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Mr. Rao joined Expansion in January, 2022. He has extensive experience in pharma and biotech licensing, collaborations, and strategy. He has held leadership roles in both small biotech companies and large multi-national corporations and has closed numerous deals with a portfolio that spans across several therapeutic areas, including Central Nervous System (CNS), gastrointestinal (GI), oncology, and immunology. Mr. Rao formerly served as Vice President of Business Development for Genocea Biosciences where he led business development efforts on both the buy side and sell side, transaction execution, and alliance management. Previously, Mr. Rao served as Director of R&D Transactions at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the Center for External Innovation, where he was responsible for leading R&D transactions supporting the GI and CNS therapeutic areas. Prior to Takeda, he served as Director of In-Licensing and External R&D at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. His scientific experience includes positions at Merck & Co. in its Oncology division as a Research Program Leader and at Cytomed Inc. (acquired by UCB Pharma) in its Department of Target Discovery & Bioinformatics. Mr. Rao holds an M.B.A. from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University and an M.S. in Epidemiology from the University of Virginia, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry.