We assembled a purpose-driven team, recruiting pioneers in oncology, gene therapy, cell therapy and gene editing to join our mission.
Founder and CEO, Board of Directors
Shailesh Maingi is Founder and CEO of Inceptor Bio. He is also the Founder and Chairman of Kineticos Life Sciences, an award-winning life sciences advisory firm. In 2019, Shailesh launched the Kineticos Disruptor Fund, investing in life science start-ups. He also co-founded the InVincible Cancer Research Fund in 2019. Shailesh serves on the Board of Directors for numerous biotechs and is Adjunct Faculty at University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business. He earned his BS in Chemistry from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his MBA from Golden Gate University.
Mike Nicholson, Ph.D.
President, Chief Operating Officer
Mike Nicholson is President and COO at Inceptor Bio. Prior to Inceptor Bio, Dr. Nicholson spent nearly 13 years at Precision BioSciences, where he held several leadership roles, including Executive Director of Scientific Operations, Vice President of R&D, and Senior Vice President of Research. Dr. Nicholson played a key role in developing Precision’s novel gene editing platform and led research teams focused on allogeneic CAR T therapies and gene editing-based gene therapies. Dr. Nicholson earned his BS in chemistry from SUNY Brockport, his Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine,and carried out postdoctoral research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Sumiti Jain, Ph.D.
VP, Research and Development
Sumiti Jain is the VP of Research and Development at Inceptor Bio. Prior to this role, Sumiti has served as an R&D leader at Poseida Therapeutics, Sangamo Therapeutics and Juno Therapeutics where she has advanced multiple autologous and allogeneic cell therapy products to the clinic. Most recently, she was the VP of R&D at a stealth biotech company with a research focus to treat solid tumors. Dr. Jain earned her PhD in Immunology and Virology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and did her post-doctoral fellowship at the NIH in Cell Therapy.
VP, Manufacturing Operations
Matt Haines is the VP of Manufacturing Operations at Inceptor Bio where he is leading the buildout and operation of Inceptor's Advanced Manufacturing Platform (AMP+). Prior to joining Inceptor Bio, he was the Senior Director of Manufacturing at AveXis/Novartis Gene Therapies where he played a key role in the successful approval and launch of a commercial gene therapy as well as the expansion of their manufacturing network. In his 20+ years in the biotech industry he has held various roles within Manufacturing, Engineering, Manufacturing Sciences and Quality at multiple companies such as Biogen, Amgen and Merck. Matt earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University.
VP, Business Development
Abe Maingi is Vice President of Business Development at Inceptor Bio. Prior to his current role, he spent seven years at Kineticos Life Sciences, an award-winning life sciences advisory firm, serving in roles of increasing responsibility. He is a partner in the Kineticos Disruptor Fund and serves as a board observer for Promaxo, a medical technology company that develops and commercializes customer-centric MRI systems and MRI-based technologies. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Abe received his BA in Business Administration from Campbell University.
Senior Director, Finance
Jason Lawrence is Senior Director of Finance at Inceptor Bio, overseeing the company’s accounting, tax, treasury, and financial planning functions. Prior to joining Inceptor Bio, he was the Senior Director of FP&A at Asklepios Biopharmaceutical (AskBio) where he, among other things, was responsible for building the Company’s FP&A function and played an integral role in Acquisition by Bayer. Prior to AskBio he held various FP&A and SEC Reporting roles with Metabolon, Patheon and R.H. Donnelley. Jason earned his MS in Taxation from Golden Gate University and BS in Accounting from Western International University.
Senior Director, Quality Assurance
Peggy Owens has 30+ years experience in Quality Control and Quality Assurance in the biologics CMC arena and worked at both Abbott and Amgen to help support the clinical to commercialization of monoclonal antibodies for many indications. Since 2007 Peggy’s Quality leadership roles have been supporting Cell and Gene therapy facilities both large and small in Phase 1-3 stages of their product lifecycle. By participating in helping to Cure Cancer is the main driver for Peggy. Peggy has lived in several areas of the country and now resides in Gainesville, FL supporting the Inceptor Quality initiatives and assisting in the start up activities of the AMP+ Gainesville site.
Inceptor Bio’s Board Members are Shailesh Maingi (Chair), Derek Hennecke, Mark Bamforth, George Fotiades, Elizabeth Smith, and Mark Gilbert.
Advisor, Board of Directors
Mark Bamforth is the Founder and CEO of Arranta Bio, a best-in-class microbiome contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). Previously, Mr. Bamforth founded Brammer Bio in 2015, a best-in-class viral vector CDMO supporting cell and gene therapies, which was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific in April 2019. Mark serves on the boards of Avid Bioservices, MassBio, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Entrepreneurial Scotland. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Strathclyde University and an MBA from Henley Management College.
Advisor, Board of Directors
Derek Hennecke is a partner in the Kineticos Disruptor Fund, a fund focused on disruptive, platform technologies addressing unmet medical needs. Derek was also the Founder and CEO of Xcelience, a Florida-based contract development and manufacturing company that specialized in developing clinical Phase I-III drug product. He started the company in 2006 and sold it to a large multinational in 2016. He is currently a Board Member for The Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance. Derek received his BSC from the University of Alberta and his MBA from RSM Erasmus Universiteit.
Advisor, Board of Directors
George Fotiades is a recognized chief executive who has led global, complex companies through significant change — the kind that accompanies development and marketing of major new products and services, creating organizational capabilities on a global scale, securing a broad range of strategic acquisitions, and integrating businesses to create unified operating companies. Beginning in early 2019, Fotiades served as CEO of Cantel Medical, a leader in infection prevention solutions serving the medical and dental markets. During his tenure, Fotiades implemented several organic growth initiatives to expand global leadership of the endoscopy reprocessing market, successfully navigated the impact of the Covid pandemic to emerge with a stronger market presence, completed a $775 mil transformational acquisition to become the clear market leader in dental office infection prevention, and led a significant strategic sale to Steris Corporation in June 2021 for $4.6B, a ~17x EBITDA multiple. George Fotiades serves as chairman of the board of AptarGroup (NYSE: ATR), the leading global supplier of dispensing systems for a broad range of consumer and healthcare products, and as a director of ProLogis (NYSE: PLD), the leading global provider of distribution facilities and services. Fotiades holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Amherst College and a master’s degree from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.
Advisor, Board of Directors
Liz Smith currently serves a Deputy Director, Regulatory Affairs for the Gates Foundation, providing regulatory guidance to foundation teams and development partners to ensure that regulatory strategies support timely and successful development and registration of products supported by the foundation’s grants. Before joining the foundation in 2020, Liz spent 28 years providing regulatory guidance and leadership, specializing in biologics, drugs, and cell and gene therapies in both consulting and corporate roles. Most recently, she was an early member of the Juno Therapeutics executive team, first as senior advisor to the CEO and then as senior vice president of regulatory and quality, where she established regulatory strategies for multiple genetically engineered cell therapy assets initially developed at academic institutions (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Children’s Research Institute) and then acquired by Juno after Phase I studies. She then served as senior strategic advisor to the company’s development teams and the president of R&D.Earlier, Liz served as vice president of regulatory affairs at Dendreon, where she expanded the regulatory strategy; chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC); and operations functions and led the regulatory effort to obtain FDA approval of Provenge, the first therapeutic cellular cancer vaccine for the treatment of prostate cancer. Liz also held a variety of regulatory positions at Genentech, with responsibility for the CMC aspects of Herceptin, as well as Immunex (acquired by Amgen), where she began her career in manufacturing. Liz holds a bachelor’s degree in biology (cum laude) from Central Washington University.
Mark Gilbert, M.D.
Advisor, Board of Directors
Mark Gilbert, M.D. was previously Chief Medical Officer at Juno Therapeutics. Prior to joining Juno, Dr. Gilbert served as an interim Chief Medical Officer and consultant in strategic drug development and portfolio management in medical oncology for several U.S. biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to these positions, Dr. Gilbert was a faculty member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle and trained in the laboratory of Dr. Phil Greenberg, one of Juno’s scientific co-founders. Dr. Gilbert earned a BS degree in biochemistry from the University of Iowa and an MD from the University of Iowa Medical School in Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Gilbert also serves as chair of Inceptor Bio's Scientific Advisory Board.
David Johnston, Ph.D.
David Johnston, Ph.D., serves as Executive Vice President and global head of clinical development for PPD. He is responsible for project delivery and provides strategic direction to the company’s Phase II-IV organization in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific. Previously, Dr. Johnston oversaw PPD Laboratories, one of the most comprehensive global laboratory operations in the industry. Dr. Johnston earned a BA in biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
Steve Favaloro is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Arranta Bio, a best in class microbiome CDMO. Steve also currently advises several early stage biotech companies, helping them to architect their financial and fundraising strategy. He was formerly the Chief Financial Officer at Brammer Bio, with responsibility for overseeing the financial health and information systems during a period of rapid growth and the execution of a $200M capacity expansion program. Steve received his BA in Economics from Boston College, and an MS in Finance and an MBA from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.
Bill Mitchell is an Executive in Residence with Frazier Healthcare Partners on the Growth Buyout team. He represents Frazier on the boards of CSafe Global and Adare Pharma Solutions. Bill first joined Frazier Healthcare Partners in 2012 as part of the PCI diligence team and after successfully closing the acquisition, he led PCI until mid-2019. Mr. Mitchell returned to Frazier as a repeat Executive in Residence after serving seven years as President and CEO of PCI Pharma Services, a Frazier portfolio company. Between stints at PCI, he also served as CEO of Clondalkin Group’s North American pharma packaging operations.
Mr. Lis serves as the President, the Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Board of Managers of Kineticos Ventures and, along with Mr. Maingi, controls the General Partner. In addition to serving on the Investment Committee, Mr. Lis expects to be active in sourcing new investment opportunities and overseeing active portfolio companies for the Fund.Mr. Lis has over 30 years of experience as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology areas and has an extensive background in drug development, manufacturing, supply chain, quality systems, and commercial operations. Prior to joining Kineticos Ventures, Mr. Lis served as a senior executive at leading pharmaceutical services firms. Mr. Lis also serves as a board member and advisor to a number of start-up biotechnology companies.Most recently, Mr. Lis was President of Sharp Clinical Services with responsibility for the global drug development business unit of UDG Healthcare plc. Prior to that, Mr. Lis was Vice President and General Manager at Catalent Pharma Solutions, responsible for managing the clinical supply services business with sites in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. In addition to his operational responsibilities, Mr. Lis has led the diligence, investment, and integration of numerous acquisitions during his career.Mr. Lis earned a Bachelor of Science in General Science from Villanova University.
Matt Kane is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Tune Therapeutics.A veteran biotech leader with deep experience in advanced genetic medicines, Matt was previously the co-founder and CEO of Precision BioSciences – a company focused on developing gene and cell therapies using a novel gene editing platform.As CEO, he led a team that raised over $400M in equity and debt financing, including an IPO in 2019, formed partnerships with leading biopharmaceutical companies valued at over $4.7B, and advanced four unique genetic medicines into human clinical trials. Matt has nearly twenty years of experience in the life sciences industry and was formerly with Suros Surgical Systems, later acquired by Hologic.He received his B.S. and M.S. from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and an MBA from Duke University.
Denise Montell, Ph.D.
Denise Montell earned her B. A. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UCSD and a Ph.D. in Neurosciences from Stanford. After a postdoc at the Carnegie Institution, she joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, rising to Full Professor, and serving as Founding Director of the Center for Cell Dynamics. In 2013 she returned to her roots at the University of California, where she is now the Robert and Patricia Duggan Professor and a Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at UCSB. Professor Montell has garnered numerous awards including the Lucille P. Markey Scholar Award, the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, a W. M. Keck Foundation Award, and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. She served as the 2020 President of the Genetics Society of America and has served on advisory boards for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the American Cancer Society. She currently serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Cancer Institute. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Cell Biology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Nigel Walker is the Founder and Life Sciences Investor at the marketing firm “That’s Nice,” a full-service agency providing a breadth of capabilities including research, business strategy, messaging development, and consulting. With 35 years of experience in entrepreneurial business management, sales, and brand marketing, and 25 years in the pharma market, Nigel harnesses the capabilities of That’s Nice to help companies research future trends, communicate their marketing vision, and achieve business growth goals. He earned a BA with honors from London College.
Lishan Su, Ph.D.
Lishan Su is the founding scientist of Fastback Bio. Dr. Su is also Director of the Division of Virology, Pathogenesis and Cancer at University of Maryland School of Medicine. Previously, Dr. Su spent over twenty years as a faculty member in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and as a Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Su received his BS degree in Microbiology from Shandong University, his Ph.D. degree in Virology from Harvard University, and did his post-doctoral training in Stem Cell Biology & Immunology at Stanford University.
Inceptor Bio’s Advisory Board is one of our core strengths, bringing together the brightest minds in the industry, with each member having already made a notable imprint on cell and gene therapeutics.
Mark Gilbert, M.D.
Mark Gilbert, M.D. was previously Chief Medical Officer at Juno Therapeutics. Prior to joining Juno, Dr. Gilbert served as an interim Chief Medical Officer and consultant in strategic drug development and portfolio management in medical oncology for several U.S. biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to these positions, Dr. Gilbert was a faculty member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle and trained in the laboratory of Dr. Phil Greenberg, one of Juno’s scientific co-founders. Dr. Gilbert earned a BS degree in biochemistry from the University of Iowa and an MD from the University of Iowa Medical School in Iowa City, Iowa.
Chris Heery, M.D.
Chris Heery is the Chief Medical Officer at Arcellx, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, adaptive and controllable cell therapies for the treatment of patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. Prior to joining Arcellx, Dr. Heery served as Chief Medical Officer at Precision Biosciences and Bavarian Nordic where he oversaw clinical development programs in allogenic CAR-T, immune-oncology and infectious diseases portfolios. Dr. Heery has a BA in English Literature from Duke University, an MD from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is board-certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine.
Richard Snyder, Ph.D.
Richard Snyder, Ph.D., is the Vice President for Science and Technology, Pharma Services, and Viral Vector Services at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Prior to his role at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Dr. Synder was Chief Scientific Officer at Brammer Bio, an Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Director of Biotherapeutic Programs at the University of Florida. Dr. Snyder was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, received his doctoral degree in Microbiology from The State University of New York at Stony Brook, and obtained his BA in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.
Dave Ousterout, Ph.D.
Dave Ousterout, Ph.D., is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Locus Biosciences. Dr. Ousterout’s expertise is in protein engineering and early-stage applications of new technologies to treat human diseases. He completed his doctoral studies at Duke University in the lab of Dr. Charles Gersbach, where he developed novel gene-editing approaches for correcting mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dr. Ousterout earned a B.S. in Biological & Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University.
Chris Ramsborg, Ph.D.
Chris Ramsborg has a PhD. in chemical and biological engineering from Northwestern University and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Stanford University. Chris is a fellow at the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He most recently served as the Vice President, Process Science and Technology at Bristol Myers Squibb (Formerly Juno Therapeutics) in Seattle, Washington. Prior to joining the leadership team at BMS, Dr. Ramsborg served in roles of increasing responsibility within Process Sciences at Dendreon. While there, he was responsible for commercial and clinical process development, including the development of the internal capabilities for manufacturing ancillary reagents. In addition, he was responsible for developing comparability strategies to implement new technologies in bioprocesses. Dr. Ramsborg also had several translational science roles at Merck Research Labs, where he worked to translate novel assays and technologies into decision-making tools, and ultimately companion diagnostics. Over the course of his career, Dr. Ramsborg has consistently worked in novel therapeutic areas where technology development and implementation is required for successful product development.