Dr. Navia is currently an Executive-in-Residence at Oxford Bioscience Partners. He is also a consultant for a number of pharmaceutical companies in the Boston area. Earlier, he was Executive Vice President for Research at Essential Therapeutics, (NASD: ETRX), which was formed through the merger of Microcide Pharmaceuticals and the Althexis Company in 2001. Dr. Navia was a founder of Althexis and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer. He is an expert in the field of X-ray crystallography, and has focused his career on the application of structural biology to the design and development of novel therapeutic agents through the application of structure-based drug design. Until recently, Dr. Navia was also a member of the Advisory Council of the Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health, where he chaired the Therapeutic Research Working Group.
In 1980, Dr. Navia established the first industrial macromolecular structure laboratory in the U.S., at Merck & Co., Inc., where he worked on the structures of human neutrophil elastase (a drug target for emphysema) and of carbonic anhydrase (for ocular hypertension and glaucoma). From 1989 to 1997, Dr. Navia was Vice-President and Senior Scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA, where his interests in structure-based drug design were focused on studies of the FK506 binding protein and calcineurin (for immunosuppression), IL-1b converting enzyme (for inflammation), and HIV-1 protease (for AIDS), among other projects. In addition, Dr. Navia invented the cross-linked enzyme crystal (CLEC) catalyst technology that is currently under development across a broad front by Altus Biologics, a company that he co-founded.
Dr. Navia holds a B.A. degree in Physics from New York University (1967), an M.S. in Biophysics from the University of Chicago (1969) and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Chicago (1974)