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Carissa James

Carissa James, PhD

Senior Director, Research and Development Dermatology

As the Senior Director of Research and Development Dermatology, Dr. Carissa James leads the advancement of Xequel Bio’s clinical stage assets through NDA enabling studies along with contributing to the development of the company’s long-term strategy for various assets. In addition, she oversees our research collaborations with external partners, all while serving as a mentor and motivator for Xequel’s internal team.

Carissa is committed to discovering novel therapeutic opportunities and translating basic research into clinical successes. While earning her PhD in Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech, she identified translation of GJA1, the mRNA coding for Connexin43 (Cx43) and GJA1-20k, as a novel mechanism by which intercellular junctions are degraded during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is fundamental to wound healing in epithelial cells, development, and cancer metastasis. This discovery and Carrisa’s interest in capitalizing on the therapeutic potential of connexins led her to Xequel Bio.

Carissa’s favorite thing about Xequel Bio is that it is truly translational – the intermingling of clinical and non/preclinical development. In her free time, she loves to explore whether it be cooking foods from different cultures or spending time outside. She also loves to exercise her creativity by rendering some mediocre paintings.