William Weiss William J. Weiss, Director

Before leading the PreClinical Research Services group, Bill was Director of Drug Evaluation at Cumbre Pharmaceuticals Inc. where he was responsible for animal efficacy models, pharmacology and all pre-clinical research and development efforts through IND submission focused on the discovery & development of new antimicrobial agents. Prior to this, he was a Group Leader in Infectious Disease Discovery Research at Wyeth Research (Pfizer), Lederle Laboratories and Schering-Plough (Merck), holding various positions of responsibility in antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal drug discovery research for over 40 years. His responsibilities included leading in vitro and in vivo evaluation of novel test articles from medicinal synthetic and natural products chemistry. He has worked on numerous antibacterial programs including the development of the marketed antibiotics; Suprax, Zosyn and Tygacil. His expertise encompasses the development of animal research models, evaluation of new and novel therapeutic agents as well as pharmacokinetic / pharmacodynamic analysis. He has authored / co-authored over 100 research presentations and journal articles.

Mark PulseMark E. Pulse, Associate Director

Mark holds a Masters of Science degree in molecular microbiology and immunology and his early research at the University of North Texas Health Science Center primarily focused on bacterial pathogenesis and pre-clinical drug evaluation within in vivo models. For the last 12 years he has been directly involved in the development of multiple in vivo models that have included GI- and respiratory-associated infectious diseases, device-associated (biofilm) infections and pharmacokinetic studies within multiple animal species. He also has experience with survival surgery in multiple animal models, including USDA species. In addition to in vivo research, his in vitro experience has involved the use of multiple molecular techniques to determine important virulence pathways associated with Staphylococcus aureus infections.

Jerry Simecka

Jerry W. Simecka, Executive Director

Jerry received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and eventually became a Research Assistant Professor. In 1995, he joined the Department of Microbiology at University of North Texas Health Science Center. He is currently a Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Immunology. His research is focused on respiratory disease and immunity using in vivo models of infections and vaccination. In addition, research on biofilm infections is ongoing. In collaboration with Cumbre Pharmaceuticals Inc, Dr. Simecka’s lab established several in vivo models of infections and pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic analysis for discovery research. His expertise also includes analysis of immune function, mucosal immunity and immunization. He has authored over 60 manuscripts and book chapters, is a member of several grant review panels, and a past Chair of Division G of the American Society for Microbiology.