Tiburio’s leadership team of endocrine and rare disease experts is committed to building lasting relationships with patients, their families and the clinical community.
Abraham N. Ceesay
Chief Executive Officer
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
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 postdoctoral research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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.
Nerissa Kreher, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Nerissa Kreher is an accomplished physician executive and pediatric endocrinologist with more than a decade of biotech experience in Clinical Development and Medical Affairs. She has held leadership roles in both private, start-up biotechnology and public, large biotech companies. Her expertise is in the development of products for rare diseases spanning multiple therapeutic areas.
Nerissa has led the design and execution of multiple global rare disease clinical development programs, including ex vivo gene therapy programs for Fabry and Gaucher disease as well as others, including a program for retinopathy of prematurity. In addition, she has overseen the medical affairs build out for companies including Zafgen and Enobia (acquired by Alexion).
Nerissa holds multiple degrees, including an Executive MBA from Northeastern University, an MD from East Carolina University School of Medicine and an MS in Clinical Research from Indiana University. She is certified in Pediatric Endocrinology by the American Board of Pediatrics.
Imran Babar, PhD
Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer
Imran has a diverse range of experiences in the healthcare industry, including equity research, venture capital, company creation, consulting, and rare disease nonprofit management.
As the Chief Business Officer of Cydan, Imran co-founded Tiburio Therapeutics and played a key role in the company’s Series A financing. Imran joined Cydan from the venture capital team at OrbiMed Advisors where he was involved with a range of companies including Audentes (public), 89bio (public), resTOR bio (public), Dimension (acquired), True North (acquired), Neurogastrx, NeRRe, Arvinas (public), Synlogic (public), and others.
Prior to joining OrbiMed, Imran was a Biotechnology Associate at Cowen & Company where he covered over 20 companies. Imran also co-founded and serves as the Chief Scientific Officer for Rare Genomics Institute (RG), a nonprofit dedicated to helping rare disease patients since 2011. Imran completed his PhD in Molecular Biology at Yale University, where he was a HHMI Fellow and a Harvey Fellow. Prior to Yale, he completed his BA in Biology at Carleton College and conducted research at MIT and NIH.