Senior Management Team

Lewis H. Bender, M.S., M.A., M.B.A.

Position: Founder and CEO

Mr. Bender has over 28 years of biopharmaceutical leadership experience and has helped take products leveraging novel drug delivery techniques from discovery through product approval. Prior to founding Intensity Therapeutics, Mr. Bender was the CEO of Interleukin Genetics, a personalized medicine company, from January 2008 until August 2012. Prior to joining Interleukin, Mr. Bender held numerous positions at Emisphere Technologies, Inc., a drug delivery company specializing in the oral delivery of poorly absorbed molecules.  His roles included: Interim President & CEO, President, Chief Technology Officer, Senior Vice President of Business Development, and Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Process Development.

During his career, Mr. Bender has partnered with several major pharmaceutical and biotech companies using structures such as joint ventures, licensing and research collaboration agreements. In addition, Mr. Bender has been successful in raising capital from institutional investors through multiple types of transactions.

Lewis H. Bender, M.S., M.A., M.B.A.

Founder and CEO

Mr. Bender has over 28 years of biopharmaceutical leadership experience...

Joseph Talamo, CPA

Position: Chief Financial Officer

Joseph Talamo has over 25 years of biopharmaceutical company experience in financial leadership roles, and has served as our Chief Financial Officer since December 2023. Prior to joining Intensity Therapeutics, Mr. Talamo served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of HiberCell, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company, from 2020 to 2023.  Previously, Mr. Talamo held various senior positions between 2011 and 2020 at Caladrius Biosciences, Inc., a publicly-traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, including Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2015 to 2020. From 1996 to 2010, Mr. Talamo also held various senior positions at OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, including Vice President and Corporate Controller from 2006 to 2010. Mr. Talamo also has served as Treasurer of the Cura Foundation, a public charity dedicated to promote health equity and improve the health and wellbeing of all, since 2013. He previously served as Treasurer of the OSI Pharmaceuticals Foundation from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Talamo received a B.B.A. in Accounting, and a M.B.A. in Finance, both from Hofstra University. Mr. Talamo is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.

Joseph Talamo, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Joseph Talamo has over 25 years of biopharmaceutical company experience...

James M. Ahlers

Position: Executive Vice President

James M. Ahlers has served as our Executive Vice President of Corporate Finance since June 2023. Previously, Mr. Ahlers served as our Chief Financial Officer from January 2022 until June 2023 through a consulting agreement with Mr. Ahlers’ employer, Danforth Advisors LLC, a company that provides strategic and operational finance and accounting services to life science companies. From February 2002 to November 2019 Mr. Ahlers served as Chief Financial Officer of Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc. Mr. Ahlers is an accomplished finance leader with 25 years of experience building life science businesses. During his career, he has managed capital raising transactions, including initial public offerings, that have raised in excess of $2 billion. In addition, he has developed and implemented international operations and global tax strategies. Mr. Ahlers holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of San Francisco.

James M. Ahlers

Executive Vice President

James M. Ahlers has served as our Executive Vice President...

Brian Schwartz, MD

Position: Executive VP, Clinical Development

Brian Schwartz, MD, joined our team as a consultant in April of 2022 and is our executive responsible for Clinical Development. Dr. Schwartz has significant experience in drug development in both the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries and most recently served as Chief Medical Officer and head of Research and Development of ArQule, Inc., where he served as a key member of the management team and spearheaded a number of preclinical and clinical drug development programs in oncology and rare diseases. Dr. Schwartz received his medical degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, practiced medicine, and worked at the University of Toronto prior to his career in the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr Schwartz currently serves as a board member a number of biotech companies.

Brian Schwartz, MD

Executive VP, Clinical Development

Brian Schwartz, MD, joined our team as a consultant in...

John Wesolowski, CPA, MBA

Position: Principal Accounting Officer and Controller

John Wesolowski has served as our Interim Chief Financial Officer since June 2023 and our Principal Accounting Officer and Controller since March 2017. Prior to joining Intensity Therapeutics, from 1998 to 2016 Mr. Wesolowski was Director of Costing in the Yale University Controller’s office. In that role Mr. Wesolowski conducted financial reporting, property tax management, was responsible for calculations of overhead and benefit rates, and was involved in numerous special projects related to accounting process and controls. Also, at Yale, he was involved in financial reporting and the accounting matters related to clinical trials and other organized research. Prior to joining Yale Mr. Wesolowski was the Vice President and Controller for Automatic Fastener Corporation in Branford, CT from 1988 to 1998. In this role, Mr. Wesolowski oversaw all accounting, purchasing and human resource functions. John also has 5 years of experience in public accounting and auditing from working at KMG Main Hurdman, now KPMG. Mr. Wesolowski received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State at University Park) and an MBA from the University of Connecticut in Management Science. He is a Certified Public Account since 1983.

John Wesolowski, CPA, MBA

Principal Accounting Officer and Controller

John Wesolowski has served as our Interim Chief Financial Officer...

Kimberly A. Guedes, RN, MBA

Position: Vice President of Clinical Operations

Kimberly Guedes is a seasoned professional with 30 years of experience in clinical development and operations, spanning pre-clinical, Phase I-IV trials, translational research, and multiple drug development disciplines. She has held various roles in organizations such as Yale University School of Medicine, Keiferx, Centrexion Therapeutics, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Bristol Myers-Squibb, and Mitsubishi Pharmaceuticals. Kim holds an MBA from The University of Dayton, and a BSN in Nursing from Salve Regina University. Kim was awarded the Carolyn E. Green Scholarship for leadership opportunities for women in the life sciences industry.

Kimberly A. Guedes, RN, MBA

Vice President of Clinical Operations

Kimberly Guedes is a seasoned professional with 30 years of...

Doranne Frano

Position: Regulatory Affairs and Quality Control

Doranne Frano is a global life science regulatory, clinical and quality professional with over 40 years of experience in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices diagnostics and regulatory compliance. Doranne started her career in Clinical Research at G.D. Searle in Skokie Illinois and quickly moved into executive regulatory and quality roles. She has worked for several small and midsize pharmaceutical companies and provided consulting services until her move to San Diego, where she continued her career in regulatory and quality at small start up biotech companies and continues to consult in the pharmaceutical and biotech areas. Doranne was born and raised in Chicago Illinois, attended University of Illinois and Northeastern University earning her BA in Business and Science, she obtained an MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago and an MS in Regulatory and Quality from Temple University School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia.

Doranne Frano

Regulatory Affairs and Quality Control

Doranne Frano is a global life science regulatory, clinical and...