Tallac team

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Hong I. Wan

President, CEO and
Co-founder
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Janet Sim

Vice President, Biologics Discovery and Development
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Emma Abellana

Senior Director,
Finance
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Tracy Kuo

Senior Director, Biology and Translational Science
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Min Li

Director,
Protein Science
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Ons Harrabi

Principal Scientist
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Amy Chen

Senior Scientist
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Emma Sangalang

Senior Scientist
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Laura Doyle

Scientist
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Danielle Fontaine

Scientific Associate I

board of directors

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Christine Brennan

 
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Mike Carusi

 
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Isaac Cheng

 
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Ran Geng

 
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Corey Goodman

Chairman and Co-founder
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Jaume Pons

Co-founder
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Hong I. Wan

President, CEO and Co-founder

Investors

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Lightstone Logo
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Hong I. Wan, Ph.D.

President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder

Hong I. Wan, Ph.D. is president, chief executive officer and director of Tallac Therapeutics. She co-founded Tallac with Drs. Corey Goodman, Jaume Pons and Curt Bradshaw in 2018. Dr. Wan is a life science leader with over 20 years of drug development experience and expertise in multiple therapeutics areas in biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Previously as chief scientific officer and a member of the founding management at ALX Oncology, she led the team to advance ALX148, a best-in-class myeloid checkpoint inhibitor, for multiple tumor indications. Prior to ALX Oncology, Dr. Wan held various leadership positions at Pfizer and Wyeth Research, where she was responsible for the early development and translational medicine strategy and execution across various therapeutic areas. Dr. Wan started her career at Renovis where she led discovery programs in neuroinflammation. Dr. Wan received her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from University of California, Berkeley and A.B. degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard University.

Janet Sim

Vice President, Biologics Discovery and Development

Dr. Janet Sim is the Vice President of Biologics Discovery and Development. She has over 20 years of drug discovery research and development experience, which includes target validation, drug screening and identification, and drug manufacture for Phase I/II clinical development. At Tallac, she leads the effort for drug discovery and design as well as development of manufacturing processes for clinical drug supply.  Prior to joining Tallac, Janet served as the Vice President of Protein Science at ALX Oncology and was a co-inventor of ALX148, a next generation CD47 blocker in development for multiple tumor indications. She was also involved in the development of manufacturing processes for ALX148 to support clinical studies. Prior to ALX Oncology, Janet held positions with increasing responsibilities at Chiron Corporation and Novartis. Janet received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the National University of Singapore. 

Emma Abellana

Senior Director, Finance

Emma Abellana is our Senior Director of Finance. She most recently served as Senior Director of Finance and Controller of ALX Oncology Holdings Inc, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company until June 2020. Prior to joining ALX in 2015, Ms Abellana worked for Labrys Biologics (acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals), KAI Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Amgen) and Exelixis Inc. Prior to working for the biotech companies, she worked for the Superior Court of San Mateo County as a Management Analyst. Ms. Abellana holds a B.S. Accounting from Far Eastern University.

Tracy Kuo

Senior Director, Biology and Translational Science

Tracy Kuo joined Tallac Therapeutics in 2020. An immunologist specializing in cancer immunotherapy, she leads the Biology and Translational group in the identification and preclinical evaluation of novel molecules to activate immune cells to target tumors. Prior to her current position at Tallac, Tracy led several preclinical programs that have progressed to clinical development. At ALX Oncology, Tracy was Director of Biology and her team generated the pre-clinical data to support a Phase I trial of ALX148, a next generation CD47 blocking therapeutics currently in multiple clinical trials across a range of hematologic and solid tumor malignancies. In 2010, Tracy joined Rinat/Pfizer, where she initiated and was the project team lead for research programs targeting BCMA via multiple modalities, including CD3 bispecific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates and CAR-T. This work led to the development of PF-06863135, a BCMA-CD3 bispecific, which is currently in a Phase I trial. Tracy holds a Ph.D. in immunology from Columbia University and performed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley.

Min Li

Director, Protein Science

Dr. Min Li joined Tallac as our Director of Protein Science in Aug 2020. Previously, Dr. Li served as a group leader and senior principal scientist in Protein Science Group, Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Sciences at Emeryville, CA since 2008. During her 12 year tenure, Dr. Li has worked extensively in drug discovery projects across the oncology and infectious diseases field. She holds a B.S. in applied chemistry and a M.S. in chemistry and earned her Ph.D in Biochemistry with focus on enzymology from Emory University in 2005. She completed her postdoctoral training at UCSF from 2005 to 2008 with extensive work on membrane protein expression as part of NIH protein structure initiative.  

Christine Brennan, Ph.D.

Christine has over 15 years in the life-science industry including business development, corporate strategy and venture investing. She is currently Partner at MRLV and on the boards of Entrada Therapeutics and Tallac Therapeutics. She was previously on the board of Alector [NASDAQ:ALEC] and an observer on the board of Translate Bio [NASDAQ:TBIO].

Prior to MRLV, she was Principal at the Novartis Venture Fund from 2013-2017 where she was on the board of Altimmune [NASDAQ:ALT] and an observer on the boards of a number of companies including ROX Medical, lnnocrin Pharmaceuticals, Viamet Pharmaceuticals and Quartet Medicine. Prior to Novartis Venture Fund, she was Chief Business Officer at Vitae Pharmaceuticals from 2010-2013. She also she held positions in business development and marketing at small and mid-size biopharmaceutical companies. Christine received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Dartmouth Medical School and post-doctoral research in developmental neurobiology from the National Institutes of Health.

Mike Carusi

Mike is a General Partner and Team Leader of Lightstone Ventures (LSV) and focuses on investments in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors. He is based in the firm’s Menlo Park, CA office, where he also serves as a General Partner at Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV). His representative investments include Altura Medical (acquired by Lombard), Ardian (acquired by Medtronic), Cala Health, EndoGastric Solutions, Gynesonics, MediSix Therapeutics, MicroVention (acquired by Terumo), Nuvaira, Plexxikon (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo), PowerVision (acquired by Alcon), Second Genome, Tallac Therapeutics, and Willow.

Featured on the Forbes Midas List of top technology and life science investors, Mike is a recognized thought leader in the industry and a frequent speaker at healthcare conferences. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. In addition, Mike has been heavily involved with several programs at Stanford University including the Stanford Biodesign Program and, more recently, the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education (Spectrum). Lastly, Mike served as a Director on the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Board of Directors and remains active in helping to shape policy affecting both innovation and healthcare.
Earlier in his career, Mike served as a Director of Business Development for Inhale Therapeutic Systems (now Nektar Therapeutics, NASDAQ: NKTR), a venture-backed pulmonary drug delivery company that went public in 1994. At Inhale, Mike led partnering activities with a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Mike also was a Principal at The Wilkerson Group, a leading management consulting firm focused exclusively on healthcare. At The Wilkerson Group, Mike helped establish the firm’s offices in London and San Francisco.

Isaac Cheng, M.D.

Dr. Cheng joined Morningside in 2006 and focuses on biopharmaceutical and healthcare investments. He has served on numerous public and private company boards, including NuCana (NASDAQ: NCNA), Atea Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVIR), Advanced Cell Diagnostics (sold to Bio-Techne), Liquidia Technologies, Incarda Therapeutics, Meissa Vaccines, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Cognoa, Artugen Therapeutics, Cognito Therapeutics, Big Health, and Tallac Therapeutics. Prior to joining Morningside, Dr. Cheng was Director of Research and Development at Serica Technologies, a Morningside portfolio company which was sold to Allergan. In addition, Dr. Cheng was previously an Associate Director at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Clinical Development and Medical Affairs. Dr. Cheng received his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Ran Geng

Ran Geng is a venture investor at Matrix Partners China focused on biotech investments. She invests in first-in-class or best-in-class therapeutics that has the potential of transforming a therapeutic area. She led or is involved in the investment of Nikang Therapeutics, InventisBio, Rootpath, Chameleon Bio, Peijia Medical (HK.9996), Ambrx, etc, Her investments have led to 3 positive clinical POCs. Ran was a consultant at ZS Associates, working for the headquarters of Roche/Genentech, Gilead, and Novartis on M&A, go/no-go criteria, and clinical development strategies. Her work led to Roche’s $4.3B acquisition of SPARK Therapeutics, and Gilead’s $11.9B acquisition of Kite Pharma.

Ran graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Wharton Business School’s Roy Vagelos Life Science Management Program with B.S. in Computational Biology and B.S.E in Operations Management. She was also a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

Corey Goodman, Ph.D.

Chairman and Co-founder

Corey Goodman, Ph.D. is co-founder of Tallac Therapeutics™. He also serves as chair of the board of directors. Dr. Goodman is a Managing Partner of venBio Partners.

Dr. Goodman is a scientist, educator, and entrepreneur. He spent 25 years as Professor of Biology at Stanford University and Evan Rauch Chair of Neurobiology at U.C. Berkeley (Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology), where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Head of the Neurobiology Division, and co-founder and Director of the Wills Neuroscience Institute. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience in the Wills Neuroscience Institute at U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Goodman is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Philosophical Society, and recipient of many honors including the Alan T. Waterman Award, Canada Gairdner Biomedical Award, March-of-Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, Reeve-Irvine Research Medal, Dawson Prize in Genetics from Trinity College Dublin, and the Gruber Neuroscience Prize.

Dr. Goodman co-founded seven biotechnology companies (the first being Exelixis), and led one of them (Renovis) as President and CEO from a private to public company until its acquisition. He was recruited to be President and founder of Pfizer’s Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center and a member of Pfizer’s executive leadership team.

Dr. Goodman is Chair of the Board of ALX Oncology, Tallac, and Second Genome. He is a member of the Board of NFlection and Attralus. He chaired Labrys Biologics until its acquisition by Teva. Amongst his many public policy roles, Dr. Goodman is a member of the University of California Innovation Council, a member of the board of the Pacific Institute, and former Chair of both the California Council on Science and Technology (advising the California governor and state legislature) and the National Research Council’s (NAS) Board on Life Sciences (advising the federal government).

Jaume Pons, Ph.D.

Co-founder

Jaume Pons, Ph.D., is co-founder of Tallac Therapeutics™. Dr. Pons has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of board of directors at ALX Oncology since April 2015. He has also served as a Scientific Advisor at Lightstone Ventures, a venture capital fund, since January 2019 and as a Venture Partner at venBio Partners, a venture capital firm, since January 2017. Prior to joining us, Dr. Pons was with Pfizer, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where he served as Senior Vice President and a member of the Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development Leadership Team and Chief Technology Officer for Pfizer Biotherapeutics from September 2009 to February 2015. From October 2007 to February 2015, he served as Chief Scientific Officer at Rinat Neuroscience Corporation, a subsidiary of Pfizer. Dr. Pons holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Autonomous University of Barcelona and an M.S. in Biotechnology and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the Institute on Fundamental Biology, Barcelona (Autonomous University of Barcelona).

Hong I. Wan, Ph.D.

President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder

Hong I. Wan, Ph.D. is president, chief executive officer and director of Tallac Therapeutics. She co-founded Tallac with Drs. Corey Goodman, Jaume Pons and Curt Bradshaw in 2018. Dr. Wan is a life science leader with over 20 years of drug development experience and expertise in multiple therapeutics areas in biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Previously as chief scientific officer and a member of the founding management at ALX Oncology, she led the team to advance ALX148, a best-in-class myeloid checkpoint inhibitor, for multiple tumor indications. Prior to ALX Oncology, Dr. Wan held various leadership positions at Pfizer and Wyeth Research, where she was responsible for the early development and translational medicine strategy and execution across various therapeutic areas. Dr. Wan started her career at Renovis where she led discovery programs in neuroinflammation. Dr. Wan received her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from University of California, Berkeley and A.B. degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard University.