About Us

Silver Creek’s purpose is to deliver Smart Growth Factors™ that help patients who suffer organ damage resulting from an acute injury.

Silver Creek is a privately-held biotechnology company headquartered in San Francisco, CA, USA.

About Us

Silver Creek’s purpose is to deliver Smart Growth Factors™ that help patients who suffer organ damage resulting from an acute injury.

Silver Creek is a privately-held biotechnology company headquartered in San Francisco, CA, USA.

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Kris Kuchenbecker

Kris Kuchenbecker, PhD

Chief Science & Technology Officer

Kris Kuchenbecker is the creator of our lead molecule, scp776.

At UC Berkeley, Kris played on the men's volleyball team and studied biochemistry / molecular biology with an emphasis in physical chemistry. After his undergraduate studies, he worked in David Jablons' lab at the UCSF Cancer Center. Kris enrolled in the Biophysics PhD program at UCSF in 2005, joining Robert Fletterick's lab in the Macromolecular Structure Group.

In graduate school, Kris focused on the molecular recognition properties of transcriptional machinery. Emphasizing structural biology, computational modeling, and quantitative measurement of these interactions, his thesis, titled "Allosteric Regulation of Promiscuous Surfaces", has been downloaded twice, once by his mother and once by his wife.

Kris has been with Silver Creek since June of 2014. In his time with the company, he developed a computational model of damage-specific pro-survival signaling and designed the lead molecule. Kris has overseen the scale-up of the production process and manufacturing, and also led the regulatory and operational efforts for the Ph1 studies.

Kris Kuchenbecker

Kris Kuchenbecker, PhD

Chief Science & Technology Officer

Kris Kuchenbecker is the creator of our lead molecule, scp776.

At UC Berkeley, Kris played on the men's volleyball team and studied biochemistry / molecular biology with an emphasis in physical chemistry. After his undergraduate studies, he worked in David Jablons' lab at the UCSF Cancer Center. Kris enrolled in the Biophysics PhD program at UCSF in 2005, joining Robert Fletterick's lab in the Macromolecular Structure Group.

In graduate school, Kris focused on the molecular recognition properties of transcriptional machinery. Emphasizing structural biology, computational modeling, and quantitative measurement of these interactions, his thesis, titled "Allosteric Regulation of Promiscuous Surfaces", has been downloaded twice, once by his mother and once by his wife.

Kris has been with Silver Creek since June of 2014. In his time with the company, he developed a computational model of damage-specific pro-survival signaling and designed the lead molecule. Kris has overseen the scale-up of the production process and manufacturing, and also led the regulatory and operational efforts for the Ph1 studies.

Mink Chawla

Lakhmir “Mink” Chawla, MD

Dr. Chawla is a practicing nephrologist and intensivist and has overseen multiple development programs over the past 10 years.  He has overseen the approval of 2 NDAs and an EMA approval.  He brings a deep knowledge of medical development, acute care medicine, and medical regulatory expertise to the Silver Creek Enterprise.

Mink Chawla

Lakhmir “Mink” Chawla, MD

Dr. Chawla is a practicing nephrologist and intensivist and has overseen multiple development programs over the past 10 years.  He has overseen the approval of 2 NDAs and an EMA approval.  He brings a deep knowledge of medical development, acute care medicine, and medical regulatory expertise to the Silver Creek Enterprise.

Sam Pfaff

Sam Pfaff, PhD


Sam Pfaff received a PhD in biophysics from the University of California, San Francisco, where he studied nuclear hormone receptor structure and biochemistry with Robert Fletterick. His post-doctoral work with Michelle Arkin at UCSF was focused on biophysical and fragment-based drug discovery. Sam spent 5 years at Prolynx LLC, where his primary research focus was the optimization of releasable microsphere technology for use in long-acting drug formulations. At Silver Creek, he is helping lead in vitro and in vivo research directed at advancing Smart Growth Factors into the clinic and beyond. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.

Sam Pfaff

Sam Pfaff, PhD


Sam Pfaff received a PhD in biophysics from the University of California, San Francisco, where he studied nuclear hormone receptor structure and biochemistry with Robert Fletterick. His post-doctoral work with Michelle Arkin at UCSF was focused on biophysical and fragment-based drug discovery. Sam spent 5 years at Prolynx LLC, where his primary research focus was the optimization of releasable microsphere technology for use in long-acting drug formulations. At Silver Creek, he is helping lead in vitro and in vivo research directed at advancing Smart Growth Factors into the clinic and beyond. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.

Yan Zhang, MD, PhD


Yan Zhang was the first in-vivo scientist hire for Silver Creek. She performs in-vivo preclinical experiments, pharmacokinetics and pharmacological (PK/PD) studies and efficacy studies of our lead molecules during the whole process of drug development. Prior to joining Silver Creek, she completed 5 years postdoctoral experience on stem cell biology in the Cardiac Translational Stem Cell Laboratory, UCSF. She received her MD from Sun-Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences in 1992, and a PhD in Medical Sciences in 2005 from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, China. She completed residency in Internal Medicine and Echocardiography (non-invasive Cardiology) in Peking Union Medical College Hospital (協和醫院) and was a faculty member until 2005.

Yan Zhang, MD, PhD


Yan Zhang was the first in-vivo scientist hire for Silver Creek. She performs in-vivo preclinical experiments, pharmacokinetics and pharmacological (PK/PD) studies and efficacy studies of our lead molecules during the whole process of drug development. Prior to joining Silver Creek, she completed 5 years postdoctoral experience on stem cell biology in the Cardiac Translational Stem Cell Laboratory, UCSF. She received her MD from Sun-Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences in 1992, and a PhD in Medical Sciences in 2005 from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, China. She completed residency in Internal Medicine and Echocardiography (non-invasive Cardiology) in Peking Union Medical College Hospital (協和醫院) and was a faculty member until 2005.

Walter Olsen

Walter Olsen

Walter Olsen is a bioprocess scientist.  He has extensive expertise in the area of process development, biologics manufacturing, and MSAT.  Over the past two decades, he has led the GMP production campaigns for several complex biologic therapeutics.

Walter Olsen

Walter Olsen

Walter Olsen is a bioprocess scientist.  He has extensive expertise in the area of process development, biologics manufacturing, and MSAT.  Over the past two decades, he has led the GMP production campaigns for several complex biologic therapeutics.

Teresa Maes

Teresa Maes


Teresa Maes joined Silver Creek as the Operations Manager in the beginning of 2017. She supports accounting, HR/Payroll, lab management, preclinical studies, and paralegal functions. Teresa has over twenty years of broad experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. Her experience includes ten years at Chiron in the materials management and production planning departments. She worked for COR Therapeutics for three years as a production planner, and Bio Rad labs and Volcano Therapeutics as a consultant.

Teresa Maes

Teresa Maes


Teresa Maes joined Silver Creek as the Operations Manager in the beginning of 2017. She supports accounting, HR/Payroll, lab management, preclinical studies, and paralegal functions. Teresa has over twenty years of broad experience working in the pharmaceutical industry. Her experience includes ten years at Chiron in the materials management and production planning departments. She worked for COR Therapeutics for three years as a production planner, and Bio Rad labs and Volcano Therapeutics as a consultant.

Mark Agne

Mark Agne

Mark Agne is a managing partner at Softbank Investment Advisors, fund manager for the 100 billion dollar Vision Fund. Mark was with Goldman Sachs from 1997 until his retirement in 2016. He became a partner in 2006 and held various senior leadership roles in Asia, including head of Asia Equity Trading and Head of Securities (Equities and Fixed Income), Japan. He was a member of Asian Operating Committee, Asian Risk Committee. Mr. Agne services on the boards of The Nature Conservancy, Hawaii and The Hawaii Community Foundation. Mark has been instrumental in fund raising.

Mark Agne

Mark Agne

Mark Agne is a managing partner at Softbank Investment Advisors, fund manager for the 100 billion dollar Vision Fund. Mark was with Goldman Sachs from 1997 until his retirement in 2016. He became a partner in 2006 and held various senior leadership roles in Asia, including head of Asia Equity Trading and Head of Securities (Equities and Fixed Income), Japan. He was a member of Asian Operating Committee, Asian Risk Committee. Mr. Agne services on the boards of The Nature Conservancy, Hawaii and The Hawaii Community Foundation. Mark has been instrumental in fund raising.

Jim Marks

James Marks, MD, PhD

James Marks is Chief of Anesthesia at San Francisco General Hospital; Professor of Anesthesia at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); and Vice Chairman of the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at UCSF. A world-recognized pioneer in the fields of antibody and protein engineering, Dr. Marks is a practicing anesthesiologist and intensivist with clinical interests in trauma anesthesia and critical care and research interests in the area of antibody and protein engineering. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Anesthesia, and Critical Care Medicine. Prior to becoming Chief of Anesthesia, Dr. Marks was the Medical Director of the Trauma ICU at SFGH. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Marks received his MD from UCSF and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Cambridge, England. He completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Anesthesia as well as a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine, all at UCSF. Jim helps oversee Silver Creek’s discovery and preclinical studies.

Jim Marks

James Marks, MD, PhD

James Marks is Chief of Anesthesia at San Francisco General Hospital; Professor of Anesthesia at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); and Vice Chairman of the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at UCSF. A world-recognized pioneer in the fields of antibody and protein engineering, Dr. Marks is a practicing anesthesiologist and intensivist with clinical interests in trauma anesthesia and critical care and research interests in the area of antibody and protein engineering. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Anesthesia, and Critical Care Medicine. Prior to becoming Chief of Anesthesia, Dr. Marks was the Medical Director of the Trauma ICU at SFGH. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Marks received his MD from UCSF and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Cambridge, England. He completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Anesthesia as well as a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine, all at UCSF. Jim helps oversee Silver Creek’s discovery and preclinical studies.

Tom Murtagh

Thomas Murtagh

Thomas Murtagh is a Co-Founder of Clarion Healthcare LLC, a boutique life sciences strategy and organizational consultancy based in Boston, MA. His main areas of practice include:

  • Architecting innovative product profiles that will meet patient needs 5-10 years in the future
  • Strategic trade-off and investments decisions for pipeline assets (e.g., indication selection and prioritization)
  • Defining investment requirements to support effective commercialization in the era of evidence-based medicine
  • Anticipating new organizational requirements to support the rapidly evolving healthcare system and fundamental changes in the model for bringing therapeutics to patients

Prior to founding Clarion in 2003, Mr. Murtagh was a Vice President in Braun Consulting’s Healthcare Practice, a former member of the management team at Vertex Partners, and a former member of Arthur D. Little’s Healthcare team. He holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and an AB from Dartmouth College. Tom oversees Silver Creek’s business strategy and organizational structure.

Tom Murtagh

Thomas Murtagh

Thomas Murtagh is a Co-Founder of Clarion Healthcare LLC, a boutique life sciences strategy and organizational consultancy based in Boston, MA. His main areas of practice include:

  • Architecting innovative product profiles that will meet patient needs 5-10 years in the future
  • Strategic trade-off and investments decisions for pipeline assets (e.g., indication selection and prioritization)
  • Defining investment requirements to support effective commercialization in the era of evidence-based medicine
  • Anticipating new organizational requirements to support the rapidly evolving healthcare system and fundamental changes in the model for bringing therapeutics to patients

Prior to founding Clarion in 2003, Mr. Murtagh was a Vice President in Braun Consulting’s Healthcare Practice, a former member of the management team at Vertex Partners, and a former member of Arthur D. Little’s Healthcare team. He holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and an AB from Dartmouth College. Tom oversees Silver Creek’s business strategy and organizational structure.

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor

Nick’s interest in Silver Creek began when he invested in the A round, and intensified with his instrumental role in the design and structure of the funding of the company from 2016.  He has been deeply involved in the restructuring of the company’s IP portfolio and strategy, and has introduced a number of board members.  His extensive career in investing began at Goldman Sachs, he currently works as a portfolio manager in event-driven and special situation investing, which he has done since 1996, managing teams within large financial organisations.  Nick co-founded and subsequently ran Modal Capital Partners, an international event-driven captive hedge fund between 1999 and 2008, was head of Asia-Pacific Proprietary trading for Credit-Suisse, founded and ran Senrigan Capital, an Asia based Event-Driven fund, and was a Senior Managing Director and head of International Principal investments for Citadel.  Nick has set up offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, and Bermuda (a reinsurance company, Modal Re).  He is on the Board of Reva Medical and Flowers art gallery.  Nick has an M.A. in Philosophy from Cambridge University, and was a student for D.Phil in Philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford. Prior to moving into an investing career he was a college lecturer in Philosophy at St. Catherine’s college Oxford.

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor

Nick’s interest in Silver Creek began when he invested in the A round, and intensified with his instrumental role in the design and structure of the funding of the company from 2016.  He has been deeply involved in the restructuring of the company’s IP portfolio and strategy, and has introduced a number of board members.  His extensive career in investing began at Goldman Sachs, he currently works as a portfolio manager in event-driven and special situation investing, which he has done since 1996, managing teams within large financial organisations.  Nick co-founded and subsequently ran Modal Capital Partners, an international event-driven captive hedge fund between 1999 and 2008, was head of Asia-Pacific Proprietary trading for Credit-Suisse, founded and ran Senrigan Capital, an Asia based Event-Driven fund, and was a Senior Managing Director and head of International Principal investments for Citadel.  Nick has set up offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, and Bermuda (a reinsurance company, Modal Re).  He is on the Board of Reva Medical and Flowers art gallery.  Nick has an M.A. in Philosophy from Cambridge University, and was a student for D.Phil in Philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford. Prior to moving into an investing career he was a college lecturer in Philosophy at St. Catherine’s college Oxford.

Tim Throsby

Tim Throsby

Tim was formerly CEO of Barclays Bank Plc, President of Barclays International and Chief Executive Officer of its Corporate and Investment Bank. Based in London, he was also a member of its Group Executive Committee. Prior to joining Barclays in January 2017, Tim worked for JP Morgan where he held a variety of senior management roles, most recently serving as Global Head of Equities. Tim has had an extensive career in banking and asset management, working initially for Credit Suisse and Macquarie, before joining Goldman Sachs in 1995 as a Managing Director and Co-Head of Equity Derivatives for Asia. In 2002, he joined Lehman Brothers to lead its Asia Equities Division, before relocating to New York in 2004 to run its global equity derivatives business as well as risk arbitrage. In 2005, he became President of Citadel Asia where he oversaw the investment firm’s Asia business. Tim also serves as Deputy Chair of Human Dignity Trust, a charity focused on LGBT rights; and was a school governor at the Ark Oval Primary Academy. Tim holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney.

Tim Throsby

Tim Throsby

Tim was formerly CEO of Barclays Bank Plc, President of Barclays International and Chief Executive Officer of its Corporate and Investment Bank. Based in London, he was also a member of its Group Executive Committee. Prior to joining Barclays in January 2017, Tim worked for JP Morgan where he held a variety of senior management roles, most recently serving as Global Head of Equities. Tim has had an extensive career in banking and asset management, working initially for Credit Suisse and Macquarie, before joining Goldman Sachs in 1995 as a Managing Director and Co-Head of Equity Derivatives for Asia. In 2002, he joined Lehman Brothers to lead its Asia Equities Division, before relocating to New York in 2004 to run its global equity derivatives business as well as risk arbitrage. In 2005, he became President of Citadel Asia where he oversaw the investment firm’s Asia business. Tim also serves as Deputy Chair of Human Dignity Trust, a charity focused on LGBT rights; and was a school governor at the Ark Oval Primary Academy. Tim holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney.

Benoit G. Bruneau, PhD

Benoit Bruneau is a Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF and the director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease. He has distinguished himself internationally as a leading figure in the field of epigenetics and gene regulation, particularly as it relates to cardiac biology and disease.

Benoit G. Bruneau, PhD

Benoit Bruneau is a Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF and the director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease. He has distinguished himself internationally as a leading figure in the field of epigenetics and gene regulation, particularly as it relates to cardiac biology and disease.

Jay Schneider

Jay S. Schneider, PhD

Jay Schneider is a Professor of Neurology at Thomas Jefferson University.  He is expert in Parkinson’s Disease with a focus on both symptomatic and neuroprotective strategies.  He was the Primary Investigator for the GM1 studies of improved outcomes in Parkinson’s Disease.

Jay Schneider

Jay S. Schneider, PhD

Jay Schneider is a Professor of Neurology at Thomas Jefferson University.  He is expert in Parkinson’s Disease with a focus on both symptomatic and neuroprotective strategies.  He was the Primary Investigator for the GM1 studies of improved outcomes in Parkinson’s Disease.

Claude Hemphill, III, MD

Claude Hemphill is Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences and Director of Neurocritical Care at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. He is an international expert in brain injury and neurocritical care. He is a founding Director former President of the Neurocritical Care Society.

Claude Hemphill, III, MD

Claude Hemphill is Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences and Director of Neurocritical Care at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. He is an international expert in brain injury and neurocritical care. He is a founding Director former President of the Neurocritical Care Society.

Kathleen Liu

Kathleen Liu, MD, PhD

Kathleen Liu, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at UCSF and the Director of the Intensive Care Unit.  She is an intensivist and a nephrologist.  She is also an international expert in the field of acute kidney injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. She is a Primary Investigator for the COVID I-SPY network.

Kathleen Liu

Kathleen Liu, MD, PhD

Kathleen Liu, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at UCSF and the Director of the Intensive Care Unit.  She is an intensivist and a nephrologist.  She is also an international expert in the field of acute kidney injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. She is a Primary Investigator for the COVID I-SPY network.

Hugh MontgomeryHugh Montgomery

Hugh obtained a 1st class BSc (cardiorespiratory Physiology/ Neuropharmacology) and his medical Degree (1987), completed specialist training in General Internal Medicine/Cardiology/Intensive Care Medicine (ICM), and is now a consultant Intensivist in London. During the 2020-21 Covid pandemic, he sat on the council of the UK Intensive Care Society, and co-authored national clinical guidelines.

Hugh obtained his research degree (MDRes) in 1997. He is now Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University College London (UCL) where he also directs the Centre for Human Health and Performance. He has published >500 scientific research articles and has won >8 national and international awards. He is perhaps best known for his discovery (reported in 1998) of ‘the first gene for human fitness’.

Hugh also works in the field of Artificial Intelligence as applied to Health, having consulted one day/week for DeepMind Health (part of alphabet/ Google). 

As an Inventor, Hugh has patented a treatment for cancer wasting and prevention of injury in stroke; a new technology for patient hydration; a novel mask for the removal of pollutants; and a new asthma inhaler.

Hugh chaired the two Lancet Commissions on Human Health and Climate Change, and now co-chairs the 35-institition 27-country Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. He has written and lectured extensively on the subject, has briefed policymakers nationally and internationally, and advises corporates including major pharmaceutical companies. He was appointed to the post of London Leader by Greater London Authority’s Sustainable Development Commission, attended many of the international ‘COP’ negotiations, and led the children’s climate education ‘Project Genie’. 

Hugh MontgomeryHugh Montgomery

Hugh obtained a 1st class BSc (cardiorespiratory Physiology/ Neuropharmacology) and his medical Degree (1987), completed specialist training in General Internal Medicine/Cardiology/Intensive Care Medicine (ICM), and is now a consultant Intensivist in London. During the 2020-21 Covid pandemic, he sat on the council of the UK Intensive Care Society, and co-authored national clinical guidelines.

Hugh obtained his research degree (MDRes) in 1997. He is now Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University College London (UCL) where he also directs the Centre for Human Health and Performance. He has published >500 scientific research articles and has won >8 national and international awards. He is perhaps best known for his discovery (reported in 1998) of ‘the first gene for human fitness’.

Hugh also works in the field of Artificial Intelligence as applied to Health, having consulted one day/week for DeepMind Health (part of alphabet/ Google). 

As an Inventor, Hugh has patented a treatment for cancer wasting and prevention of injury in stroke; a new technology for patient hydration; a novel mask for the removal of pollutants; and a new asthma inhaler.

Hugh chaired the two Lancet Commissions on Human Health and Climate Change, and now co-chairs the 35-institition 27-country Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. He has written and lectured extensively on the subject, has briefed policymakers nationally and internationally, and advises corporates including major pharmaceutical companies. He was appointed to the post of London Leader by Greater London Authority’s Sustainable Development Commission, attended many of the international ‘COP’ negotiations, and led the children’s climate education ‘Project Genie’. 

Brian Byrnes

VP, Clinical Development

Brian Byrnes is a clinical development leader and operations expert with over 22 years of industry experience.  He is experienced in leading all cross functional aspects of operations, development, and strategic activities in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and service provider industry.  Brian has worked on numerous INDs across a diverse therapeutic landscape, he is nuanced in the relative complexities across all phases of development, and was fortunate to work on a select number of NDA's resulting in subsequent approvals.

Brian Byrnes

VP, Clinical Development

Brian Byrnes is a clinical development leader and operations expert with over 22 years of industry experience.  He is experienced in leading all cross functional aspects of operations, development, and strategic activities in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and service provider industry.  Brian has worked on numerous INDs across a diverse therapeutic landscape, he is nuanced in the relative complexities across all phases of development, and was fortunate to work on a select number of NDA's resulting in subsequent approvals.

O'Reilly

Terry O'Reilly, MD

Medical Director

Terry O’Reilly is a family medicine trained physician who has spent the past 30 years of her medical career involved in various aspects of clinical research, including time as a late phase research principal investigator and as an IRB board member. Prior to joining Silver Creek as medical director, Dr. O’Reilly was a senior investigator at a large Phase I clinical research unit, and was the principal investigator for the Phase 1a and 1b trials for scp776.

 

O'Reilly

Terry O'Reilly, MD

Medical Director

Terry O’Reilly is a family medicine trained physician who has spent the past 30 years of her medical career involved in various aspects of clinical research, including time as a late phase research principal investigator and as an IRB board member. Prior to joining Silver Creek as medical director, Dr. O’Reilly was a senior investigator at a large Phase I clinical research unit, and was the principal investigator for the Phase 1a and 1b trials for scp776.