Leadership

Kevin Ryan
Co-Founder and Chairman

As Founder and CEO of AlleyCorp, Kevin Ryan co-founded MongoDB, Nomad Health, Business Insider, Gilt Groupe, and Zola. AlleyCorp recently launched the $100M AlleyCorp Healthcare Fund dedicated to investing in early-stage healthcare companies in New York City.‍ Earlier in his career, Kevin helped to grow DoubleClick first as President and then as CEO, leading their growth from a 20-person startup to a publicly traded global leader with over 1,500 employees, through IPO in 1998 and acquisition by Google in 2007. Kevin serves on the board of Mercy Corps, is Vice Chairman of The Partnership for New York City, is a member of the CFR Committee on Foreign Affairs, is on the Board of TECH:NYC and is Director Emeritus for Human Rights Watch. He previously served on the boards of the Yale Corporation, INSEAD, the Direct Marketing Association, The Ad Council, HotJobs and the advisory board of Doctors Without Borders. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from INSEAD.

Blake Mandell
Co-Founder and President

Blake previously led the frontier technology practice at AlleyCorp, where he helped incubate two companies in 2020 that have since raised >$20M in venture capital. He co-wrote the Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative’s Landscape Report and was a founding advisor to the PSFC Investment Circle.‍

Benjamin Kelmendi, MD
Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor

Ben is the Co-Director of the Yale Program for Psychedelic Science and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, one of the top-ranked psychiatry programs worldwide. He was the Principal Investigator on the first double-blind clinical trial investigating psilocybin in the treatment of OCD, and demonstrated early efficacy for esketamine. In 2021, Ben was the first recipient of a federal grant for clinical psychedelic research since 1967.‍

Martin Stogniew, PhD
Chief Development Officer

Marty was previously Chief Development Officer and Director at Oncoceutics, which was acquired by Chimerix in Q1 2021. He brings 39 years of senior executive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, and has led research and development resulting in FDA approval of nine New Drug Applications, issuance of 39 US patents, and five major biopharma exits for $3.5B in combined value.

Michael Perelman, MA, MB, BChir, FRCP
Chief Medical Officer

Michael joins the Transcend team, having guided development for twelve approved drugs, two of which generated >$1B in yearly sales. At Schering-Plough, acquired by Merck for >$40B, Michael oversaw drug development for two therapeutic areas that comprised 45% of the company's revenue. Earlier in his career, he worked as a reviewer at the Medicines Control Agency (UK's version of the FDA). Michael received his medical degree from Cambridge University and remains a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. Before joining Transcend, Michael served as the Chief Medical Officer at a number of companies, including Archimedes Pharma which was acquired for ~$400M and Emisphere which was acquired by Novo Nordisk.

Team

Megan Kelly
Chief of Staff

Megan previously worked as a Life Sciences consultant at Charles River Associates, focusing on commercial strategy for her clients across the pharmaceutical and biotechnology space. She pursued her early passion for mental health and psychopharmacology through the Cognitive Neuroscience program at The University of Pennsylvania.

Jennifer Schmidt, PhD
Director of Preclinical Research and Development

Jennifer brings over 25 years of neuroscience research experience from MIT (B.S.), Yale (Ph.D.) and the Rockefeller University (post-doctoral fellowship), where she worked closely with Ron Duman - who proposed the neurotrophic hypothesis of antidepressant activity- and Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard, studying neuropsychiatric diseases at molecular, cellular and behavioral levels. Prior to joining Transcend, Jennifer was the Director of R&D at Magnolia Neurosciences.

Sarah Olmstead, PhD
Senior Scientist

Sarah completed her PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of South Carolina under an interdisciplinary T32 grant. She was also a post-doctoral T32 awardee at the Johns Hopkins University, where she demonstrated that sleep fragmentation results in neuroinflammation independent of disease. After her postdoctoral work, she worked as a Principal Scientist at Longevity Biotech where she investigated the contribution of the adaptive immune system on neurodegenerative diseases and the efficacy of a novel peptide drug. Her career has focused on the effects of neuroinflammation on development and its contribution to neurological disease. Both her technical and analytical expertise, in addition to her grantsmanship, have contributed to more than $10 million in grant funding over the course of her career.

Advisors

Michael Apkon, MD PhD
Strategic Advisor

Dr. Michael Apkon, MBA, MD, PhD is the President of Sand Street Advisors, a healthcare management and strategy consultancy. Dr. Apkon is a physician executive and physician scientist who most recently served as the CEO at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and before that as the President and CEO at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Ontario. He has held faculty positions at the University of Toronto, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University’s School of Medicine and School of Management. He is also a strategic advisor at Transcend Therapeutics and scientific advisor at Integrated Investment Partners.

Brenton Fargnoli, MD
Board Member

Dr. Fargnoli is a Partner at AlleyCorp, where he leads the healthcare investments and incubations. Prior to AlleyCorp, Dr. Fargnoli was a Senior Medical Director at Flatiron Health. He previously worked at J.P. Morgan and Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Board certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Fargnoli is also a practicing physician. Dr. Fargnoli completed his residency at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, earning his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an MBA in Healthcare Management from the Wharton School.

Craig Nerenberg
Board Member

A founding funder of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research, Craig has been dedicated to supporting the reemergence of psychedelic therapies. From 2005-2018, he managed Brenner West Capital Partners, a hedge fund with over $1.5 billion in assets under management. He is the Chairman of Reconsider, Integrated's affiliated non-profit entity and serves on the board of SkyKick, a software company automating IT workflows in the cloud. He previously served on the board of Bowery Residents’ Committee, New York City’s leading homeless services organization and was chairman of Village Health Works, a community-based health center in Burundi, Africa.

Lee Schalop, MD
Advisor

Lee Schalop is biotech entrepreneur and angel investor. He co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Oncoceutics, Inc., a clinical-stage drug discovery and development company with a novel brain cancer drug, until its sale to Chimerix in January 2021. He previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer and prior to that as the company’s Chief Business Officer. Prior to co-founding Oncoceutics, Dr. Schalop attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, graduating with a doctor of medicine degree in 2008. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Schalop spent more than 19 years in the financial industry at a number of major Wall Street firms, including Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Banc of America Securities.