The Team

Shift Pharmaceuticals is led by a team of experienced professionals, providing synergistic strengths for SMA drug development.


Steve O’Connor, Ph.D. – 
CEO, Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 1995.  Steve has been leading technology startups since 1992 in a number of sectors, including diagnostics, drug discovery, water treatment, etc. He brings to Shift Pharmaceuticals significant experience in technology development, intellectual property, fundraising, business partnering, and company building.

Contact Steve 


Christian L. Lorson, Ph.D. – CSO
, Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology, and Immunology, University of Missouri, 1997.  Christian is a leader in the study of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. His research on the molecular mechanisms of SMN2 splicing and translating that understanding into the development of ASOs for the treatment of SMA has led to significant publications and a coherent strategy to treat the disease. He is the Scientific Director of FightSMA.org.

Watch Chris on the Fight SMA panel in 2014 and on the SMA clinical trials panel in 2016.

Contact Chris 


Paul A. Morcos, Ph.D. – R&D
, Ph. D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, University of Missouri, 1993.  Paul has worked in the antisense industry for nearly 20 years, supporting the advancement of MOs and developing MO strategies to interfere with pre-mRNA splicing. His corporate and chemistry expertise is a perfect fit with Shift Pharmaceuticals platform technology.

Contact Paul 


Diane M. Beatty, Ph.D. – REG
, Ph. D. in Biochemistry, University of Missouri – Kansas City, 1997.  Diane has been involved in regulatory affairs and drug development for over 20 years, with extensive experience leading development teams for the treatment of rare and life-threatening diseases.

Contact Diane