Dr. Balkovec has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, and has a broad background in drug discovery. Prior to joining Cidara, he was an industry consultant in early stage programs, specializing in anti-infectives. At Merck Laboratories, he was Senior Scientific Director and Team Leader, overseeing programs in infectious disease, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory and thrombosis disease. During his tenure, he brought forward over a dozen development candidates. Dr. Balkovec led the discovery efforts and is a co-inventor of the first approved echinocandin antifungal, caspofungin acetate (CANCIDAS), and is responsible for the first orally active GS inhibitor currently in clinical development. Dr. Balkovec led a number of early stage discovery programs and is an author or inventor on over 50 publications and patents. Dr. Balkovec has received several prestigious awards including the American Chemical Society’s Heroes of Chemistry Award. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of a private company focused on small molecule therapeutics and as a Local Councilor for the American Society for Microbiology. Dr. Balkovec received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin in Madison working under Barry Trost and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow with Gilbert Stork at Columbia University.