Meet the 

Team

AazeinTx is led by an experienced management team that has extensive expertise in clinical development, basic science, and business development. The advisory board includes neurological experts who specialize in TRPV1 Modulation.

Management & Clinical Team

Jeff Miller Headshot
Jeff Miller
MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Richard Headshot Cropped
Dr. Richard Wilson
PHD
Chief Scientific Officer, Co-Founder
Lawrence-1
Dr. Lawrence Korngut
MD MSC FRCPC
Chief Medical Officer, Co-Founder
Janet Petrillo​
MSC
Director, Clinical Development
Mark-1
Mark Starratt
ICD.D, FEA, BCOMM
Board Member, Co-Founder
Gord-1
Gordon Anderson
B. ADMIN., TEP, ICD.D, FEA, CFA
Board Member, Co-Founder

Scientific Advisory Board

Gail-1
Dr. Gail Gauvreau
PHD
Principal Investigator
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Dr. Morris Scantlebury
MB.BS., M.D., Diplomate ABPN, CSCN (EEG)
Kem Headshot
Dr. Kem Payza
MD
Bill Brown Headshot
Dr. Bill Brown
PHD MSC
Dan-1
Dr. Dan Chiche
MD MSC
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Jeff Miller
MBA
Chief Executive Officer

Jeff brings more than 25 years of business and leadership experiences from the biotech/pharmaceutical industry.  He has worked across businesses at the start-up, growth, and mature stages, possessing a combination of strategic, operational, financial, and entrepreneurial expertise.  Jeff was born and raised in the United States, yet has lived abroad for nearly a quarter of his career. He is the first member of KASTx team to be based outside of Canada, as Jeff will represent the company from his home in the Northeastern US, directly in the center of the biotech hub of innovation.    

After earning his MBA from the Boston University Questrom School of Business, he embarked on a career that has spanned large, mid-size, and small companies such as Alnylam, Alexion, Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Merck Serono. Jeff has held leadership roles at the global, regional, and country level, as a program general manager, head of international strategy, regional manager, and head of marketing, among others.  Most recently, he founded and served as the General Manager of Alnylam Canada.  Jeff also possesses a diverse background in functional experiences across corporate strategy, commercial, research and development, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, legal, Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control (CMC), finance, and business development, as well as extensive therapeutic area knowledge in rare diseases, oncology, primary care, and specialty care.   

Jeff is co-founder of TSP Therapeutics, a member of the advisory boards at Nami Therapeutics, Lumiio, and Modelis, and is a former member of the board of directors at BIOTECanada.  

Dr. Richard Wilson
PHD
Chief Scientific Officer, Co-Founder

Professor Richard Wilson is the Chief Scientific Officer with AazeinTx, bringing in over 30 years of neuroscience expertise and over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Wilson is an international leader in investigating cardiorespiratory control.  

With undergraduate (University of Sussex), PhD (University of Glasgow) and Post Doctoral (University of California San Diego; New York Medical College; University of Calgary) training in neuroscience, Wilson has a deep passion for studying the brain. For the last 25 years, Wilson’s research has focus on the autonomic nervous system, particularly cardiorespiratory control, respiratory chemosensitivity, and the biological mechanisms and potential treatments of associated diseases including asthma.  

Wilson is an Alberta Innovates Senior Scholar, runs an active federally-funded research laboratory at the University of Calgary, co-leads the University’s neurotechnology innovation and commercialization training program BRAIN CREATE and serves as the Scientific Advisor for a Calgary-based disease-related society.  

Dr. Lawrence Korngut
MD MSC FRCPC
Chief Medical Officer, Co-Founder

Lawrence is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of AazeinTx, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing an oral small molecule therapeutic targeting a novel neural-mediated airway reflex pathway to rapidly reverse asthmatic bronchoconstriction.

Lawrence is also the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Lumiio, a successful digital health company focusing on the end-to-end development and operation of data platforms (registries) that facilitate the collection of patient data through clinician networks to provide insights into disease natural history and effects of therapies. Dataffinity is currently managing national and multi-national projects in 7 countries through partnerships with multiple research networks and major pharmaceutical companies.

Lawrence is a neurologist with extensive experience in the design of clinical development programs and the design and conduct clinical trials of new therapies for different muscle and nerve diseases. He has published over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has advised a multitude of pharmaceutical companies in the clinical development process from pre-clinical through to regulatory and health technology assessment.

Lawrence is a Neuromuscular Neurologist specializing in diseases of the muscles and nerves. He is the Director of the Calgary Neuromuscular Program. He serves as Director, Innovation and Commercialization, at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary.

Janet Petrillo
MSC
Director, Clinical Development

Janet Petrillo has more than 15 years of experience leading site clinical trials resulting in over 130 clinical trials conducted, 15 of which include supervision and project management. For the last 10 years she has led Neuromuscular Research activities.

Previously Ms. Petrillo was responsible for HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials. In her past role she led the transition from a small number and scope of studies to the development of a successful Phase 1, 2, and 3 Research Unit. She established a consistent and noteworthy track record leading global recruitment and achieving maximum site metrics, becoming a Top Performer Globally in multiple diseases.

Her experience in all levels of Clinical Research Administration, knowledge of Health Canada processes, and Ethics requirements has been a valuable resource in her roles and also as a national leader within the clinical research community. 

Mark Starratt
ICD.D, FEA, BCOMM
Director, Co-Founder

After 25 years in the financial services industry, Mark retired from the wealth management industry in December 2018.  Prior to that he had worked as a Partner, Director Wealth Management and Portfolio Manager with Richardson GMP Ltd. and was First Vice President with a major bank-owned brokerage firm for more than a decade.  He and his brother Scott were business partners for more than 21 years.

Outside of his vocation, Mark served on the Board of Governors at the University of Calgary and was Vice Chair of the Investment Committee and member of the Executive Committee.  Mark is a passionate Rotarian and became one of the youngest District Governors in 2008/09 in the Rotary world when he served District 5360, representing Southern Alberta and Western Saskatchewan.  

Mark recently completed a 4-year term as a Director of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada and currently sits on both the Calgary Rotary Clubs Foundation and the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Cumming School of Medicine. In April 2013, Mark and his wife Jennifer formed The Starratt Family Foundation to advance neuromuscular disease education and research and to help improve accessibility for those with disabilities. Mark serves on several private company boards and leads a Single Family Office based in Alberta.

Gordon Anderson
B. ADMIN., TEP, ICD.D, FEA, CFA
Director, Co-Founder

Gord has over 30 years financial services experience with his last role as President of Cidel Trust Company, a national trust company and asset management firm. Other senior positions with CIBC and RBC included senior leadership, corporate strategy, corporate services, governance, sales management, investment management, fiduciary services, philanthropic planning, cross border structuring, risk management, and training and development.

As President of Cidel Trust, Gord led the creation of a national trust company, was responsible for institutional asset management for Western Canada and also created a national indigenous strategy as well as building out strategic relationships with ATB and Richardson GMP. At RBC, Gord’s last role was Joint Head of the Caribbean (Barbados, Cayman and the Bahamas) for RBC International Wealth Management responsible for discretionary asset management, RBC Dominion Securities, global custody, captive insurance, and fund administration, as well as trust and corporate services based out of Barbados.

Gord serves on several for profit and not for profit boards and is currently Chapter Chair for YPO Gold Alberta. Gord is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA),  Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP),  Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA), and Corporate Director (ICD.D).

Gord is the Founder and CEO of Anchor Wealth Advisory, a consulting firm that focuses on governance and strategy for successful families. Gord also has a deep passion for Indigenous Economic Development.

Dr. Gail Gauvreau
PHD
Principal Investigator

Dr. Gail Gauvreau completed her BSc (Biological Science) and MSc (Clinical Studies) at the University of Guelph, Ph.D. (Medical Science) at McMaster University, and Postdoctoral Fellowship (Clinical Immunology) at Johns Hopkins University.

Gail’s research interests include studying the mechanisms of allergic inflammation and identifying novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of allergic diseases.

Gail’s lab, the Cardiorespiratory Research Laboratory in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, specializes in measurements of sputum-derived cells from patients with asthma. Using human models of disease, her work is uncovering the impact of airway inflammation on lung function using targeted inhibition to block key cellular pathways required for developing allergen-induced airway responses.

Dr. Morris Scantlebury
MB.BS., M.D., Diplomate ABPN, CSCN (EEG)
Advisory Board

Dr. Morris Scantlebury is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. He also is a pediatric neurologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary and is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute for child and maternal health with a lab in the developmental epilepsy research program. Dr. Scantlebury has a broad background in pediatric epilepsy research, specifically in the development and characterization of animal models of pediatric epilepsy syndromes. His current research focus is to identify new treatments for the catastrophic infantile spasms syndrome. Dr. Scantlebury also investigates the mechanisms of febrile seizures, which is the most common form of seizures to affect children.

Dr. Kem Payza
MD
Advisory Board

Dr. Kemal Payza received his PhD in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of Florida in 1988. He has 27 years of successful pharmaceutical experience in drug discovery processes. He has made contributions to 17 candidate drugs, several of which advanced in phase II trials.

In 1994, Payza became one of the founding members of the Astra Pain Research Unit in Montreal, Quebec, and aided in building a team to characterize new compounds at drug targets. There he also established the In Vitro pharmacology group.

Payza would go on to found and head the department of molecular pharmacology, after the AstraZeneca merger, where he contributed to global teams running lead generation, lead optimization, analgesia strategy, and portfolio management. For eight years Payza also served as project director at the NEOMED Institute (now adMare BioInnovations) where he directed the progression of a number of drug discovery projects (including the P2X3 antagonist project until licensing it to Bellus Health). Moreover, Payza was leading the Montreal in vitro pharmacology arm of the TRPV1 antagonist project at AstraZeneca, Neomed and adMare, and was instrumental in building a case for NEO6860 in respiratory indications.

Payza is now Chief Operating Officer of Nimium Therapeutics where he is co-directing a research program to develop activators of Glycerol-3P Phosphatase for obesity and T2D.

Dr. Bill Brown
PHD MSC

Dr. Brown received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Ottawa and postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford and Duke Universities. He has co-authored 39 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is an inventor on 33 patents including the discovery of NEO6860.

Dr. Brown has more than thirty years of experience in the discovery and development of small molecule drugs. He held several senior level positions in companies including BioChem Pharma, Astrazeneca and the Neomed Institute.

He is an accomplished drug discovery scientist and has led multiple projects in the field of virology, oncology and CNS, with an emphasis on pain. Dr. Brown’s efforts have led to the advancement of seven compounds into Phase II studies.

Dr. Brown is currently at Paraza Pharma as Senior Director, Chemical Sciences.

Dr. Dan Chiche
MD MSC
Advisory Board

Dan Chiche MD, MSc, has a successful 20 year career history in the top tier pharmaceutical companies (Glaxo and Bristol-Myers Squibb) as an executive in Clinical Research and Medical Affairs.

Dan is a Medical Doctor with additional training in biostatistics (Master) and business administration.

He was NEOMED’s Chief Medical Officer, a novel type of organization which pioneer an approach to bridge the gap between early innovations and the health care needs of society.

He has been involved in key clinical development of compounds in various therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases, HIV, hepatitis, influenza, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, COPD, asthma, pain, fibrosis and oncology and is fully familiarized with clinical research standards: ICH, FDA and EMA.

As an executive manager, he has been directly involved in the optimization of human resources and processes to deliver, on schedule, high quality outputs in clinical research and medical affairs.

In 2007, Dan founded Kompas Medical Services Inc., a company providing services to Biotechs, Pharmas, and other institutions. Dan was a member of board of directors of 3 biotechnology companies based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.