Management Team

Tiburio has assembled a world class team of experts in advancing drugs for patients in need.

Tiburio has assembled a world class team of experts in advancing drugs for patients in need.

abe ceesay headshot

Abraham N. Ceesay

Chief Executive Officer

Abraham has over 17 years of experience in leading biopharmaceutical companies and commercializing innovative therapeutic products. Prior to joining Tiburio, he served as chief operating officer at scPharmaceuticals where he developed and led all operational and commercial aspects of the company. He was integral in raising more than $140 million in private and public capital as well as closing the company’s initial public offering. Prior to joining scPharmaceuticals, he served as vice president, sales, marketing, and commercial operations at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals and spent four years at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals as vice president of marketing. He also held responsibility for the management of the U.S. P&L, leadership of the Linzess® brand team and co-promotion collaboration with Forest Laboratories/Allergan. Previously, Abraham was at Genzyme/Sanofi, initially as a field sales specialist and ultimately as the director, Renal Global Marketing, in which capacity he led the global launch of Renvela® and held global marketing responsibility for the company’s renal franchise (Renagel®, Renvela®, Hectorol®).

Abraham serves on the Board of Advisors for Life Science Cares and the Board of Directors for Food for Free. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College, and a Master of Business Administration from Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management.

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Michael D. Culler, PhD

Scientific Founder and Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board

Michael brings over 35 years of research experience and is an internationally recognized expert in endocrinology, metabolic disorders and peptide therapeutics with over 200 publications and 22 patents. Michael was formerly Vice President of Endocrinology Research for Ipsen, where he led programs in diverse endocrine/metabolic areas that resulted in five compounds reaching clinical development. He is a co-founder of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, and he led the preclinical programs that produced the key assets for both Rhythm (relamorelin and setmelanotide) and Radius Pharma (abaloparatide; Tymlos). Prior to joining industry, Michael conducted basic research in neuroendocrine physiology as a staff scientist at the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to his work with Tiburio, Michael is also Chief Scientific Officer for Alizé Pharma, and he serves as a member of the Expert List Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Michael received his Ph.D. in Endocrine Physiology from Texas A&M University, and he was a post-doctoral fellow in neuroendocrinology at Tulane University Medical School under the mentorship of Professor Akira Arimura

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Heather Halem Headshot

Heather Halem, PhD

Vice President, Research

Heather brings more than 17 years of pharmaceutical experience to Tiburio with strong expertise in rare endocrine and metabolic diseases, oncology and in developing pharmacology models of disease. A senior, cross-functional project team leader, Heather has direct experience leading research programs that have taken molecules from early identification to clinic candidates.

Prior to joining Tiburio, Heather spent 15 years at Ipsen Bioscience, serving most recently as director, endocrine modeling. In the role, she led research project teams from early-stage target identification and concept assessment through lead optimization and into the clinic. She also initiated and directed in vivo biology research efforts and strategies for all endocrine projects. Previously, Heather was a senior scientist at Genome Therapeutics identifying novel gene targets for neurodegenerative diseases and served as a research assistant at Boston University, Massachusetts General Hospital and New England Medical Center.

Heather earned her BA in biology from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., and her PhD in biology from Boston University. She holds two patents and has authored numerous papers in leading peer-reviewed journals.

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Nerissa Kreher, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Nerissa brings deep academic, clinical research and biotechnology industry experience and she has held leadership roles in both clinical development and medical affairs at large, public and private, start-up biotechnology companies. Prior to AVROBIO, Dr. Kreher was the Global Head of Clinical and Medical Affairs at Zafgen, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for the treatment of metabolic diseases. In the role, she led the clinical team responsible for advancing the development of their lead program for Prader-Willi syndrome. Previously, she was Global Clinical Development Lead for Shire HGT and Executive Medical Director of Metabolic Disorders at Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Kreher began her career as Director, Medical Affairs at Serono and Medical Director at Genzyme. She received her M.D. from East Carolina University, her B.S. in biology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.S. in clinical research from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Dr. Kreher holds an executive MBA from Northeastern University Graduate School of Business Administration.

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