Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Jeff Himawan, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Dr. Himawan is Managing Director for Essex Woodlands Health Ventures. At Essex Woodlands, Dr. Himawan has led several of the firms’ investments in the biotechnology arena, including an investments in Symphogen (a Danish-based company with a novel, antibody-producing platform technology), Iomai (a company with a method of delivering vaccines through the skin), Light Sciences Oncology (a company focused on the development of Light Infusion Technology™ for the treatment of solid tumors), and MediciNova. Prior to joining Essex Woodlands, Dr. Himawan was co-founder and Managing Director of Seed-One Ventures (Seed-One), a venture capital firm that specializes in the initial formation, financing, and early operational development of technology-based companies. At Seed-One, Dr. Himawan created and managed several early-stage companies including Elusys Therapeutics, a New Jersey-based biotechnology company. Prior to his experiences at Seed-One ventures, Dr. Himawan was a bench scientist with basic research experience in both industrial and academic settings. Dr. Himawan holds a B.S. degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and obtained a Ph.D. degree in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology from Harvard University.

Yuichi Iwaki, M.D., Ph.D.

Member of the Board of Directors
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 the Tokyo Women’s Medical School 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 20 years and is a board member of several biotechnology companies.

Hideki Nagao

Member of the Board of Directors

Mr. Nagao complements the MediciNova Board with 40 years of experience in finance and corporate law with financial institutions in Japan. Mr. Nagao started his career at Development Bank of Japan and, in 2006, he accepted the position of Senior Director, Department of Corporate Finance. In 2008, Mr. Nagao moved to Sagawa Financials, Inc. where he served as Financial Director. In 2012, he became Director at Sagawa Global Logistics and, in 2013, he served as President of Sagawa Asset Max. Currently, Mr. Nagao is an auditor at Sagawa Advance-SG Systems. He previously served as a Board Member for MediciNova from 2004 – 2010. Mr. Nagao holds a degree from the Faculty of Law of Tokyo University.

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

Member of the Board of Directors
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Matsuda has served as Chief Medical Officer and previously 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.

Carolyn Beaver

Member of the Board of Directors

Ms. Beaver has served as a director and member of the audit committee of MaxLinear, Inc., a leading provider of radio frequency, analog, digital and mixed-signal integrated circuits, since December 2018, and served as a director of Organovo Holdings, Inc., a biotechnology company, from February 2019 to September 2020.  She chaired the audit committee of Organovo and was a member of its nominating and corporate governance committee from September 2019 to September 2020.  She previously held several positions at Sequenom Inc., a life sciences testing company, including Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President from March 2015 to October 2016, Chief Financial Officer from June 2014 to March 2015, and Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer from June 2012 to March 2015. Ms. Beaver was previously Corporate Vice President and Controller of Beckman Coulter, Inc., a biomedical laboratory instrument and test company, from August 2005 until June 2012, and was named Chief Accounting Officer in October 2005, a position she held until July 2011, following the acquisition of Beckman Coulter, Inc. by Danaher Corporation. She also served as interim Chief Financial Officer of Beckman Coulter from July 2006 through October 2006. Ms. Beaver was a director of Commerce National Bank, Newport Beach, California, chair of its audit committee and a member of its asset/liability committee from 2005 until the bank was acquired in 2013. Ms. Beaver served as an audit partner with KPMG LLP from 1987 to 2002. She is currently on the board of directors of Working Wardrobes, Inc. and is chairman of the board of Changing Strides, both non-profit organizations.   Ms. Beaver received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.