Team

Lu

Guangrong Lu, MBBS

Medical Monitor

Guangrong Lu brings neuro-oncology expertise to the study team, which he gained through years of direct clinical study/patient care experiences working with an investigator team of neuro/medial/radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, neuropathologists and radiologists at UTHealth. Dr. Lu has managed more than 20 clinical trials and clinical research projects and has published a number of clinical research papers. Dr. Lu obtained his medical degree with honor from Wannan Medical College and earned two master’s degrees from Capital Institute of Pediatrics and Baylor University. Dr. Lu’s medical degree was certified by ECFMG, as equivalent to a US medical graduate.

Krystal Merdinger

Director, Clinical Operations and Data Management

Krystal manages the clinical trial data within various Electronic Data Capturing platforms, provides end-user support and training for the REDCap Cloud EDC System, creates reports for leadership, and manages regulatory documents for new and ongoing clinical trials. She joins Oncoceutics having most recently been a Clinical Research Systems Manager at Fox Chase Cancer Center in the Office of Clinical Research overseeing the clinical data for over 1300 clinical trials. She completed her B.S. in Public Health from Temple University minoring in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and her M.S. in Health Informatics from Temple University in May 2019. Krystal has worked in several clinical research settings such as behavioral and emergency medicine with Fox Chase Cancer Center and The Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Rohinton Tarapore, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Clinical Operations and Research

Rohinton manages the non-clinical studies and clinical trials, and drafts reports and communication material targeted for the FDA.  Dr. Tarapore received his PhD. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and did his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. While at Penn, he was co-chair of the Biomedical Postdoctoral Council, conceptualized the idea of hosting vendor shows & raised $65,000 for postdoctoral-related activities, and drafted several policies for enhancing the post-doctoral training at the institution. Dr. Tarapore has authored several research publications in cancer signaling, small molecules, inflammation, diabetes and toxicology and has a deep knowledge on signaling pathways that are de-regulated in oncology. Dr. Tarapore joined Oncoceutics at the beginning of 2015.

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Sebastian Franzinger

Vice President, Finance and Business Development

Sebastian joined Oncoceutics in 2017 and  is responsible for finance, business development, and corporate functions. He further supports senior management with investor and public relations. Immediately prior to joining Oncoceutics, Sebastian developed marketing and sales strategies for KREATIZE, a Berlin-based technology startup providing a platform for 3D printing companies. After earning his Master of Management from the University of Mannheim in Germany,  he worked at BASF, a global chemical company, in various roles, including Corporate Finance, Controlling and Internal Audit. While obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance, Sebastian worked at a public bank in corporate and private banking roles.

Varun

Varun Prabhu, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President, Research and Development

Varun is responsible for supporting preclinical activities, as well as pursuing opportunities for grants and research collaborations. He has worked collaboratively with Oncoceutics since 2012, as a researcher in the lab of scientific founder Dr. Wafik El-Deiry, on the mechanism of action, biomarkers and combinatorial efficacy of ONC201. Dr. Prabhu was the first to demonstrate the anti-cancer stem cell efficacy of ONC201. He has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications exploring cancer therapeutics targeting apoptosis pathways, tumor suppressor genes and stem cell self-renewal. He completed his B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Institute of Chemical Technology in India, received a M.S. in Biotechnology from the University at Buffalo, SUNY and earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from Pennsylvania State University. He has previously held research positions at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Fox Chase Cancer Center and OncoMed Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Prabhu has received several awards including the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award and an Innovation Award from MedImmune.