Raymond Chavez, PhD., VP of Research and Development

Dr. Chavez has deep experience in drug discovery and early stage drug development with a particular focus on CNS therapies. He was an Associate Director at Avigen, Inc., where he focused on preclinical development and pain programs. He has also worked as a scientist at Neurex, Inc., and Elan Pharmaceuticals. Since the earliest discovery phases, he has been a key collaborator with the Watkins laboratory in the development of XT-101.

Mike Huston, Senior Director Operations

Mr. Huston has over 30 years of experience in biopharmaceutical development and commercialization. Starting with a published background in basic and discovery research, his career led to increasing responsibilities in clinical and regulatory operations and for the last 20 years has led interdisciplinary teams in the successful development of several therapeutic small molecules and biologics for indications in neurology, autoimmunity, oncology, and infectious diseases. Mr. Huston has been a Senior Director of Project Management and Operations at Forest Laboratories and served in similar capacity for small startups and mid-tier biopharmaceutical firms as part of his consulting company, Huston Associates, LLC.

John Forsayeth, Chief Scientific Officer

John Forsayeth was awarded his Ph. D. in Biochemistry by Monash University, Australia, in 1984. He then undertook post-doctoral studies in the Department of Physiology at the University of California San Francisco. In 1989, he joined the Department of Anesthesia at UCSF as junior faculty until he took up a senior research position with Neurex Corporation (Menlo Park, CA) at the end of 1996. Following acquisition of Neurex by Elan Pharmaceuticals, he served as Principal Scientist and founded a Parkinson’s Disease Research Program. In 2002, he joined Avigen Inc. (Alameda, CA) as Director of Neurobiology until his return to UCSF in the Department of Neurological Surgery. He is now Emeritus Professor in that Department. Dr. Forsayeth has published extensively in neurobiology, especially in gene therapy with a total of 109 peer-reviewed papers, and served as a grant reviewer for NIH-NINDS from 2010 until 2015.