Leadership Team

John Alam, MD

Chief Executive Officer

John Alam serves as the Chief Executive Officer at CervoMed, co-founding the company (formerly known as EIP Pharma) in 2014. John is an industry leader in translational medicine with over 30 years of experience creating value to help build companies through clinical development success.

Until May 2014, he was therapeutic area head for diseases of aging at Sanofi, where he led all discovery and development activities directed at Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a number of other age-related diseases including sarcopenia/frailty, osteoarthritis, chronic pain and many others. From 1997 to 2008, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, including Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, Medicines Development. At Vertex, he played major roles in the development of novel innovative medicines for HIV, Hepatitis C and Cystic Fibrosis. Prior to Vertex, Alam led clinical development of Avonex (interferon beta-1a) for multiple sclerosis at Biogen from 1991 to 1997.

John is a member of the board of directors of the Alliance for Aging Research (AAR), a Washington, D.C. based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting innovation to address the healthcare needs of older Americans. He received a MD from Northwestern University School of Medicine and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, he completed an internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a post-doctoral fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Robert J. Cobuzzi, Jr., Ph.D

Chief Operating Officer

Robert Cobuzzi serves as the Chief Operating Officer at CervoMed, joining the company in August 2023. Robert has over 25 years of cross-functional leadership experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries across the areas of corporate development, research & development, and operations.

Previously, Robert served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Diffusion Pharmaceuticals from 2020 until 2023. From 2005 until 2018, he held a variety of senior roles in corporate development, R&D and operations at Endo International Plc, including most recently as President, Endo Ventures Limited in Dublin, Ireland. Prior to Endo, he was with Adolor Corporation from 2001 until 2005. Robert began his career in 1995 at AstraMerck in clinical operations before joining Centocor (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) in Worldwide Regulatory Affairs from 1999 to 2001.

Robert also currently serves as a Venture Partner for Sunstone Life Science Ventures and also is Chairman of Sunstone’s Business Development Board. He was previously a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Health/Science Products and Services, and served as a board member for two development-stage medical device companies. Robert holds an AB in Biochemistry and Art History from Colby College and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from Loyola University Chicago. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.

William Tanner, Ph.D

Chief Financial Officer

William (Bill) Tanner serves as the Chief Financial Officer at CervoMed, joining the company (formerly known as EIP Pharma) in September 2022. Bill has more than 25 years of experience in equity research, life science corporate development, capital raising and investment banking.

He most recently served as Co-founder and CFO of ImmunoGenesis, a clinical stage immuno-oncology company formed around assets licensed from the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He previously spent 20 years as a biotech and biopharma research analyst for leading healthcare investment banks including Vector Securities, SG Cowen, Leerink Swann, Lazard Capital Markets and Guggenheim Securities. He has been involved in raising billions of dollars for public and private life science companies.

Bill holds a PhD in Physiology from Texas A&M University and completed post-doctoral training in Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Cell Biology and in the Center for Immunology.

Kelly Blackburn, MHA

Senior Vice President, Clinical Development

Kelly Blackburn serves as CervoMed's Senior Vice President of Clinical Development, joining the company (formerly known as EIP Pharma) in May 2018. She has more than 30 years of experience in clinical development operations.

Most recently, Kelly served as Vice President, Clinical Affairs at aTyr Pharma and as Vice President, Clinical Development Operations at Vertex. Of note, she held the senior global clinical operational responsibility for three major novel therapeutics: Kalydeco® for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, Incivek® for hepatitis C, and Velcade® for multiple myeloma.

Kelly is Chair of the board of directors of the Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center, Cambridge MA; and long-standing volunteer case reviewer and emergency foster care mother for the Department of Children and Families in Massachusetts. She has an MHA degree from Quinnipiac University and a BS degree in Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire.

William Elder

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

William (Bill) Elder serves as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at CervoMed, joining the company in August 2023. He is an attorney with nearly a decade of experience advising public and private companies in a variety of corporate, securities, governance, regulatory, and general commercial matters.

Prior to joining CervoMed, Bill served as Diffusion Pharmaceutical’s General Counsel from September 2020 to August 2023 and as its Principal Financial Officer from June 2023 to August 2023, after starting as a consultant for Diffusion in July 2020. Previously, Bill spent eight years as an associate at the law firm of Dechert LLP, counseling clients in a broad range of transactions and other matters, including serving as outside counsel to Diffusion in connection with the Company’s reverse merger in 2016 and several subsequent financings.

Bill received a JD from the University of Pennsylvania School in Law, an MSF from Villanova University, and a BA in Economics from Tufts University.

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