Dr. Muotri is a Professor and Director of the Stem Cell Program at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on human brain development and evolution, exploring mobile elements as generators of neuronal diversity. Dr. Muotri’s lab is also interested on modeling neurological diseases, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, using human induced pluripotent stem cells. He received several awards, including the prestigious NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and the Emerald Foundation Young Investigator Award. Dr. Muotri earned a BSc in Biological Sciences from the State University of Campinas in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Genetics in 2001 from University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil. He moved to the Salk institute as Pew Latin America Fellow in 2002 for a postdoctoral training on the fields of Neuroscience and Stem Cell Biology. He became an Assistant Professor at University of California in San Diego in 2008.
Mark Nowakowski, MS Scientific Advisor
Mr. Nowakowski is the Chief Technology Officer at Argonaut Manufacturing Services Inc and former CEO and/or founder of LyoGen LLC and BioMatrix Engineering. Mr. Nowakowski brings expertise and guidance in the cryodessication, cryopreservation, and commercial spaces. He has expertise in product design and patenting, in vitro diagnostics devices, microfluidic cartridges, lyophilization techniques and process flows, and manufacturing automation spanning three decades. His previous employment includes Hybritech Incorporated, Biosite Diagnostics, FMC BioProducts, and Mesa Tech International. Mr. Nowakowski earned his MS degree in R&D Systems Management at the University of Southern California.
Jiwu Wang, PhD
Dr. Wang is the Founder, President and CEO of Allele Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Inc. and the Scintillon Institute for Biomedical and Bioenergy Research. Over the years Dr. Wang and his team at Allele have worked on biological advancements that have been at the forefront of molecular biology research, including RNA interference, fluorescent proteins, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), genome editing, and camelid single domain antibodies. In 2015, Allele established a cGMP facility in San Diego to further the clinical development of iPSC-based cell therapy. His research is the foundation for Allele Biotechnology’s cellular reprogramming platform for iPSCs. Dr. Wang obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Peking University and earned his Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California.
Paul Burridge, PhD
Dr. Burridge is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a founding faculty member of the Center for Pharmacogenomics. Dr. Burridge began his career in Genomics and Bioinformatics at the Sanger Institute working on the human and mouse genome projects. He completed a PhD in Human Stem Cell Biology at the University of Nottingham before pursuing postdoctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins University in Pediatric Oncology and then at Stanford University in Cardiology before becoming an Instructor in Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford. For more than 15 years, Dr. Burridge has worked on the applications of human pluripotent stem cells (both hESC and hPSC), concentrating on culture and differentiation methodologies, regenerative medicine, and disease modeling, specifically the pharmacogenomic and molecular mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Dr. Burridge is the recipient of the NIH NHLBI Pathway to Independence Award and a Fellow of the American Heart Association in Genomic and Precision Medicine.
Geoffrey Chang, PhD
Dr. Chang is a professor of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. His research spans nearly 30 years in the area of structural biology of integral membrane proteins, using X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to elucidate the structures of multidrug resistance transporters, among others. Dr. Chang additionally leads efforts at UCSD to incubate novel scientific ideas and technologies for eventual commercialization. Dr. Chang is an Era of Hope Scholar, recipient of the Beckman Young Investigators and Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, and recipient of the EUREKA and PSI grant awards through the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Chang earned his B.A. and M.S. in Biophysics and his PhD in Molecular Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania.