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Catherine J. Pachuk, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor

Catherine J. Pachuk, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Translational Research



Dr. Pachuk serves as Chief Scientific Officer for Somahlution and is a member of the company’s Board of Directors.  Dr. Pachuk also currently serves as an expert curator for the American Society of Microbiology’s COVID19 registry.

Dr. Pachuk has over twenty-five years R&D leadership experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors with expertise in both drug, device and vaccine development with significant experience in nucleic-acid based therapeutic platforms including ASO, RNAi and nucleic-acid based vaccines.  Her key areas of therapeutic focus are viral diseases including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Coronavirus, metabolic disease, HCC and indications associated with Ischemia Reperfusion Injury. She was involved in advancing multiple product candidates into the clinic and market including several first-in-man compounds. She received her Ph.D. in molecular virology from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied the molecular biology of coronaviruses. She also has a dual Regulatory Affairs Certificate from RAPS (Regulatory Affairs Professional Society) in Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals.

Following a post-doctoral fellowship at SmithKline Beecham, she joined Apollon, Inc. to develop programs in oligonucleotide-based therapeutics, and subsequently DNA-based vaccines for both viral and oncology indications. Following the acquisition of Apollon, Inc. by Wyeth-Ayerst Research in 1998 she continued to direct several vaccine programs which resulted in several plasmid-based vaccine products being advanced into clinical trials. During this time, Dr. Pachuk worked with CBER in the drafting of a “Points to Consider” document regarding points to consider for administration of plasmid DNA compounds in humans. In 2001, she co-founded Nucleonics, a biotech focused on the development of RNAi-based therapeutics, one of which was advanced into clinical studies in Chronic Hepatitis B patients. Until April of 2008, she was VP of Preclinical Research. Dr. Pachuk then went on to lead biology and preclinical development efforts for Pfizer’s oligonucleotide therapeutic programs (ASO and siRNA) in the areas of oncology and metabolic disease and was a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

Dr. Pachuk also has significant experience in nucleic-acid delivery and has led nucleic acid-delivery programs for ASO, plasmid-based therapeutics, and siRNA at Apollon/Wyeth Vaccines, Nucleonics and Pfizer.

Since 2011, Dr. Pachuk has served as the Chief Scientific Officer of Somahlution where she leads product development and pipeline portfolio development for products related to Ischemia Reperfusion Injury. Dr. Pachuk has also been involved in the clinical and commercial development efforts for “DuraGraft”, the company’s flagship product.

At Somahlution, Dr. Pachuk manages the Intellectual Property Portfolio and Patent/Trademark Prosecution Activities as well as Market Access and Reimbursement.

Dr. Pachuk is named as inventor on over several dozen patents/applications and has authored numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals, textbooks or as invited publications. Dr. Pachuk was also selected as the key expert witness for one party in a 2018 highly publicized patent infringement case involving the first-in-class FDA-approved RNAi product.

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