Senior Management

Mike Taylor, Ph.D.Michael D. Taylor, Ph.D. is President and CEO of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Deciphera, Mike was CEO of Ensemble Therapeutics where he completed seven Research Alliances with Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Genentech, Boehringer Ingelheim, Alexion, and Novartis. He also was a co-inventor of the first small molecule antagonists of IL-17, an important autoimmune modulator, as part of a program licensed to Novartis. Prior to Ensemble, Mike was Senior Vice President for Pfizer’s Global R&D division and served as Vice-President, Drug Development at Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis. Mike led early and late-stage development projects across multiple therapeutic areas, including Lipitor® and Neurontin®. Mike holds a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and was awarded an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in natural products synthesis and structure elucidation at the University of Pennsylvania. He also attended the University of Michigan MBA program. Mike has authored or coauthored 65 manuscripts and published abstracts and is co-inventor on 8 patents.

Daniel L. Flynn, Ph.D. is CSO and Founder of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals. Before founding Deciphera in 2003, he was Senior Director of Chemistry with Millennium Pharmaceuticals. In a ten year period with Searle Pharmaceuticals, he brought over five compounds into preclinical development, and advanced three drugs into clinical trials. He invented and developed a major platform in combinatorial chemistry now known as "phase-trafficking" synthesis. Dan is Adjunct Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas-Lawrence and has served as the national Chair for the Division of Medicinal Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. He received his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry at the University of Kansas.

Oliver Rosen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at Deciphera Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Deciphera, Dr. Rosen served as Vice President of Global and U.S. Medical Affairs at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. Dr. Rosen held senior medical affairs and clinical development roles at Genentech, including Medical Director on the Avastin team. Prior to Genentech, Dr. Rosen served as Associate Director of Medical Affairs at Amgen. Dr. Rosen also held the position of Clinical Scientist at Hoffman La Roche Ltd. where he was responsible for Phase 3 programs on the Avastin team and Global Project Physician at Merck KGaA. Dr. Rosen received his training in oncology and hematology at the University Hospital Charite in Berlin with research activities focused on hematology and bone marrow transplantation. Prior to his clinical training he participated in a post-doctoral program in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Hamburg. Dr. Rosen obtained his medical degree from the University of Cologne, Germany.

Steve DiPalmaStephen DiPalma, MBA is Chief Financial Officer and brings more than 25 years of experience in life sciences and healthcare, including founding two start-ups, working with venture-backed companies, subsidiaries of Fortune 100 firms and publicly traded companies. He is Managing Director of Danforth Advisors, a firm that specializes in providing outsourced financial, operational, and strategic consulting services to life science companies. Previously, he served as the CFO of two public companies, and as CFO, COO, CEO or Director of eight privately held companies, in addition to his consulting clients. Steve participated in the successful reorganization of Cambridge Biotech from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection into Aquila BioPharmaceuticals, led the effort to take RXi public, and has extensive experience in international fund raising and corporate structuring. He was formerly Chairman of the Board of Cognoptix, and is on the Board of Directors of Phytera, Inc. He holds an MBA from Babson College, and a B.S. in Finance and Information Systems from UMass Lowell.

Brenda Fielding is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. She has been employed for more than 25 years in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, primarily in the area of Regulatory Affairs. She has held management positions in US pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Genentech, Gilead Sciences, and Clinipace Worldwide, where she is the Executive Vice President of the global Regulatory and Strategic Development division. She has been involved in the successful clinical development of novel drugs, biologics, and drug delivery systems, over a wide range of therapeutic areas including oncology, anti-infectives, immunotherapeutics and ophthalmology. For the past 10 years she has been a Regulatory Affairs consultant to industry, and regularly represents clients at meetings with Regulatory Authorities, including the US Food and Drug Administration. Brenda received her BSc from London University, UK and attended graduate school in London. Brenda has been the invited speaker at numerous drug development and regulatory affairs seminars and conferences, and has chaired symposia for professional organizations. She is an instructor in Drug Development and Regulatory Affairs for Colorado State University.

Michael DeSordi, MBA is Vice President of Clinical Operations. He has over 23 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in clinical operations and project management, working across a broad range of therapeutic areas and phases of clinical development. Prior to joining Deciphera Pharmaceuticals he served in senior leadership roles at Lux Biosciences, Inc. where he was Vice President of Global Clinical Operations and Eisai Inc. as Senior Director and Group Leader for Clinical Operations, US Medical Affairs. He began his career at Hoffman-LaRoche as a Clinical Research Associate, working his way up to positions of increasing responsibility and leadership. Mike earned degrees from Seton Hall University (BS) and University of Phoenix (MBA).

Mike Kaufman, Ph.D.Michael D. Kaufman, Ph.D. is Vice President, Chemistry and Preclinical Development. He has 13 years of medicinal chemistry experience, primarily in the area of kinase inhibitors. Prior to joining Deciphera Pharmaceuticals in 2005, he was a Senior Principal Scientist at Pfizer Global Research & Development (Ann Arbor, Michigan) where he played key roles in both Oncology and Cardiovascular projects. He is the co-inventor of two kinase inhibitors that have advanced into clinical trials and a co-author of 19 peer-reviewed papers. Mike earned degrees from the University of Kansas (BA) and Indiana University (Ph.D.) and completed a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bryan D. Smith, Ph.D. is Senior Director of Biology. He has 17 years of laboratory experience, including seven in the pharmaceutical industry, primarily in translational cancer research such as targeted therapies, kinase signaling, drug discovery and development, in vivo pharmacology and biomarkers. He played a key role in identifying next-generation RAF kinase inhibitors that lack the so-called ‘paradoxical stimulation’ of the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK signaling cascade. He has also shepherded the biology for the discovery and development of selective FMS kinase inhibitors, the MET/TIE2 inhibitor DCC-2701, and the TIE2 inhibitor rebastinib. He is an author on 10 publications and an inventor on one patent. Bryan has been a popular local science speaker at events such as Science on Tap. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Tom FredrickTom Fredrick heads legal affairs for Deciphera. He is co-founder of Life Science Legal LLP, a boutique firm with a niche in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Earlier, for Marion Laboratories and successor companies, he completed major research, development, manufacturing, commercial, and financial transactions throughout North America, Europe, and Japan while serving in various positions of increasing responsibility. His general-counsel roles ranged from the pharmaceutical joint-venture partner in a Massachusetts-based genomics center to a Puerto-Rico-based manufacturing company. Tom holds degrees in business administration/economics (Kansas) and law (Iowa). He serves on KU’s business school faculty, teaching courses in management and business law.

John W. Lord is Director of Information Technology. He has over 11 years experience as a network administrator and 5 years as an analytical chemist. Before joining in 2004, John was the manager of Information Technology for the Medicinal Chemistry Department and the School of Pharmacy at the University of Kansas. Previous positions include Information Specialist for the University of Kansas Center for Research and Manager of Information Technology for Oread Inc. John has received multiple IT certifications and training, including Cisco’s CCNA, Oracle Administration, CompTIA’s Network+ and A+. John received his Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from the University of Kansas.

Susan McElwain, CPASusan E. McElwain, CPA is Director of Finances. Prior to joining Deciphera, Susan was the Business Director at the Lawrence Arts Center. She was the Director of Operations and a Partner of Kornitzer Capital Management, Inc in Shawnee Mission, KS for seventeen years. She worked as a Supervising Audit Senior at KPMG, (formerly, Peat Marwick) in Wichita, KS and a Staff Accountant at Ernst & Young, (formerly, Ernst & Whinney) in San Antonio, TX. Susan received her CPA and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Kansas State University. Susan currently serves on the Lawrence School Foundation and is on the Planned Giving Committee of Lawrence Memorial Hospital.