Board of Directors
Frank R. Oakes
Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Oakes has more than 40 years of management experience in aquaculture including a decade as CEO of The Abalone Farm, Inc., during which he led that company through the R&D, capitalization and commercialization phases of development to become the first profitable and largest abalone producer in the U.S.. He is the inventor of the company's patented method for non-lethal extraction of hemolymph from the keyhole limpet. He was the Principal Investigator on the company's Phase I and II SBIR grants from the NIH's Center for Research Resources, NSF grant, and a California Technology Investment Partnership (CalTIP) grant from the Department of Commerce. He has consulted and lectured for the aquaculture industry around the world. Frank received his Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and is a graduate of the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance (LARTA) University's management-training program.
Deborah F. Aghib, Ph.D.
Dr. Aghib has more than 24 years of executive and consulting experience for biotechnology and healthcare-related companies and organizations. She is currently an advisor to the management for a number of life science companies for business and corporate development, including CellPly, BrainDTech, Sanipedia and Neuro-Zone. Previously, she was a private equity consultant for CRG LP, a healthcare-focused investment firm, and a business development and strategy consultant for Numerate, Theravance and Stellar. In addition to her professional roles, Dr. Aghib serves on the Advisory Board of Open Common Consortium, a cloud computing and data commons infrastructure that supports cancer medical research from the University of Chicago. She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Milan and a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Pavia.
Tessie M. Che, PhD
Dr. Che is currently General Manager and Chair of the Board of Directors of Amaran Biotechnology Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceuticals manufacturer based in Taiwan. She is also a director of OBI Pharma USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OBI Pharma, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology corporation in Taiwan. Dr. Che co-founded Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and served over ten years as Optimer’s Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs. At Optimer, Dr. Che led Optimer’s CMC team to the successful registration and commercialization of Dificid™ in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Dr. Che’s experience includes 20 years in research, operations and management at global companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., and EniChem SpA. Dr. Che holds bachelor degrees in chemistry from Illinois State University and Fu-Jen Catholic University (Taiwan) and a PhD in physical-inorganic chemistry from Brandeis University. She has authored numerous scientific publications and holds over 20 U.S. patents.
Mr. Chun is Managing Partner and founder of Eldred Advisors LLC, an advisory firm specializing in the life sciences. Mr. Chun brings broad experience as an investment analyst and strategic advisor to the Board, including expertise in therapeutics development and commercialization, corporate development, strategy and finance. His previous work includes roles at Goldman, Sachs & Co., Tavistock Life Sciences Co., Amgen, Inc., and Westwicke Partners, LLC.
David L. Hill, PhD
Dr. Hill served as Scientific Director for the ART Reproductive Center, Beverly Hills, California from 1999 until his retirement in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, and a Research Assistant IV at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California. Dr. Hill received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Department of Pathology, School of Life Sciences, University of Connecticut and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute through an appointment by the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Charles V. Olson, DSc
Director, and Chair of Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Charles Olson is a biotechnology industry professional with broad scientific and operational experience, and specialization in manufacturing operations and process development of biological products. Dr. Olson currently serves as the Vice President of Biologics for Applied Molecular Transport Inc. His background includes the positions of Chief Technology Officer for Anthera Pharmaceuticals; Vice President of CMC and Technical Operations for NGM Biopharmaceuticals; Senior VP of Product Development and Operations for Nexbio Inc.; VP of Hayward Operations for Cell Genesys; Senior Director of Manufacturing, Facilities and Process Development for Biomarin Pharmaceuticals; Director of Manufacturing Sciences for Onyx Pharmaceuticals; and Staff Scientist and Scientist at Bayer and Genentech, respectively. Dr. Olson received his D.Sc. in Biochemistry from Hawthorne University.
Mike D. Sampat
Mayank (Mike) Sampat is an independent consultant providing business services to companies seeking expertise in financial planning and analysis, accounting and financial reporting, M&A transactions support and financial system implementation. He previously held the positions of controller at Precision Toxicology, LLC, a healthcare focused clinical laboratory specializing in providing quantitative drug testing; Zpower, LLC, an emerging manufacturer in the microbattery industry;and Imaging Advantage LLC. Previously, he was the Chief Financial Officer for Gamma Medica-Ideas, a supplier of imaging equipment to the medical industry. Mr. Sampat received a BBA in accounting from Bombay University and an MBA in Finance at Mercer University.