LiveLeaf Business Leadership
Alex Huang, CEO and Co-founder of LiveLeaf,Inc., Chairman and Founder of Quellthera, Inc. He is a passionate entrepreneur drawing from 35 years of diverse experience developing products, technologies and automation for multiple industries. Mr. Huang is an innovator with over 40 issued tech, medical device and biotechnology patents. Prior to forming LiveLeaf, he built an engineering consulting firm generated more than 20 consumer, industrial and medical products central to over $1 billion in client acquisitions. He has also held executive and R&D leadership roles with Silicon Valley companies including Percsys, Radiotherapeutics, Becton Dickinson, Convergent Technologies, Hewlett Packard and Next Computer. Alex earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Product Design from Stanford University.
Michael K. Ullman is on the Grazix and LiveLeaf boards. He brings extensive operations, business development, marketing, and management experience with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Before joining Burrill & Company, Mr. Ullman was President Directeur General (CEO and Chairman) of Biovector Therapeutics, S.A. and, prior to that, President and COO of Liposome Technology Inc. (SEQUUS Pharmaceuticals). He began his professional career with Bristol-Myers Squibb Corporation. Mr. Ullman received an MBA from the University of Illinois and a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Drake University. Mr. Ullman serves as a Board of Directors observer of Veritas Medicine.
Dr. Zachary S. Wochok, a veteran C-Suite executive, is President of The Wochok Group, LLC, a management consulting firm. He is retired CEO of food ingredient company PGP International, Inc. He currently serves as Acting President and Director of Grazix to which he brings considerable experience in P&L management, business development, M&A, and corporate finance. Previous experience includes: CEO/Chairman of NURTURE, Inc.; COO of Calgene, Inc.; CEO of Plant Genetics, Inc. He is an industry advisor to Capstone Partners, advisor to the Board of Cibus, Inc. and others. He is Chair and advisory board member of California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research.
Edward Schnipper, MD, Medical Director of Quellthera received his M.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine, completed a Hematology fellowship at New York University School of Medicine and an Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Ed began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Hoffman-La Roche as an Assistant Medical Director and rose to the level of Vice President. He served as Vice President, Clinical Development, at ALZA Corporation from 1997 to 2001, where he played a leading role in the development and FDA approval of four of ALZA’s drug candidates as well as numerous other clinical programs. After the acquisition of ALZA, Ed served as President and CEO of Cellgate, a company developing novel anti-proliferative drugs to combat disease, where he raised over $50 million in venture capital. He also served as Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer of Novacea, a biopharmaceutical company focused on in-licensing, developing and commercializing novel therapies for the treatment of cancer. He is particularly skilled at clinical trials designed to determine quickly and cheaply whether a drug is safe and effective.
David Chien, PhD was one of the founding team of Chiron and was the Sr. Director of research for Chiron and became the Executive Vice President of the vaccine division when Chiron acquired by Novartis Vaccine & Diagnostics. He is a world recognized expert on human plasma derived vaccines. He is now the CEO of an international biotechnology consulting firm specializing in process development, technology transfer and licensing. He is currently an advisor to Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan and was recently inducted on the Board of Regents at Oxford University. Dr. Chien was previously on LiveLeaf’s Board of Directors and will be moving to Quellthera to advise on pharmaceutical development.
Jennifer Aichele, is the LiveLeaf Interim CFO and brings over 20 years of Finance and Accounting experience. She specializes in interim CFO consulting for early and mid-stage venture backed start-ups in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area after spending 10 years with Comcast in the strategy and planning group. Recent clients include: Lyft, Allocade, ORIC Pharmaceuticals, Tagged, Boon + Gable, Project Frog, Advanced Energy Economy, and Next Generation.
Research & Development
Nooshin Azimi, PhD, V.P. Clinical Operations
Dr. Azimi has over 25 years of product development experience in pharmaceutical and medical devices, from proof-of-concept to post-launch and is responsible for multiple successful regulatory filings in U.S. and ROW throughout her career, including INDs, NDAs, BLAs, IMPDs, CTAs and 510 ks in a variety of therapeutic areas such as dermatology, oncology, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc. She launched a major product ( Raptiva®) for treatment of psoriasis at Genentech, led the global team for Nartrecor® at J&J with a budget exceeding $500 M, headed up project and portfolio development at Chiron and launched Freestyle® for Therasense (Abbott).
Randy Johnson, PhD, Chief Development Officer with over 25 years of discovering and developing drugs to commercialization with preeminent pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including entrepreneurial start-up ventures, Dr. Johnson’s R&D efforts have delivered 2 FDA-approved and successfully marketed drugs, Herceptin®, Aloxi®, and a 3rd drug Parsabiv® expecting approval in 2017; together generating over $2 Billion in annual sales. Dr. Johnson has a record of raising over $130 Million in capital funds, filed 11 INDs, patented inventor on 12 U.S. and international patents and author of over 120 scientific publications, abstracts and book chapters.
Ramin (“Ron”) Najafi PhD. Is an accomplished entrepreneur and scientist. Dr. Najafi has founded four companies, and has held numerous executive and scientific roles in the biopharmaceutical industry over the past 25 years. He is the Founder & current CEO of Emery Pharma Services. In 2000 Dr. Najafi founded NovaBay Pharmaceuticals and took the company to IPO, raising over $150 million in public and private investment. He helped NovaBay achieve significant breakthroughs in the discovery of the company’s Aganocide® and Neutrox technologies which led to NeutroPhase and Avenova. Prior to founding NovaBay, Dr. Najafi was the president and CEO of CP Lab Safety, Inc. He has also held scientific roles at Rhône Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi-Aventis), Perkin Elmer (now Thermo Fisher), and Aldrich Chemical Company. Dr. Najafi has more than 70 patents and pending patent applications on his inventions. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from the University of San Francisco, and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California at Davis.
Gin Wu, PhD, DVM, is co-founder of LiveLeaf and recently retired as Chief Scientist. He brings the enormous scientific diversity and creativity at the core of LiveLeaf’s innovations. Gin takes a multi-disciplined, hands-on approach to almost any challenge. He received his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at National Taiwan University and his PhD in Molecular Biology and Masters in Microbiology at Auburn University. His extended studies and research also encompassed chemistry, physiology, biomaterials and endocrinology. Gin was the founder of Intravantage, an interosseous drug delivery company and has worked on a variety of life science programs from medical devices to stem cells.
Manuel Serrano is LiveLeaf’s VP of Formulation Development. He melds 25 years of medical/pharma industry experience with deep knowledge of pre-Colombian Central American medicinal traditions. Manuel is using modern science to carry on the work of his ancestors to create the next generation of natural medicines. Manuel has been instrumental in several successful medical device company acquisitions including Cardiovascular Imaging Systems, Oratec Interventions, Ouroboros Medical, PneumRx, Xtent and Fox Hollow Technologies.
Thomas Lawson, PhD, advises LiveLeaf on clinical and regulatory matters. Dr. Lawson spent 25 years executing the preclinical, clinical and regulatory tasks for 8 different start-up medical device companies, involving over 90 studies in 13 different countries and 43 regulatory filings in 27 countries. He coordinated the international clinical studies for interleukin-2 at Cetus Corporation and was an invited lecturer to professional society meetings in the USA, Europe and Asia. He is the past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vascular Access Devices and author of over 40 research articles in both scientific and general audience journals in the fields of biology, pathology and medical science. He has a PhD in plant pathology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Anders Dahlstrom, MD, PhD is an internationally recognized expert in mucosal immunity. He is a pediatric gastroenterologist (MD from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; PhD in GI Immunology from Karolinska/UCLA). His PhD thesis was on “Long term Parenteral Nutrition in Children: a nutritional, metabolic and immunological study.” In the early 2000s, Dr. Dahlstrom was a co-investigator in countless studies including a five year study conducted at ICDDRB on “Passive Immunization as Therapy for Gastrointestinal Infections in Children.” From 1996-2005, he was a clinical and research associate professor and since an adjunct professor at Stanford specializing in Autism and chronic pediatric GI diseases.
K.T. Park, MD, MS is Co-Director of Stanford Children’s IBD Center, Medical Director of the Short Stay Infusion Unit at Stanford Children’s Health and Chair of the Clinical Care and Quality Committee at North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. His specialty is improving health outcomes, healthcare delivery, and cost-effectiveness as it pertains to the treatment of chronic childhood diseases. His research focuses on ways to improve the way gastroenterologists treat severe pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases, comparing early surgical intervention to long-term medical therapies. Dr. Park is a key advisor to LiveLeaf on clinical study design and the utilization of internet social media resources for more efficient clinical studies.
Arthur S. Dover, MD is LiveLeaf’s Director of Public Health. He is a graduate of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, member of the International Society of Travel Medicine. He still practices primary care medicine, advising travelers and medical volunteer teams on missions around the world, and is a key member of a Rotary International medical team repairing cleft palates in developing countries. He was formerly with the Parasitic Diseases Branch of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (CDC, US Public Health Service).
Dan Little, MS, DVM brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of veterinary medicine to Grazix. With over 25 years in animal health management and dairy development, he is sought out as a speaker for seminars and events from topics on “Technology to Improve Animal Health” to “Dairy Systems Analysis.” His focus is on animal comfort, environmental quality, food safety and production efficiency for client profitability.
Dr. Dale Mechler, DVM brings over 24 years of experience and knowledge to Grazix. His specialty is swine management and consulting, and he is also very active in swine research. He successfully completed the Executive Veterinary Program at the University of Illinois in 2000, and is an active member of AASV. Dr. Mechler is passionate about providing his clients with effective swine health information and solutions for their businesses.