Board of Directors

Current Members:

Allen B. Reitz, Ph.D.; PDDI President, Chairman of the Board, and Founding Member: Dr. Reitz is CEO of the Fox Chase Chemical Diversity Center, Inc. (FCCDC), and ALS Biopharma, LLC.  He has three decades of experience in the area of medicinal chemistry, including 26 years with Johnson & Johnson.  He led the medicinal chemistry efforts in the area of diseases of the central nervous system for 16 years at the J&J facility in Spring House, PA, which accounted for the introduction of seven new drug candidates into human clinical evaluation.  He has 60 issued U.S. patents and 140 scientific publications.  In addition, Dr. Reitz is the Founding Editor of the jouirnals Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry ( and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship.  He is experienced in the area of translational drug discovery as a scientist and entrepreneur.  [link to LinkedIn page]

Dennis M. Gross, M.S., Ph.D.; PDDI Chief Executive Officer and Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Gross is also Adjunct Faculty in the Jefferson Graduate School of Life Sciences and the Sidney Kimmel Medical School of Thomas Jefferson University, adjunct Professor of Basic Sciences at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Corporate Faculty at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology.  He received B.A and M.S. degrees in biology from California State University, Northridge and a Ph.D. in cell biology from UCLA; he conducted postdoctoral studies at Tulane University School of Medicine.  Dr. Gross joined Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Labs in 1977 and held several positions of increasing responsibility in his 29-year career: bench scientist, head of computer resources, manager of international strategic planning, and liaison for research and clinical drug development in Japan.  As Senior Director for Business Operations and Planning, he was responsible for global, multisite operations at Merck. He has served as Adjunct Professor of Global Logistics in the School of Business and Industry of Florida A&M University and has worked with the Center for Strategic and International Studies on policy issues relating to biological WMD.  From 2006 until July 2014, Dr. Gross has served as Associate Dean and Director, College of Graduate Studies at Thomas Jefferson University and Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in Jefferson Medical College.  [link to LinkedIn page]

Rodney A. Bednar, Ph.D.; PDDI Vice President, Chair of Philadelphia Chapter of LRIG: Dr. Bednar is a drug discovery scientist and industry leader in the biochemistry and automation of lead optimization assays. The LRIG is an organization with over 12,000 members worldwide, principally from biopharma, with an interest in lab automation and data management.  Until recently, he was a Director at the Merck Research Laboratories, where he was recognized with a Special Achievement Award for providing leadership in the use of fragment-based screening in more than 30 discovery programs. Dr. Bednar is an adjunct faculty at SUNY-Stony Brook, where he holds joint appointments as Assistant Professor of Pharmacological Sciences in the Medical School and Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Delaware and did postdoc training in biochemistry and physical organic chemistry at Brandeis University. He has 52 refereed publications, 38 abstracts, and over 23 invited talks.  [link to LinkedIn page]

Joseph F. Aceto, Ph.D, Esq., Attorney at Law and Counsel at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell and Hippel: Dr. Aceto graduated from Temple University with a Ph.D. in pharmacology and from Widener University with a J.D. in law. He is a registered Intellectual Property attorney and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. His private practice involves primarily patent prosecution and licensing, working extensively with biotech and pharmaceutical companies, universities, and non-profit research institutions. He has worked with individual inventors, partnerships, and companies in securing patent protection and establishing a portfolio around new pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and diagnostics. Dr. Aceto is also Of Counsel at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell and Hippel, where he assists companies in establishing and securing copyright and trademark protection.  [link to LinkedIn page]

Ned D. Heindel, Ph.D., Howard S. Bunn Chair Professor, Lehigh University: It is with great sorrow that we note that Dr. Heindel passed away at home on 27 June 2023. Dr. Heindel received a B.S. in chemistry at Lebanon Valley College in 1959 and a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 1963. After an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Princeton University, he joined the faculties of Marshall University and Ohio University. In 1966 he relocated to Lehigh University where his research has involved the development of diagnostic and therapeutic products. Dr. Heindel has consulted in big and small pharma, and has mentored 41 doctoral students, 147 M.S. students, and 27 postdoctoral fellows, most of whom have undertaken careers inside the pharmaceutical industry. He has served on 2 corporate boards, 5 scientific advisory boards, 3 editorial boards, 4 professional boards, and 2 government commissions. He directs the medicinal chemistry research program of Azevan Pharmaceuticals and the drug development program for Project CounterACT-Rutgers, a federal program seeking antidotes for sulfur mustard poisoning. In 1994 Dr. Heindel served as President of the American Chemical Society (ACS). He holds 11 patents and has published 282 papers. He received the NOBCChE-Henry Hill Award in medicinal chemistry, the Brady Foundation award for research in tumor-imaging radiopharmaceuticals, and the Hillman award for educational and research achievements. In 2009 he was named a Fellow of the ACS.  [link to LinkedIn page]

Gregory F. Krug, President, Lampire Biological Laboratories, Inc.: Mr. Krug, founder of Lampire Biological Laboratories, has guided the company’s growth and development since its inception in 1977.  He completed acquisition of the corporation in 1979 and holds 100% ownership; he is responsible for the operation and financial performance of the company.  As Chief Executive officer, Mr. Krug has the ultimate responsibility for compliance with all federal, state, and local regulatory agencies.  As Institutional Official, Mr. Krug appoints the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to review, investigate and report all activities related to Animal Welfare in compliance with 9 CFR Chapter (Code of Federal Regulation). He is active in  professional associations and highly involved in the local community.  Mr. Krug received the Achievement Award in Animal Science for his accomplishments in the field from Delaware Valley College Alumni Association, the 2005 Entrepreneur Award by Pennsylvania Business Central, and 2006 Pennsylvania Small Business Exporter of the Year Award by the Small Business Administration.  [link to LinkedIn page]

James K. Murray, Jr., Ph.D. – Professor of Organic Chemistry, Department of Natural & Computational Sciences, Immaculata University

Dr. Jim Murray received his B.S. (1996) in Chemistry and his M.S. (1997) and Ph.D. (2003) in Organic Chemistry from Drexel University. During his undergraduate studies he worked as an analytical chemist analyzing polymer modifiers at Rohm & Haas Corporation and as an organic chemist in the medicinal chemistry department of GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Murray has over 25 years’ experience in organic synthesis, product isolation/purification, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic analysis. He has been on the faculty of Immaculata University since the fall of 2001 teaching courses in organic, medicinal, physical, and inorganic chemistry. Dr. Murray’s research interests cover the areas of organic chemistry, organic chemistry education, and medicinal chemistry education. He is interested in developing experiments that introduce new methodologies and techniques that can be used as effective teaching tools and to developing methods to introduce medicinal chemistry concepts into the undergraduate organic chemistry curriculum. Dr. Murray is a past officer of the Philadelphia Organic Chemists’ Club (POCC), 2019 Chair of the Philadelphia Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and a member of the ACS Divisions of Organic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, and Chemical Education.

Randall N. Hyer, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.  Dr. Hyer is the President of the Baruch Blumberg Institute. He received his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine, his Ph.D. from University of Oxford in Molecular Genetics and his M.P.H from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  In addition to his role at the Blumberg Institute, he is also the CEO of Merlin Biotech and Co-Founder and Principal of Crisis Communications, LLC.


Kathleen M. Czupich, MBA; Assistant Treasurer and Founding Member: Ms. Czupich has over 20 years experience in business development and was the founding administrator for the IHVR and the PA Biotech Center.  Ms. Czupich managed the financial and administrative aspects of the $7.9 million grant to construct the PA Biotech Center (PBC) and the resulting building project totaling more than $14 million. She was also instrumental in the negotiation, financing and purchase of the adjacent building, expanding the PBC to 115,000 square feet.  Ms. Czupich works on business development, grants administration, and the management of early-stage technology-based businesses.  She is the CFO for FCCDC. where she has managed a portfolio involving >$8 million in federal grant funding.   [link to LinkedIn page]

Ceile E. Hedberg, DVM, Ph.D., Senior Director of Alliance Management, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Sector (ret.): Dr. Hedberg received her D.V.M. from the School of Veterinary Medicine of Tuskegee University and her Ph.D. in anatomy and structural biology from the University of Pennsylvania. After postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychology at Princeton University, she became the manager of lab animal resources at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ, then manager of lab animal resources at Carter-Wallace. She held several positions of increasing responsibility at the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, including Director of Lab Animal Medicine. She moved to the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Services to work on global trademark development and served as Senior Director for Alliance Management and Business Development in Janssen Global Services.  She is a member of a number of boards of directors including the Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research, Scientists Center for Animal Welfare, and the Advisory Board for Bennett College.  [link to LinkedIn page]

Donna M. Huryn, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania: Dr. Huryn graduated with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. She spent 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, at both Hoffmann-La Roche and Wyeth Research, where she directed the Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry Department as well as the Chemical Sciences Interface Department.  In 2004 she joined academia with an appointment at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.  She is now on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Chemistry.  [link to LinkedIn page]

Dennis C. Liotta, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Emory University: Dr. Liotta has extensive experience in multidisciplinary research and his laboratory is noted for its collaborative efforts that span a rich spectrum of academic departments. Over the past two and a half decades Dr. Liotta's research has focused on the discovery and development of novel antiviral, anticancer and antiinflammatory therapeutic agents. He is one of the leaders of the Emory team that developed the antiviral drug, FTC (Emtriva), which was approved for HIV in July 2003. In addition, he is the inventor of record for several clinically important antivirals, including 3TC (Epivir, lamivudine), D-D4FC (Reverset, DPC-817), Racivir (racemic FTC) and L-D4FC (elvucitabine). He is also the lead inventor of MSX-122, a safe, orally available clinical agent for treating cancer and inflammation.