Management Team

Management Team

management-Iwaki_webYuichi Iwaki, M.D., Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer, and Founder

Dr. Iwaki holds three professorships at the University of Southern California School of Medicine in the Departments of Urology, Surgery and Pathology and has been Director of the Transplantation Immunology and Immunogenetic Laboratory since 1992. He is also a visiting professor at the Nihon University School of Medicine, Kyushu University and Toho University, School of Medicine in Japan. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Dr. Iwaki held professorships at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Departments of Surgery and Pathology from 1989 through 1991. He received both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Sapporo Medical School in Sapporo, Japan. Dr. Iwaki is the author of 200 peer-reviewed publications and more than 40 books. He has been advising pharmaceutical companies and venture capital funds regarding research and investment strategies for over 30 years and is a board member of several biotechnology companies.

OkajimaMasatsune Okajima

Vice President and Head of Japanese Office

Mr. Okajima joined MediciNova in September 2006. Before joining MediciNova, Mr. Okajima served as Deputy General Manager, Daiwa Securities SMBC Co., Ltd. From 1999 through 2002, Mr. Okajima served as Manager, Daiwa Securities’ SB Capital Markets Co., Ltd. (currently Daiwa Securities SMBC Co., Ltd.). As Deputy General Manager, Mr Okajima was involved in pivotal phases of initial public offerings, subsequent public offerings, corporate bond issuances, and mergers & acquisitions.  In addition, he handled Investors Relations and stock trading. From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Okajima served as Manager, Sumitomo Capital Securities Co., Ltd.  Mr. Okajima served in various positions at Sumitomo Bank, Ltd. (currently Mitsui Sumitomo Bank) between 1991 and 1996.  Mr. Okajima graduated with a B.S. Degree from the Department of Science and Technology, Tokyo Science University.

Kazuko Matsuda, M.D., Ph.D, MPH

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Matsuda has served as Vice President of Clinical Development for MediciNova since 2010 and is responsible for all clinical development.  Previously, Dr. Matsuda was a clinical advisor to MediciNova for its MN-221 and MN-166 development programs.  Prior to joining MediciNova, Dr. Matsuda was assistant professor, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine after an appointment at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  Dr. Matsuda commenced her residency in internal medicine/pediatrics at Michigan State University and completed a pediatric residency at Loma Linda University.  She is a board certified pediatrician in both the United States and Japan. Dr. Matsuda received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Sapporo Medical School and MPH from Harvard University, School of Public Health.

management-OBrien_webGeoffrey O’Brien, JD/MBA

Vice President

Mr. O’Brien joined MediciNova in June 2009. Prior to joining MediciNova, Mr. O’Brien worked on Wall Street for 10 years as an equity research analyst and investment banker covering pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies at UBS, DLJ/Credit Suisse First Boston, Nomura, and Punk Ziegel, and was a Vice President from 2004-2008. During his career as a senior equity research analyst on the sell side and buy side, he focused on clinical, scientific, financial, strategic and competitive analysis of development programs and marketed products. He used this analysis to predict the future prospects of both development-stage and established pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. At UBS, Mr. O’Brien worked on the specialty pharmaceuticals team, which was ranked #2 in Institutional Investor magazine’s All-America Research Team survey. He executed acquisitions and equity offerings as a health care investment banker at DLJ/Credit Suisse First Boston. Prior to graduate school, Mr. O’Brien worked on the successful development of a biotechnology product at The Liposome Company. Mr. O’Brien received a B.S. in chemistry, cum laude, from the University of Delaware and completed his J.D. and M.B.A. simultaneously at Vanderbilt Law School and Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

Ryan Selhorn, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Selhorn was appointed our Chief Financial Officer effective March 31, 2016. Mr. Selhorn joined the accounting services firm of Signature Analytics San Diego LLC as the Vice President Operations in July 2013 after spending 10 years with Grant Thornton LLP, most recently as a Senior Manager in the audit practice and then in the national Mergers and Acquisitions Group. He has experience working with both public and private companies in many industries including life sciences, biotech, and medical devices. Mr. Selhorn is a licensed certified public accountant and received his Bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Georgetown University.