Dean Petkanas – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Dean Petkanas is a corporate finance executive management professional with over 25 years of investment banking and capital markets experience. For the past two decades Mr. Petkanas was responsible for and involved in over 100 public and private corporate finance transactions, including merchant banking, IPOs, Registered Direct, PIPEs, EXIM guarantees, mergers and acquisitions, totaling approximately $500 million in financings.
Most recently Mr. Petkanas was hired by Xechem International (a publicly traded biotech company) to assist in the commercialization of Nicosan/Hemoxin, a phyto-pharmaceutical compound for the treatment of Sickle Cell disease. Commercialization efforts were for Orphan Drug approval (Hemoxin) in the United States and construction of pharmaceutical manufacturing of Nicosan in Nigeria.
While at Xechem, he was the lead petitioner for Xechem International in steering their federal antitrust lawsuit against Bristol-Myers-Squibb for their illegal monopoly of the drug market for the anti-cancer drug, Taxol®.
In addition to the several board memberships that Mr. Petkanas has held throughout his career, he is currently on the board of Full Motion Beverage, Inc., a publicly traded, specialty beverage company. He serves as a director of Prosperity Systems, Inc., a privately held cloud computing and software services company, and Tire International Environmental Solutions.
Thoma Kikis – Founder, Chief Marketing Officer, Board Director
Prior to founding Kannalife Sciences, Thoma Kikis founded Inventlab, a think tank and incubator to early stage companies. He has a passion for great stories, new ideas, groundbreaking technologies, popular culture, and their collective point of impact.
Among others has worked with Viacom, MTV Interactive, redesigned MTV.com, VH1, SonicNet, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Icon Medialab, ERT, Teachers College, Columbia University, and TCI/Teachers College Innovations.
His inspiration in starting Kannalife was his cousin, Dr. Steven Kazianis PhD, an extremely accomplished cancer research scientist who lost his life in 2008 battling brain cancer at the age of 41. Since then Mr. Kikis has made it his life’s goal in finding treatments for diseases that affect the brain.
Mr. Kikis hold a Bachelor of Science in Communications Management from New York University and a degree from the New York Film Academy. He is also a member of MIT Enterprise Forum (NYC Chapter), Summit Series and a member of the (ICRS) International Cannabinoid Research Society.
William A. Kinney, PhD – Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Kinney is a medicinal chemist and entrepreneur with greater than 25 years of experience in large pharmaceutical (Wyeth, Johnson & Johnson), biotechnology (Magainin), and non-profit (Blumberg Institute) research and development. He has demonstrated expertise in drug design; synthesis; lead optimization of peptides, small molecules, and natural products; and is inventor of three molecules that advanced to human clinical trials – Perzinfotel (CNS disorders and pain), Squalamine (oncology and AMD), and Trodusquemine (obesity).
Currently, Dr. Kinney is Director of the Natural Product Discovery Institute and Chief Scientific Officer at KannaLife Sciences. His scientific contributions include more than 70 publications and presentations and inventorship on 38 issued U.S. patents.
Mark Corrao – Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Corrao was formerly a founder and CFO of Strikeforce Technologies, Inc., a publicly traded software development and services company specializing in the development of a suite of integrated computer network security products. In addition to the ten years of his service at Strikeforce, Mr. Corrao has spent numerous years in the public accounting arena specializing in certified auditing, SEC accounting, corporate taxation, and financial planning. Mr. Corrao’s background also includes numerous years on Wall Street with Merrill Lynch, Spear Leeds & Kellogg, and Greenfield Arbitrage Partners. While on Wall Street, Mr. Corrao was involved in several IPO’s and has been a guiding influence in several startup companies.
Stuart W. Titus, PhD – Board Director
Dr. Stuart Titus is a veteran of the financial services and medical healthcare industries with over thirty years of combined experience in each discipline. In the investment banking industry, Dr. Titus worked with well regarded firms, namely A.G. Becker, Prudential-Bache Securities, and Credit Suisse-First Boston. After leaving Wall Street, Dr. Titus opened and operated his private physiotherapy practice specializing in microcurrent and stem cell therapeutic treatments for patients suffering with neurodegenerative, musculo-skeletal, and soft tissue trauma and damage.