Pamela Reilly Contag, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer & Founder. Life science executive, scientist, and entrepreneur. Experienced senior executive for both public (President and CEO, Xenogen Corp., NASDAQ: XGEN), and multiple private companies including, most recently Origen Therapeutics, Cygnet Biofuels, and Cobalt Technologies. Dr. Contag has extensive experience leading science and business teams for pioneering companies in the life sciences. While serving as CEO of Xenogen, in 2000, Xenogen was listed as one of the “Top 25 Young Businesses” by Fortune Small Business and in both 2001 and 2003 the company received the R&D 100 award for achievements in Physics. In 2004, Xenogen was named as one of the top 100 fastest growing companies by the San Francisco Times, received the Frost and Sullivan Technology Innovations award, and the company completed a successful initial public offering (NASDAQ: XGEN). Dr. Contag was named one of the “Top 25 Women in Small Business” by Fortune magazine. She was also awarded the Northstar Award from Springboard Enterprises. While serving as CEO & Chairman of Cobalt Technologies, the company was named one of the top 20 cleantech companies. In 2011, Dr. Contag was awarded “Cleantech Innovator of the Year” award for technology developed at Cygnet Biofuels. With more than 25 years of microbiology research experience, Dr. Contag is widely published in the field of Microbiology and Optical imaging, and has over 35 patents in Biotechnology. Dr. Contag received her Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1989 studying Microbial Physiology and Genetics (for Alternative Fuels), and completed her Postdoctoral Training at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1993 specializing in “Host/Pathogen Interactions”.
Benjamin C. Carter, MBA. Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Carter has served in a number of senior executive roles in both privately-held and publicly-traded medical device, R&D tools, and medical and industrial biotechnology companies over the past 20 years. Mr. Carter most recently served as CFO and VP, Business Development for Origen Therapeutics, a privately-held company, focusing on the development of a polyclonal antibody production platform with broad application in pharmaceutical R&D and other industrial applications. Prior to Origen, Mr. Carter served as VP of Finance & Operations for Cobalt Technologies, a second-generation renewable fuels and green chemistries company. Prior to joining Cobalt, Mr. Carter was Divisional VP, Business Development for Xenogen Corporation, where he played an instrumental role in Xenogen's successful commercialization of its novel molecular imaging technology for pharmaceutical R&D. Mr. Carter holds an MBA degree from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA degree in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he earned a Phi Betta Kappa honorary for outstanding academic achievement.
Catherine Sohn, PharmD. Chairman of the Board. Dr. Sohn has deep industry knowledge with thirty years of U.S. and global experience in the pharmaceutical industry, and a reputation as a strategic thinker with the ability to drive a strong interface between research and development and marketing. She was named ‘Woman of the Year’ by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association in 2003, ‘Distinguished Alumnus’ by University of California San Francisco (2000) and has received the Licensing Executive Society’s ‘Frank Barnes Mentoring Award’ (2009) and the HBA Euro-Excellence Award (2012). Her areas of expertise include domestic and global business development, strategy and product marketing/launch execution across vaccines, pharmaceutical products and consumer healthcare brands, having led the launches of the U.S. Vaccine Business and a $1 billion CNS pharmaceutical product at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). From 1998 to 2010, Dr. Sohn was Senior Vice President for Worldwide Business Development for GlaxoSmithKline’s $6 billion Consumer Healthcare division where she served on the Global Executive Committee and led numerous US, global, European and Japanese transactions and integrations. In the pharmaceutical division, from 1994 to 1998, she was Vice President, Worldwide Strategic Product Development at SmithKline Beecham for the Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, and Metabolic Therapeutic Areas with responsibility for product strategy, valuation and strategic commercial leadership of all assets from Phase 1 through life cycle management. She has a strong technical background, having begun her career in anti-infective medical affairs at SmithKline & French in 1982. Dr. Sohn received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of California San Francisco, a Certificate of Professional Development from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, is a Board Leadership Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), and is a Certified Licensing Professional. Dr. Sohn is an independent Director on the Board of Directors of Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (JAZZ), Landec Corporation (LNDC), and Neuralstem, Inc (CUR), all publicly-traded life science companies.
Gregory T. Schiffman. Board Member. Mr. Schiffman has extensive experience leading the financial operations and strategy of publicly-traded healthcare companies, particularly in the cell-based therapy space. Prior to joining Lion Biotechnologies in his current role as Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Schiffman was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of StemCells, Inc, a cell-based therapeutics company where he oversaw all activities related to finance and accounting, information technology, and corporate communications. Previously, Mr. Schiffman was the Executive Vice President and CFO of Dendreon Corporation, where notably, Dendreon secured marketing authorization from the FDA and the European Commission for the world’s first cell-based, autologous immunotherapy for prostate cancer. Prior to Dendreon, he led the financial operations at Affymetrix and Applied Biosystems. Before entering the healthcare industry, Mr. Schiffman held roles of increasing responsibility during his eleven year term with Hewlett Packard. Mr. Schiffman holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from De Paul University and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Mr. Schiffman also is a CPA in Illinois.
Biao He, PhD. Board Member. Dr. He, a molecular geneticist, is currently Adjunct Professor, Thoracic Oncology Program, Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is a medical diagnostic expert with the research direction mainly on new methods of gene detection and treatments of human cancers. Additionally, Dr. He is an Investment Partner at TEEC Angel Fund and co-founder and CTO of Beijing ACCB Biotech Ltd. ACCB Biotech is committed to the implementation of modern molecular biology technology research and the development of new cancer detection technologies and methods. The company has pioneered and promoted the concept of “personalized cancer treatment” in China. Dr. He graduated from the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, China with a B.S. and M.S. in Biochemistry. He later received a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in molecular genetics. Dr. He began at UCSF as a postdoctoral fellow and soon advanced to the position of Assistant Research Molecular Biologist, before joining the UCSF faculty in 2004. Dr. He has been the author of numerous peer-reviewed papers. His current research is focused on the molecular mechanisms of non-small cell lung cancer and mesothelioma. He is also developing targeted therapies against these diseases. Dr. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards including the Hua Luogeng Memorial Fellowship, Eileen Ludwig Award for Thoracic Oncology Research, and Barbara Isackson Award for Thoracic Oncology Research.
Christopher Contag, PhD. Advisor & Founder.
Robert Negrin, MD. Advisor & Founder. Dr. Negrin is a Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation at Stanford University. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and MD from Harvard University. He trained in medicine and hematology at Stanford University and joined the faculty in 1990. His research work has focused on cellular immunology, in particular developing a more fundamental understanding of complex biological reactions such as graft versus host and graft vs tumor reactions in animal models and in the clinic. He has authored over 225 original papers, 40 book chapters and a book. He has received a number of awards including a fellowship from the Jose Carreras Foundation, he is a recipient of the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award and is a member of the Association of American Physicians. He was previously the President of the International Society of Cellular Therapy and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. He served as an Associate Editor of the journal Blood and is the founding editor of Blood Advances.
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