Advisory Board


Elaine M. Phillips, Ph.D.
Dr. Phillips is President and CEO of Meritage Pharma Inc. She is a senior pharmaceutical industry executive with more than 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical product development and commercialization, including aerosol formulations, CMC, solid state characterization, and package development. She is the former Senior Vice President, Technical Operations of Verus Pharmaceuticals Inc. Prior to joining Verus, Dr. Phillips held senior management positions at Dura Pharmaceuticals and Elan Corporation and was a founding partner at ProPharmaCon, LLC, a product development and regulatory consulting company. Dr. Phillips earned her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from Virginia Commonwealth University, a B.SC. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and performed post-doctoral studies in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Kansas. She has published numerous research articles on the study of crystal growth, aerosol delivery, controlled release and pharmaceutical applications of super critical fluids.

Elias Meezan, Ph.D.
Advisory Board,
Co-inventor of the Intravail® technology

Dr. Meezan is Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He served on the faculties of Duke University and the University of Arizona before coming to UAB as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, a position he held for ten years. Dr. Meezan received his Ph.D. at Duke University and was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T. and the California Institute of Technology. He is the author and co-author of more than 100 scientific publications and has developed several innovative technologies including the first widely used methods for the isolation of brain and retinal microvessels and for the isolation of basement membrane and extracellular matrix which have been employed in many studies relevant to the biology of these tissue components in health and disease. His current research is focused on the biochemical pharmacology of the alkylmaltosides and their applications for the treatment of diabetes and cystic fibrosis as well as in drug delivery.

Dennis J. Pillion, Ph.D.
Advisory Board,
Co-inventor of the Intravail® technology

Dr. Pillion holds his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Medical College of Georgia and served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Czech at Brown University and is currently is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology at the UAB School of Medicine. Dr. Pillion has been interested in various aspects of diabetes research and education for the past 24 years. His laboratory has investigated insulin binding and action in isolated tissues and cells. Currently, he is studying the possibility of delivering insulin and other drugs at therapeutic levels using ocular, nasal or oral formulations containing novel absorption-enhancing agents. Dr. Pillion also serves as the Course Director for the Medical Pharmacology courses offered to 161 medical students, 55 dental students and 44 optometry students each year at UAB.Dr. Pillion currently serves as the Director of Staff Education, and Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for Alabama’s Camp for Children with Diabetes. He also serves as President of the American Diabetes Association, Birmingham Leadership Council. Dr. Pillion is co-founder of the Diabetes Care Network of Alabama, a start-up company in Birmingham, Alabama involved in delivering diabetes education to employees in the workplace setting.

Stephen M. Chang, Ph.D.
Dr. Chang is President of publicly traded MultiCell Technologies Inc. which specializes in innovative cell immortalization techniques leading to the reproducible creation of highly functional cell lines and therapeutic products. He is also CEO of privately held Astral Therapeutics, a San Diego biotechnology company developing novel therapies for diabetes and other autoimmune diseases and President of CURES ( a coalition of patient advocates, biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies and venture capitalists dedicated to ensuring the safety, research and development of innovative life saving medications. Dr Chang is an active board member of BIOCOM, San Diego’s premier life sciences organization. Dr. Chang was chief science officer and vice president of Canji Inc./Schering Plough Research Institute in San Diego from 1998 to 2004, managing four large external biotech corporate partnerships with Transgene, Myriad Genetics, Genzyme and Immune Response. From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Chang was director of research for Chiron Viagene, and Chiron Inc., where he headed four research departments: genetic programs, viral therapeutics and delivery, cancer therapeutics and gene transfer immunology and immunobiology. He has filed more than 40 patents worldwide and is extensively published.

Jack J. Florio
Mr. Florio has over 28 years of US and global experience with Eli Lilly and Company in sales, marketing, business development, and new product planning and development. He held various pharmaceutical management positions with Lilly including Team Leader – Global Late Life Cycle Products Team; Executive Director – European Marketing, and Director – Global Pharmaceutical Pricing Development. During his career at Lilly, Mr. Florio actively directed product launch activities from a variety of functional or geographic perspectives including neuroscience, gastrointestinal, anti infectives, and hospital products that have included products such as PROZAC, ZYPREXA, AXID, LORABID, among others.Since moving to San Diego several years ago, Mr. Florio has assumed interim management positions focused primarily on corporate and business development in a number of life science companies. He is on the Board of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels, ChemNavigator, and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. Mr. Florio received an MBA in Marketing and APC in Management from New York University and a B.S. in Pharmacy from Columbia University, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences.