Business Advisor

Perry Karsen
Biopharmaceutical Executive


Perry has spent over 35 years in the biotechnology industry in a range of operating, investor, and board of director roles. He is currently a Venture Partner at Samsara BioCapital. Most recently, Perry has served as a Board Chair and Director at both private and public biotechnology companies.

He was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics and Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Celgene Corporation. Prior to Celgene, Perry was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Pearl Therapeutics, a biotechnology company subsequently acquired by Astra-Zeneca.

In addition, Perry held executive positions at Human Genome Sciences, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech and Abbott Laboratories earlier in his career. He also was a General Partner at Pequot Ventures focusing on investments in biotechnology and medical devices.

Perry has a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois, Urbana, a Master of Arts in Teaching Biology from Duke University, and a Masters of Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


Gary T. Ferguson, MD
Director, Pulmonary Research Institute of Southeast Michigan


Dr. Ferguson is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine. He received his postgraduate training at the University of Washington and then at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Centers, specializing in pulmonary and critical care medicine. After completing a research fellowship at National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Dr. Ferguson joined the faculty of the University of Colorado and National Jewish Medical Center as Director of the Emphysema/COPD program.  He continued his academic career at Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Dr. Ferguson is currently Director of the Pulmonary Research Institute of Southeast Michigan, Clinical Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University and Director of Pulmonary Research at Providence/St. John Health System. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians. He has repeatedly been selected to America’s Best Doctor’s.

Dr. Ferguson’s research interests focus predominantly on airways diseases, primarily chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. He has published extensively in peer review journals and textbooks and has lectured nationally and internationally in his fields of interest. He is on the editorial board of the Journal COPD and regularly reviews research for several journals and national granting agencies.

MeiLan K. Han, MD, MS
Director, Michigan Airways Program, University of Michigan Health System


MeiLan K. Han, M.D., MS, is professor of internal medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Michigan Health System and director of the Michigan Airways Program.

After graduating from the University of Washington School of Medicine, she completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Michigan. Dr. Han has also completed a Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She belongs to numerous professional societies including the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society. She is also an associate editor for the journal American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and serves on the editorial boards for several journals including Thorax and Lancet Respiratory Medicine. She also serves as a Scientific Advisory Committee member to the COPD Foundation and the American Lung Association.

Dr. Han’s research interests include defining disease phenotypes in COPD in particular through radiologic characterization of disease. She is also the Principal Investigator at the University of Michigan for the COPDGene study as well as SPIROMICS, two large National Heart Lung and Blood Institute funded COPD cohort studies as well as the American Lung Association Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network. She also serves on the Global Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) science committee that develops internationally recognized management strategies for COPD.

Lisa Hood Lancaster, MD
Director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Program, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. Lancaster has extensive experience with clinical management and research in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and interstitial lung disease (ILD). She serves as Director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Program and ILD Clinical Trials Center and is a Medical Advisor for the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Lancaster established the first VUMC IPF/ILD clinic and support group and has been recognized for excellence in patient care. She has served on multiple advisory boards and ILD clinical trial steering committees. She has published extensively, is an ad hoc reviewer for several journals, serves on the steering committee for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Centers of Excellence and the ACCP Diffuse Lung Disease committee, and is a member of the advisory council for Women in Pulmonary Medicine. Dr. Lancaster received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta with residency and fellowship completed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Fernando J. Martinez, MD, MS
Chief, Pulmonary and Critical
Care Medicine, Weill Cornell
Medical College


Fernando J. Martinez, MD, MS, is Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Prior to this appointment, he was professor of internal medicine and associate chief for clinical research in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as medical director of its Pulmonary Diagnostic Services and co-medical director of the Lung Transplantation Program. After graduating from the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainesville, Florida, he completed a residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at the Boston University Pulmonary Center. He received a Masters in Biostatistics and Clinical Study Design from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Professor Martinez’s main research interests include the biological underpinnings and therapeutic approaches to interstitial lung diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD). He is a member of numerous societies, including the American Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society, and the American College of Chest Physicians. Previously, he was a member of the American Thoracic Society Committees which generated guidelines for the management of COPD, respiratory infections, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. He is the former chair of the Clinical Problems Assembly of the American Thoracic Society. Professor Martinez is a member of the GOLD Science Committee and sits on a number of editorial boards, including for Journal of COPD and American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. He serves as a deputy editor for the latter.

Sydney Montesi, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Sydney Montesi, MD is a physician-scientist within the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She received her medical degree from the University of Rochester. She completed her residency training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and her fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine through the Harvard Combined Program. Her area of expertise is in the field of pulmonary fibrosis. She has extensive knowledge of advanced and emerging imaging techniques to detect disease and treatment response, primarily in the lung. She has been awarded multiple grants for her research including the prestigious Parker B. Francis Fellowship and is the recipient of the Building Education to Advance Research Award from the American Thoracic Society.

Klaus F. Rabe, MD
Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Kiel

Professor Rabe has been active in various fields of respiratory medicine worldwide. His current scientific interests are related to large clinical trials in COPD and asthma, the mechanisms of airway inflammation and the endoscopic staging of lung cancer. Professor Rabe has been involved in many major COPD trials, including the pivotal roflumilast studies.

Professor Rabe is Past President of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the German Center for Lung Research. He is also the immediate Past- President of the German Chest Society and a member of the British Pharmacological Society and the American Thoracic Society. He has served on committees for both the Global Initiative for Asthma and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Professor Rabe is one of the Associate Editors of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, and is past Chief Editor of the European Respiratory Journal. He is currently an editorial board member for several scientific journals.

Lisa Saiman, MD
Professor of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center


Dr. Saiman is a Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center and an Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital where she serves as the Hospital Epidemiologist. Dr. Saiman’s primary research and clinical interests are cystic fibrosis (CF), as related to infection prevention and control and the epidemiology of the infectious complications of CF, and hospital epidemiology and healthcare-associated infections across the spectrum of healthcare, ranging from the neonatal ICU to pediatric long term care. She is a member of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America (fellow), Infectious Disease Society of America, Society of Pediatric Research (elected), Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Pediatric Society (elected). Dr. Saiman serves as a consultant to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and to the New York State Department of Health. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

David S. Wilkes, MD
Dean, University of Virginia
School of Medicine

A specialist in pulmonary disease and critical care medicine, since 2015 Dr. Wilkes has served as Dean at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Wilkes has co-authored more than 130 research papers and holds six U.S. patents. He is a successful entrepreneur whose discoveries led to founding a biotech company focused on developing novel treatments for immune-mediated lung disease. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Dr. Wilkes served as the Executive Associate Dean for Research Affairs at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Wilkes was the recipient of Indiana University’s President Medal, the highest distinction given to a faculty member for recognition of accomplishments and service to the university. He is also the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Wake Forest University. He is National Director of the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has served on several advisory boards and committees for the National Institute of Health. A military veteran, Dr. Wilkes served three years as a major in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps where he earned a commendation medal for service. Dr. Wilkes received his undergraduate degree from Villanova University before receiving a medical degree from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. He completed an internship and residency at Temple University Hospital and a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.