TRPblue is developing a novel small molecule topical therapeutic that modulates crucial elements of peripheral nerve pain, itch, and inflammation.

Founded in 2017, TRPblue was spun out of Duke University and is based on the research of Dr. Wolfgang Liedtke, a scientist-physician, who made earlier discoveries in the arena of TRP ion channels and has contributed to this field significantly.  An experienced management team has been assembled to advance TB16-8 into the clinic.

What We’re Working On

Our lead compound TB16-8 is a dual inhibitor of TRPV4 and TRPA1, two important TRP ion channel receptors involved in the pathophysiology of chemotherapy-induced painful peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and atopic dermatitis. The development of TB16-8 for CIPN and atopic dermatitis is based on compelling preclinical studies demonstrating effective prevention and treatment in relevant disease models.


Our Management Team

Barney Koszalka, Ph.D.

Co-Founder & President

Barney Koszalka is the co-founder and President of TRPblue. Barney came to TRPblue from NeurOp, where he was the President and CEO for nearly 7 years. Prior to NeurOp, Dr. Koszalka held many senior level positions for biotech companies such as Argolyn Biosciences and Trimeris. Prior to these roles in the biotech industry, Dr. Koszalka spent nearly 30 years at GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Koszalka received his B.Sc. from Bethany College, M. Sc. and Ph.D. from NC State.

Wolfgang Liedtke, M.D., Ph.D.


Wolfgang Liedtke, M.D., Ph.D. is a co-founder of TRPblue. Currently, Dr. Liedtke is the Chair of Neurology, Global Development Scientific Council at Regeneron. Wolfgang has spent over 20 years focused on understanding the transduction mechanisms of transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels in pain, pruritus, inflammation, and injury. Dr. Liedtke received his M.D. from the University of Cologne in Germany and his Ph.D. from the University of Bochum in Germany. Wolfgang has authored more than 130 papers on research related to pain, itch and TRP ion channels.

Francis Tavares, Ph.D.

Head of Chemistry

Francis Tavares is the Head of Chemistry for TRPblue. Dr. Tavares is also the CEO of Resilio Therapeutics and President of ChemoGenics Biopharma. Francis previously held scientific roles at GlaxoSmithKline for over 10 years. Dr. Tavares received his Ph.D. from Colorado State University and completed a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.

Scott Lyman, M.S., M.B.A.

Head of Business Development

Scott Lyman is the Head of Business Development for TRPblue. Mr. Lyman has held management roles at companies such as Amgen, Valeant, Salix, BioCryst, and GlaxoSmithKline. Scott received his B.S. from Iowa State University, M.S. from University of Colorado, and his MBA from the University of North Carolina.

Roberta McLeod

Head of Finance

Roberta McLeod is the Head of Finance for TRPblue. Ms. McLeod has worked in public accounting as an auditor and in private accounting as a controller for over 20 years. She is currently is a contract accountant with clients in the drug discovery industry. She received her B.S. from Auburn University.

Jessica Sorrentino, Ph.D.

Head of Research and Development

Jessica Sorrentino is the Head of Research and Development at TRPBlue.  Over the past 10 years, Dr. Sorrentino has held scientific leadership positions in R&D and Translational Medicine at biotech companies including G1 Therapeutics and Istari Oncology. Dr. Sorrentino earned a B.S. in molecular genetics from the University of Rochester and a PhD in toxicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Sorrentino brings a strong scientific background in preclinical and clinical research and development to her role at the TRPBlue.