Knowledge and experience are key drivers of success for life sciences companies. Ernie’s wealth of knowledge from his long career in the pharma industry is an essential sounding board for our investment team.

Ernie’s career began in 1966 as a pharmaceutical researcher at Strasenburgh Laboratories in Rochester, NY. He later held various management positions within SmithKline and Squibb Corp., overseeing operations, quality control, and manufacturing. He was elected to the Squibb Board in 1984. He joined Glaxo plc in 1986, and subsequently served as Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman, during which time he oversaw the launch of five major brands that grew the company's sales and profits by nearly 15 percent annually, as Glaxo became the second largest global pharmaceutical company. In 1993, Ernie joined Alza Corporation as CEO, where he ultimately consummated with Johnson & Johnson what was then one of the largest mergers in pharmaceutical history. In 2001, Ernie founded Apothogen, a company involved in early-stage pharmaceutical development, which subsequently merged with IntraBiotics. He went on to serve as Chairman and CEO of Reliant Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline. In 2007, Ernie joined Soleno Therapeutics (formerly Capnia) as Chairman and CEO, and continues to serve as Chairman. He previously served as a director for Pappas portfolio company Balance Therapeutics and as Chairman for Pappas portfolio company Chimerix (NASDAQ: CMRX). Ernie holds honorary doctorates from the University of Rhode Island and Rutgers University, where the School of Pharmacy bears his name. He served as a Duke University trustee for 18 years and in 2009 received the University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service. In 2007, he was awarded the Remington Medal, the highest honor in the field of Pharmacy in the United States.

Ernie Joined Pappas Capital in 2002 as a member of our Scientific Advisory Board, becoming a Venture Partner in 2011.


Rutgers University (BS in Pharmacy)
University of Rhode Island (MS in Physical Sciences)
University of Rhode Island (PhD in Physical Sciences)