Russell Medford, MD, Ph.D.


Governance, Nominating & Compensation Committee Chair, Georgia Bio
CEO & Chairman, Covanos, Inc.

Russell M. Medford, MD, PhD, Managing Partner is a senior biotechnology executive with extensive private and public company experience as Chief Executive Officer and Board member of multiple biotechnology and other health related companies, organizations and research institutes. From 1995 to 2009, Dr. Medford served as co-founder, President, CEO and Director of publicly-held AtheroGenics, Inc (Nasdaq: AGIX) and from 2009 to 2012 CEO and Chairman of Salutria Pharmaceuticals, LLC. He was a founding Board Director of publicly-held Inhibitex, Inc. (Nasdaq: INHX) until it was acquired by Bristol-Myers-Squibb in 2012 for $2.5 billion.

He has had extensive experience leading companies and organizations engaged in comprehensive therapeutic drug research and development, developing multiple, novel, first-in-man clinical candidates for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis, conducted multiple phase I, II and III clinical studies involving over 400 clinical trial sites in 12 countries, including the US, UK, Canada, South Africa, India, Russia, Eastern Europe and India involving more than 7000 patients, executed multiple strategic partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies including Schering-Plough, Fujisawa and AstraZeneca, as well as building a commercial-scale, manufacturing plant for lead, small-molecule pharmaceutical agents.

He has extensive experience in both the private and public financial markets including initial public offerings (IPO) raising over $500 million for corporate, clinical development and research programs. He has served on multiple private company Boards including Transcardiac Therapeutics, Inc., Somatocor, Inc. and EmTech Bio. He is a board-certified physician, an inaugural Fellow of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences of the American Heart Association, a member of the executive committee and former Chairman of GeorgiaBio, a member of Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) Board of Directors, Emerging Companies Section Governing Board and Health Science Governing Board, Co-Chairman of BIO’s Bioethics Committee and served as Chairman of the BIO's 2009 International Convention Steering Committee.

Dr. Medford is a past member of the Advisory Council of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Health Museum and Chairman of the External Advisory Board for the Petit Institute of Bioscience and Bioengineering of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has received numerous awards including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Southeast), the Biomedical Industry Growth Award (Georgia Bio), CATALYST Magazine's Top 50 Entrepreneurs and the SCRIPP Best Partnership Alliance (London).

Dr. Medford also serves as Chairman of Artetude Gallery, Inc., a private, North Carolina contemporary fine art company based in Asheville. Dr. Medford was an Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Molecular Cardiology and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine where he founded Atherogenics, Inc. He received a B.A. from Cornell University, and a M.D. with Distinction and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completing his residency and cardiology fellowship at Harvard’s Beth Israel and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals where he also served on the faculty of Medicine. He publishes widely and holds over 16 U.S. and international patents.