Meet Our Board of Directors

Moise Khayrallah, Ph.D.

CEO, Emergo Therapeutics

Dr. Khayrallah has been involved in pharmaceutical drug development for 30 years in executive as well as research and development positions. He acquired his experience in diverse pharmaceutical environments including large pharmaceutical, contract research, and biotechnology companies. Emergo Therapeutics is his fifth startup biopharmaceutical company in the last 11 years. He is also currently Chairman of the Board of Target Pharma Solutions, a clinical data company that works with pharmaceutical partners and the Food and Drug Administration to better understand the natural history of diseases, including treatment outcomes in the real world setting. Prior to these current positions, Dr. Khayrallah co-founded and led QuatroBio, LLC; Aerial BioPharma, LLC; Neuronex Inc.; Addrenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Alius Pharma, LLC. He also has held positions at Cytran, Inc., Lineberry Research Associates (later Constella Group and SRI International) in RTP, NC; Burroughs Wellcome Co. and later Glaxo Wellcome. He holds a Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the American University of Beirut. Dr. Khayrallah is also actively involved with the entrepreneurial and social networks in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina.

Robin Hyde-DeRuyscher, Ph.D.

CSO, Emergo Therapeutics

Dr. Hyde-DeRuyscher has been in the biotech world for over 20 years as a researcher and executive. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Connecticut in 1989 with a focus on Virology. He carried out post-doctoral studies at Princeton University in the laboratory of Thomas Shenk extending his knowledge in virology and the control of gene expression. In 1996 he moved to North Carolina to become the first scientific employee at Novalon Pharmaceuticals where he carried out pivotal technology development enabling the company’s high-throughput screening platform for genomic targets. After Novalon was acquired by Karo Bio AB (Sweden), he stayed on and managed internal drug discovery efforts and external collaborations. Robin moved to Affinergy in 2003, focusing on enabling their peptide bridging technology and authoring multiple patents. In 2005 he moved to Biogen in RTP as part of the Manufacturing Sciences organization. He took on increasing levels of responsibility and was Associate Director responsible for global interactions with regulatory authorities for the approval of new products and inspections. He was involved in approvals for Avonex (2nd generation), Tysabri, Alprolix, Eloctate, and Plegridy. After Biogen, he became a consultant providing services in CMC and pre-clinical research. Emergo was conceived in early 2016 with his wife Nancy as they researched potential interventions into their daughter’s medical condition and they realized that mast cells presented opportunities as an untapped target that was involved in many disease states.

Bobby Helmedag, MBA

Managing Director, Rex Health Ventures

Bobby oversees the day-to-day operations of the fund. Bobby serves as the Rex Health Ventures Board representative for Midnight Pharma, Target PharmaSolutions and Phynd Technologies as well as having Board observer roles with Aerial BioPharma and Awarepoint.  He joined UNC REX Healthcare in 2010. Previously, Bobby worked for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in the Corporate Development group. He has also held positions with an investor group in Columbia, S.C., Citigroup and KPMG. Bobby received his International MBA from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, studying in Germany, England and Australia. He received his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame.

Meg Powell, MBA, Pharm.D.

Board Chair and Co-Founder, TARGET PharmaSolutions

Dr. Powell has over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry including assignments at McKinsey, Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline. Currently she is serving as Board Chair and is the Co-Founder of TARGET PharmaSolutions.
She has worked with multiple start-up companies while at Medgility, a consulting firm focused on Strategy and Business Development of Emerging Companies.  These include Qura Therapeutics, KemPharm, Inc, and most notably, Aerial Biopharma where she was the Interim VP of Corporate Development and was instrumental in the sale of ADX-N05 to Jazz Pharmaceuticals.
Prior to her work at Medgility, Dr. Powell was Vice President of the US Transformation Office at GlaxoSmithKline. She has in depth experience in sales and marketing for US and Global development programs at all stages – from Phase 1 to post patent expiry.
Dr. Powell received her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill where she was a Hollingsworth Scholar.  She also received a Master’s of Business Administration from Stanford University.

William (Bill) N. Wofford, J.D.

Life Sciences Practice Attorney, Hutchison PLLC

Bill is a corporate transactional lawyer and drug development entrepreneur. He leads the biopharmaceutical and life sciences practice at Hutchison, where his practice focuses on structuring and negotiating transactions for drug development, biotechnology, medical device and healthcare services companies and financial, strategic and philanthropic investors. Bill helps growing and established companies raise capital, acquire and out-license technology, collaborate with strategic partners and engage in mergers and acquisitions. He is also an investor in and advisor to various drug development companies and a principal with Arrivo Bioventures, a Research Triangle biopharmaceutical development company. Bill earned his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Virginia. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Eco Institute at Pickards Mountain and supports environmental, mental health and social justice causes.