Board of Directors (BoD)

The members of Actokine's BOD understand and support the goals for Actokine Therapeutics.

Louis Tartaglia, PhD, former Genentech.
John Zawad, PhD, VP, former Sanofi-Aventis
Bertrand C. Liang, MD, MBA, VP, former BiogenIdec
Claude G. Biava, MD, CMO, ActoKine Therapeutics
Reinhard Ebner, PhD , VP, ActoKine Therapeutics
Heinz-Kurt Hochkeppel, PhD , CEO (Europe), ActoKine Therapeutics
Chip Allee , former CEO, ActoKine Therapeutics
Grace Wong, PhD, Founder, CEO (Asia & USA), ActoKine Therapeutics

Louis Tartaglia PhD, former Genentech
Dr. Tartaglia received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1990. Dr. Tartaglia has worked for three years on the tumor necrosis factor receptors with Dr. David Goeddel at Genentech. He joined Millennium pharmaceuticals as a Scientist in 1993 and holds the distinction of being Millennium's first employee. In this role he was responsible for running a research lab focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating body weight. From 1997 to 1999 he served as Director and then Senior Director of Millennium's Metabolic Disease and Oncology Departments, responsible for programs in obesity, diabetes, wasting disorders, drug resistance and prostate cancer. Dr. Tartaglia has held the position of Vice President of Metabolic Diseases at Millennium since 1999. He was frequently invited to give seminars at numerous international conferences. He published many papers including "Cloning of the obesity receptor" in Cell. He has also filed many patents during his successful career in Genentech, Millennium and Gene Logic before Third Rock Ventures.

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Reinhard Ebner PhD, Director of Research, former Avalon Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Ebner was a Scientific Director at Avalon Pharmaceuticals. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Regensburg and his doctorate in Microbiology and Genetics from the University of OsnabrŸck, Germany, where he then served on the faculty of the Genetics department. In 1989, Dr. Ebner was awarded a research fellowship to work as a visiting scientific specialist at Genentech, Inc. in San Francisco. There, he identified and cloned the long elusive first type I TGF-b receptor. In the years following, he made a series of substantial contributions to the fields of cytokine biology, receptor-ligand interactions and intracellular trafficking, cell differentiation, early development and tissue repair, first at Genentech and then at the University of California, San Francisco and at Stanford University Medical School.

Dr. Ebner became one of the most productive novel gene finders at Human Genome Sciences and discovered several proteins now in preclinical and clinical development, including such molecules as LIGHT, IL-17B and its receptor, BlyS and TR6. In 2000, he joined Avalon Pharmaceuticals where he was instrumental in the initiation of intramural and external research programs and contributed to corporate and scientific infrastructure development. Dr. Ebner is a frequently invited plenary speaker at national and international conferences and member of scientific advisory panels. He is the author of 37 original research publications, including several articles in Science magazine, and is the primary inventor on more than 100 patent applications. Dr. Ebner collaborated with Dr. Wong since 1989 at Genentech.

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John Zawad, PhD, Sanofi-Aventis
Dr. Zawad has over 15 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry in marketing, competitive intelligence, product development and business development. He was the US office of Technology Licensing and Alliances at Aventis Pharmaceuticals which includes early stage licensing activities in the areas biotechnology, genomics, gene therapy, drug delivery, neuroscience (schizophrenia, affective disorders, sleep disorders, multiple sclerosis and stroke), respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and immunology. Dr. Zawad is also involved in managing Aventis' strategic investments into venture funds. He received his PhD. in biochemistry (1983) from the University of Tennessee.

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Bertrand C. Liang, MD, MBA, BiogenIdec
Dr. Liang was Vice President of New Ventures at BiogenIdec. The New Ventures Group invests in innovative technologies and companies in the biopharma arena. Prior to joining Biogen Idec, Dr. Liang was at Amgen Inc., responsible for directing novel compounds in development toward registration and medical marketing of approved products. Previously, he held academic positions at the University of Vermont, the University of Colorado, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Liang received an MD from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, an MBA from Regis University in Denver, and has training in Neurology, Oncology, Molecular Biology, and Human Genetics.

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Chip Allee CEO, former ActoKine Therapeutics.
Mr. Allee was the founder and former CEO of MLR Automation. He negotiated the acquisition of MLR Automation by Oxford Molecular. Prior to forming MLR Automation Mr. Allee was a member of the start-up team for Parnassus Pharmaceuticals under Dr. Michael Venuti. Mr. Allee provided assistance and input for many other start-up activities including establishing Molecular Biology, Organic Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Assay Development labs. Mr. Allee also co-founded Syrix Inc. a high throughput screening company. His role included writing business plans, negotiating leases and soliciting funds from Venture Capital firms and Biotech companies. He generated all the pro-forma financials and all the laboratory equipment budgets. Mr. Allee was employed by Genentech, Inc. for four years before starting Syrix. Mr. Allee earned his BS degree in Electronic Engineering from California State University, Fresno. Additionally, Mr. Allee completed extensive course work in Finance, Accounting, Economics and Business Law.

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Heinz-Kurt Hochkeppel, PhD, CEO (Europe), ActoKine Therapeutics.
Dr. Hochkeppel was the global Oncology Research Project Manager for the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research. Prior to this position, he held a variety of research and management positions at Ciba-Geigy and Novartis. Dr. Hochkeppel did his undergraduate work at the University of Cologne, and received his doctoral degree in Biochemistry from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding at the University of Cologne in 1972. He did post-doctoral fellowships in Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, Wisconsin, USA and at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Hochkeppel is an authority on Immunology and Oncology.

After his post-doctoral work, Dr. Hochkeppel was a member of the research team at the Institute for Biotechnology Research in the Department of Genetics at the University of Braunschweig, Germany, where he did some of the first work on production of antibodies against human interferon beta and gamma. In 1982, he joined Ciba-Geigy as a staff scientist in Immunology and Oncology, moving into management in 1997..

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Grace Wong, PhD, Founder, CEO & CSO, ActoKine Therapeutics
Dr. Grace has spent her entire career on biologics, specifically on cytokines, at Genentech, Millennium, AstraZeneca and Serono. Her PhD project was on biologics under Sir Gus Nossal at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia. Her post-doc projects were also on biologics with Dr. David Goeddel (who cloned and expressed human insulin, human growth hormone, tissue plasminogen activator, interferon-alpha and interferon-gamma etc) at Genentech. She continued working on biologics in a variety of diseases at Genentech, Millennium, AstraZeneca and Serono.

Dr. Grace successfully shepherded basic research discoveries to product development at Genentech with Dr. Gordon Vehar. She was then appointed Head of Apoptosis Research at Millennium for discovery of drug resistance genes using functional genomics. Grace joined AstraZeneca as Section Head of Molecular Genetics for discovery of disease genes in Alzheimer’s disease. At Serono, Grace was Head of Functional Genomics for discovery of novel genes in Women’s diseases. Her work with biologics have made her valuable to biotech and pharma, receiving also job offers from Glaxo, Amgen, Biogen, Human Genome Sciences and Cell Therapeutics, in addition to the positions she was able to accept.

Dr. Grace has been invited to present at 203 international conferences including the Nobel Symposium in Sweden in 1994 and received 5 Recognition Awards from Genentech. She published 93 papers (including 12 Nature, 1 Science, 3 Cell, 5 PNAS and 7 J. Immunol), > 300 abstracts and an inventor for 28 patents. Grace founded ActoKine Therapeutics to discover new drugs for cancer and CNS diseases, and prevention of a board spectrum of viral infection (www.actokine.com). Grace also founded Student Vision (www.studentvision.org), www.soleluna.us and Nobel-Pauling (www.nobel-pauling.org) to inspire and help students of all ages in biotechnology.

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