseases and oncology. She leads the scientific negotiation and due-diligence as a first layer to deliver decisional statements and explain data driven scientific rationale in to business. Rukiye also provides program/project management and operational support for drug development programs/projects (DDPP) to maintain accurate plans and documentation.

Extra Info

Dr. Eraslan began her career with GBG in 2013 at Invivotek as Team Leader, Immunology/Oncology, a position she held for over 3 years. In February 2019, she returned to the GBG family to become the Managing Director of Invivotek.

Dr. Eraslan brought over 20 years of experience in Immunology and Oncology within multi-disciplinary matrix teams comprised of colleagues from various groups including Discovery, Safety, Clinical and Regulatory to develop and deliver biomarker strategies and potential combination therapies for IO and autoimmune diseases assets. She previously held positions at Xenogen/Caliper Life Sciences as Team Leader Immunology & Inflammation, Taconic, Inc., as Team Leader/Principal Scientist Immunology & Inflammation, and (Bristol Mayer Squibb (BMS) as Principal Scientist as Immuno-Science and Oncology.

Dr. Eraslan received a M.S. in Molecular Biology from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL. She earned a Ph.D. in Immunology at University of Illinois in Chicago, IL. Dr. Eraslan completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Immunology at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Il.

Chiayu (Joyce) Huang, Ph.D.

Director of Chemistry, Venenum Biodesign

Dr. Huang joined the GBG team in 2010. As the Director of Chemistry, she oversees a team of medicinal chemists in the optimization of small molecule therapeutic compounds aimed at immuno-oncology targets, metabolic disorders, and infectious disease. She also guides the bioanalytical characterization of lead molecules through pharmacokinetic and Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion (ADME) studies. In addition, Dr. Huang is responsible for the maintenance and growth of Venenum’s 5.7 million member compound collection for high-throughput screening.

Extra Info

Dr. Huang began her career with VENENUM Biodesign as a Chemistry Team Leader. In 2015 she was promoted to Assistant Director of Medicinal Chemistry a position she held until 2019 when she transitioned into the role of Director of Medicinal Chemistry.

Dr. Huang is a medicinal chemist with more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery which spans a variety of therapeutic areas including Metabolic Disease, Oncology, Respiratory, CNS, and Inflammatory Disease. She previously held positions with Pharmacopeia as a Research Scientist and Senior Group Leader as well as Ligand Pharmaceuticals as a Senior Research Investigator.

Dr. Huang received her BS in Chemistry from National Taiwan University in Taipei City, Taiwan. She earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at University of Texas at Austin in Austin, TX. Dr. Huang completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Organic Chemistry at Duke University in Durham, NC.

James Beasely, Ph.D.

Director of Biology, Venenum Biodesign

Dr. Beasley joined the GBG team in 2011. As Venenum’s Director of Biology, he oversees a team of scientists that support the research efforts in GBG’s pre-clinical drug discovery programs in therapeutic areas such as metabolic disorders, oncology, and infectious disease. Dr. Beasley’s Discovery Biology team specializes in the development, optimization, and execution of assays in the ultra-high-throughput screening (uHTS) of Venenum’s 5.7 million member compound library. The team also develops and performs assays, including several ADME-Tox assays, necessary to profile the small molecule therapeutic compounds produced by medicinal chemistry. Dr. Beasley serves as a member of the GBG Executive Council.

Extra Info

Dr. Beasley began his career with VENENUM Biodesign as the Discovery Biology Team Leader. In 2014 he was promoted to his current position as Director of Discovery Biology.

Dr. Beasley brought 12 years of experience in the Drug Discovery industry. He previously held positions with Ligand Pharmaceuticals as a Senior Research Investigator, Pharmacopeia as a Senior Principal Scientist, and DGI Biotechnology as a Senior Scientist.

Dr. Beasley received his BS in Chemistry from University of Texas at Austin in Austin, TX. He earned his PhD. in Chemistry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC. Dr. Beasley completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ.

Prabal Banerjee, Ph.D.

Business Development Executive, GD3

Prabal joined the GD3 team in 2017. As a Business Development Executive, he is responsible for developing the overall marketing and sales strategy that supports lead generation, growth and value creation for GD3’s drug discovery services. He also contributes to defining the technical strategy, overseeing the creation and dissemination of technical marketing material, and provides direct client facing support for GD3‘s portfolio companies, Invivotek and PharmOptima. In terms of corporate development Prabal is involved in M&A’s, execution of in-licensing and out-licensing transactions, and developing term sheets for partnership/collaborations.

Extra Info

Prabal brings 9 years of experience in the Drug Discovery services to GD3. He was previously Director of Business Development at HuMurine Technologies where he led the creation and implementation of strategies for commercialization of translational animal models.

Prabal received his MS in Life Sciences from University of Indore in India. He earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology/Immunology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY.

Olesia Buiakova, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer, GD3

Dr. Buiakova joined the GBG team in 2013. As the Chief Scientific Officer of GD3 she inspires and drives innovation of new drug discovery and development platforms and pipelines for GD3 and member companies. Dr. Buiakova identifies opportunities for new collaborations and serves as a member of the GBG Executive Council.

Dr. Buiakova began her career with GBG as the Vice President of Biology for Invivotek in 2013. Later that year, she transitioned into the role of Chief Scientific Officer of Invivotek. In 2021, Olesia became the Chief Scientific Officer of GD3, the parental company for all GBG contract research organizations.

Extra Info

During her career outside of GBG, Dr. Buiakova held multiple positions of increasing responsibility, including Associate Director at Xenogen Biosciences, Director of the CRO Division of Taconic and Senior Director at Skyhawk Therapeutics with a concentration in in vivo pharmacology. She also spent three years at Columbia Genome Center at Columbia University, New York, NY, concentrating on generation and characterization of genetically modified animal models of human disease.

Dr. Buiakova earned an MD in Medical Biochemistry at the Russian State Medical University in Moscow, Russia. She earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the Institute for Molecular Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia. Dr. Buiakova completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Molecular Neurobiology at Hoffmann-La Roche Institute for Molecular Biology in Nutley, NJ.