About Us

Alan Schneyer, Ph.D., CEO (Co-founder)

Alan Schneyer, CEO of Fairbanks PharmaceuticalsFollowing his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctoral degree from the University of Miami, Dr. Schneyer was awarded an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Albany Medical College where he was trained in biochemical endocrinology. In 1987 he was recruited to the Massachusetts General Hospital where he ran an NIH-funded laboratory for 20 years.  In 2007, he moved to the Pioneer Valley Life Science Institute to pursue his discovery that the protein Follistatin Like-3 (FSTL3) was involved with regulating insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells.  In 2012, he joined the faculty of the Veterinary and Animal Science Department at University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he remains.  Over the years, funding for this work has been provided by the National Institutes of Health and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  Dr. Schneyer is the Co-founder of Fairbanks Pharmaceuticals and directs all research programs.

Elissa Brown, MS, Chief Operating Officer (Co-founder)

Ms Brown is Co-founder of Fairbanks Pharmaceuticals.  She has been involved with business development and consulting for over 30 years and provides long-range planning for the Company.  Ms. Brown has an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College and a master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Alexa Lopez, Laboratory Technician

Alexa graduated from Holyoke Community College with an Associates Degree in science, after which she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Westfield State University.  She was previously employed as a veterinary technician in the Baystate Animal Care Facility as well as at the Hampden Veterinary Clinic which provided an expertise in animal care and handling that will be critical for her work at Fairbanks testing new diabetes therapies in mice.    

Alden Richter, Laboratory Technician

Alden recently completed his Masters Degree in Applied Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, a program he undertook following his completion of the BS degree in Microbiology also at UMass.  These two programs have prepared Alden for his work at Fairbanks where he will take on the cloning, expressing, and purifying programs for FSTL3 and recombinant antibodies.  Like the other technicians, he is also intimately involved with our mouse studies testing our diabetes therapies.  Before entering college, Alden first completed a tour as a Combat Engineer in the US Army.  He is a valuable addition to our hard-working team.

Melissa Brown, PhD, Consultant on Islet Studies

Dr. Brown, Professor at the University of Saint Joseph, West Hartford, CT, has completed training and research programs in human and animal islet transplantation. She began collaborating with Dr. Schneyer in 2008 when she formed the islet biology laboratory focused on analysis of FSTL3 and follistatin mutant mice in collaboration with Dr. Schneyer’s NIH funded program. She also analyzed human islets from normal and diabetic donors to discover that activin could restore glucose responsive insulin release to non-functional diabetic islets. Dr. Brown provides islet isolation and analysis services to Fairbanks Pharmaceuticals during the SBIR Phase 2 project.