Modulation Therapeutics logo

Executive Team

Lori Hazlehurst, Ph.D.

Dr. Hazlehurst is President and co-founder of Modulation Therapeutics Incorporated. Dr. Hazlehurst received her Ph.D. at the University of Vermont in Molecular and Cellular Biology and her Post-Doctoral training at the University of Arizona and Moffitt Cancer Center. Her research interests are focused on the identification of novel targets which mediate survival and tumor progression in the context of the bone marrow microenvironment. More recently she has focused her laboratory on developing strategies directed at targeting cell adhesion molecules that contribute to homing and drug resistance. She is  co-inventor of MTI-101 and  a method of use to treat cancer for HYD1. She has over 15 years of experience in defining mechanism of action and pre-clinical development of novel oncology agents including work performed in graduate school on the pre-clinical development of pixantrone.

Mark McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President,

Dr. McLaughlin has a 50/50 appointment serving as Professor of Chemistry at the University of South Florida, a Senior Member of the Drug Discovery Department at the Moffitt Cancer Center, and as Executive Vice President/Treasurer and co-founder of Modulation Therapeutics Incorporated.  Dr. McLaughlin earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology working with Prof. Charles Liotta (Dennis Liotta’s brother who is on MTI’s SAB). He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Rice University with Edward (Ted) S. Lewis with a focus on physical organic chemistry and another postdoctoral fellowship at the Ohio State University with Prof. Leo A. Paquette that focused on chiral organometallic synthesis and synthetic methodology development.  McLaughlin was then hired as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University and rose through the ranks to Professor of Chemistry.  Early in those years, McLaughlin established a long and fruitful collaboration with Prof. Mary D. Barkley to delineate intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence quenching mechanisms by preparing constrained Trp analogs and constrained Trp-containing cyclic peptides for her group to characterize.  Later McLaughlin and co-workers invented helical amphipathic peptides that are being used as the toxic cargo of hybrid peptides being developed by Esperance Pharmaceuticals as targeted anticancer drugs.  McLaughlin then turned his attention to developing partially peptidic and fully non-peptidic beta-sheet and alpha-helical mimics to block protein-protein interactions and that interest continued as he moved to his current position as the first synthetic chemist hired by the USF/Moffitt joint appointment mechanism in August 2002.  McLaughlin has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers and is an inventor or co-inventor on several patents.  MT-101 takes advantage of one of the beta-sheet mimicry scaffolds that his group has been studying for over a decade.

Board of Directors

William S. Dalton, Ph.D., M.D., President, CEO & Center Director H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Dr. William (Bill) S. Dalton is President, CEO & Center Director of Moffitt Cancer Center, an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and serves as Founder & Board Chairman of M2Gen, a national biotechnology subsidiary of Moffitt Cancer Center. In addition to being known for his cancer research, Dr. Dalton is interested in the study and development of the most effective approaches to cancer research and care. He currently serves as the President of the Association of American Cancer Institutes, and serves on the Institute of Medicine’s, National Cancer Policy Forum and various NCI, cancer center and research foundation scientific advisory boards across the U.S. Dr. Dalton’s basic and translational research interests focus on molecular mechanisms of drug resistance and new drug discovery. Dalton and his colleagues have examined the influence of the tumor microenvironment on drug response and proposed that environmentally mediated drug resistance (EMDR) protects tumor cells from stress and cell death by two mechanisms: 1) a paracrine mechanism due to soluble cytokine factors produced as a result of the tumor cell environment interaction; and 2) a physical contact mechanism they have termed 'cell adhesion' mediated drug resistance (CAM-DR). He has over 200 publications, several patents, and has been NIH funded since 1985. Dr. Dalton is also interested in the development of personalized cancer care and patient-centered outcomes research

Anne Cress, Ph.D.

Dr. Cress is a Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine and the Deputy Dean for Research.  Her laboratory is located at the University of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, AZ.  Her current research interests are to understand the molecular mechanisms of cell adhesion and human tumor progression.  Her research group discovered cell adhesion mediated drug and radiation resistance (CAM-DR and CAM-RR) as adaptive responses of tumors and major impediments to the eradication of epithelial cancers.  Both CAM-DR and CAM-RR are dependent upon adhesion receptors called integrins.  Integrins are fundamentally important and essential gene products for normal tissue development.  They also serve as sentinels for triggering cellular damage responses. Work in her laboratory utilizes tools of biochemistry, cell biology and genetics to understand the mechanisms of tumor progression and metastasis. Experimentally derived findings are always re-evaluated in human tissue to assure their clinical relevance.  Her experience includes the pre-clinical development of strategies and reagents to prevent tumor progression. She has authored approximately 120 peer reviewed publications and has mentored approximately 35 scientists, including 5 physician scientists.  Public service includes chairmanship of national NIH study sections, American Cancer society scientific review panels and special emphasis panels for the NIH.  Her work is currently supported by grants from the NIH and DoD.

Scientific Advisors

Dennis Liotta, Ph.D.

Dr. Dennis C. Liotta is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry at Emory University. Prof. Liotta received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1974 from The City University of New York under Dr. Robert Engel and completed his post-doctoral training at The Ohio State University under Dr. Leo A. Paquette. Dr. Liotta has been a professor at Emory University for thirty-five years. He is a Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the recipient of a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Fellowship, the 2005 Herty Award, and was the Emory University Distinguished Faculty Lecturer for 2006. Along with his colleague, Raymond Schinazi, he was the recipient of the 2003 Biomedical Industry Growth Award, given by the Georgia Biomedical Partnership. He is currently the Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Discovery, as well as the co-director of the Republic of South Africa Drug Discovery Training Program. While at Emory, Dr. Liotta has authored over two hundred research publications and approximately seventy issued US patents. Over the last twenty-five years he has also developed a great deal of experience in the discovery and development of pharmaceuticals. He has served as a consultant to several major pharmaceutical firms, including Merck, Glaxo, Burroughs Wellcome, Boehringer Ingelheim and Johnson & Johnson. He serves (or has served) on the Scientific Advisory Boards (SABs) of several small biopharmaceutical companies including Altiris (scientific founder), Pharmasset (scientific founder), iThemba Pharmaceuticals (scientific founder, SAB Chair), NeurOp, and FOB Synthesis. In addition, he is the inventor of record for several clinically important agents, including FTC (Emtriva®, Emtricitabine), 3TC (Epivir®, Lamivudine), Reverset® (DPC 817, D-D4FC), Racivir, Elvucitabine (L-D4FC) and MSX-122.