Belinda Tsao-Nivaggioli, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
Dr. Tsao-Nivaggioli serves as chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the Avicena Group. Prior to her current role, Dr. Tsao-Nivaggioli served as the company's chief operating officer from 2002 to 2004. During her tenure as COO, the company expanded its intellectual property portfolio and built a valuable pipeline of products including several drug candidates for the treatment of various neurological disorders. As a result, the Avicena Group secured an orphan drug designation for its lead product, a therapeutic for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and has subsequently initiated a Phase III study. In addition, Dr. Tsao-Nivaggioli is credited with launching the company's OTC program.
Prior to joining Avicena, Dr. Tsao-Nivaggioli served as manager of research and development for Gillette's Oral-B division, where she was responsible for new products from development through manufacture. In this role, she worked extensively with both business and technical operations groups including marketing, marketing research, clinical research and technical products research. While at Oral-B, Dr. Tsao-Nivaggioli developed and commercialized several oral care products including Satin FlossŪ and Oral-BŪ Floss, the company's flagship dental floss.
Dr. Tsao-Nivaggioli received an A.B. degree, with honors, in chemistry from Oberlin College and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in bioorganic chemistry from the University of Toronto. Dr. Tsao-Nivaggioli did her post-doctoral research with Dr. Julius Rebek at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she studied chemical nucleases and self-replicating systems.