The SOLVE FSHD team is focused on funding research and clinical trials. We’ve partnered with both leading academics and biotech companies to reduce bottlenecks and increase the number of novel therapies entering clinical trials. Our mission is to accelerate drug development for new therapies for FSHD and to find a cure for the disorder by 2027.
Eva is a Canadian-trained scientist who has had an international career pursuing her curiosity to understand the defects of skeletal muscle in various diseases and now is passionate about finding effective therapies to treat rare neuromuscular diseases.
As the inaugural Executive Director for SOLVE FSHD, Eva will apply that passion and her insight into muscle biology and drug discovery and development to tackle the barriers and accelerate a cure for FSHD. Together with the relentless drive and support of Chip Wilson and Neil Camarta, this team will SOLVE FSHD!
Eva obtained her Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Waterloo in Canada and completed post-doctoral training at the University of Sydney, Australia and UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, focusing on the role of intracellular calcium in muscle fatigue, transcriptional regulation of muscle fiber type determination and muscle plasticity.
Eva’s career has spanned the academic and pharmaceutical industries, with previous positions at Pfizer, the University of Maryland, MyoTherapeutics, Cytokinetics and NMD Pharma. While at Pfizer Eva shifted her career from academic research focusing on cellular and molecular mechanisms of muscle function to the discovery and development of muscle-targeted therapies. Her career has increasingly focused on targeting the underlying skeletal muscle pathologies in rare neuromuscular diseases, including muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Eva has also been a team leader in late-stage drug discovery to early phase clinical development programs across a span of therapeutic areas including neuromuscular and cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis. Over the past five years she has led the nonclinical development of numerous drug candidates in clinical trials for ALS, SMA, myasthenia gravis and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Eva has led or contributed to ten programs moving from a novel research idea to first in human clinical trials, focusing on translational pharmacology and safety to support IND and CTA filings. Ten of these molecules have safely been tested in Phase 1 and four have reached Phase 2 proof of concept milestones. Eva has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and more than 100 conference abstracts and presentations focusing on skeletal muscle fatigue and disease mechanisms for metabolic disease, aging and neuromuscular diseases.LinkedIn
Chip Wilson is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, devoted husband and dedicated father to five sons. His vision is to create possibilities for people to live longer, healthier, more fun lives, and to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness.
His career in the apparel industry began in 1979 as Founder & CEO of Westbeach Snowboarding Ltd. After selling Westbeach in 1997, he founded lululemon athletica inc. in 1998, creating an entirely new category of technical apparel called “athleisure” - now a $400 billion global industry.
Through his family office, Chip focuses his interests on apparel, real estate, private equity, passive investments and philanthropy through the Wilson 5 Foundation. Chip and his wife Summer’s passion for design led to the creation of the internationally recognized KPU Wilson School of Design in 2018.
The 2021 edition of his business memoir, “The Story of lululemon by Founder Chip Wilson” was released in spring 2021.
In 2019, the Wilsons partnered with Anta Sports to buy Amer Sports, which includes brands such as Arc’teryx, Salomon, and Wilson Sporting Goods. Chip currently sits on Amer’s board of directors.
Chip is steadfast in his pursuit to cure Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy. He is on the board of Facio Therapies and has begun his latest big 2021 project, SOLVE FSHD, to find a cure for FSHD by 2027.
To learn more about Chip Wilson, visit www.chipwilson.com.LinkedIn
Neil is a chemical engineer and a member of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
Neil joined Shell Canada Ltd in 1975 and led the development and delivery of world-class energy projects in Canada and abroad. Neil retired from Shell in 2005 and joined Petro-Canada as Senior Vice President Oil Sands. Following the merger with Suncor in 2009, Neil took over the position of Executive Vice-President, Natural Gas for Suncor Energy Inc.
Neil is currently a director of Western Hydrogen and Enlighten Innovations, two cleantech start-ups he founded which are focused on commercializing green fuel technologies and grid-scale battery systems. He previously served on the boards of Mindfuel, Enmax and the Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS).
Neil is dedicated to finding a cure for FSHD, a rare form of muscular dystrophy which afflicts Neil and his family. He co-founded the FSHD Canada Foundation and is the chairman of FACIO Therapies, a biotech company working on a cure for FSHD.
Rich is an entrepreneurial-minded life sciences executive who returned to Vancouver in 2021 after nearly a decade working in the Boston/Cambridge biotech hub.A Canadian with strong cross-border links, Rich has trained and worked in the US and Canada for more than 25 years. His experience spans multinational pharmaceutical companies to early startups, non-profits, and academic institutions. It includes exposure to multiple therapeutic areas, including rare diseases.As VP of Business Development and Partnerships at SOLVE FSHD, Rich is keen to apply his combination of business skillset and scientific acumen to the challenges of finding solutions to FSHD.
Rich received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Guelph, focusing on skeletal muscle biology. He then joined the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, first as a post-doctoral fellow, then as a research faculty member for several years. After extensive training as a metabolic physiologist, Rich transitioned to business development and licensing over 15 years ago.
Most recently Rich was Senior Director of BD and Operations at Keros Therapeutics. There he was a key member of the team that grew from Series A to a public company with multiple products in Phase 2 in less than five years.Prior to that, he was Senior Director of External Science at Seres Therapeutics, where he helped build their pipeline of microbiome therapeutics, and earlier was Director of Operational Alliances at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. In the past, he developed multiple funding programs at Genome BC, including seed investment funds for industry.
Rich brings an understanding of the tremendous burden of neuromuscular disease and is a strong believer that the needs of patients should be paramount in the development of new therapeutics. The current unmet medical need for effective FSHD treatments represents an opportunity for Solve FSHD to catalyze innovation and bring relief to those who suffer with the disease.