Dr. Sylvain Lengacher is a molecular biologist and has over 20 years of experience in the field of neuroscience research, biotechnology management, and technology transfer. He is co-founder of GliaPharm where he serves as co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in charge of operations and Chairman of the Board.

Before acting as GliaPharm’s co-CEO, Dr. Lengacher has been a research director at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) for over 10 years. He is also the Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) officer responsible for the processing and management of intellectual property of the National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) program Synapsy of the Swiss National Science Foundation. Dr. Lengacher holds a PhD in molecular biology and has also graduated from EPFL in the Management of Biotech, Medtech and Pharma Ventures.


Mr. Ambroise Magistretti is an entrepreneur in the healthcare sector. He is co-founder of GliaPharm where he serves as co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in charge of business development and Board Member.

Mr. Magistretti is also partner and on the scientific and industrial advisory board of SeveneastHealthcare, a healthcare investment firm. He has founded and managed The Healthcare Biotech Fund, and has experience in asset management and healthcare equity research. Mr. Magistretti also serves as treasurer and Board Member to the Swiss NGO International Foundation for Population Development (IFPD).

Mr. Magistretti holds a BSc in Biochemistry with Honours from University College of London (UCL) and an MSc in Genomics and Experimental Biology from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Mr. Magistretti also holds a CAIA designation (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst).

He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) in the Management of Biotech, Medtech and Pharma Ventures.


Dr. Charles Finsterwald is a neuroscientist with expertise in molecular, cellular and cognitive neuroscience. He is co-founder of GliaPharm where he serves as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Board Member.
Before acting as GliaPharm’s CSO, Dr. Finsterwald has been a post-doctoral researcher at New York University (NYU), and then Prof. Magistretti’s laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). Dr. Finsterwald holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Biomedical Biology and Immunology from the University of Lausanne, and a PhD in neuroscience from the Lemanic Neuroscience Doctoral School, Switzerland. He also graduated in Project Management from NYU and has specialized in the management of start-up and biotechnology ventures at EPFL.

Scientific Advisory Board


Pierre Magistretti is Professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in the Brain and Mind Institute (BMI), of which he was director for a decade. He is also the Dean of Biological and Environment Science and Engineering at KAUST. Prof. Magistretti is an internationally-recognized neuroscientist who has made significant contributions in the field of brain metabolism and glial cells biology. He is the author of over 250 publications and recipient of numerous awards. Prof. Magistretti co-founded GliaPharm as a spinoff of three decades of research performed in his laboratory at EPFL with the objectives to clinically apply fundamental discoveries he has pioneered. He serves as GliaPharm’s Scientific Advisor and Board Member.

Prof. Magistretti is past president of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO). He has also been member of the Swiss National Science Foundation scientific council, President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (2002-2004) and elected Professor at the International Chair of the Collège de France (2007-2008).


Prof. Cristina M. Alberini, PhD, is an internationally-recognized expert in the fields of learning, memory and their molecular underpinnings. Prof. Alberini is a Professor of Neural Sciences at University of New York (NYU). Her studies, utilizing invertebrate (Aplysia californica) and mammalian (rat and mouse) systems, have explored the mechanisms of long-term memory formation, stabilization, persistence and strengthening. The identification of the mechanisms underlying the disruption or enhancement of memories is important for understanding memory in physiological conditions but also for characterizing memory disorders. Dr. Alberini has previously held faculty positions at Brown University and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.


Prof. Yves Agid, MD, PhD, is a recognized neurologist and a specialist in neurodegenerative diseases, of which he studied the causes, mechanisms, and clinical implications, while proposing new therapies. After leading the neurology department of the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris from 1993 to 2007 and having a career as a researcher at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Yves Agid was elected in 2008 as a member of the French Academy of Sciences in the human biology and medical sciences section. Since 2009, he has been a member of the National Ethics Advisory Committee of France. He is also founder and scientific director of the Brain and Spine Institute. With 600+ publications, Prof. Agid is one of the most cited scientists of the past 20 years.


Andrea Volterra is Full Professor at the Department of Fundamental Neurosciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland since 2001, which he directed from 2004 to 2012. He obtained a PhD in Pharmacology from Univ Milan, Italy (1985), joined the labs of Steven Siegelbaum and the Nobel Prize Eric Kandel at Columbia University, New York, as Research Scientist (1986-89) and then started his independent career as Assistant and then Associate Professor at the Dept. Pharmacology, Univ Milan (1990-2000). He is member of Academia Europea and Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS), and of Swiss, European and American Societies of Neuroscience, and won several prices, including the Theodore Ott price 2017 from SAMS. His research field is astrocyte-neuron communication and its contribution to synaptic integration and the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders, to which he contributed some of the seminal work in the last twenty years. His most recent work, using a multidisciplinary approach and novel imaging technologies, is engaged in decoding the language of astrocytes in cognitive function and dysfunction.


Dr. Guillaume Duvey, PhD

Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Design advisor

Guillaume Duvey is a medicinal chemist expert with broad expertise in Neuroscience drug discovery and development with successful track record in bringing small molecules modulators from hit identification up to entry in Phase II clinical trials.

Dr Duvey has a stong experience in coordinating project activities across the core disciplines of drug development: medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, translational sciences, safety and toxicology, process development, manufacturing and control, GLP and GMP compliance. His investigatory and creative mindset is fully expressed in the GliaPharm team. Particularly in the implementation of adapted scientific strategy.

Dr. Timothy Ritchie, PhD

Medicinal Chemist, Cheminformatics advisor

Timothy Ritchie is a computational medicinal chemist with over 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry and is an inventor of several clinical drug candidates. After working at Novartis and subsequently GlaxoSmithKline, in recent years he has operated as an independent medicinal and computational chemistry consultant, with clients in the UK and mainland Europe.

His expertise includes hit and lead optimisation, ligand- and structure-based computer-aided drug design, cheminformatics, structure-property relationship analysis, compound developability assessment, drug-likeness profiling and matched molecular pair analysis.

Dr. François Jenck, PhD

Drug development advisor

François Jenck  is a Neuropharmacologist with 25+y R&D leadership experience in Translational Neuropharmacology at Idorsia (startup), Actelion (biotech), Organon-AKZOnobel (mid pharma) and Roche (big pharma); since 2018 at Axl.neuro as independent R&D advisor for accelerating Neuroscience applications in 2020-Healthcare Biotechs. His areas of expertise include industrial Neuroscience Research and realistic translation to medical applications in Neurology, Psychiatry and Anesthesiology. He has initiated discovery programs with Medicinal Chemists and Preclinical Development Specialists in multiple areas of Neuroscience. 15+ compounds entered human testing with Clinical Development teams; large phase 3 programs lately started with daridorexant (Idorsia/Actelion, or almorexant with Actelion/GSK) in the orexin field, one of the rare recent innovations in Neuropharmacology. Dr. Jenck was involved in filing multiple international patents and in publishing 120+ research papers with co-authors in diverse peer-reviewed international journals.

Mr. Jeffery Vick, MBA

Business development Advisor

Jeffery Vick has held senior positions in the biopharmaceutical industry for the past 25 years with specific expertise in business development, licensing, and intellectual property. He has founded, grown and sold multiple biotechnology companies and negotiated numerous collaborations. Most recently he served as Vice President, Business Development and Licensing at Debiopharm International and previously as VP Business Development for Genethon, GenCell, Genset and Cytovia, Chief Business Officer of Flamel Technologies and Chief Executive Officer of Silence Therapeutics. He holds an MBA from Stanford University, an MS Chemistry from UC San Diego, and a BS Chemistry from University of Virginia.

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