Director (Immuno-Pharmacology) – Pharmacyclics
Oncologist/Geneticist with 20+ years of post-PhD experience in both academic and industrial
settings, with an emphasis on project and functional leadership, animal models of human cancer, immuno-
oncology and genetic diseases, testing of novel therapeutics for drug development with antibodies (naked, bi-
specific and ADC)/ antisense oligos (ASOs)/ small molecule compounds, identification of disease related bio-
markers, and characterization of novel genes and non-coding RNAs.
• Demonstrated ability to lead projects and cross-functional teams. Serve as research representative in
multiple clinical teams to monitor the on-going trials for Ibrutinib and Abexinostat at Pharmacyclics. Led
cross-functional teams at Pharmacyclics/Agensys/Ionis/Xoma to support the drug development programs.
Served as a project leader in the partnered EphB3 program (Novartis-Chiron/XOMA collaboration) and led
the project from antibody generation through milestones. Served as the pharmacology representative in
multiple project teams (in collaboration with Chiron/Novartis, Takeda, Schering Plough/Merck,
AstraZeneca and Ambrx) and the single point of contact with multiple CROs.
• Strong leadership and managerial skills. Manage up to 10 research associates/PhD scientists in a daily
base manner focusing on the areas of in vitro assay, in vivo efficacy, immuno-phenotyping, PD/biomarker
and preliminary PK/Tox studies; and take responsibilities of career development for the direct reports.
• Experience with translational biology. Hands on experience with executing in vivo bio-imaging studies
using Optical (Bioluminescence, Fluorescence) and micro PET/CT imaging modalities to develop the
companion diagnostic assays for AGS-22M6E; and identified disease related pharmacodynamic (PD)
biomarkers for Ibrutinib, Abexinostat, Lucatumumab, ISIS-STAT3Rx and ISIS-Malat1 using FACS, qPCR,
MSD and Luminex platforms.
• Extensive experience with in vitro assays and molecular biology for analyses of gene functions.
Identified and cloned 2 novel cancer related genes (FETUB and HGR); characterized multiple
cancer/genetic disease genes with detail molecular structures.
• Exceptional knowledge and experience of all types of in vivo cancer models and their use in
discovering and developing anti-cancer drugs. Hands on experience with developing and validating more
than 235 subcutaneous xenografts (in both of solid and liquid tumor types), 21 orthotopic xenografts, 191
PDXs (patient derived xenografts), 20 syngeneic, 15 dissemination/metastasis, 2 cachexia and 10
metabolic/inflammatory models; and bred/characterized more than 25 knock in/out transgenic mouse
• Good track record of scientific inputs. Research data was published in more than 41+ publications and
9+ patent applications.
January 2015 to Present
Lead a group of 5-10 researchers in various aspects of immuno-oncology research and cancer immunotherapies, from selecting and characterizing lead compounds, to identify their mechanism of action in cancer including
solid tumors and hematology-oncology, to support initial preclinical research for clinical candidates, to test
novel combinations with other therapeutics. Focus on developing and running biochemical, immunologic and in vivo assays to support the development of small molecules including those that function as immune modulators for the treatment of cancer. Manage both internal (including in-house and two other satellite sites) and external
resources (CROs and academic collaborators) in pharmacology to generate pre-clinical packages including
efficacy/PK/PD relationship and immune-phenotyping to support IND filing and the on-going clinical trials.
Breed and utilize the state-of-the-art genetically engineered mice (KPC and Eμ-TCL1) for target discovery and drug development. Serve as the research representative in multiple clinical teams to discover and develop
PD/Biomarkers to monitor clinical trials. The up-to-date achievements include: utilized ~ 7 million dollar
budget per year in outsourcing pharmacology and immuno-oncology studies; obtained in vivo proof of concept for Ibrutinib and BTKi in multiple disease indications including different solid tumors, hematology-oncology
and cGvHD; monitored and executed more than 160 in vivo studies in house; completed multiple clinical study
reports (CSRs), consensus information forms (CISs) and the investigation brochure (focusing on the
PD/Biomarker section) for the clinical trials of Abexinostat (a pan-HDAC inhibitor). The data package of
Abexinostat ended up with a out-licensing deal with Xynomic. As for today, 10 publications and 4 patents were
January 2012 to January 2015
Provide pharmacology support for regulatory filings including INDs. Lead a team of lab-based research
scientists within the In Vivo Pharmacology Department. Develop the in vitro and in vivo pharmacology research
strategy in a team environment. Lead a cross-functional project team and manage programs, deliverable,
timelines and budgets. Oversee the entire pharmacology function for the Astellas/Ambrx collaboration.
Establish and enable the in vivo imaging capabilities. Duties include: developing and implementing models of human cancer in rodents; designing and implementing efficacy studies; conducting preliminary PK/PD and Tox
studies; serving as the pharmacology representative in multiple project teams including target discovery and development programs; executing the internal efforts of preclinical in vivo Bio-Imaging studies using Optical
(Bioluminescence, Fluorescence) and micro PET/CT imaging modalities to evaluate therapeutic antibodies and antibody drug conjugates; writing IACUC protocols for in vivo Imaging studies. The up-to-date achievements
include: completed the imaging data sets (in both of PET/CT and Optical modalities) to support the strategy of patient selection for Agensys’ ADC which is currently in clinic trails; established a unique and sophisticated
patient derived xenograft (PDX) bank and LIM-based database with detail characterizations of pharmacology,
molecular biology and histology; established and characterized a panel of prostate tumor models to test the
Astellas’ approved compound (Enzalutamide); executed the pilot, efficacy, PK/Tox and MOA studies in house by utilizing more than 23000 SCID mice annually; filed one IND and moved the product into clinical
development (AGS67E; IND 118989). 3 publications and 1 patent were published throughout this period.
October 2010 to January 2012
Performed in vivo pharmacology focusing on the area of oncology; duties included: developing and implementing models of human cancer in rodents; designing and implementing efficacy studies in collaboration with different functional leads; developing strategies for evaluating therapeutic mechanisms of action;
identifying and validating biomarkers; maintaining, expanding, and characterizing the collection of cancer cell
lines and tumor xenografts; breeding colonies of various mouse strains; supporting ASO (antisense oligo)
generation programs with various screening strategies; developing and implementing bio-imaging strategies to enhance the informational output of the in vivo studies; managing the aspects of the vivarium activities
including IACUC protocols; generating data package for the lead compounds to meet the criteria of legal
aspects; supporting the clinical development of on-going oncology programs; monitoring outsourcing CROs in both of in vitro and in vivo studies; initiating and obtaining licenses to get access to state-of-the-art genetically
engineered mice (GEMMs; licenses obtained from Baylor University, MIT, USCF and McMaster University).
12 publications and 1 patent were published to cover the cancer related cachexia and non-coding RNA areas.
One IND was filed for ISIS-STAT3Rx. The data package of ISIS-STAT3Rx ended up with a 31 million dollar
deal with AstraZeneca.
2009 to October 2010
Established the in vivo oncology/pharmacology program emphasizing on antisense drug discovery; duties
included: serving as the PI of oncology IACUC protocols; establishing cancer cell bank and in vivo animal system to support oncology activities; monitoring on outsourcing projects (reagent antibody generation; in vivo
pharmacology and immunohistochemistry); developing and implementing xenograft, dissemination (Leukemia),
orthotopic (GBM/brain and HCC/liver), and cachexia (muscle/fat wasting) models for evaluating drug
delivery/uptake, target reduction (PD), and pharmacological efficacy on the lead ASOs (antisense oligos);
performing Tox lean screen to evaluate the preliminary toxicity and tolerability in mouse, rat and monkey species;
identifying and validating pharmacodynamic biomarkers for preclinical and clinical use (Meso Scale
Discovery/MSD, and Luminex platforms); proposing and validating new therapeutic targets to strengthen
company’s pipeline; supporting non-oncology projects with establishing and performing 2/3 partial hepatectomy.
Achievements included: moved ISIS-STAT3Rx into clinical development. Due to the accomplished achievements,
3 ISIS awards were granted in this period of time.
2006 to 2008
Supervised research associates focusing on both of early and late stage programs; served as the project lead
(Novartis-Chiron/XOMA collaboration) and pharmacology representative in multiple projects (Takeda/XOMA and Schering-Plough/XOMA collaborations). Duties included: directing and performing the tests of novel
therapeutics both in vitro and in vivo for anti-tumor effects including evaluation of such therapeutics in animal
models of solid tumors as well as non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma; coordinating efforts between
Pharmacology and Production departments in evaluation of this therapeutic for an IND filing; aiding in research
perform with outside contractors to support the pharmacology; proposing and reviewing novel potential targets;
supporting non-oncology projects with establishing and performing human SCID trans-xenograft- (psoriasis),
CIA- (collagen-induced arthritis), DIO- (diet-induced obesity) and GTT- (glucose tolerance test; diabetes) mouse
models for drug testing. 5 publications and 3 patents were published throughout this period. Generated data sets
supported the clinical trials of Lucatumumab (formerly HCD122; anti-CD40 mAb).
2004 to 2006
Served as the project lead in a partnered program (EphB3; in collaboration with Chiron/Novartis AG) and pharmacology representative in multiple project teams. Duties included: performing and establishing
pharmacology due diligence at XOMA; determining the biological activity of novel antibodies in vivo, including
model establishment, validation with standard of care and efficacy studies; leading a partnered collaborating
project through milestone and administered the budget and FTEs for the project; monitoring on hybridoma
generation for two specific targets; developing new animal models for the project need. A XOMA impact award
was granted due to the achievements.
2002 to 2004
Led the lung cancer project to identify and characterize lung cancer modifiers using animal models and pathological analyses. Duties included: managing multiple research collaborations; supervising research
associates; obtaining research grants; and conducting independent research into the mechanisms of tumor
progression in lung cancer using standard cell biology/ molecular/ biochemical/ genetic/ techniques, as well as oligo-, cDNA-, CGH- microarrays, Taqman (q-PCR), IHC, and FISH; managing to maintain and breed more than
200 cages of mouse colonies including knock-in, knock-out and transgenic mice such as K-ras-, N-ras-, H-ras-,
TRAM-, and Blm- deficient mice by genotyping and specific breeding. 5 publications were published throughout this period.
1999 to 2002
Characterized the biological activities of novel molecules in vitro by screening the panel of NCI 60 cancer cell
lines and examined mRNA expression in various organs. Isolated cell lines from primary tumors and established
cell lines by transition and stable transfections. Evaluated anti-tumor properties of potential therapeutic molecules in xenograft mouse models.
1998 to 1999
The research goal was to exploit mouse model systems for the identification of genes that were important for cancer susceptibility or cancer progression in human populations, as a route to the discovery of novel diagnostics,
new possibilities for prevention, or therapeutics. The main research efforts had been focus on the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of multistage carcinogenesis, with particular emphasis on mouse models of chemically
induced skin tumor development. Transgenic or knock-out mice were extensively used. The biological
consequences of the genetic changes for cell behavior during transformation were also invested. Several novel
genetic modifiers of cancer susceptibility as well as their alternative splicing forms were isolated and characterized.
1993 to 1998
The major research goal was focused on mammalian genetics, especially as related to human development and disease. Transgenic mice were used extensively, primarily to provide animal models of human genetic diseases.
Led a research group contributed to the positional cloning of the Niemann Pick C gene (NPC) and characterized the mechanism of action of this gene. Gene therapy of genetic renal disease (carbonic anhydrase II deficiency; CA
II) was also performed by using retrograde injection of cationic liposome complexed with a CA II chimeric gene.
The published report appeared to have been the first successful gene therapy of genetic renal disease. 7
publications were published throughout this period.
1989 to 1990
Genetic analyses of soybean isogenic lines using RFLP- and PCR- markers.
Ph.D. in Genetics
1993 to 1998
M.S. in Agronomy
1991 to 1993
B.S. in Agronomy
1984 to 1988
• DNA: subcloning, plasmid construction; PCR; pulse field gel; Southern blot; slot-blot; sequencing; RFLP and
• RNA and cDNA: TaqMan (qPCR) assay; Northern blot; RNAse protect assay; RT-PCR; in vitro
transcription; and 5′, 3′- RACE.
• Protein and Immunology: standard assay; SDS PAGE; Western blot; silver stain; column purification;
ELISA and WES.
• Physical mapping: YAC and BAC library screening; identification of novel micro-satellite markers; cosmid
library construction and Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH).
• Microarray: CGH-, cDNA-, and oligo- microarrays.
• Antibody: Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) assays (LDH & Calcein-AM methods).
• Biomarker & translational research: Meso Scale Doscovery (MSD); QuantiGene (Luminex); QuantiGene
Plex assay (Affymetrix); and Millipore xMAP technology alyzier.
• Virus works: Adeno virus titer; purification; and cell infection.
• Histology: laser capture microdissection (LCM); tissue staining; frozen section preparation; in situ
hybridization (Quantigene ViewRNA, Affymetrix); and Aperio (Digital pathology information system).
• Animal work: perfusion and imaging, injections (i.v., i.p., and s.c.); oral gavage and cardiac puncher;
catheter implantation; organs and bone marrow harvesting; implantation of alzet osmotic pumps;
microsurgeries; and Stereotaxy.
• In vitro cell base assay: transient and stable transfections; wound healing and migration assays; cell staining;
introducing intact Yeast Artificial Chromosomes (YACs) into mammalian cells; FACS analysis; mouse lung
cell isolation and collagen gel assay; establishment of new cell lines from primary tumors and human PBMC
preparation; and cell counting by Z1 and Vi-Cell Courter counters (Beckman).
• In vivo pharmacology (oncology): syngeneic- (immuno-oncology), CD34+ humanized- (immuno-oncology),
xenograft- (including patient derived xenografts, PDXs), orthotopic- (bladder, cecum, liver, mammary fat
pad, pancreas and brain), allograft- (skin), survival-, transgenic-, knock in/out-, and angiogenesis- mouse
models; in vivo serial tumor passage; and BMDS/ Studylog data system.
• In vivo pharmacology (non-oncology): 2/3 partial hepatectomy; human SCID trans-xenograft, CIA, GTT,
DIO, ITP, lupus, cGvHD, and denervation atrophy.
• Toxicology: Blood and urine chemistry (Olympus AU400e); and biomarkers for pancreatic injury.
• In vivo molecular imaging: Wizard Gamma counter; EnViso; CareStream (Korda); Optix; CT/PET
(INVEON, Siemens; using both of contract reagents and 124I isotope); and IVIS Spectrum (Caliper/PE).