STAT3 Therapeutics is an oncology-focused company


At STAT3 Therapeutics, we are dedicated to developing and commercializing drugs that target the activated STAT3 molecule. Our unique approach arrests the activity of the STAT3 dimer using a cyclic decoy that binds to the molecule in a way that is both specific and impactful, without significant toxic side effects.

Meet Our Expert Team

  
 

Matthew Kim

JD
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Founder | Corporate Development & Finance


An accomplished leader and serial entrepreneur, Matthew H.J. Kim brings more than 20 years of experience encompassing business and corporate development, intellectual property monetization, and commercialization of various product launches to his leadership role at STAT3 Therapeutics. Prior to founding STAT3 Therapeutics, Matthew successfully founded Vigilant Biosciences, a company that develops solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of head and neck cancer. Inspired by both his parents’ battle to overcome their affliction with head and neck cancer, Matthew was instrumental in Vigilant’s corporate development and financing efforts including raising $20MM in both investor and grant funding to advance technology exclusively licensed from the University of Miami from concept to commercialization. Additionally, Matthew played a key role in establishing strategic partnerships and leading efforts to develop the company’s pipeline. Before Vigilant Biosciences, Matthew was involved in the founding of several start-ups, including a lung disease-focused specialty pharmaceutical spin-off from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Matthew received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and his Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Among his past honors and recognitions include being awarded BioFlorida’s Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his extraordinary contributions to the growth of Florida’s life sciences industry in the leadership of a company.

  
 

David Johnston

PhD
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Co-Founder | Product & Clinical Development


David Johnston, PhD is a senior pharmaceutical executive with extensive experience in preclinical and clinical drug development, regulatory affairs and product commercialization. Over the last 10 years he has conducted a thriving consultancy and interim executive management business supporting a variety of companies in strategic and cost effective drug development. From 2004 through 2007 he was Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Nektar Therapeutics and Chairman of Nektar India, where his responsibilities included planning and operations for drug delivery, including inhalation technologies, pegylation technology, clinical development, regulatory affairs and safety, quality control and assurance for clinical supplies, and product and device development.

Prior to Nektar, he was Chief Development Officer and Vice President Operations for Control Delivery Systems where Dr. Johnston oversaw co-development of the Retisert™ product, marketed by Bausch and Lomb for the treatment of uveitis. He has previously held executive leadership positions with AAI International and Oread, Inc., both contract research organizations providing product development and support services for pharmaceuticals, biologics and medical devices. Dr. Johnston earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry from St. Andrews University (Scotland) and completed postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Medicinal research (Heidelberg, Germany).

  
 

Jennifer Grandis

MD
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Scientific Founder & Advisor


Jennifer R. Grandis, MD, is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, and she is the Associate Vice Chancellor—Clinical and Translational Research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, and she completed her internship from the same institution. Dr. Grandis completed both a residency and an Infectious Disease fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania (UPMC). Prior to joining UCSF, Dr. Grandis was the UPMC Endowed Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Surgical Research and Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology and Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh. She led the Head and Neck Cancer Program and was the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Otolaryngology.

Dr. Grandis’s research focuses on the signal transduction in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) development and progression with the ultimate goal of targeting key pathways for therapeutic benefit by taking key findings from the clinic, investigating mechanisms in a series of preclinical models as well as developing novel therapeutic approaches in the laboratory, and carrying out innovative clinical trials that employ these treatment strategies.

Dr. Grandis is an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. She has published over 260 peer-reviewed articles. She has also contributed to more than 50 review articles and book chapters.

  
 

Christine Neipert

PhD
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Co-Founder | Intellectual Property & Strategic Alliances


Christine Neipert, PhD is a passionate entrepreneur in the healthcare space. Prior to joining STAT3 Therapeutics, she co-founded a healthcare delivery practice and served as its director of operations for 5 years. Dr. Neipert has worked as a consultant for Baird Capital to assist with investment target diligence as well as served as the operations and intellectual property director for a renal therapeutics start-up company. Prior to this experience, Dr. Neipert was an intellectual property licensing manager at the University of Miami, and an in-house intellectual property technical specialist for private industry. Dr. Neipert received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from USF and subsequently became a Registered US Patent Agent.

  
 

Dan Johnson

PhD
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Scientific Co-Founder & Advisor


Daniel Johnson, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the University of California, San Francisco. He obtained a bachelor of science in chemistry and a bachelor of arts in mathematics, both from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Johnson earned his MA and PhD in molecular biology from Princeton University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining UCSF Otolaryngology, Dr. Johnson was a Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, and Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Johnson was also the Scientific Director of the Acute Leukemia Working group at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Dr. Johnson has published 68 original papers and 21 reviews and book chapters, and is Editor for the book entitled “Cell Death Signaling in Cancer Biology and Treatment”. He has maintained continuous NIH funding as a principal investigator since 1995, and has served as a standing member for both NIH and ACS study sections. Dr. Johnson continues to play an active role on multiple review panels for the NIH, VA, and other granting agencies. Since 2001 he has served as a Section Editor for Leukemia, the top-ranked journal for hematologic malignancies, and has also served as Editor for Cancer Research and Oncology Research. Dr. Johnson places a high priority on translating findings from his lab to the clinic, and has facilitated the development of clinical trials in both leukemia and head and neck cancer.

Meet Our Expert Team

  
 

Matthew Kim

JD
Open
Close
 
 

Founder | Corporate Development & Finance


An accomplished leader and serial entrepreneur, Matthew H.J. Kim brings more than 20 years of experience encompassing business and corporate development, intellectual property monetization, and commercialization of various product launches to his leadership role at STAT3 Therapeutics. Prior to founding STAT3 Therapeutics, Matthew successfully founded Vigilant Biosciences, a company that develops solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of head and neck cancer. Inspired by both his parents’ battle to overcome their affliction with head and neck cancer, Matthew was instrumental in Vigilant’s corporate development and financing efforts including raising $20MM in both investor and grant funding to advance technology exclusively licensed from the University of Miami from concept to commercialization. Additionally, Matthew played a key role in establishing strategic partnerships and leading efforts to develop the company’s pipeline. Before Vigilant Biosciences, Matthew was involved in the founding of several start-ups, including a lung disease-focused specialty pharmaceutical spin-off from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Matthew received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and his Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Among his past honors and recognitions include being awarded BioFlorida’s Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his extraordinary contributions to the growth of Florida’s life sciences industry in the leadership of a company.

  
 

David Johnston

PhD
Open
Close
 
 

Co-Founder | Product & Clinical Development


David Johnston, PhD is a senior pharmaceutical executive with extensive experience in preclinical and clinical drug development, regulatory affairs and product commercialization. Over the last 10 years he has conducted a thriving consultancy and interim executive management business supporting a variety of companies in strategic and cost effective drug development. From 2004 through 2007 he was Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Nektar Therapeutics and Chairman of Nektar India, where his responsibilities included planning and operations for drug delivery, including inhalation technologies, pegylation technology, clinical development, regulatory affairs and safety, quality control and assurance for clinical supplies, and product and device development.

Prior to Nektar, he was Chief Development Officer and Vice President Operations for Control Delivery Systems where Dr. Johnston oversaw co-development of the Retisert™ product, marketed by Bausch and Lomb for the treatment of uveitis. He has previously held executive leadership positions with AAI International and Oread, Inc., both contract research organizations providing product development and support services for pharmaceuticals, biologics and medical devices. Dr. Johnston earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry from St. Andrews University (Scotland) and completed postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Medicinal research (Heidelberg, Germany).

  
 

Jennifer Grandis

MD
Open
Close
 
 

Scientific Founder & Advisor


Jennifer R. Grandis, MD, is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, and she is the Associate Vice Chancellor—Clinical and Translational Research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, and she completed her internship from the same institution. Dr. Grandis completed both a residency and an Infectious Disease fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania (UPMC). Prior to joining UCSF, Dr. Grandis was the UPMC Endowed Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Surgical Research and Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology and Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh. She led the Head and Neck Cancer Program and was the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Otolaryngology.

Dr. Grandis’s research focuses on the signal transduction in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) development and progression with the ultimate goal of targeting key pathways for therapeutic benefit by taking key findings from the clinic, investigating mechanisms in a series of preclinical models as well as developing novel therapeutic approaches in the laboratory, and carrying out innovative clinical trials that employ these treatment strategies.

Dr. Grandis is an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. She has published over 260 peer-reviewed articles. She has also contributed to more than 50 review articles and book chapters.

  
 

Christine Neipert

PhD
Open
Close
 
 

Co-Founder | Intellectual Property & Strategic Alliances


Christine Neipert, PhD is a passionate entrepreneur in the healthcare space. Prior to joining STAT3 Therapeutics, she co-founded a healthcare delivery practice and served as its director of operations for 5 years. Dr. Neipert has worked as a consultant for Baird Capital to assist with investment target diligence as well as served as the operations and intellectual property director for a renal therapeutics start-up company. Prior to this experience, Dr. Neipert was an intellectual property licensing manager at the University of Miami, and an in-house intellectual property technical specialist for private industry. Dr. Neipert received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from USF and subsequently became a Registered US Patent Agent.

  
 

Dan Johnson

PhD
Open
Close
 
 

Scientific Co-Founder & Advisor


Daniel Johnson, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the University of California, San Francisco. He obtained a bachelor of science in chemistry and a bachelor of arts in mathematics, both from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Johnson earned his MA and PhD in molecular biology from Princeton University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining UCSF Otolaryngology, Dr. Johnson was a Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, and Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Johnson was also the Scientific Director of the Acute Leukemia Working group at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Dr. Johnson has published 68 original papers and 21 reviews and book chapters, and is Editor for the book entitled “Cell Death Signaling in Cancer Biology and Treatment”. He has maintained continuous NIH funding as a principal investigator since 1995, and has served as a standing member for both NIH and ACS study sections. Dr. Johnson continues to play an active role on multiple review panels for the NIH, VA, and other granting agencies. Since 2001 he has served as a Section Editor for Leukemia, the top-ranked journal for hematologic malignancies, and has also served as Editor for Cancer Research and Oncology Research. Dr. Johnson places a high priority on translating findings from his lab to the clinic, and has facilitated the development of clinical trials in both leukemia and head and neck cancer.