Preclinical Research Professionals

We have decades of experience in the preclinical pharmaceutical industry. Many of our team members bring years of experience with them to their positions at Covance. They understand the pressures of the research environment and know how to drive successful commercial preclinical programs with teams that produce the most meaningful data in the industry, helping you make the best decisions.

Scott C. Wise, MS

Vice President, Operations, and Senior Research Advisor – Molecular Targets

Scott Wise has over 20 years of drug discovery experience ranging from target identification and assay development to in vivo pharmacology and biomarkers. Mr. Wise manages study execution at the company and deepens the company’s expertise and experience in molecular biology and drug discovery as well as the optimal use of discovery contract research services for decision making. He has also introduced new in vitro and bioanalytical services for MI Bioresearch clients both internally and through external partnerships. These services provide important correlates for in vivo pharmacology and small animal imaging work performed for clients at MI.

Prior to joining MI, Mr. Wise was senior director of biology at Deciphera Pharmaceuticals where he led biological development of seven distinct programs resulting in three clinical trials. Mr. Wise also spent nine years at Pfizer where he worked on numerous discovery projects and played a key role in the implementation of a fully automated miniaturized screening platform capable of processing over 500,000 wells/day.

Mr. Wise began his career at the National Cancer Institute where he focused on molecular mechanisms of breast and ovarian cancers. He received his master’s degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Toledo.

Maryland Franklin, PhD

Vice President of Scientific Development

Dr. Maryland Franklin has 20 years of experience with preclinical pharmacology models, more than half spent in biotech and pharma companies. Throughout her career, Dr. Franklin worked as a member of numerous multidisciplinary teams to deliver agents from research into development, and she was a key leader in bringing four drugs into Phase I clinical trials.

She started her industry career as a research scientist in the preclinical development group at ZymoGenetics, working on animal models of lung fibrosis, anti-virals, and psoriasis. In 2003, Dr. Franklin joined the In Vivo Pharmacology Department at OSI Pharmaceuticals, where she supervised the internal and external placement of oncology-focused in vivo pharmacology studies and established and managed external collaborations around target identification, biomarkers, animal models, and imaging. Dr. Franklin was a key contributor in the discovery and early clinical development of the small molecule IGF-1R/IR dual inhibitor, OSI-906 (linsitinib), and provided key drug combination data and novel tumor models to support further clinical development of the small molecule EGFR inhibitor erlotinib (Tarceva®).

Dr. Franklin joined MI in early 2014 and is currently vice president of scientific development, with a focus on strengthening MI’s in vivo animal model capabilities, overall oncology pharmacology and immuno-oncology services, and advancing internal drug discovery knowledge. Dr. Franklin’s expertise in the design, execution, and analysis of in vivo pharmacology studies for oncology target validation, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic correlation to anti-tumor activity, drug combinations, dose scheduling, and biomarker identification allow for consultative and collaborative work with current and prospective clients. Dr. Franklin also plays an important role in the identification and development of novel scientific approaches and partnerships with MI clients.

Wilbur R. Leopold III, PhD

Vice President, Quality Assurance, Senior Oncology Fellow, Co-founder

Dr. Wilbur R. Leopold III served as the initial president and CEO of Molecular Imaging Research and led the company’s growth and resultant sale to Charles River Laboratories in 2008. In 2011, he co-led the re-establishment of Molecular Imaging as an independent CRO. Prior to Molecular Imaging, Dr. Leopold led the growth of the cancer drug discovery effort at Parke-Davis/Pfizer in Ann Arbor. He led the transition to a focus on novel molecular targets and on the application and automation of preclinical pharmacodynamic assays to speed drug discovery.

Dr. Leopold’s personal research interests are centered on the use of preclinical in vivo models to predict clinical outcomes. He has been the principal scientist and program leader for the discovery and development of more than 15 anti-cancer agents that have advanced to clinical trials. Among his group’s key discoveries was Ibrance®, a major advance in the treatment of breast cancer. Dr. Leopold holds three patents and is a reviewer for several renowned scientific journals. An adjunct professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan, he was a member of the Purdue University Cancer Center External Advisory Committee for over 15 years.

Dr. Leopold received his Ph.D. in oncology from the University of Wisconsin Medical School and a master’s in biochemistry and a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois.

James Norman

Vice President, Sales

As vice president of sales at MI Bioresearch, James Norman draws upon more than 15 years of experience working in preclinical CROs. Mr. Norman started his career in Japan with SNBL, Ltd., Japan’s largest full-service CRO. As a manager in the international affairs group, he gained broad experience across the business including management of preclinical drug safety and pharmacology studies and as the primary interface for non-Japanese customers. After four years with the company in Japan, he was promoted and transferred to its US subsidiary (SNBL USA, Ltd.) to initiate business development activities for a then newly built preclinical research facility. In this role, he contributed to rapid sales growth for the business.

Mr. Norman also spent seven years as global head of business development and as a member of executive leadership at Maccine Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based preclinical CRO. He spearheaded the commercial development of Maccine from early in its founding and delivered solid growth.

At MI, Mr. Norman brings with him a deep understanding of the preclinical CRO industry. He leads a team of experienced business development and marketing professionals, collaborating closely with MI’s operations and scientific development teams to advance best-in-class preclinical pharmacology services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients globally.

Mr. Norman holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from Southern Cross University, Australia.

Raymond Eifler

Vice President, Information Technology

Raymond Eifler has over 20 years of IT leadership roles, specializing in businesses experiencing their higher growth stages. He has helped businesses in multiple industries, providing the infrastructure, internal development and leadership necessary to scale efficiently.

Raymond began his career in telecommunications where he garnered both start-up and global operations experience, helping leverage technology to grow a business from $1 million to $80 million and a successful sale. After leaving telecommunications, he moved into the software industry, where he scaled the infrastructure at Wise Solutions for high growth, until its successful sale to Altiris. He then served as the VP of Global Information Systems for Altiris until it was successfully acquired by Symantec. Since then he has held several leadership and consulting positions, utilizing technology to enable scale and efficiency.

His background includes all facets of Information Technology work, including software design, project management, architecture, security, and operations. Raymond has a Masters of Information Technology Management from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan.

Matt Hoffman, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Matt Hoffman is CFO of MI Bioresearch and is responsible for managing all financial matters of the company and is committed to maximizing company value through balanced growth initiatives while maintaining a high level of integrity and transparency. Matt relies on almost 20 years of financial management experience with an emphasis on partnering throughout the organization to effectively scale the business.

Matt started his professional career in public accounting before transitioning to a rapidly growing defense contractor, Adaptive Materials, a developer and manufacturer of portable fuel cell systems. For six years Matt’s responsibilities included all financial functions and reporting, managing systems and controls during a period of hyper-growth that included top-line compounded 40% annual growth rate, and a tripling of employees. The company was acquired by a public company (Ultra Electronics) in 2010, at which time Matt advanced to VP of Finance for Ultra Electronics, AMI until late in 2012.

Prior to joining MI, Matt continued his work with startup and early growth stage companies as a consultant. Matt holds a BBA from Western Michigan University and is a licensed CPA in the State of Michigan.