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MEET THE COGENT SCIENTIFIC LEADERSHIP TEAM

  • Strategic Scientific Consulting

    John Sima

    Founder, President, and CEO

  • Recruiting for Scientific

    Raul Zavaleta

    Partner

  • Michael O’Hara

    Vice President of Business Development

  • Scientific Consultation

    John Sima, Jr.

    Manager of Finance and Operations

  • Recruiting for Scientific

    Angela Bridges

    Manager of Talent Acquisition

Strategic Scientific Consulting

John Sima

Founder, President, and CEO

Mr. Sima has more than 25 years of experience in launching successful science-based companies where he has demonstrated a passion and the highest regard for quality data, responsive timely information, and trustworthy relationships. He currently serves as President and CEO of Cogent Scientific, which he founded in 2005 and has grown the company from 4 to 40 employees.

Prior to starting Cogent Scientific, Mr. Sima held several executive leadership positions with Semafore Pharmaceuticals in Indianapolis, which he helped start. He guided this organization to in-license a PI-3 Kinase pathway inhibitor, an important cell signaling pathway involved in the progression and regulation of several cancers, hematological malignancies and inflammatory/autoimmune disease. He also helped raise $40M dollars over ten years to secure proper financing and oversaw the operations of patents, safety data, manufacturing, and clinical operations.

Mr. Sima began his entrepreneurial career with the founding of SIMALABS International in 1989. He grew this environmental analytical laboratory from one facility in Indiana to four facilities located in North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana. SIMALABS International was one of three laboratories in the State of Indiana that was certified to do Federal RCRA analysis of Federal EPA RCRA Sites. In 2003, SIMALABS was acquired by Microbac Laboratories headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.

Mr. Sima graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.

Recruiting for Scientific

Raul Zavaleta

Partner

Raul Zavaleta has over 30 years of international experience in life sciences. Since 2000, he has been a partner at Volatus Advisors LLC, an enterprise development consulting firm for entrepreneurial companies. In this role, Mr. Zavaleta has helped emerging companies with strategic visioning, business planning, and capital structure.

Mr. Zavaleta has started several companies. In 1986, he moved from Los Angeles, California, to start his first venture in Indianapolis, Indiana. This venture, SciCor, now Covance, Inc. (NYSE:CVD), recently acquired by LabCorp (NYSE: LH), quickly became the leader in the pharmaceutical industry for laboratory services. In 1991, Mr. Zavaleta moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where he led the expansion of SciCor to Western and Eastern Europe.

He has also guided the growth and successful exit of several life science technology enterprises including Performance Assessment Network (PAN), the leading web-based system for the distribution, administration, and analysis of professional assessments, tests, and surveys, acquired by Talx , itself acquired by Equifax (NYSE:EFX); and Maaguzi, a leading provider of software, services, and the power of the Internet for the electronic collection of patient reported outcomes in late phase clinical research conducted by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with its powerful suite of product offerings (OutcomeLogix and SleepLogix), acquired by Phase Forward, which was later acquired by Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). . He recently completed a stint as CEO of Indigo BioSystems, Inc., a provider of scientific software automation solutions for expert processes in analytical laboratories, which he helped position as the leader in the industry. Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial career, Mr. Zavaleta worked for Dow Chemical, American Hospital Supply, and Smith Kline Beecham Laboratories.

Mr. Zavaleta received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Michael O’Hara

Vice President of Business Development

Michael F. O’Hara, PhD, MBA has over 17 years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotech development including senior leadership positions on both the CRO and Sponsor side, offering a unique perspective on the advantages and risks of varied outsourcing models.

Michael received his BS in Biochemistry in 1997 from the University of Delaware and his PhD in Developmental Biology and Teratology from Thomas Jefferson University in 2002. His first job post-graduate school was a Study Director at Covance, which led to him joining Novartis in 2004. While working there, he obtained his MBA in Pharmaceutical Management from Seton Hall University in 2008. Michael joined Roche Pharmaceuticals in 2010 at the Nutley, NJ campus focused on regulatory strategy and development of both large and small molecules.

After the closure of the Nutley campus in 2012, Michael again joined Covance, specifically to build a business unit at the Greenfield, IN campus. As part of site leadership, and serving as Test Facility Management, he assembled a talented team that delivered a CAGR of 27% over the first five years of the business. Michael subsequently joined Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston in 2017 as a Senior Director and part of the Executive Leadership team, guiding development of small molecule rare disease treatments as well as gene therapy technologies.

Michael joined Cogent Scientific in 2019 and brings a wealth of experience across scientific affairs, regulatory compliance and business operations.

Scientific Consultation

John Sima, Jr.

Manager of Finance and Operations

As the Manager of Finance and Operations, John Sima Jr is responsible for the administrative, accounting, operational, human resource. and financial reporting of the company. Mr. Sima has 3 years of experience in financial consulting and restructuring. During this time, he helped prepare financial analyses for multi-billion dollar litigations, not-for-profit organizations, and served as the controller during the restructuring of an energy technology company.

Mr. Sima has Bachelor’s of Science Degrees in Mathematics and Business Administration from Belhaven University in Jackson, MS and a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis on Finance from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Mr. Sima also holds a Certified Public Accountant license.

Recruiting for Scientific

Angela Bridges

Manager of Talent Acquisition

In her position of the primary recruiting professional for Cogent, Ms. Bridges brings with her over 17 years of recruiting and staffing experience in the scientific, engineering, and healthcare industries. She has assisted hundreds of professionals with starting and expanding their careers. Angela’s goal is to serve both her candidates and clients with excellence by understanding their needs and engineering a way to meet them.

Angela has served as a recruiter and talent acquisition manager for two of the largest staffing firms in the United States. She has developed and implemented talent acquisition strategies with many Fortune 500 companies. Angela supported her team by resolving technical and client-related issues and coached them to consistently meet and beat client and company expectations. She has implemented detailed recruiting plans, specific to each individual customer, increasing candidate visibility and attraction.

Before beginning her recruiting career, Angela worked as a chemist for five years in the biochemical and pharmaceutical industries. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Indiana State University.

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