Leadership Team

Kimberly Kelly, PhD founded and has led ZielBio for 5 years. Dr. Kelly is a biomedical engineer specializing in therapeutic target identification. She trained at Hamilton College in Chemistry before receiving her PhD at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. Dr. Kelly did a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital before becoming a Full Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia.  Dr. Kelly serves as reviewer and is on the editorial board of numerous scientific journals, including Molecular Imaging and Biology, Cancer Research, and as the President of the Center for Molecular Imaging Innovation and Translation in SNMMI. A frequent lecturer, she has published over 65 scientific manuscripts and is the inventor of over 20 granted patents and patent applications.

Dieter Weinand is an experienced executive with over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceuticals and biotech industries. Mr. Weinand presently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Replimune Group Inc. (NASDAQ: REPL). Previously, Mr. Weinand served as the Executive Vice President of Primary Care and was a member of the Executive Committee at Sanofi from November 2018 to March 2020. Before moving to Sanofi, he was CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer Pharma AG and member of the Management Board at Bayer AG. Prior to his work at Sanofi and Bayer, Mr. Weinand held various positions in commercial, operational, and strategic areas of the pharmaceutical industry. These included responsibilities spanning various therapeutic areas and geographies for companies such as Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Otsuka. Mr. Weinand is a former board member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries & Associations (EFPIA), and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA), and served as a member of the Board of Directors of HealthPrize Technologies.

Brian Schwartz, MD, has deep experience as a drug development expert in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Dr. Schwartz most recently served as Chief Medical Officer and head of Research and Development of ArQule, Inc. where he served as a key member of the management team and spearheaded a number of preclinical and clinical drug development programs in oncology and rare diseases. Prior to joining ArQule in 2008, Dr. Schwartz served as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, at Ziopharm Oncology, Inc., where he built and led clinical, regulatory, and quality assurance departments responsible for the development of new cancer drugs. Earlier in his career, Dr. Schwartz held positions of increasing responsibility at Bayer Healthcare and Leo Laboratories. Dr. Schwartz received his medical degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, practiced medicine, and worked at the University of Toronto prior to his career in the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr Schwartz currently serves as an advisor to the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and as a board member of several biotech companies.

Maria Beconi, Ph.D., brings over 20 years of leadership experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology research and development to ZielBio. Establishing key partnerships, she built discovery and early development portfolios that led to the advancement of several therapeutics to successful clinical development programs. She has supported over 30 international regulatory submissions and registrations for both human and animal health drugs in multiple therapeutic areas and modalities. Dr. Beconi was a member of the senior leadership team at Disc Medicine and Goldfinch Bio and is the former Chief Scientific Officer for Retrophin (now Travere). There, she built the research and early development infrastructure, pipeline, and hired and managed teams that, combined, resulted in the acquisition of three marketed products, licensing of one clinical stage compound, five orphan drug designations, four INDs, and one successful EoP2 trial. Before that, Dr. Beconi held leadership roles of increasing responsibility with the CHDI Foundation, Abbott Laboratories, Merck Research Labs and Pharmacia & Upjohn. She was a key contributor to the elucidation of the mechanisms of toxicity of a chemical class of DPP-IV inhibitors, which led to the discovery of Sitagliptin. Dr. Beconi, a native of Argentina, received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University. She has authored and co‑authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and meeting presentations. Dr. Beconi is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Gregg Beloff has more than 20 years of experience in the life science industry, ranging from venture-backed start-ups to publicly traded companies. Gregg is the co-founder and managing director of Danforth Advisors, a company focused on providing finance support and strategy for life science companies. He previously served as CFO of four public and over 20 privately held companies, during which time he managed finance, accounting, corporate communications, human resources, IT, facilities, legal, IP, business development and manufacturing functions. Gregg’s core expertise includes operational management, strategic planning and corporate and business development, fundraising and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to his CFO roles, Gregg was a life science investment banker with Adams, Harkness & Hill, where he underwrote financings for and provided buy- and sell-side M&A counsel to biotechnology, medical device, and healthcare information technology companies. He began his career as a corporate attorney with Gaffin & Krattenmaker, a Boston-based law firm. He received a BA from Middlebury College, a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.

Ramesh K. Ramanathan, M.D., joined ZielBio in 2022 as Vice President for Clinical Development. Prior to this appointment he was Executive Medical Director, Global Medical & Scientific Affairs, Merck Research Labs.

Dr. Ramanathan is a board certified medical oncologist. Prior academic appointments were at the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix campus, where he was Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Medical School with a joint appointment at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN). Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, he served as the medical director of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials Program. He completed fellowship training in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and served as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Dr. Ramanathan has 20+ years’ experience in new drug development. Dr. Ramanathan has contributed to the development of several new drugs (PARP, PI3K inhibitors, hedgehog inhibitors, liposomal formulations, etc.) and had a pivotal role in development and approval of oxaliplatin and nab-paclitaxel.  He has published more than 200 papers in peer reviewed journals, served on national professional committees, is an Editorial Board member for Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, Gastrointestinal Cancer Research and is an ad hoc reviewer for several other journals.