Management

Maria Palasis, Ph.D.
Maria Palasis, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Maria Palasis, Ph.D., is an accomplished scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and healthcare industry leader who has led the development of multiple highly successful medical device and drug delivery systems. She is considered one of the pioneers of drug-eluting stents, currently over a ~$6B annual commercial market.

Dr. Palasis has served as Lyra’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of its board of directors since January 2015. Previously, she was the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer from 2011 to 2015. Prior to Lyra Therapeutics, Dr. Palasis was President and CEO of both Arsenal Medical and its spin-out, 480 Biomedical. At Arsenal Medical and 480 Biomedical, she secured a strategic partnerships with large medical device companies and was instrumental in leading the company from pre-clinical into clinical development on multiple programs. As an excutive, she has led the raising of  over $300M of private and public proceeds from investors and non-dilutive government and strategic funding.

From 1995 to 2008, Dr. Palasis served in senior leadership roles at Boston Scientific Corporation, Inc., where she spearheaded major strategic alliances with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, led due diligence on investments, and managed a portfolio of external biotechnology and medical device investments totaling $170M. She was an early member of the team that created the TAXUS® drug-eluting stent, the single most important revenue generator for the company at the time, a $3B annual product.

Dr. Palasis is an inventor on more than 120 issued and pending patents related to drug eluting medical implants and drug delivery systems. She was elected into the National Academy of Engineering in 2021 for outstanding contributions to the design of medical devices and drug delivery systems. Dr. Palasis serves on the Board of Directors of PanTher Therapeutics and is on the Advisory Board of MedExecWomen, a non-profit focused on empowering female executives in medical technology. She holds a B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.

Jason Cavalier
Jason Cavalier
Chief Financial Officer

Jason Cavalier has more than two decades of investment banking leadership experience. Mr. Cavalier has extensive background in originating and executing financial transactions, particularly mergers and acquisitions. Most recently, he served as a Managing Director and the Head of Life Sciences Mergers and Acquisitions at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he led transactions across the medical technology, diagnostics and biopharma sectors. Prior to Cantor, Mr. Cavalier held senior-level positions at RBC Capital Markets, primarily focused on advising senior management and board directors on a range of strategic advisory assignments and capital markets transactions. He also held investment banking roles of increasing responsibility at Barclays Capital, Bear Stearns, and Lehman Brothers.  Mr. Cavalier holds a B.S. in Applied Economics and Business Management from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Robert Kern, M.D.
Robert Kern, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Kern has 30 years of experience in the ear, nose and throat field and is a practicing otolaryngologist with a subspecialty interest in rhinology. He also remains in his current position as the George A. Sisson Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Kern is the immediate past president of the American Rhinologic Society and current President of the International Society of Inflammation and Allergy of the Nose. He joined the Northwestern faculty over two decades ago and was appointed as Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology in 2006. His ENT clinical practice focuses around complex sinonasal disease and endoscopic skull base surgery and he has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Kern attended medical school at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and completed an otolaryngology residency at Wayne State University as well as a two-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) research training fellowship. He has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.

Corinne Noyes
Corinne Noyes
Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy & Market Development

Corinne Noyes has more than 20 years of commercial experience working with pharmaceutical companies from seed-stage ventures to multi-national corporations. Prior to Lyra she worked as a strategic advisor and independent biopharmaceutical consultant providing commercial leadership to emerging life sciences companies, including, among others, AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Avila Therapeutics, Inc. (Celgene Corporation), Adnexus Therapeutics Inc. (Bristol-Myers Squibb Company), Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cubist Pharmaceuticals (Merck & Co), Editas Medicine, Inc., and Mersana Therapeutics, Inc. Previously, Corinne held commercial leadership positions at Biogen in global new product planning and marketing. She began her life sciences career in the New York pharmaceutical practice of Deloitte Management Consulting. She holds a B.A. in Humanities and a B.B.A. in Business from St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. in finance from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Robert Richard, Ph.D.
Robert Richard, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations

Bob Richard has over 30 years of experience in the development and commercialization of medical device and drug-device combination products. Most recently he served as Vice President of R&D for Anika therapeutics. Previously he held R&D leadership positions at Hyalex Orthopedics, C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson. He is an inventor on 39 U.S. Patents and has authored 16 peer reviewed publications in the areas of biomaterials and drug delivery. He holds a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry and plastics engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell as well as a B.S. in chemistry and a B.S. in biology from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Vineeta Belanger, Ph.D.
Vineeta Belanger, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs

Vineeta Belanger brings 20 years of clinical experience in the biotechnology industry with clinical expertise in the development of drugs, medical devices and combination products. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Clinical Affairs for Avedro, Inc. Previously, she held several key positions in clinical research and clinical operations at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in her career, she worked in the clinical organizations of Boston Scientific, NeuroVision, and Alcon. Prior to joining the industry, Vineeta provided patient care as an optometrist. She has authored several publications and abstracts. She holds a Ph.D. in physiological optics and vision science from the University of Houston and a B.S. degree in optometry from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Pamela Nelson
Pamela Nelson
Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs

Pamela Nelson has more than 25 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, with regulatory expertise in drugs and drug/device combination products across a range of therapeutic areas. Before joining Lyra, Pamela served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at Avedro, where she successfully led the company’s regulatory efforts for its first drug/device combination product from development, through FDA approval, and into commercial launch.  Previously, she held regulatory positions at Alnara Pharmaceuticals, Altus Pharmaceuticals, Alkermes and Genzyme.  Pamela holds a bachelor’s degree in english and a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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