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Donald Payan M.D. Director
Caravan Biologix

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Over the past three decades, Dr. Don Payan has distinguished himself as a pioneering force in the biotechnology landscape. As the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of both Khepri and Rigel, he showcased a penchant for leadership by assembling and guiding dynamic multidisciplinary teams that made significant strides in Immunology, Oncology, and Muscle Wasting diseases. Among their notable achievements, they pioneered the first FDA-approved oral SYK inhibitor for an autoimmune condition and developed an impressive roster of 12 IND candidates. Beyond the lab, Dr. Payan has demonstrated business acumen by fostering pivotal collaborations with leading pharmaceutical firms and adeptly raising capital for his companies across private and public avenues.

His extensive contributions to medical literature are reflected in over 200 published articles and chapters. As an innovator, he holds over 90 patents to his name. Moreover, he's an esteemed member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. In terms of leadership roles outside his primary ventures, Dr. Payan was foundational to Sana Therapeutics, serving on its board between 2018 and 2020. He's contributed his expertise to the Scientific Advisory Boards of diverse entities, including Vividion, Terray Therapeutics, and Unnatural Products. Presently, he's on the Board of Directors for Aqualung Therapeutics, which is making strides in lung inflammation solutions. His tenure as co-interim CEO for Thyas Evade, now known as Shinobi, between 2022 and 2023, further underscores his multifaceted capabilities. He remains a guiding figure on Shinobi's Board of Directors and offers strategic advisement.

Delving into his educational journey, Dr. Payan acquired his BS in Physics and MD from the esteemed Stanford University and went on to earn an MS in Physics from MIT. He deepened his medical specialization with a residency in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Further refining his expertise, he pursued an Allergy Immunology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, another eminent Harvard affiliate. After these academic endeavors, he joined the faculty of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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